Chimps and humans taste different, according to a report in Nature, vol 440, p930, 13 April 2006. Every student of biology has probably participated in an experiment to see who can taste a chemical called PTC. The ability to taste this is genetically determined, with the tasting gene being dominant and the non-tasting being recessive. In 1939 three scientists Fisher, Ford and Huxley, tested apes for the ability to taste PTC and found the same variation in the ability to taste it. This was claimed to be evidence that chimps and humans evolved from the same ancestor. Since then the actual genes that control PTC tasting in humans have been found – they are two alleles (variations) of a gene called TAS2R38. A group of scientists led by Stephen Wooding of the University of Utah, has studied the genes that control the variation in tasting ability in apes and found they were also alleles of this gene, but neither of the chimp alleles occurred in humans. Therefore, they concluded that "although Fisher et al's 1939 observations were accurate, their explanation was wrong. Humans and chimpanzees share variable taste sensitivity to bitter compounds mediated by PTC receptor variants, but the molecular basis of this variation has arisen twice, independently, in the two species."

Editorial Comment: For years evolutionists have claimed that chimps and humans are 98% related. However, when detailed gene studies like these are done, such relationships turn out to be 100% unrelated. The recognition that "Fisher et al's observations were accurate, but their explanation was wrong" reveals a common issue in the creation evolution debate. Many evolutionists’ observations of biological phenomena are accurate, but their explanation that these are evidence for evolution is not. Natural selection, mutations and adaptation are real processes that explain what happens to living organisms. However, such processes cannot explain how non-living molecules turned into live scientists who study chimp and human genes.

Creation Research predicts that as more detailed studies are made of how genes are controlled, and how they interact with one another, more such differences will be revealed. (Ref. apes, genetics, prediction)

Evidence News 10th May 2006


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