May 18 2012
Gorilla Genome Is Bad News for Evolution [Excerpts]
Evolutionists have long maintained that modern primate species (including, in their view, humans) are branches on an evolutionary tree that lead back to a common ancestor. But the recent news of the published genome sequence for the gorilla in the journal Nature adds more solid data to the growing problem facing the current model of primate evolution (Scally, A. et al. 2012. Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence. Nature . 483 (7388): 169-175).
This problem is related to a biological paradigm called independent lineage sorting. To illustrate this concept among humans and primates, some segments of human DNA seem more related to gorilla DNA than chimpanzee DNA, and vice versa. This well-established fact produces different evolutionary trees for humans with various primates, depending on the DNA sequence being analyzed.
In a significant number of cases, evolutionary trees based on DNA sequences show that humans are more closely related to gorillas or orangutans than chimpanzees—again, all depending on which DNA fragment is used for the analysis. The overall outcome is that no clear path of common ancestry between humans and various primates exists, so no coherent model of primate evolution can be achieved.
The recent release of the gorilla genome spectacularly highlights this evolutionary quandary. According to the Nature study, "in 30% of the genome, gorilla is closer to human or chimpanzee than the latter are to each other" (Ibid.).
Of course, independent lineage sorting and the problems it presents for evolutionists are nothing new. It existed before the days of DNA sequencing in regards to mosaics of morphological traits, and it now exists in light of each new genome sequence discovery.