An oft-repeated claim of evolutionary propaganda is that the DNA of chimpanzees and humans is 98.5% identical. This high level of DNA similarity is required to bolster the hypothesis that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor three to six million years ago. Based on theoretical models of human evolution and known mutation rates in both humans and chimps, anything significantly less than a 98.5% DNA similarity would destroy the foundation of the entire model.
When I began reviewing the scientific literature on the subject, I realized there were serious problems with research that claimed human DNA and chimp DNA are nearly identical. In every publication I studied, it became clear that evolutionary researchers had cherrypicked highly similar DNA sequences that support evolution and omitted data that were dissimilar.1 Following this original discovery, I then performed a variety of my own studies in which I downloaded chimpanzee DNA and compared it to human.
I recalculated DNA similarities in a number of evolutionary studies by including discarded data and obtained much lower levels of human-chimp DNA similarity, ranging between 66% and 86%. Another major problem I encountered is that the chimpanzee genome was literally pieced together to resemble the human genome.2 This was accomplished by taking the small snippets of chimp DNA sequence and assembling them onto the human genome as a scaffold. As a result, the chimp genome became artificially humanized.
Despite these issues of evolutionary bias, improvements in DNA sequencing technology are slowly bringing the truth to light. The newest version of the chimpanzee genome was completed in 2018, and the results not only validate my past research but also spectacularly confirm new research I published in 2018 using the new chimp genome data.3
The Science research paper published in conjunction with the 2018 chimp genome completely side-stepped the issue of chimp DNA similarity with humans.4 Nevertheless, University of London evolutionist Richard Buggs analyzed the results of a comprehensive comparison of the new chimp genome with the human genome and posted his shocking anti-evolutionary findings. He stated, “The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38%.”5
What makes Dr. Buggs’ analysis more amazing is the fact that my own published research using a different algorithm gave the same results. In my study, I aligned 18,000 random pieces of high-quality chimp DNA about 31,000 DNA letters long (on average) onto human and several different versions of the chimp genome. Not only did my data show that the older version of the chimp genome (PanTro4) that had been used to support evolution was deeply flawed and humanized, but my research also showed the aligned segments of chimp DNA onto the human genome were on average only 84.4% identical to human—the same level of similarity reported by Dr. Buggs.
These new results by both myself and Dr. Buggs also confirm a 2016 study I published that indicated the overall human-chimp DNA similarity was likely no more than 85%.6 Based on the most recent research, the difference between the human and chimp genomes is estimated to be a maximum of 15%—a number that does not include the regions that are too different to even compare. Not only are human and chimp DNA not 98.5% identical, they’re too dissimilar to share a common evolutionary ancestor. This result refutes evolution and affirms the biblical account of creation.
- Tomkins, J. and J. Bergman. 2012. Genomic monkey business—estimates of nearly identical human-chimp DNA similarity re-evaluated using omitted data. Journal of Creation. 26 (1): 94–100.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2011. How Genomes Are Sequenced and Why It Matters: Implications for Studies in Comparative Genomics of Humans and Chimpanzees. Answers Research Journal. 4: 81–88.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2018. Comparison of 18,000 De Novo Assembled Chimpanzee Contigs to the Human Genome Yields Average BLASTN Alignment Identities of 84%. Answers Research Journal. 11: 205–209.
- Kronenberg, Z. N. et al. 2018. High-resolution comparative analysis of great ape genomes. Science. 360 (6393): eaar6343.
- Buggs, R. How similar are human and chimpanzee genomes? Posted on richardbuggs.com July 14, 2018, accessed August 9, 2018.
- Tomkins, J. P. 2016. Analysis of 101 Chimpanzee Trace Read Data Sets: Assessment of Their Overall Similarity to Human and Possible Contamination With Human DNA. Answers Research Journal. 9: 294–298.
* Dr. Tomkins is Research Scientist at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.