Monday, January 23, 2006

The Human/Chimp Family?

In recent years, fascinating studies have proven that humans and chimps share about 98% of their genes, which is the closest to us of any animal (including other apes). Now, recent work seems to indicate that chimps are closer to man than they are to any other animal (again, even closer than they are to the other Great Apes). This rekindles the debate others had already begun - that man and chimp should be part of a single genus. If chimps are closer to man than to gorillas, why would they be classified with them instead of us? If you thought the cultural wars of evolution and creation were hot before, this is just a little gasoline on the old fire.

4 comments:

Gerry L said...

Hey. You're back. You disappeared for such a long time that I stopped dropping by.

I'm a bit bewildered by all the recent hub-bub around the "chimp closer to human" story. I thought this had been figured out years ago. As a ZooGuide (docent) working with primates, I've often talked about how close we are to them ... and how close they are to us.

John said...

Hi Gerry. I don't really expect much of people coming here on a regular basis. My life has been a bit of a whirlwind in recent months and I just don't have time to post much.

I think most people know we are closer to chimps than any other species. What even I found to be kind of counter-intuitive is that genetic evidence shows that chimps are closer to US than they are to gorillas. If that is the fact, then why would a zoologist classify chimps in the same genus as gorillas? You would, necessarily, have to place them either in their own separate genus, or in the same genus as humans.

Blueberry Pick'n said...

Could also be part of the controversy about the vaccination theory of AIDS...

But I'm betting that's why you posted it, right?

John said...

Blueberry - HONESTLY NO!

I see what you are saying, but this blog had no interest in HIV/AIDS until very recently. I really created this blog to help people of my most general intellectual group understand evolution a little better than we do. I've had a lot of personal commotion in the past 8 months that have really precluded me from doing what I had hoped with this.