Comment on Glenn's post

John W. Burgeson (
09 Oct 96 16:19:58 EDT

Glenn writes, in part:

"Let's look at another "optimisation" scenario. Both the chimp and human
genomes are approximately 3.5 billion nucleotide units long. Roughly the same
length. Laying the genomes out, gives something like

location 1234567890...
Human attgccaataaga.....aagggcagataccgctg
Chimp attgcctataaga.....aagggcagataccgctg
different nucleotide

There are only 1 out of a hundred different nucleotides between the genomes. "

I still have trouble with this argument. If 1/100 are different, then there are
35,000,000 differences between chimp & human. Do I have this much right?

On what basis do we conclude that the order of these nucleotide units is
important? Perhaps there is another order (than sequential) which is important.

On what basis do we conclude some of these are "junk?" How can we know a

How do we know the nucleotide units are what really matter? Could there be a
sub-DNA mechanism we have not yet identified?

How well do we know the EXACT sequence of both genomes? Are we precise, or is
there still a lots of guesswork involved?

Can we "read" these genomes? I presume the answer is negative.

If we take a human genome, and painstakingly "fix" it until it is exactly like a
chimp genome, would we, thereby, have created a chimp from a human source? Is
such a process possible, even in principle?