- uploaded: Jan 4, 2009
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Furthermore, humans and other organisms are extremely closely related on the genetic scale: for example, humans share between 97% and 99% of their genomic DNA sequence with chimpanzees, and about 30 percent of all human proteins are identical in sequence to the corresponding chimp protein. Phylogenetic comparisons of mitochondrial and ribosomal DNA across species ranging from humans to bacteria verify the evolutionary relationships suggested by the fossil record. Current genetic evidence therefore suggests an intimate genetic relationship between humans and other terrestrial organisms, and provides a strong contrary argument to Pye\'s claims of alien interbreeding. Pye counters by saying that humans have only 46 chromosomes, while all other higher primates have 48, which does not sound to him like natural evolution at work. This has recently been explained as the fusion of two ancestral chromosomes, see Ken Miller.
Pye\'s claims that Neandertals and other early hominids were not related to humans is also viewed skeptically by the scientific community. Extraction of mitochondrial DNA from the original German Neandertal fossil, and comparison to modern humans and chimpanzees (Krings et al, Cell 1997) demonstrated that the Neandertal sequence was effectively intermediate between humans and chimps. Moreover, Neandertals were sufficiently different from them to be recognised as a separate species.
A number of the supposedly unanswered mysteries that Pye poses in his book Everything You Know Is Wrong have also been criticised. For example:
* Pye claims \"humans use only about 10% of our massively supercharged brains\". Science contends that this long-standing myth originated with phrenology. Brain imaging methods appear to refute the 10% brain use statement. For example, positron emission tomography (PET) scans show that much of the brain is active during many different tasks. Pye claims that because savants show such a wide range of astounding mental gifts, those gifts must be present in all human brains, but \"something\" keeps those areas from being accessed in normal circumstances.
* Pye claims that the human genetic array as it exists today is \"only 150,000 to 200,000 years old\". In fact, certain human genes such as those encoding histones are common to all eukaryotes and identical to many other primates\' histone genes, and are more than 1.8 billion years old.