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  • Writer's pictureKirk Bagby

Evidence for Human Evolution or Fake News?

“Did you know that chimps and humans share 99% of the same DNA?” That’s what one of my seminary professors taught in class.[1] This tenured professor is a theistic evolutionist who used this evidence to support the proposition that humans and chimps share a common ancestor. But is it true? Do chimps and humans really share 99% of the same DNA? Science says, “No.” This 99% myth is fake news that was once promoted as evidence for human evolution. Furthermore, many other examples of evidence for human evolution have been falsified by science.


1 Chimp and Human DNA

For decades, evolutionists claimed that chimps and humans are only about 1-2% different in their nuclear DNA and that this “fact” supports evolution. By contrast, chimps and humans are many times more different than 1-2% in their nuclear DNA. Furthermore, many other genetic differences exist between apes and humans besides sequences of nuclear DNA. Also, even if chimps and humans were only 1% different, this evidence could not support neo-Darwinian evolution over the biblical account of creation.


1.1 Chimp and Human DNA Similarity

How similar are chimps and humans in their DNA? In 2002 Roy J. Britten said that according to his analysis, chimps and humans are more likely 95% similar rather than the popularly publicized valued of 98.5%.[2] In 2005 Waterson et al. revealed a 4% difference between chimps and humans.[3] In 2006 Demuth et. al. wrote, “Our results imply that humans and chimpanzees differ by at least 6% (1,418 of 22,000 genes) in their complement of genes, which stands in stark contrast to the oft-cited 1.5% difference between orthologous nucleotide sequences.”[4] In 2007 Jon Cohen affirmed that chimps and humans are more than 1% different in his journal article “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%.”[5] In 2012 Todd M. Preuss wrote, “It is now clear that the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees are far more extensive than previously thought; their genomes are not 98% or 99% identical.”[6] In 2018 Christian evolutionist Richard Buggs observed an 84.38% similarity between chimps and humans in his analysis of genetic data.[7] In 2016[8] and 2018[9] geneticist Jeffrey Tomkins[10] published his research demonstrating results similar to Buggs—chimps and humans are no more than 85% similar.[11] Furthermore, Tomkins suspects that they may only be 80% similar.[12]


These scientific sources conclusively disprove the claim that chimps and humans share 99% of the same DNA. Sadly, this fake news is still being used by advocates of evolution to support their position.

1.2 More Genetic Differences Between Chimps and Humans

Besides this 15+ percent difference in nuclear DNA sequences, numerous other genetic differences between chimps and humans can be found. For example, chimps have 24 pairs of chromosomes whereas humans have 23. Chimps have 23,000 base pairs of DNA in their telomeres whereas humans have about 10,000.[13] Also, similar genes can express different amounts of proteins in chimps versus humans.[14] These and other genetic differences are recognized by numerous scientists.[15] Biology professor Dr. David DeWitt writes, “Thus, the percentage of matching DNA is only one measure of how similar two organisms are, and not really a good one at that.”[16]


Biologists Christopher Rupe and Dr. John Sanford also affirm numerous genetic differences between apes and humans besides differences in nuclear DNA sequences. They write, “We are beginning to see that there are profound ape/human differences that transcend DNA sequences. This includes many epigenetic systems such as differential nucleosome formation, 3-D DNA structure, DNA methylation, transcription, RNA splicing, RNA editing, protein translation, and protein glycosylation.”[17]


1.3 Origin of the 99% Myth

But if chimps and humans are not 99% similar in their nuclear DNA, where did this idea come from? Why did evolutionists once believe and teach this fake news? Cohen writes, “In a groundbreaking 1975 paper published in Science, evolutionary biologist Allan Wilson of the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and his erstwhile graduate student Mary-Claire King made a convincing argument for a 1% genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees. . . . Subsequent studies bore their conclusion out, and today [2007] we take as a given that the two species are genetically 99% the same.”[18]


When one hears that scientists have observed a 99% similarity between chimp and human DNA, it is easy to assume that all chimp DNA was compared to all human DNA and that only a 1% difference was measured. However, only a tiny portion of these genomes was actually compared. Only protein-coding sequences, as opposed to non-coding sequences, were compared in King and Wilson’s 1975 research.[19] This constitutes only about 1% of the human genome.[20] Thus, their comparison of chimp/human DNA was based upon very incomplete comparative analysis.


In 1975, scientists were decades away from fully sequencing the human and chimp genomes. The first draft of the human genome was not available until 2001. An updated version was published in 2004, but even this version was only 92% complete. In 2022 the “complete” human genome was published, but even this version excludes some data.[21] A draft of the chimp genome was not available until 2005.[22] But sections of the chimp genome were still un-sequenced as of 2019.[23] When scientists compare chimp and human DNA, they only compare small portions of these genomes, not the whole genome.[24]


Besides having incomplete data, scientists who have claimed a 98-99% DNA similarity only counted “substitution” differences between aligned regions of human and chimp DNA while excluding differences known as “indels” (i.e., “insertions and deletions”).[25] Indels represent genuine DNA differences between species; thus, excluding indels is unwarranted.


