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The Chimpanzee Genome and the Problem of Biological Similarity

Todd Charles Wood
Occas. Papers of the BSG No. 7, pp. 1-18
©2006 BSG.


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Evidence for the great similarity between chimpanzees and humans was recently reinforced with the publication of a rough draft of the chimpanzee genome. The sequence is in >361,000 pieces with a median length of 15,700 nucleotides. The sequence differs from the human genome by 35 million nucleotide mismatches (1.23%) and 10 million alignment gaps (~3-4%). Rather than attempting to explain this similarity, I here propose principles that can guide creationist research in this area. I find that creationist genomics requires three important theories that still need to be developed before fruitful research can commence. The first need is a theory of biological similarity. The level of similarity observed between the human and chimpanzee genomes cannot be adequately explained simply by the will of the Creator, unless a theory can be developed to explain why the Creator would will such similarity. The most promising candidate for explaining biological similarity is a modified form of ReMine's message theory. The second greatest need for interpreting genomes is a theory of the genome, particularly its importance and biological function. The third need is a better understanding of baraminology and historical development of organisms.