Thanks very much for your note:
[my email to him]
Hi I'm a high school freshman from
Temecula, I have reviewed your analysis of creationism and it seems reasonable.
I have been looking for a response to a creationist response to your fused
chromosome argument found here http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n4/tale-of-two-chromosomes,
they appear to do a good job in defending their case against common descent
(which being an evangelical I am rather pleased I'll admit) but I am still
skeptical, since I could not find a good rebuttal to it I have decided to ask
you personally to review it.
I read the article, and was
absolutely amazed at how completely its author missed the point. The fact
that one of our chromosomes has a fusion site within it is not what makes us
different from other primates, and it is not what makes us human. Most of
the "rebuttal" is directed against those two points - which I have never
The real issue is simple. Do we or do we
not share common ancestry with the other great apes, all of which have 48
chromosomes. If we do share such ancestry, then evolution makes a
straightforward, testable prediction.... namely, that two primate chromosomes
must have fused together in the line leading to us, and that our genomes should
carry the evidence of that fusion. If we do not find that fusion point,
then evolution in terms of common ancestry for our species would be argued
The fact that the prediction is fulfilled is a powerful
confirmation of the evolutionary ancestry of our species. It does not
answer the question of how our genetic information differs from other primates,
nor was it meant to. It simply is a test of common ancestry, a test that
Has any creationist ever made such a specific
prediction to put their hypotheses to such a scientific test? I believe
that the answer is no.
Now to explain what this means to those who don't have as much science up their sleeves; as you know we humans have 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. Now great apes (chimpanzees, gorrillas etc.) have 48 chromosomes. Now what would have to have happened between them nd us is that two of the chromosomes would have had to fuse together. And sure enough our chromosome number 2 is made of two fused chromosomes. How do we know this? Well on the ends of chromosomes are caps called telomeres (which dammage to them is linked to aging). Well on a fused chromosome there would be two talomeres end to end. And sure enough there are. This is evidence of common descent. This does not show very well on the creationist's part. I hate to be the bad guy to my creationist companions and family, but it appears this is good evidence of common descent. This is of course helped out by ERVs (nasty little buggers that invade our cells and can fuse their RNA into our genome) and the fact that we have found many transitional fossils, one such interesting fossil is tiktaalik, a fish which has the rudiments of legs and a neck. If anybody has n objection to the evidence I have put forth please do, I welcome debate and discussion.