Furthermore, Tomkins’s research revealed evolutionary biases in comparing human and chimp DNA. Tomkins writes, “In every publication I evaluated, it became clear researchers had cherry-picked highly similar DNA sequences that supported evolution and discarded the data that were dissimilar.” Also, “Another major issue I uncovered is that the chimpanzee genome was literally put together to resemble the human genome.” Tomkins’s research revealed that “the older version of the chimp genome (PanTro4) that had been used to support evolution was deeply flawed and humanized.”[26]


Evolutionists really wanted a 99% similarity between human and chimp DNA. The greater the similarity, the greater the plausibility of the belief that humans and chimps evolved from a common ape-like ancestor about 6 million years ago. However, even if humans and chimps were 99% similar in their genomes, this still would not prove that evolution is true. Rupe and Sanford explain, “Physical and genetic similarities can be explained in terms of either a common ancestor, or by a common designer. So physical and genetic similarities between ape and human are not, by themselves, compelling evidence for common ancestry. . . . Regardless of the degree of genetic similarity between man and ape, mere similarity is a very weak argument for common ancestry.”[27]


1.4 Logic and Fallacy

The proposition, (A) "Humans and chimps share 99% of the same DNA." cannot directly lead to the conclusion, (B) "Humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor millions of years ago." To move from “A” to “B,” one must provide sufficient evidence and reason or warrant. But what evidence or reason causes proposition “A” to necessarily result in conclusion “B”? I know of no argument that can lead from “A” to “B” so as to exclude all competing explanations.


DNA similarity does not necessarily imply an evolutionary ancestry, for DNA similarities could be explained by an alternate explanation such as special creation. I offer this competing explanation: (C) "God created humans and chimps independently and fully formed within one day approximately 6,000 years ago."[28]


The proposition “A” cannot exclude or disprove “C.” Even if “A” were true, “C” remains a valid explanation for “A.” God could have created chimps and humans with 99% similar DNA if He chose to do so. A 99% DNA similarity does not negate biblical creation.


When one carefully analyzes evidence supporting neo-Darwinian evolution, one will find that the evidence cannot exclude the biblical account of creation (i.e., “young-earth creationism”). On the contrary, given all available evidence, the biblical account of creation affords a more plausible explanation. Indeed, the reality that chimps and humans are more than 15% different in their DNA presents serious problems for neo-Darwinian evolution such as “Haldane’s dilemma.”[29]


Using DNA similarities to “prove” human evolution is an example of a fallacy called “affirming the consequent.” This fallacy claims:

(1) If “P,” then “Q.”

(2) “Q”

(3) Therefore, “P.”

Regarding DNA similarities:

(1) If “humans and chimps evolved from a common ape-like ancestor,” then “we would expect to find vast similarities in DNA between chimps and humans.”

(2) “We do see vast similarities in DNA between chimps and humans.”

(3) Therefore, “humans evolved from a common ape-like ancestor.”

But it is illogical to believe that because the consequent of a conditional statement is true, then the antecedent must also be true. This is because a different antecedent (i.e., a competing explanation) may be able to account for the consequent. For example, “If God created both humans and chimps, then He could have created them with mostly similar DNA.” Even though “affirming the consequent” is a fallacy, it is often used to “prove” evolution using evidence such as genetic similarities, embryonic similarities, and anatomical similarities (e.g., homology).


2 More Pseudoscience

The belief that chimps and humans are 99% similar in their DNA is not the first and only example of “fake news” being used to promote human evolution. Many examples of pseudoscience have served as evidence for evolution including but not limited to Ernst Haeckel’s diagrams, Piltdown man, “vestigial” organs, “Junk” DNA, chromosome 2 fusion, and the beta-globin pseudogene.


2.1 Haeckel’s Diagrams

German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) taught that “ontogeny (the embryology and development of the individual) briefly, and sometimes necessarily incompletely, recapitulated, or repeated, phylogeny (the developmental history of the species or race).”[30] Biologist Dr. Gary Parker clarifies, “The phrase [‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’] means that the development of the embryo is supposed to retrace the evolution of its group.”[31]


To support his view, Haeckel published illustrations of embryos in various works from 1868 to 1908.[32] Even though scholars questioned the accuracy of Haeckel’s diagrams shortly after he first began publishing them,[33] academic sources continued to use Haeckel’s diagrams through the 20th century and into the 21st century as evidence for evolution. The high-school biology textbook Biology: Principles & Explorations (1998) used a modern rendition of Haeckel’s diagrams as evidence for evolution.[34] (Reviews on Amazon.com indicate that this book was being used into the early 21st century.[35]) In his book What Evolution Is (2001), the famous evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr also used Haeckel’s diagram as evidence for evolution in his chapter, “What is the evidence for evolution?”[36] Referring to Haeckel’s diagrams, Parker writes, “Yet the embryo diagrams falsified to support evolution over 140 years ago were still in the 2005 lab manual used in a state college biology class where I spoke in 2006.”[37]


Today, Nick Hopwood’s book Haeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (2015) is raising public awareness of the flaws in Haeckel’s diagrams. Matthew Cobb writes in his review of this book, “It’s embarrassing but true: some of the most influential drawings in the history of biology are wrong, exaggerated to fit a thesis.” Cobb calls Haeckel’s drawings “highly inaccurate,” and he notes, “There were waves of criticism, from the 1870s when the drawings were published, up to 1997 as Haeckel’s ‘fraud’ was rediscovered and exploited by creationists.”[38]


With or without Haeckel’s diagrams, “modern biologists consider embryology to provide strong support for common descent.”[39] This is due to some similarities in the development of vertebrate embryos. This “embryo similarity” argument is just like the “homology” argument.[40] (Homology refers to anatomical similarities between organisms.) However, anatomical similarities cannot support evolution against biblical creationism any more than DNA similarities. Just like DNA similarity, anatomical similarities cannot prove evolution without committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Anatomical similarities can be easily explained as being the result of a common Designer rather than the result of a common evolutionary ancestor.[41]


