Cross Roads of Faith: Quick Quotes 9/1/14 – Some Biological Common Sense

Every now and then I run across an article with information I think is relevant to the purposes of this blog, but that I am not prepared (or maybe not inclined) to write a full blown article on the subject. So, I have decided to do a “Quick Quotes” post on some of these articles, in order to highlight information for interested parties, and to help myself keep track of possible ideas for future articles.

quotes

Some quotes are more informative than others….

Today’s quotes are from the following article: Evolution Used the Same Molecular Toolkit? Common Sense from Jonathan Marks  “Marks is an evolutionary biologist/anthropologist at the University of North Carolina, and an uncommonly plain speaker and writer.” Here are the quotes that caught my eye, and this is what I think about when I invariably hear or read that we are genetically “99 percent identical to chimps.”

If the overall biology of the animals tells you that they are very different, and the genetics tells you that they are nearly identical, it follows that the genetic comparison is telling you something relatively trivial about the overall biology.

Does it not stand to reason that if you essentially cannot tell human hemoglobin from gorilla hemoglobin, the sensible thing to do is to look at something else? In other words, if you cannot tell a human from a gorilla, you really should not be in biology.

If hemoglobin provides you with a lens that blurs the difference between human and gorilla, then just get a different lens. What is curious is why anyone would want to privilege such a weird dataset, a dataset that makes a human seem like a gorilla. [emphasis mine]

Thank you, Sir, for expressing what should be painfully obvious. Would anyone care to take a stab at the bolded comment?

I’d love to discuss these things with you. Any questions and comments that are in line with this page’s Commenting Policy will be published and responded to (to the best of my ability).

For more information on how I keep my worldview informed please go to Cross Roads Church.

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6 Comments

  1. I rather think that the point is just how incredibly similar our biology actually is. Yes, there are some major differences, and these should certainly not be ignored, but neither should the plethora of similarities.

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    • Hello again BP, and thank you for taking time to read an comment on my post. You said “I rather think that the point is just how incredibly similar our biology actually is.”

      The point of Marks’s commentary, or some other point?

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      • The point to which Mark is responding. Despite our differences, the biology of humans and chimpanzees is very similar, and our genetics is just one of the ways in which this is borne out.

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        • Okay, fair enough. At some point I hope to post on the similarities and differences between humans and chimps, and perhaps at that time we can pick up where we left off here. Thanks!

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  2. “In other words, if you cannot tell a human from a gorilla, you really should not be in biology.”

    This made me laugh. We seem to be living in a world where observing difference is now unfashionable. It’s all about the sameness. The problem is, variety is the spice of life. Who would want to be a gorilla? More importantly, why would a gorilla want to be a human?

    Never mind gorillas, however, people and their pets can really be an emotional issue. Don’t ever suggest a dog is not a human! That can really upset some people.

    I suppose if we take biology down to a molecular level, we will eventually encounter something that we all have in common, like our life essence. Then we can declare, see, people are exactly like tomatoes.

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    • Hello insanitybytes22 (IB) and thank you for taking time to read and comment on my article. I always like your thinking, perceptive and humorous at the same time.

      To others: her blog is one I follow regularly, both for information and occasionally a good laugh. Y’all should check her out- http://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/

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