A Translocation Between Man and Chimpanzee Chromosomes

human chromosome #2

On the left of the diagram is human chromosome number 2 (of 23). On the right of the diagram are the matching chromosomes from a chimpanzee.

If you compare carefully, you will see that all the details line up. However, obviously something has happened: a translocation mutation has changed the number of chromosomes.

The Theory of Evolution explains this by saying that the two species have a common ancestor. Since chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos all have 24 chromosome pairs, it is assumed that the common ancestor had 24 pairs. Since the time of that ancestor, the human line has had a fusion mutation that turned 24 into 23.

I am not sure what the Creationist explanation is. Since both arrangements function well, we cannot argue that Intelligent Design is at work, or that one is a "degraded" version of the other. Saying that humans and chimps are different "designs" or "kinds" is unconvincing, since then there is a completely unnecessary amount of similarity.

The other major visible difference is that there are nine inversions between man and chimp.



Technical details about the image









Last modified: 29 November 1998

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