2.2 Piltdown Man

In 1912 Charles Dawson and Smith Woodward publicly released their discovery of an alleged ape-like ancestor of humans. In a gravel pit near Piltdown in East Sussex, England, Dawson and Woodard had discovered skull fragments containing both humanlike and ape-like features. Evolutionist Steven Gay Gould notes, “Their reception was mixed, although on the whole favourable [sic]. No one smelled fraud, although the association of such a human cranium with such an apish jaw indicted to some critics that remains of two separate animals might have been mixed together in the quarry.”[42] Despite doubts and objections, some evolutionists promoted Piltdown Man as evidence of human evolution for 40 years.


Then, in 1953 Piltdown Man was unequivocally proven to be a hoax. Its cranium came from a human, its mandible came from an orangutan, and a canine tooth came from a chimpanzee. These bones were artificially stained to make them appear ancient, and the chimp tooth was filed down to make it fit better.[43]


The forgery was so poor that Gould wrote an article in the 1979 edition of New Scientist seeking to explain “why did anyone ever accept Piltdown man in the first place?”[44] Gould writes, “When you know about the fraud the deceptions become obvious, so why did almost everyone fall for the ill assorted [sic] collection of remnants?”[45] His summary is quite revealing:

“I think that I can identify at least four categories of reasons for the ready welcome accorded to such a misfit by all the greatest English palaeontologists [sic]. All four contravene the usual mythology about scientific practice—that facts are ‘hard’ and primary and that scientific understanding increases by patient collection and fitting together of these objective bits of pure information. Instead, they display science as a human activity, motivated by hope, cultural prejudice, and the pursuit of glory yet stumbling in its erratic path toward a better understanding of nature.”[46]


When I study other paleoanthropological findings touted as proof for evolution, I wonder if the interpretations of these findings are also “motivated by hope . . . and the pursuit of glory.” Rupe and Sanford provide affirmative evidence in their book Contested Bones.[47]


2.3 “Vestigial” Organs

Beginning in the 1800’s, evolutionists began labeling human organs as useless vestiges of our evolutionary past. However, science has revealed that vestigial organs are not useless. Biologist Jerry Bergman writes, “The list of vestigial organs in humans has shrunk from 180 in 1890 to 0 in 1999.”[48] Parker concurs saying that “studies have shown that essentially all 180 organs once listed as evolutionary vestiges have significant functions in human beings.”[49] Consequently, evolutionists began redefining the meaning of “vestigial organs” – “vestigial organs” are not completely useless but are just less functional than other organs.[50] But this weakens the evolutionist’s already weak argument.


The “vestigial organ” argument is weak because it is an argument from silence. In the words of biologist Nathaniel Jeanson, “Arguments from silence are weak because the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.”[51] In essence, the “vestigial organ argument” claims:

(1) No one knows any useful function for these certain organs.

(2) No one will ever know any useful function for these organs.

(3) Therefore, these organs must not have a useful function.

(4) An organ which has no useful function cannot be the result of an Intelligent Designer’s creation.

(5) An organ which has no useful function must be a vestige of evolution.

(6) Therefore, evolution is true.


But how do we know that (2) is true – that “no one will ever know any useful function for these organs”? Also, how does this premise lead to (3) – “these organs must not have a useful function”? If the slightest useful function can be found for an alleged “vestigial” organ, then creationists can reasonably argue that the organ was intelligently designed. For the “vestigial organ” argument to disprove biblical creation, one must demonstrate that an alleged vestigial organ has no useful function in modern humans. Afterwards, one must demonstrate that this organ had a useful function in a different, ancestorial species.


Even if an alleged “vestigial” organ is shown to have a poor function today, this does not discredit the biblical creation. Even though the biblical account of creation affirms that everything God created was “very good” (Gen 1:31), the Fall (Gen 3) introduced death, corruption, and decay into creation (cf. Rom 8:22). Consequently, our organs may not function as well as they were originally designed to function.


2.4 “Junk” DNA

Another well-known example of fake news being used to support evolution is “junk DNA.” Some evolutionists once claimed that 95-99% of human DNA has no function. Consequently, this useless DNA was labeled “junk DNA.” Junk DNA was alleged to be vestiges of our evolutionary past. Nevertheless, scientists continue to discover more and more functions for the vast majority of human DNA. But why would evolutionists claim that most of our DNA is useless? Did they have any evidence to support this claim?


Dr. Susumu Ohno coined the term “junk DNA” in the early 1970’s. In 1972 he wrote an article in the Brookhaven Symposium on Biology called “So Much ‘Junk’ DNA in Our Genome.” In this article, he wrote, “The earth is strewn with fossil remains of extinct species; is it a wonder that our genome too is filled with the remains of extinct genes?”[52] These “extinct genes” are called pseudogenes. (I will discuss pseudogenes later.) At first, the term “junk DNA” applied mainly to pseudogenes, but the term was later applied to other sequences of DNA including all non-coding DNA.[53]


