An Inversion Between Man and Chimpanzee Chromosomes

human chromosome #5

On the left of the diagram is human chromosome number 5 (of 23). On the right of the diagram is the matching chromosome from a chimpanzee.

If you compare carefully, you will see that everything matches. However, in the region from p14.I to q14.I, the order has been flipped. This is exactly what is seen after an inversion mutation.

The Theory of Evolution explains this by saying that the two species have a common ancestor. Since the time of that ancestor, one or the other species has had an inversion mutation on chromosome five.

I am not sure what the Creationist explanation is. Since both arrangements function well, we cannot argue that Intelligent Design is at work, or that one is a "degraded" version of the other. Saying that humans and chimps are different "designs" or "kinds" is unconvincing, since then there is a completely unnecessary amount of similarity.

Overall, there are nine inversion mutations between man and chimpanzee. (There is also a translocation mutation, and some other smaller differences.)



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Last modified: 29 November 1998

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