You have probably heard the claim that human DNA is 98% similar to that of chimpanzees. However, this is a typical case of scientific reporting being more friendly to evolution than the actual paper. It ignores several factors that the original paper itself mentions that show the claim is bogus as reported.

The 98% similarity figure is based on a comparison only of parts of human and chimpanzee DNA that can be easily aligned. Then counting only those parts that are single nucleotide differences call substitutions you get of about 98% similarity, however it does not end there. When you include insertions and deletions, that is segments where you insert one or more nucleotides or delete one or more nucleotides from the compared sequence then the similarity drops by 3% to give you a similarity of only about 95%. Now this is still quite high, but the propaganda value is reduced greatly.

However, it gets worse for the evolutionary interpretation because the segments that are easily aligned excludes the 18% of a chimpanzee genome in 25% of the human genome that do not align. This reduces the actual degree of similarity to only about 74%. This is a far cry from the 98% similarity often claimed by evolutionists.

So why do evolutionists site the 98% figure as if it were the actual degree of similarity between the DNA of humans and chimps? In most cases it is ignorance. They have never read the actual paper, as a result the only way they know this figure is reading it in articles and seeing it in videos. The folks who have fall in to this category are pretty much victims of those who are pushing this idea. The main source of their guilt in this regard is not bothering to check the original source material but just accepting a science reporting article on blind faith. Ironically this is something that they frequently accuse creationists of doing.

However, what about those who should know better because they have read the original paper but still report the 98% figure. One reason would be they are so biased that all they actually see is 98% figure and anything else just goes over their head. The other possibility is that the 98% similarity figure has such great propaganda value that they cannot resist repeating it as if it were true despite knowing that it is not. Anyone who falls under this category are simply lying through their teeth.

So, the basis of the 98% similarity figure is that parts of the human and chimp genomes that easily align, while only counting substitutions and ignoring insertions and deletions. The simple fact of the matter is the human and chimpanzee genomes are nowhere near as similar as evolutionists claim. The figure, however, has such great propaganda value but even those who know better apparently cannot resist the urge to use it.

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