In the 1970’s scientists knew that some sequences of DNA (i.e., genes) code for proteins. (In summary, protein-coding DNA is transcribed to RNA which is translated into amino acids which are used to build proteins which are used to build the tissues and organs of living organisms.[54]) However, scientists also discovered that the vast majority of DNA does not code for proteins. Bob Kuska (1998) explains, “Though humans are endowed with 3 billion bases, or units, of DNA, only a fraction of them — roughly 5% — encode genes. As for the other 95%, it was anybody’s guess what it was doing there.”[55] More recently, an article on MedlinePlus.gov says, “Only about 1 percent of DNA is made up of protein-coding genes; the other 99 percent is noncoding. Noncoding DNA does not provide instructions for making proteins. Scientists once thought noncoding DNA was ‘junk,’ with no known purpose.”[56]


However, since the 1990’s scientists have continued to find more and more functions for these alleged useless sequences of DNA. Kuska noted in 1998 that “as the human genome has become more accessible to scientists, some have begun to scrap the notion that all non-coding DNA is junk.”[57] In 2012 an international team of scientists called ENCODE published research which indicates that the vast majority of human DNA is functional. Describing these findings, Ecker et al. say, “One of the more remarkable findings described in the consortium’s ‘entrée’ paper (page 57)[58] is that 80% of the genome contains elements linked to biochemical functions, dispatching the widely held view that the human genome is mostly ‘junk DNA’.”[59]


ENCODE’s 2012 discovery was so shocking to the evolutionary community that some scientists such as Dan Graur et al. protested.[60] Among other reasons, they accuse ENCODE of “divorcing genomic analysis from its evolutionary context.”[61] In other words, the ENCODE scientists would be more competent in their experimental analysis of the human genome if they assumed that evolution is true.


Even if scientists were completely ignorant of any function for 99% of human DNA, the “junk DNA” argument would be just as weak as the “vestigial organ” argument, being an argument from silence:

1. No one knows any useful function for these sequences of DNA.

2. No one will ever know any useful function for these sequences of DNA.

3. Therefore, these sequences of DNA must not have a useful function.

4. DNA which has no useful function cannot be the result of an Intelligent Designer’s creation.

5. DNA which has no useful function must be a vestige of evolution.

6. Therefore, evolution is true.


But what evidence supports premise (2)? Ignorance does not prove that any given DNA sequence has no function. Indeed, some scientists have admitted this fact: “ ‘The fact that we don’t know something has a function doesn’t mean that in reality it does nothing,’ said Carl Schmid, Ph.D., a chemist at the University of California at Davis, who recently published a paper indicating that Alu repeats are involved in regulating human protein synthesis in response to certain cellular stresses.”[62]


Non-coding DNA has been shown to serve numerous vital functions: “Promoters provide binding sites for the protein machinery that carries out transcription. . . . Enhancers provide binding sites for proteins that help activate transcription. . . . Silencers provide binding sites for proteins that repress transcription. . . . Insulators provide binding sites for proteins that control transcription in a number of ways.”[63] Other sequences of non-coding DNA regulate which genes activate and when. Geneticist John Sanford says that the human genome “has genes that regulate genes that regulate genes.”[64] Not only do most DNA sequences serve a useful function, evidence suggests that some DNA sequences serve more than one function which creates serious problems for neo-Darwinian evolution.[65] Consequently, the proposition that most of our DNA is useless junk is yet another example of pseudoscience which was once used to support human evolution.


2.5 Chromosome 2 Fusion

The “chromosome 2 fusion” argument is a very significant argument for evolution, yet it too is collapsing under the weight of scientific research. Rupe and Sanford write, “Perhaps the most famous genetic argument for ape-human common ancestry (also used in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial) is the claim that human chromosome 2 (chr2) arose by the fusion of two chromosomes in the hypothetical chimp-human ancestor.”[66] Since chimps have 24 pairs of chromosomes and humans only have 23, evolutionists explain this difference by claiming that our ape-like ancestors had 24 chromosomes, but two of these chromosomes fused together to make human chr2. In 1991 scientists claimed to have found evidence in chr2 of this fusion site.[67]


Rupe and Sanford call this section of chr2 the “reputed fusion sequence (RFS).” They write, “The RFS has been used as a ‘proof’ of human evolution in textbooks for over two decades. Remarkably, in the last several years this famous icon of human evolution has become hotly contested.”[68] Rupe and Sanford offer numerous explanations and evidence against this alleged chromosomal fusion. For example, even if chr2 is a fusion of two chromosomes, this does not prove that humans evolved from an ape-like ancestor millions of years ago. The fusion could have occurred in humans in the recent past. Also, if two chromosomes did fuse end to end (telomere to telomere) as the claim goes, then we should see evidence of these telomeres, but we do not. Also, on either side of this reputed fusion site, we should see sequences of DNA similar to sequences in apes, but we do not.[69]


Perhaps the best evidence against the “chr2 fusion” argument comes from the discovering of the DDX11L2 gene overlapping the reputed fusion sequence (RFS). If two chromosomes fused together end-to-end (telomere to telomere) to form chr2, then we would not expect to find a functional gene overlapping this reputed fusion site, but we do. This discovery was made by geneticist Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins who “published compelling evidence that the RFS is not a fusion site at all, but is a functional component of the DDX11L2 gene.”[70] Additionally, Tomkins found several other pieces of evidence against the RFS. After summarizing these findings, Rupe and Sanford write, “Unless all of these many levels of evidence can be refuted, it appears that Tomkins has successfully falsified the hypothesis that the RFS is a fusion site.”[71]


Biologist Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson also affirms Tomkins’s research saying that “recent investigations have demonstrated that the supposed fusion site does not bear the scar of an accidental chromosomal crash. Rather, the site sits in the middle of a functional gene, and the purported fusion sequence appears to participate in the regulation of this gene.”[72] Consequently, the argument from “chr2 fusion” appears to be another example of fake news used to promote human evolution.


