With this 1%, I’m not writing about the supposed 1% who have all the wealth, as those who are trying to incite class envy and warfare allege, but in the “difference” in the DNA of humans and chimpanzees. Just in passing, thinking about “wealth” and way off the mark, earlier today I read an article which pointed out, in the current agitation to increase the minimum wage, that the minimum wage was first imposed in 1938. Guess how much it was….
But I digress. As I wrote, “way off the mark.”
I’ve been watching an interesting series on Netflix which attempts to explain the inexplicable mysteries of the universe. The narrator, Dr. Neil deGrass Tyson, does an excellent job of explaining science in a way that people like me who don’t have that kind of background can understand it.
According to Dr. Tyson, chimpanzees have 99% of the same DNA that humans have. I’ve heard other figures, but they are all in the high 90s. Young chimps are able to figure out simple things, like stacking boxes to get to, say, a banana. Perhaps they can be taught very simple sign language. But they stop “developing,” if you will, and never advance beyond a very elementary point. Dr. Tyson didn’t dwell on this, but wondered if there were aliens out there who were 1% smarter than we are and if they thought no more of us than we do of chimpanzees. Just in passing, again, bananas are said to share 50% of the same DNA as humans.
What I wonder is, if chimps and humans are so close in their “programming,” which is basically what DNA is, why is there such a gulf between them? If they’re only 1% dumber than we are, why isn’t that really evident? There’s more to it than just the fact that chimps never learn anything more than very, very basic things – at least from our perspective. They do very well as chimps.
The truth is, there is a vast difference between us and them, which begs the question, “Why?”
The answer is found in Scripture. Now, Dr. deGrass is an evolutionist and casually dismisses the fact that early scientists like Newton believed in God, so he wouldn’t agree with this post. He would also probably dismiss Genesis as any kind of a reliable account of origins. It was interesting, though, that he does use the term “genesis” is referring to those origins.
Among other things, the early chapters of Genesis describe the creation of animate life, including mankind. Genesis 1:21 and 25 record the creation of aquatic life, flying creatures and animals. When Genesis gets to the creation of man, however, it says something quite different. In the creation of all other life, there is nothing said about what God planned to do with it. In the case of man, however, He said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;…,” Genesis 1:26.
Now this doesn’t mean, as some teach, that we’re “little gods.” There’s no “divine spark” just waiting to fanned into a blaze by the right kind of education or environment or economic status.
What it means is that we’re not just advanced animals. There is something about humans that isn’t true of animals. This something is creativity, ingenuity, even spirituality. So far as we can tell, no animal conceives of a “higher power.” No animal has ever started a civilization or invented some new wonder of industry or technology. Of course, they don’t destroy each other in the same wholesale way as humans do, either, but that’s another post.
There’s more to mankind that just the material. We’re more than animated bodies. We think and hope and dream and plan. That “1%” involves so much more than just genetic differences. It involves that which, no matter how corrupted and ruined by the Fall of Adam and Eve it has become and how far we try to get away from Him, that which God meant when He said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
One day, through the Lord Jesus Christ, that purpose will come to complete and final fruition.
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”