Friday, September 09, 2005

Chimp genome

The new issue of Nature arrived yesterday, reporting the first draft of the chimpanzee genome. I look forward to reading the detailed comparison with the human genome.

Within a few years, scientists will have sequenced the genomes of other primates -- lorises, pottos, bush babies, lemurs, aye-ayes, tarsiers, monkeys and apes -- and we'll have a much clearer picture of how we are all related and the paths by which we evolved from a common ancestor. It's all there, written in the genes.

It is ironic that as we understand human evolution in ever more convincing detail, Americans increasingly affirm the necessity for supernatural meddling in the story of life. I think it was Saint Augustine who said, "There are no miracles but one, and that one miracle is the creation."