2.6 The Beta-globin Pseudogene

The argument from pseudogenes is one of the most popular arguments for neo-Darwinian evolution today. This argument claims that humans and apes have shared mistakes or shared damage in their DNA called pseudogenes. It is statistically improbable that these same mistakes could have occurred in exactly the same way in both humans and apes in the past 6,000 years. Thus, these common mistakes must have occurred in a common ancestor and was passed on to both humans and modern apes.


In rebutting the argument from pseudogenes, Rupe and Sanford remind us that ENCODE has discovered functions for most of the human genome. Consequently, “most ‘shared-mistakes’ are not actually mistakes at all—but are shared functions.”[73] Jeanson concurs saying, “Consistent with the overall results of the ENCODE project, around 80% of human pseudogenes have at least one line of biochemical evidence for function.”[74]


One of the most famous examples of an alleged shared pseudogene is the beta-globin pseudogene. Indeed, this pseudogene was used by biologist Kenneth Miller in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover court case to support neo-Darwinian evolution.[75] In describing this pseudogene, Rupe and Sanford write,

“Put most simply, there are six genes which encode the beta-globin protein structure. Until recently, it has been claimed by evolutionists that five of the six genes code for functional proteins,[76] while the sixth gene, known as HBBP1, has been thought to be a broken gene that had lost its function. It did not appear to be functional because it could not code for a protein, but could only make RNA.”[77]

The HBBP1 gene is very similar in humans, chimps, and gorillas. Thus, evolutionists point out that it is statistically improbable for the same HBBP1 gene to have become damaged in humans, chimps, and gorillas independently in just a few thousand years. Thus, this HBBP1 must have become broken in a common ancestor of humans, chimps, and gorillas.


Nevertheless, like so much evidence for evolution, this argument from the beta-globin “pseudogene” has been falsified by modern science. Rupe and Sanford write,

“Geneticists now know that the evidence presented by Miller has been overwhelmingly refuted. It is categorically false to say that HBBP1 is a broken, non-functional ‘pseudogene’ that proves common ancestry. Multiple lines of evidence published in leading scientific journals have clearly revealed that this beta globin RNA gene is actively transcribed, is highly functional, and is essential to maintaining health.”[78]

Rupe and Sanford cite three secular journal articles to support this conclusion.[79]


Furthermore, Tomkins also provides evidence against the beta-globin gene being a pseudogene.[80] In his conclusion, Tomkins notes,

“Pseudogenes are ubiquitous and abundant in plant and animal genomes and in the past have been referred to as ‘genomic fossils’ and considered to be ‘junk DNA.’ However, it has been proved that an increasing number of pseudogenes play essential roles in the regulation of other genes and are transcribed into a variety of functional RNAs (Li, Yang, and Wang 2013; Tutar 2012; Wen et al. 2012).”[81]

After describing some functions of these alleged “pseudogene,” Tomkins declares, “The clear fact is that our current knowledge of these types of genes remains poorly understood and their pseudo status appears to be rapidly diminishing the more that we discover about them.”[82]


Jeanson notes that the argument from pseudogenes is a weak argument for evolution. Indeed, the “pseudogene” argument is just as weak as the “vestigial organ” argument because these are both “arguments from silence.” Jeanson notes, “Arguments from silence are weak because the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.”[83] Remember, a pseudogene is an alleged broken gene which was once functional in an ancestor, but how do we know that this gene really is broken? Just because we lack evidence for this genes’ function does not prove that this gene has no function. (See the above sections on “Vestigial Organs” and “Junk DNA.”) Jeanson notes that this “absence of evidence did not stem from exhaustive experimentation that failed to find any positive evidence for function. Rather, it stemmed from the absence of experimentation itself.”[84]


The “pseudogene” argument, the “junk DNA” argument, and the “vestigial organ” argument all reveal an anti-science consequence of neo-Darwinian evolution. If one truly believed that pseudogenes, junk DNA, and vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution, then one would not be motivated to study these sequences of DNA and these organs to discover whether they are or are not useful/functional. By studying these sequences of DNA or organs, evolutionists run the risk of “shooting themselves in the foot” should a useful function be discovered. Thus, these arguments for evolution can actually dampen one’s zeal for scientific investigation. The notion of pseudogenes, junk DNA, and vestigial organs can actually hinder scientific progress.


3 Conclusion

History and scientific research reveal that evolutionists have used numerous examples of pseudoscience to support their belief in human evolution. But if neo-Darwinian evolution is true, then why have evolutionists used so much “fake news” to support evolution? If evolution is a confirmed scientific fact, then why do evolutionists often resort to arguments from silence and fallacies (e.g., affirming the consequent) to support their position? If evolution is a certain reality, shouldn’t there be so much conclusive and unequivocal evidence that evolutionists would not need to resort to pseudoscience and fallacies to support their beliefs?[85]


Ironically, evolutionists often accuse biblical creationists of rejecting modern science. Yet, science falsified the claim that 99% of human DNA is the same as chimp DNA. Science revealed the inaccuracies of Haeckel’s diagrams. Science revealed Piltdown man to be a hoax. Science discovered that the vast majority of “vestigial” organs are not useless. Science discovered that the vast majority of human DNA is not junk but is functional. Science is revealing numerous flaws in the chromosome 2 fusion hypothesis. And science discovered that the beta-globin “pseudogene” is not a broken gene but rather a vitally functional gene.


