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Another evolutionary ‘truth’ now conceded to be myth

Evolutionists abandon the idea of 99% DNA similarity between humans and chimps


Image by Nathan SmarttEvolution bin

In a recent Science article, several evolutionary scientists openly admitted that the claim of 99% DNA similarity between humans and chimpanzees is a myth.1 Since 1975, this misleading statistic has been touted (e.g., see box) as clear cut evidence that humans and chimps are closely related on the evolutionary tree of life.2 However, more and more genetic research has revealed that the percentage of DNA similarity has been vastly overstated.

Revealing quotes

  • Author Jon Cohen wrote ‘But truth be told … the 1% difference wasn’t the whole story …’
  • Cohen also wrote about recent studies ‘… raising the question of whether the 1% truism should be retired.’
  • UCSD zoologist, Pascal Gagneux, said ‘For many, many years, the 1% difference served us well because it was underappreciated how similar we were. Now it’s totally clear that it’s more a hindrance for understanding than a help.’
  • Svante Pääbo, after admitting he didn’t think there was any way to actually calculate a precise percentage difference, said ‘In the end, it’s a political and social and cultural thing about how we see our differences.’ In other words, as creationists have long stated, scientific interpretations are often driven by philosophical presuppositions.

More recent studies highlight greater genetic differences

  • Last year, a study of gene copy numbers revealed a 6.4% difference.3
  • In 2005, scientists discovered that the chimpanzee genome was 12% larger than the human genome.
  • In 2003, scientists calculated a 13.3% difference in sections of our immune systems.4
  • One study has even revealed a 17.4% difference in gene expression in the cerebral cortex.5

Creation geneticist, Dr Rob Carter, recently stated on the USA-nationally syndicated Janet Parshall Show, that our genomes are at least 8–12% different.

Another icon falls by the wayside

Just this year, we have witnessed the downfall of two ‘icons of evolution’. Not only has the idea of 99% genetic similarity between humans and chimps been abandoned, but also the myth of so-called ‘Junk DNA’ has been debunked—see Astonishing DNA complexity uncovered and Astonishing DNA complexity Update. As has so often been observed since Darwin published his Origin of Species, evolutionary icons eventually collapse under the weight of the empirical data. Meanwhile the biblical creation model is continually vindicated as each new discovery reveals hitherto-unexpected layers of complexity in what has so obviously been created—reflecting the hand of the Creator.

‘Take it down!’

Christians are increasingly challenging museums’ displays of evolutionary propaganda

A correspondent recently alerted us to these displays at the Melbourne (Australia) Museum, which claim that DNA studies ‘show that humans are apes’ and that ‘our DNA is nearly identical to a chimpanzees’, with less than a 2% difference.

DNA sign

As Daniel’s article shows, even evolutionists would now admit that the ‘less than 2%’ claim is wrong—we wonder how long it will take the Melbourne Museum to correct their display accordingly?

However, evolutionists will no doubt continue to argue that ‘humans are apes’—that claim comes from the secular humanist belief that everything has arisen ultimately by evolution, no Creator being necessary. However, in some places Christians are ‘fighting back’ against such secular propaganda, and this has been reported in the media.1,2 For example, in the USA, staff of museums and science centres say they are frequently confronted by members of the public eager to challenge evolution. Consequently, an increasing number of museums are giving their staff ‘training’ in how to respond to creationists.

However, any such ‘response’ that tries to argue for evolution is easily refuted by the information freely available on this website, and in publications such as Creation magazine and the Journal of Creation. Christians armed with such information and willing to speak out against the falsehoods of the secular religious teaching at our taxpayer-funded institutions can make a difference. You, too, can arm yourself today!


  1. New York Times, 20 September 2005, p. F1.
  2. Physorg.com, <www.physorg.com/news6622.html>, 21 September 2005.
Published: 10 August 2007


  1. Cohen, Jon, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%”, Science 316(5833):1836, 29 June 2007 | DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5833.1836. Return to Text.
  2. The 99% statistic is based on comparing a mere 97 genes between respective genomes. The human genome contains about 20,000 genes. Therefore, 97 genes represent only about 0.5% of our entire genome. Return to Text.
  3. Demuth JP, Bie TD, Stajich JE, Cristianini N, Hahn MW The Evolution of Mammalian Gene Families. PLoS ONE 1(1): e85, 2006 | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000085. Return to Text.
  4. Tatsuya, A., et al., Comparative Sequencing of Human and Chimpanzee MHC Class I Regions Unveils Insertions/Deletions As the Major Path to Genomic Divergence, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 100:7708–13, 2003. Return to Text.
  5. The Chimp-Human 1% Difference: A Useful Lie, crev.info/2007/06/the_chimphuman_1_difference_a_useful_lie, 29 June 2007. Return to Text.