I desperately need good online as well as book references on this topic of the “evolution” of homosapiens from apes and chimpanzees. I have someone really close to me who thinks he believes in a creator of the universe, but can’t call “it”, God; and who has more of an atheistic view of human evolution than anything I can bring through the Bible. I would be in great debt to anyone who can help me out. Thank you so much!
There’s an interesting article by Paul coulter called “Let there be light” that discusses these topics along with other topics like creationism, young earth vs old earth, the historicity of the Flood and so on.
There are also books about Genesis by John Walton, a very respected OT scholar. Two of them are called “The lost world of Genesis” and “The lost world of Adam and Eve”. You can listen to the lectures online as well on youtube.
Thank you for that great question. This subject is one I often wrestled with, but no longer do. I will lay out the evidence I’ve found during my times of study that will hopefully be of great help to you.
The idea that Humans & Chimps are 98% matched in their DNA is an idea that has been used to promote the idea that Humans and Chimps have a common ancestor millions of years ago, but that study was not really evaluated by many people, which leads to many being deceived and accepting Evolution as fact, not theory. Fun fact: Both the Human and Chimp genome were left out when making the DNA comparison.
Genome: In the fields of molecular biology and genetics, a genome is the genetic material of an organism. It consists of DNA (RNA in RNA viruses). The genome includes both the genes (the coding regions) and the non coding DNA, as well as mitochondrial DNA and chloroplast DNA. The study of the genome is called genomics.
When a study was eventually done comparing both the Chimp and Human genomes, here were the results.
- Single letter differences were easy to tally.
- The big mismatch sections weren’t easy to tally.
- If a genetic paragraph, thousands of letters long appears twice in a Human scroll, but only once in its Chimp counterpart, shouldn’t that second Human copy count as just thousands of changes or just one?
- What about identical paragraphs that appear in both genomes but in different places or in reverse order were broken up into pieces?
Rather than “monkey around” with those difficult questions, the researchers simply excluded all the large mismatched sections, which was a whopping number of 1.3 billion letters in all and performed a letter by letter comparison on the remaining 2.4 billion letters, which turned out to be 98.77% identical.
So yes, we share 99% (rounded up) of our DNA with Chimps if we ignore 18% of their genomes and 25% of our genomes.
In reality, that is a lot to ignore, in fact, this represents hundreds of millions in each side of the comparison. Could the sections they left out be responsible for coding most of the obvious differences we see between Humans and Chimps?
It turns out there’s another problem, just a small tweak in a sentence can alter its meaning entirely or not ar all.
A few mutations in DNA sometimes produce big changes in a creatures looks or behavior, where as other times lots of mutations make very little difference, so just counting the number of genetic changes doesn’t really tell us that much about how similar or different two creatures are and it certainly makes sense that just counting up the number of genetic changes doesn’t really tell us that much about how similar or different two creatures are.
Genomes code for two completely different creatures, while both Humans and Chimps are mammals based on scientific criteria, God made man in his image (Genesis 1:26-27) and gave him a soul that is eternal. Chimps, which are soulless, tree dwellers and Humans, which are eternal souls wrapped in bodies that have vastly different capabilities than all animals because we were created in God’s image and charged to be caretakers over creation, including Chimps. Being made in God’s image and charged with taking care over God’s creation would mean that Humans would have several distinctions from Chimps, so here are some of them.
- Humans are the only living thing on Earth that have a conscious and a sense of morality. Our conscious let’s us know when failed or when we might fail to abide by either governmental laws or God’s laws. While primates know nothing of laws, they live only by instincts.
- Humans can speak. The English language contains over 1 million words and we can speak all of them. Plus, we can learn or invent totally different languages. Chimps/Apes cannot speak any of them. They do not even have a speech module installed in their brains. (Brodmann Areas 44 & 45)
- Our brains are 400% larger than Chimps. We’re also much smarter, having an average IQ of 100 when Chimps can’t even take the test.
- Our brain cells DNA carry very unique methylation patterns that enables us to think the way we do. The Human neocortex is disproportionately large compared to the rest of the brain. With a 60:1 ratio of gray matter to the size of the medulla in our brain stems compared to just a 30:1 ratio in Chimps.