Biblical creationists do not reject the scientific method of investigation (e.g., repeatable empirical measurements and experiments). On the contrary, biblical creationists use science to expose the pseudoscientific claims of evolutionists.[86] Creation scientists do not oppose operational science or even historical science. Rather, creation scientists oppose interpretations of empirical data which contradict the historical events described in Genesis 1-11.


Given these numerous examples of “fake news” being used to support human evolution, I offer this advice. When evolutionists claim, “We have found evidence that humans evolved from an ape-like creature,” just wait a few decades to see how well this evidence withstands the objective scrutiny of modern science.



Footnotes

[1] This professor taught this “fact” in a class that I took at Asbury Theological Seminary in the fall of 2021. [2] Roy J. Britten, “Divergence between Samples of Chimpanzee and Human DNA Sequences Is 5%, Counting Indels,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99.21 (2002): 13633–35. [3] Robert H. Waterson et al., “Initial Sequence of the Chimpanzee Genome and Comparison with the Human Genome,” Nature 437.7055 (2005): art. 7055, pp. 69–87, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04072. Note: If you only count single-nucleotide substitutions, then this paper declares a 99% similarity. However, if you include indels, then the difference is 96%. Cf. David DeWitt, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?,” in The New Answers Book 3 (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2009), 102–3. [4] Jeffery P. Demuth et al., “The Evolution of Mammalian Gene Families,” PLOS ONE 1.1 (2006): e85, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000085. [5] Jon Cohen, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%,” Science 316.5833 (2007): 1836–1836, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.316.5833.1836. [6] Todd M. Preuss, “Human Brain Evolution: From Gene Discovery to Phenotype Discovery,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109.supplement_1 (2012): 10709–16, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1201894109. [7] Richard Buggs, “How Similar Are Human and Chimpanzee Genomes? – Richard Buggs,” 14 July 2018, https://richardbuggs.com/2018/07/14/how-similar-are-human-and-chimpanzee-genomes/. [8] Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “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 (2016): 294–98. https://answersingenesis.org/analysis-chimpanzee-trace-read-data-sets/ [9] Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Comparison of 18,000 De Novo Assembled Chimpanzee Contigs to the Human Genome Yields Average BLASTN Alignment Identities of 84%,” Answers Research Journal 11 (2018): 205–9. https://answersingenesis.org/comparison-chimp-contigs-human-genome/ [10] Dr. Jeffrey Tompkins is the Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/research/team. [11] For a summary of Tomkins’s 2018 findings, see Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Separate Studies Converge on Human-Chimp DNA Dissimilarity,” Institute for Creation Research, 31 October 2018, https://www.icr.org/article/separate-studies-converge-human-chimp-dna. For a bio of Tomkins, see https://www.icr.org/jeffrey_tomkins/. [12] This comes from a video interview found here: https://www.icr.org/jeffrey_tomkins/ [13] David A. DeWitt, “Greater Than 98% Chimp/Human DNA Similarity? Not Any More,” Answers in Genesis, 1 April 2003, https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/dna-similarities/greater-than-98-chimp-human-dna-similarity-not-any-more/. [14] DeWitt, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?,” 105. [15] Cf. DeWitt, “Greater Than 98% Chimp/Human DNA Similarity?” [16] DeWitt, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?,” 105. [17] Christopher Rupe and John Sanford, Contested Bones, First ed., second printing. (Canandaigua, NY: FMS Publications, 2019), 311. [18] Cohen, “Relative Differences.” This 1975 paper by Wilson and King is, Mary-Claire King and A. C. Wilson, “Evolution at Two Levels in Humans and Chimpanzees,” Science 188.4184 (1975): 107–16. [19] Maria V. Suntsova and Anton A. Buzdin, “Differences between Human and Chimpanzee Genomes and Their Implications in Gene Expression, Protein Functions and Biochemical Properties of the Two Species,” BMC Genomics 21.7 (2020): 535, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-06962-8. [20] Lakna, “What Is the Difference Between Coding and Noncoding DNA,” Pediaa.Com, 10 November 2019, https://pediaa.com/what-is-the-difference-between-coding-and-noncoding-dna/#:~:text=The%20main%20difference%20between%20coding,does%20not%20encode%20for%20proteins. [21] Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Completion of Human Genome Reveals Anti-Evolutionary Surprises,” Institute for Creation Research, 14 April 2022, https://www.icr.org/article/completion-human-genome/. [22] DeWitt, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?,” 102. [23] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 326. [24] I image that comparing the whole human genome with the whole chimp genome would be quite difficult given that the haploid genome size for both humans and chimps is over 3 billion base pairs! See https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/browse#!/overview/human and https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/browse#!