Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You know nothing: Human Evolution


I think I might do a few of these. They are pretty fun, and just for reference the "You" in the title includes me because I am learning too.


So, over the past year and a half I have read lots of information on the current understanding of human evolution. Creationists often want to harp on "lack of credible transitional fossils", which believe me is not correct. There are lots of great examples of these (i.e. Archaeopteryx and Tikaalik), but these are not even the greatest evidence to support the theory. Since the discovery of DNA we have been able to truly understand the methods by which evolution works. Recently we have sequenced the complete human and chimp genomes. Why is the chimp genome important? Chimps are our closest relative on the planet with a common ancestor about 10 million years ago. When we look through the genomes we of course see lots of similarites (aprox. 98%), but something immerged that was a nail in the coffin of creationism.

Endogenous retroviruses are RNA viral fragments in the genomes of living things. The transcription locations of these fragments are for the most part random. So, if in the human and chimp genomes we see the same viral fragments in the same transcription locations we know that our common ancestor had these in it's genome and we share ancestory with the chimps. Well, we have 16 viral fragments in common with chimps, which puts the probability of this happening by accident well outside a statistical probability. WE DIDN'T EVOLVE FROM APES, WE ARE APES!

7 comments:

bite itself said...

yeah, but what about all that stuff in the adam and eve natural history museum in tennessee, now ? you're going to tell me that isn't science ? that's god's science, right there.

but anyway, that's pretty crazy. new relevance and acceptation for otherwise seemingly obviously racist quotations of charlton heston ? i hope so.

Witchyard said...

Well, we obviously rode dinosaurs for transportation. Have you ever watch the Flintstones? Yeah, all that shit happened.

30cent said...

yeah, humans aren't apes though

King of Daves said...

SOYLENT GREEN IS APES!

Witchyard said...

The term ape can be a little ambiguous, but it includes the Hominidae family, which humans are a part.

SOYLENT APES IS GREEN!

...aly... said...

...i know three dudes who are apes...

heated mammal said...

We are also really genetically similar to pigs, more from the inside out than the apparent chimp brother comparison, but suffice it to say that we have real potential to be delicious. I find it spiritually reassuring to think of people as being eerily analogous to ants or fleas (bees are way out of our league): "once upon a time there was a bug named Adam and a bug named Eve. They clicked their joints to respire, when one day..."