- Humans have almost twice as many spindle cells than Chimps, enabling us to pull memories from past experiences and use them to plot our next actions. These functions activate when moral dilemmas present decisions we need to make that will directly affect other lives. The insula part of our brains has 46 times the number of spindle cells compared to Chimps. About 83,000 for Humans compared to only about 1,800 for Chimps. This makes sense because this part of our brain takes information from our skin, internal organs, and cardio system and converts it into subjective feelings such as empathy towards others and show signs of anguish/pain. Our DNA differences direct the construction of uniquely Human physical attributes. For example, we are typically 38% taller than Chimps, 80% heavier and live twice as long.
- We have eye whites for rich and nuanced nonverbal communication, which no Chimps/Apes have.
- Humans walk upright, while Chimps with their curved fingers, long arms, and unique locking wrist systems are designed for living in trees and walking on all fours. Their knees also point outward for climbing in trees whereas our knees point forward so we can walk or run all day if needed. We can’t even swap any of our internal organs with Chimps.
- Humans build space shuttles, write songs, worship, pray, and sing. Chimps do none of these things.
God specifically designed us. Formed the first of us from dust (Genesis 2:7) into the image of God and gave each of us an everlasting soul. We were charged with the duty to be caretakers over the entire animal kingdom.
Yes, we share vast DNA sequences with Chimps but we should expect this on the basis of creation. We also share plenty of DNA with mammals other than Chimps. After all, God made mammals and men to metabolize the same food sources, grow the same basic materials like bones, teeth, muscles, skin, hair, as well as produce placentas and milk for the next generation. The fact that we have sections of DNA that are similar to these creatures only shows that our designer used similar DNA instructions for making similar features and functions. It does not mean that one creature led to the other.
I hope this helps! God bless.
I will also provide a video of Ravi Zacharias talking about Atheistic Evolution, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. I hold Ravi in high regard and I think he is one of the greatest minds of our time and the last century.
Watch Ravi brilliantly take down Atheistic Evolution. Side note: I used to believe in Atheistic Evolution, but no longer do. For many reasons, but I researched the topic and noticed how much of a lie it is. Here is a quote from David Berlinski about Evolution.
“There are gaps in the fossil graveyard, places where there should be intermediate forms, but where there is nothing whatsoever instead. No paleontologist denies that this is so. It is simply a fact. Darwin’s theory and the fossil record are in conflict.” - David Berlinski
@LAviles Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross from Reasons to Believe have some great resources on this topic. I really enjoyed “Who Was Adam?” and highly recommend reading it.
Berlinski, who is not Christian, also makes some great points regarding the weakness of evolutionary theory (regarding macroevolution):
Thank you so much! I truly appreciate the length of your response and the obvious time you gave to it. I will further my search using your points, which are very well represented. Thank you so much!!
Thank you for your help on this topic! I will get to reading the book and articles you spoke of. Thank you so much! God bless you always.
No problem! Hope it helps. God bless you!
Thank you, Sean! I had not heard of these resources you mentioned. Will study them properly. God bless you!
Creation Ministries did a documentary called Evolutions Achilles Heel if I recall correctly. I havent seen it but their other documentary I’ve seen was amazing so I’d assume this one is good as well.
You have already received tons of information that will help you with your friend; but my suggestion is that you present to him JESUS! You can share your faith in HIM and say something like this," well we all have to trust in something or someone for our being here , our purpose and our destiny and I have chosen to believe in JESUS!" You can then show him all the things that JESUS said! HE said a ton of stuff about The Beginning, Moses and other Profits confirming the Old Testament. When answering the question of the Pharisees HE on Divorce HE said,“In the beginning it was not so…GOD made them Male and Female”; GOD said, “let US make man in our own IMAGE and so HE did!” You can share the Trinity of GOD! Then John chapter 1!!! The WORD (who created us) became flesh for one purpose to reconcile human Souls (which no animal has) back to HIM! The you can quote John 14:1-5 (spending eternity with HIM) and end it with John 14:6. JESUS alone is our WAY to Salvation; HE alone is our TRUTH for a joyful life on earth; HE alone gives us LIFE ETERNAL. You can then simply and powerfully say to your friend, " JESUS say no one comes to GOD and lives with HIM forever except THROUGH HIM!!! so HE was a lair or HE was and is GOD!!! I believe HE IS GOD!" At this point the HOLY SPIRIT will convict, and draw your friend to HIM and you can help him ask JESUS into his heart! I will be praying for you!!!