Gorilla genome sequenced according to reports in BBC News, Biology News Net, Nature News and ScienceDaily 7 March 2012.

An international group of researchers has sequenced the genome of a western lowland gorilla and compared it with partial genomes of two other western lowland gorillas and one eastern lowland gorilla. They also compared a large number of gorilla genes with those of chimpanzees, orangutans and humans.

The research team concluded the human genome differs from the chimp’s genome by 1.37 percent, and is 1.75 percent different from the gorilla’s genome, and 3.4 percent different from the orangutan. This fits the current evolutionary theory that the humans and chimps have the most recent common ancestor, with the gorilla next, and the orangutan the earliest of the great ape-human splits.

However, they found that 15 percent of the human genome is more closely matched to the gorilla than to the chimp. Aylwyn Scally, who led the study, commented: “Some of our functional biology is more gorilla-like than chimp-like”.

The team searched more than 11,000 genes in humans, chimpanzees and gorillas for differences in genes that are considered to be important in evolution. Gregory Wray, an evolutionary biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study, commented: “It’s essential to have all of the great ape genomes in order to understand the features of our own genome that make humans unique”. David Begun, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Toronto, Canada commented: “It will allow us to begin to identify genetic changes specific to humans since our divergence from chimps”.

The researchers also concluded that some genes had undergone rapid evolution in both gorillas and humans. Some of these genes are involved in brain development and hearing. One of these is a gene named LOXHD1, which is involved in hearing in humans and had been thought to be involved in the evolution of speech, but, as Scally commented, “we know gorillas don’t talk to each other — if they do they’re managing to keep it secret.”

BBC, Biology News Net, Nature News, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Did you notice it? The statement: “The researchers also concluded that some genes had undergone rapid evolution in both gorillas and humans” is really an admission that they are using evolution as the acceptable glasses to view these genes. No evolution was actually observed, but it was blatantly assumed! What was observed was lots of differences they assume came about via genes evolving, as well as some similarities that they assume means we are related. Again, it is an evolutionist assumption.

The reality is that having all the great ape genomes, as well as the human genome, will not tell scientists what make humans unique, or why people speak. Genome studies will help them understand how the human body differs from that of apes, but that is not the reason humans speak and gorillas don’t. The genes associated with speech in humans are just the instructions for building the “hardware” that we use to speak, i.e. the brain circuits, nerves and muscles, larynx, ear, etc. Knowing the genetic instructions for the structure and function of these may explain how we speak and understand language, but not why we speak, or how and where human language first came into being.

The fact that gorillas have some similar genes for hearing and brain function really means they need these for their way of communicating. But human speech is more than just over-evolved gorilla grunts. We speak because we alone are made in the image of God who speaks, and speech language was programmed into the first human beings, as is the inherited built-in ability for all subsequent human beings to acquire whatever language they are exposed to in infancy, or invent their own when they are not. God gave many new languages at the Tower of Babel. Since creation and later, Babel, where God gave many new languages, all changes in language are the result of human creativity to deliberately build on the language they already had. Over the millennia languages have changed, but never by chance random evolution.

Evidence News 21 March 2012

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