human-chimp similarities – evolution? or design?

(Another link-&-comment today – I’m at a conference & a bit short of time for longer posts.)

The Sensuous Curmudgeon offers a dry commentary on a web-post by the Discovery Institute oops Institute for Creation Research (thanks to the Curmudgeon). The DI post is itself a commentary on a recent research paper looking at the chromosomal arrangement of gene sequences in humans and chimpanzees – one which interprets the data as evidence of design rather than evolutionary relationships. The Curmudgeon points out (with a certain degree of sarcasm)  that this interpretation has no research evidence of its own to support it.

An interesting read – & it’s piqued my interest in the original paper; I will have to blog on it when I have a little more time to spare 🙂

14 thoughts on “human-chimp similarities – evolution? or design?”

  • Have to laugh, according to the Sensuous Curmudgeon article (what a blog name…) it proves to word games as ever… The “architecture” of a genome refers to how the genome is structured. It says nothing about how that structure arose, of course, but creationists do the little architecture… architect… designer dance. *Sigh*.
    Its pretty sad really how they search for words or phrases that they can try misconstrue to have other meaning. (Often by using a “common” meaning of a word in place of the specific meaning from in the original context; either that, or that they are so desperate to find something that might, just, support their cause they have no idea at all of the correct meaning.)
    But, life as usual, eh? Hope the conference is going well.

  • Permit me to offer a minor correction. The creationist article I discussed was posted at the website of the Institute for Creation Research, not the Discovery Institute. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell them apart.

  • Annette and David says:

    … and Institute for Creation Research should of course never be confused with Creation Research. This is John Mackay’s outfit, who can be found at and who have nothing to do with the Creation Research Society, whose website is
    Creation Research, one must remember, is an offshoot of the Creation Science Foundation, which later underwent a metamorphosis into Answers in Genesis. (The split came after Mackay announced he had discovered through a process of “spiritual discernment” that Ken Ham’s secretary was a witch and a necrophiliac). And now of course Answers in Genesis has split again (very acrimoniously), with one branch now calling itself Creation Ministries International.
    None of these groups has anything to do with the People’s Front of Judaea, or the Judaean People’s Front.
    Hope that clears up the confusion.

  • Great post A & D. I had to admit I was having visions of the PJF (or the JPF…) immediately before you mentioned them which made it even more fun.
    They sound a very, erm, “interesting” lot. I’ve tried to comment on some of these sort of forums, with very little luck. They seem to ban anyone who tries to say anything sensible, which I also find very Pythonese. (I can just imagine it. “What? Being sensible? Out with you. Be gone!”)
    On a more serious note (or perhaps seriously bizarre, if not disturbing note): how do you have a female necrophiliac? (Assuming she’s heterosexual.) Male necrophilia at least seem physically possible, if revolting (at least to modern-day tastes).

  • Annette and David says:

    We agree, it boggles the mind! Perhaps rigor mortis was involved?
    Links to CMI’s account of all this are at
    This page includes the following paragraph:
    “When his attempt to sack her and take over the ministry failed, due to the Board’s refusal to violate biblical principle, Mr Mackay resigned. This was followed by a campaign of widespread innuendo and slander, involving actual fabrications which if accepted would tend to bolster his claim of ‘demonic infiltration’ of our ministry and thus would tend to undermine public confidence in our ministry. This included the bizarre and incredibly offensive claim that Margaret had claimed to have had intercourse with the corpse of her late husband (!).”
    There’s also a link to the secretary, Margaret Buchanan’s version of events which is at (scanned, unsearchable booklet).
    Margaret Buchanan is now married to Carl Wieland, who now runs CMI. He is currently involved in a life and death struggle with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis for control of the global, multi-million dollar creationism industry. The reason CMI have posted all this dirt on John Mackay is that Ken Ham, who it seems is prepared to do business with anyone, is using Mackay as a point of contact in Australia while he tries to establish AiG there (Mackay, Ham and Wieland are all Queenslanders; Ham now lives in Kentucky).
    CMI’s side of the conflict is at
    AiG put their case in a series of documents on what was originally a secret website accessible by password only. These are at – a password is no longer required.
    The poor old ICR, meanwhile, is a shadow of its former self, with many key staff defecting to AiG.
    Thanks to Jim Lippard at The Lippard Blog, who has followed this story and dug up all these links – a great example of blogs reporting on specialised subjects! See especially
    If you feel like stepping into a completely alien world for a while, there’s some fascinating reading to be had in all this!

  • It does make it all seem a vast money scheme, doesn’t it? With some very greedy people in it. I wonder how much the guys at the top are flogging off people?
    What’s with the woman skivving off with the new guy? Gold-digger, creationist-style?
    And them all being Queenslanders sounds a bit cozy. Makes you think that they cooked this all up together in their earlier days.
    Its a wonder followers don’t realise the big scheme and turn on them. Love to seem them do it: I’m sure it’d get pretty ugly.

  • Annette and David says:

    Ken Ham’s income for 2003 and 2004 was : $125,739 salary, $11,033 benefits, $44,478 expenses (2003). And $121,764 salary, $6,887 benefits, $63,808 expenses (2004). Thanks again to Jim Lippard for sniffing this out. Not bad when the average household income in Kentucky is about US$35,000.
    Carl Wieland wasn’t a new guy – he founded the Creation Science Association in the late 70s, and began publishing a small magazine, Ex Nihilo (‘Out of Nothing’). He was a GP before breaking into the creationism business. Ken Ham began giving creationist addresses in 1976 while still working as a science teacher. Working from home with his wife Mally, he ran two ministries—Creation Science Supplies, which distributed creationist books, and Creation Science Educational Media Services, which concentrated on teaching resources.
    Ham and Wieland joined forces in 1980 to form the Creation Science Foundation; Wieland then handed over the running of the magazine to Ham, and to John Mackay, who became editor. The magazine’s name was changed to Creation Ex Nihilo; in time it would become just plain Creation.
    So yes, they did cook it all up together in the early days. It’s ironic that so much of the global creationism scene these days is run by Australians. Other big names from down under are Jonathan Sarfati (who holds dual Aus/NZ citizenship), Andrew Snelling (he has a real geology degree and has worked as a geologist – formerly with ICR, now with AiG in the US) and Ray Comfort – who to be fair to our trans-Tasman neighbours we should acknowledge is a kiwi. He’s best known for his claim that the banana is an atheist’s worst neighbour and irrefutable proof of God’s design.

  • Alison Campbell says:

    Which fits well with his belief that the world is only 6000 years old & that dinosaurs & humans walked the Earth together. (And that T.rex used those teeth on coconuts…)

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