/overview/chimpanzee (accessed October 28, 2022). Of note, the human genome increased slightly while the chimp genome decreased from March 27, 2017. See, Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2017), 310. Thus, our knowledge of the human and chimp genomes has changed just within the past five years. [25] Cf. Britten, “Divergence between Samples of Chimpanzee and Human DNA Sequences Is 5%, Counting Indels”; DeWitt, “What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA?”; Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 311. See also, Georgia Purdom, Are Humans Related to Chimps? (Answers in Genesis, 2020), https://www.answers.tv/biology-with-dr-purdom/videos/2020-03-23-creation-museum-live-are-humans-related-to-chimps-purdom. [26] Tomkins, “Separate Studies Converge on Human-Chimp DNA Dissimilarity.” [27] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 317. [28] I offer this proposition based upon Genesis 1:24-27 and the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. [29] Walter ReMine, “Cost Theory and the Cost of Substitution-a Clarification,” Journal of Creation 19.1 (2005): 113–25; Don Batten, “Haldane’s Dilemma Has Not Been Solved,” Journal of Creation 19.1 (2005): 20–21; John Sanford et al., “The Waiting Time Problem in a Model Hominin Population,” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 12.1 (2015): 18, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12976-015-0016-z. For more information on “Haldane’s dilemma” and other genetic evidence against neo-Darwinian evolution, see, John C. Sanford, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome, Third Edition. (Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications, 2008). [30] “Ernst Haeckel,” Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ernst-Haeckel. [31] Gary Parker, Creation Facts of Life: How Real Science Reveals the Hand of God (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006), 61. [32] Matthew Cobb, “How Fudged Embryo Illustrations Led to Drawn-out Lies,” New Scientist, 14 January 2015, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530041-200-how-fudged-embryo-illustrations-led-to-drawn-out-lies/. [33] Cf. Nick Hopwood, “Pictures of Evolution and Charges of Fraud: Ernst Haeckel’s Embryological Illustrations,” Isis 97.2 (2006): 260–301, https://doi.org/10.1086/504734. See also, Calvin Smith, “What about those embryo drawings?” November 10, 2022, https://www.answers.tv/videos/what-about-those-embryo-drawings. [34] George B. Johnson and Peter H. Raven, Biology: Principles & Explorations (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1998), 257. [35] A 1-star review on Amazon.com from “John Smith” dated February 7, 2010, reads, “I just finished my biology course for this semester and it was a major headache. My teacher wasn’t very helpful and this book just confused me even more. It has way too much text and the book was clearly written from more than one person's perspective. The text is extremely dated. Reading it is choppy and difficult and will just make a struggling student's situation worse. Principles & Explorations looks at biology through a lens science discarded a long time ago.” A 5-star review from Emma B Candland dated October 12, 2015, reads, “Great quality!” https://www.amazon.com/Holt-Biology-Principles-Explorations-Student/dp/0030514339#customerReviews (accessed November 22, 2022). [36] Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 28. Mayr even admits that “Haekel [sic] had fraudulently substituted dog embryos for the human ones,…” (p. 28). [37] Parker, Creation Facts of Life, 61. [38] Cobb, “How Fudged Embryo Illustrations Led to Drawn-out Lies.” [39] “Haeckel’s Drawings,” National Center for Science Education, 30 July 2008, https://ncse.ngo/haeckels-drawings. [40] Cf. Mayr, What Evolution Is, 25–27; Johnson and Raven, Biology: Principles & Explorations, 256. [41] For more details on why homology and embryology do not support evolution, see Parker, Creation Facts of Life, 43–46, 54–63. [42] Stephen Jay Gould, “Smith Woodward’s Folly,” New Scientist, 5 April 1979, 82:42. [43] See Gould, “Smith Woodward’s Folly.” See also, “Piltdown Man is revealed as fake,” https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/do53pi.html and “Piltdown Man,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man. [44] Gould, “Smith Woodward’s Folly,” 82:42. [45] Gould, “Smith Woodward’s Folly,” 82:42. [46] Gould, “Smith Woodward’s Folly,” 82:43–44. Emphasis added. [47] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones. See especially pp. 99ff, 115ff, 195, and 199ff. [48] Jerry Bergman, “Do Any Vestigial Organs Exist in Humans?,” Answers in Genesis, 1 August 2000, https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/vestigial-organs/do-any-vestigial-organs-exist-in-humans/. For a bio of Dr. Jerry Bergman, see https://creation.com/dr-jerry-bergman. [49] Parker, Creation Facts of Life, 54. [50] David Menton, Does Biology Make Sense Without Darwin? (Answers in Genesis, 2009) https://www.answers.tv/anatomy-with-dr-menton/videos/does-biology-make-sense-without-darwin. [51] Jeanson, Replacing Darwin, 212. [52] Quoted in Bob Kuska, “Should Scientists Scrap the Notion of Junk DNA?,” JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute 90.14 (1998): 1032, https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/90.14.1032. [53] Kuska, “Should Scientists Scrap the Notion of Junk DNA?,” 1032. [54] For more details, see Lakna, “What Is the Difference Between Coding and Noncoding DNA”; Parker, Creation Facts of Life, 20ff. [55] Kuska, “Should Scientists Scrap the Notion of Junk DNA?,” 1032. [56] “What is noncoding DNA?” https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/basics/noncodingdna/#:~:text=Only%20about%201%20percent%20of,%2C%E2%80%9D%20with%20no%20known%20purpose (accessed November 22, 2022). Also, Lakna (2019) says that only 1% of DNA is coding DNA. Lakna, “What Is the Difference Between Coding and Noncoding DNA.” [57] Kuska, “Should Scientists Scrap the Notion of Junk DNA?,” 1032. [58] Here, Ecker et al. cite: “The ENCODE Project Consortium Nature 489, 57–74 (2012).” [59] Joseph R. Ecker et al., “ENCODE Explained,” Nature 489.7414 (2012): art. 7414, p. 52, https://doi.org/10.1038/489052a. [60] Dan Graur et al., “On the Immortality of Television Sets: ‘Function’ in the Human Genome According to the Evolution-Free Gospel of ENCODE,” Genome Biology and Evolution 5.3 (2013): 578–90, https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evt028. See also Graur’s presentation here: