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Apologetics Press :: Sensible Science

What the Alleged Evolution of the Y Chromosome Really Teaches
by Kyle Butt, M.A.

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It would feel like an abnormal week in the news if the American public was not treated to some new evolutionary finding that “amazes” our most brilliant scientists. On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Associated Press staff writer Seth Borenstein reported on a recent study that purportedly showed that the Y chromosome in males is evolving faster than any other part of the human genome (2010). How did the researchers arrive at this mindboggling conclusion? Borenstein reported: “A new study comparing the Y chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, our nearest living relatives, show [sic] that they are about 30 percent different. That is far greater than the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimp’s” (2010). Jennifer Hughes, the lead author of the research, explained that entire sections of the Y chromosome were “dramatically different” between humans and chimpanzees. In fact, “[t]here were even entire genes on the human Y chromosome that weren’t on the chimp” (2010).

Looking closely at this study, one finds several glaring things that are amiss. Human evolution must be assumed in order for the study to make any sense. It must be assumed that humans evolved from lower mammals and that chimpanzees are our closest relatives. Yet, not only has this assumption not been proven, it has been repeatedly disproven (Harrub and Thompson, 2003).

Furthermore, one of the reasons that supposedly shows humans and chimpanzees are closely related is their DNA resemblance (an idea which has also been refuted, see Brooks, 2009; Harrub and Thompson, 2002). But this study explains that the one chromosome under consideration is 30% different. In fact, Borenstein noted that the study took two years, “twice as long as expected because of the evolutionary changes found” (2010). In other words, the researchers thought the chromosomes would be much more similar based on their false idea that humans and chimpanzees are close relatives. In addition, Borenstein noted that Hughes and Page said: “There is a bit of a proviso to the comparison to other chromosomes. While all human and chimp chromosomes have been mapped, only two chimp chromosomes have been examined in great detail: Y and chromosome 21. Yet, there’s still enough known to make the claim that the Y is the speediest evolver” (2010, emp. added). So, out of the 48 chimpanzee chromosomes, researchers have studied only two in any depth. One of the two that they have studied took twice as long as they thought to compare it to human DNA because there was a 30% difference between it an its alleged human counterpart, and yet these same researchers feel certain that such profound differences do not exist in the other 46 chimp chromosomes.

In reality, this recent study does not confirm anything about human evolution, but instead flies in the face of the false theory. The more we study humans, the more we discover the vast differences between them and primates like chimpanzees. An honest researcher should admit that such studies call into question the assumption that humans are related to chimps and rethink the erroneous idea of human evolution. Unfortunately, however, honesty often is not a prized virtue when it comes to assessing evolution. When researchers find that one chimp chromosome that they have studied is 30% different from the same chromosome in humans, they hail it as a discovery that proves how quickly a chromosome can evolve. Here is a question: If researchers would have found only 1% difference, what would this discovery have “proven?” No doubt the study would have been used to “prove” that humans and chimps are closely related and that evolutionists have been right all along. Truly, evolution is such a flexible theory that all research results, regardless of the outcome, can be manipulated to “prove” some aspect of it. But of course, that which proves too much, proves too little, and evolution’s “flexibility” really shows that the theory is expendable, not expandable.


Borenstein, Seth (2010), “Men More Evolved? Y Chromosome Study Stirs Debate,” [On-line], URL:

Brooks, Will (2009), “Of Apes and Men: Chromosome 2 in Humans and the Chimpanzee,” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL:

Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2002), “Do Human and Chimpanzee DNA Indicate an Evolutionary Relationship?,” [On-line]: URL:

Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

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