https://www.slideshare.net/dangraur1953/update-version-of-the-smbesesbe-lecture-on-encode-junk-dna-graur-december-2013?qid=0977b9fd-1d75-43de-adcd-02a9afd41c90&v=&b=&from_search=4. [61] Graur et al., “On the Immortality of Television Sets,” 579. [62] Kuska, “Should Scientists Scrap the Notion of Junk DNA?,” 1033. [63] “What is noncoding DNA?” https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/basics/noncodingdna/#:~:text=Only%20about%201%20percent%20of,%2C%E2%80%9D%20with%20no%20known%20purpose (accessed November 22, 2022). [64] Sanford, Genetic Entropy, 3. [65] Cf. Sanford, Genetic Entropy, 131–33. [66] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 324. [67] J W IJdo et al., “Origin of Human Chromosome 2: An Ancestral Telomere-Telomere Fusion.,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 88.20 (1991): 9051–55. [68] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 325. [69] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 325–27. For more evidence against the “chr2 fusion” argument, see Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 325–28. See also Georgia Purdom’s lecture Are Humans Related to Chimps? (Answers in Genesis, 2020), https://www.answers.tv/biology-with-dr-purdom/videos/2020-03-23-creation-museum-live-are-humans-related-to-chimps-purdom. [70] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 327. They cite, Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Debunking the Debunkers,” Answers Research Journal 10 (2017): 45–54, available at https://answersresearchjournal.org/debunking-the-debunkers/#. [71] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 328. [72] Jeanson, Replacing Darwin, 212. Here, Jeanson cites the following four sources: Jerry Bergman and Jeffrey Tomkins, “The Chromosome 2 Fusion Model of Human Evolution—Part 1: Re-Evaluating the Evidence,” Journal of Creation 25.2 (2011): 106–10, available at https://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-1; Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman, “The Chromosome 2 Fusion Model of Human Evolution—Part 2: Re-Analysis of the Genomic Data,” Journal of Creation 25.2 (2011): 111–17, available at https://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-2; Jeffrey P. Tomkins, “Alleged Human Chromosome 2 ‘Fusion Site’ Encodes an Active DNA Binding Domain Inside a Complex and Highly Expressed Gene—Negating Fusion,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 267–375, available at https://answersresearchjournal.org/alleged-human-chromosome-2-fusion-site/#; Tomkins, “Debunking the Debunkers,” available at https://answersresearchjournal.org/debunking-the-debunkers/#. [73] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 317. [74] Jeanson, Replacing Darwin, 210. In a footnote here, Jeanson writes, “See Figure 4A of the following paper: C. Sisu et al., “Comparative Analysis of Pseudogenes Across Three Phyla,” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2014, 111(37):13361-13366.” [75] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 318. [76] Here, Rupe and Sanford cite, Stephen Harris et al., “The Primate Psi Beta 1 Gene. An Ancient Beta-Globin Pseudogene,” Journal of Molecular Biology 180.4 (1984): 785–801, https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-2836(84)90257-2. [77] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 318. [78] Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 318. [79] Manit Nuinoon et al., “A Genome-Wide Association Identified the Common Genetic Variants Influence Disease Severity in Β0-Thalassemia/Hemoglobin E,” Hum Genet 127.3 (2010): 303–14, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00439-009-0770-2; Emily Giannopoulou et al., “A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in the HBBP1 Gene in the Human β-Globin Locus Is Associated with a Mild β-Thalassemia Disease Phenotype,” Hemoglobin 36.5 (2012): 433–45, https://doi.org/10.3109/03630269.2012.717515; Papai Roy et al., “Influence of BCL11A, HBS1L-MYB, HBBP1 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and the HBG2 XmnI Polymorphism On Hb F Levels,” Hemoglobin 36.6 (2012): 592–99, https://doi.org/10.3109/03630269.2012.735626. [80] Jeffery P. Tomkins, “The Human Beta-Globin Pseudogene Is Non-Variable and Functional,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 293–301. [81] Tomkins, “The Human Beta-Globin Pseudogene Is Non-Variable and Functional,” 298. [82] Tomkins, “The Human Beta-Globin Pseudogene Is Non-Variable and Functional,” 298. For more evidence against pseudogenes, including the Vitamin C pseudogene and “shared dispersed repeats,” see Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 317–24. [83] Jeanson, Replacing Darwin, 212. [84] Jeanson, Replacing Darwin, 212. [85] For rebuttals and counterarguments against neo-Darwinian evolution in the field of paleoanthropology, see David Menton, “Did Humans Really Evolve from Ape-like Creatures?,” in Searching for Adam (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2016), 229–62; Marvin Lubenow, “Neanderthals: Our Worthy Ancestors,” in Searching for Adam (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2016), 263–86; Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones. For rebuttals and counterarguments against neo-Darwinian evolution in the field of genetics, including discussions of natural selection and mutations, see Parker, Creation Facts of Life; Sanford, Genetic Entropy; Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, 307–28; Nathaniel Jeanson and Jeffrey Tomkins, “Genetics Confirms the Recent, Supernatural Creation of Adam and Eve” (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2016), 287–330; Jeanson, Replacing Darwin; Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Traced: Human DNA’s Big Surprise (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2021). [86] For example, see the numerous articles written by Jeffrey Tomkins cited in this paper.

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PH605 Final Paper

A response to Theistic Evolution taught at Asbury Theological Seminary.

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