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Bonobos Join Chimps As Closest Human Relatives

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-they-make-terrible-babysitters dept.

Earth 259

sciencehabit writes "Chimpanzees now have to share the distinction of being our closest living relative in the animal kingdom. An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the bonobo for the first time, confirming that it shares the same percentage of its DNA with us as chimps do. The team also found some small but tantalizing differences in the genomes of the three species—differences that may explain how bonobos and chimpanzees don't look or act like us even though we share about 99% of our DNA."

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oh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40325977)

oh

Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Interesting)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326027)

What reason is there to consider the Bonobo and Chimpanzee different species?
Is it just a matter of behavior? If so, has it been proven that the behavioral differences aren't cultural?

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326095)

Assuming you're not trolling here:

There's morphic phenotypes that are different, for one. Bonobos are actually a lot smaller than chimps as mature adults. They are also much less able to solve complex puzzles, a difference that persists even when raised in complete separation of others from their own species. There's also the biological definition of species that requires that they be able to interbreed, we have never seen that happen.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326259)

There's also the biological definition of species that requires that they be able to interbreed, we have never seen that happen.

But isn't that more a matter of geographic distribution rather than lack of interest or ability?

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326485)

Irrelevant. Geographic separation is a direct cause of speciation. Gene pools stop mixing, genetic drift pushes two similar groups far enough apart that they are no longer compatible.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (2)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326731)

Irrelevant. Geographic separation is a direct cause of speciation. Gene pools stop mixing, genetic drift pushes two similar groups far enough apart that they are no longer compatible.

Yeah I get that, but if the physical separation has not existed long enough to allow genetic divergence, then they would just be isolated populations.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326575)

No, it's not, but I'll grant that the phrase "we have never seen that happen" can be misleading if you're not familiar with how scientists often speak.

It sounds like you interpreted that as "we have never seen a chimp and a bonobo try to copulate, and we never tried to get them to do so, either". Under that interpretation you're right that geography might go a long way to explaining the lack of such an observation.

But what he probably meant was "we have never seen a chimp and a bonobo produce a healthy offspring after copulation, even after coaxing them to try many times". That does pretty well demonstrate that they are two distinct species, according to the definition of "a species is a set of individuals who are capable of mating to produce healthy and fertile offspring".

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326619)

>But isn't that more a matter of geographic distribution rather than lack of interest or ability?

What, exactly, is your problem with this?

The ability to freely (without human intervention) interbreed and produce fertile offspring is central to the definition of what a species is.
No interbreeding can come from various factors - oestrus times, physical separation, genetic separation, etc. Physical separation, over time, leads to genetic separation, and that's what we have between bonobos and chimps in addition to physical separation.

Thus they are different species for two reasons, not just one.

Nobody knows if they can cross-breed and produce fertile offspring. Nobody has tried to cross-breed them. If they cannot, then they are separate species in a third way.

--
BMO

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326913)

Bonobos and chimps have interbreeded succesfully. They differ genetically less than some groups of humans do.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327131)

Bonobos and chimps have interbreeded succesfully. They differ genetically less than some groups of humans do.

Seriously, cite your source if you're going to say stuff like this.
Have chimps and bonobos interbred and produced fertile offspring? Yes, there have been bonobo/chimp matings that produced live offspring, but were the offspring fertile? (None of the information I found appears to answer that question).

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327305)

> Have chimps and bonobos interbred and produced fertile offspring?

Who cares? The F2s are all over the place as with any hybrid breeding. Our lab is producing nice consistent F1s from the parent strains.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327085)

The ability to freely (without human intervention) interbreed and produce fertile offspring is central to the definition of what a species is.

You sure about that? I don't think toy poodles and great mastiffs have been labelled different species yet. Taxonomy is a very fuzzy science so you shouldn't be so arrogant as to presume your definition means anything. It's almost done on a case by case basis with plenty of infighting among the scientist that make a living defining species. All human races were isolated from each other at one point in time (it's what made the races branch in the first place) but according to your definition Africans are a different species than Europeans or Asians, or Native Americans or Aborigines etc.

Much of your answer conflates isolated populations of the same species with different species. Which is exactly what the OP was asking. Are these isolated populations or different species?

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326537)

They are also much less able to solve complex puzzles,

I believe bonobos are usually considered to be more [apecampaign.org] intelligent.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327097)

I take issue with that campaign about bonobos being the most intelligent ape. Humans deserve at least an honourable mention.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Funny)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327169)

That's for history to decide. Which, of course, will be written by the victorious species. I for one preemptively welcome or future bonobo overlords.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (2)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326743)

There's morphic phenotypes that are different, for one. Bonobos are actually a lot smaller than chimps as mature adults.

There's also the biological definition of species that requires that they be able to interbreed, we have never seen that happen.

So Chihuahuas and Great Danes are different species?

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327011)

So Chihuahuas and Great Danes are different species?

No. They may be physically incompatible, but they are not genetically incompatible. If you inseminate a Great Dane with Chihuahua semen, it would have fertile puppies. Additionally, they could both interbreed with dogs of intermediate size. If A is the same species as B and B is the same species as C, then A is the same species as C.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326997)

What possible reason would you think that post was trolling? There's not even a tiny hint of troll in the post to which you responded.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326117)

>What reason is there to consider the Bonobo and Chimpanzee different species?

They don't interbreed.

HTH.

--
BMO

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327175)

> They don't interbreed.

Only because of geographical separation. They certainly can interbreed from a genetic standpoint.

False (0)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326127)

My mom is my closest relative.

Re:False (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326251)

She's not your mother.

Re:False (4, Funny)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326257)

Is she a bonobo or a chimpanzee?

Re:False (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327137)

You are your closest relative.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326153)

They are morphologically different, but probably no more so than human racial differences. I am unaware if they can or cannot cross-breed and produce fertile offspring, which is what many use to differentiate what is a "species" and what is not.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327369)

I am unaware if they can or cannot cross-breed and produce fertile offspring, which is what many use to differentiate what is a "species" and what is not.

Probably not if they're professional biologists, who understand that this is a gross oversimplification of the problem [wikipedia.org] .

For the record, lions and tigers can cross-breed and produce fertile offspring. Expect to be laughed out of the room if you suggest this means they're the same species. :p

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (3, Informative)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326273)

I read about this yesterday on Ars [arstechnica.com] . In the second-to-last paragraph, they talk about how Bonobos are well within the standard deviation for chimps, so genetically speaking, they should be the same species. I believe they were even once considered to be the same species, but were separated due to the size and behavior differences. In light of this new evidence, I believe it may cause them to be considered a "sub-species", much like dogs are to wolves.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326293)

"Is it just a matter of behavior? "

That too. Chimps will fuck you up, given the chance, Bonobos will just fuck you.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326585)

What reason is there to consider the Bonobo and Chimpanzee different species?

You're misunderstanding the numbers. Simplified Example: We share genes A-Y with Chimps, and Genes B-Z with Bonobo's. Chimps and Bonobo's share Genes B-Y, but you can see that Chimps have gene A, and Bonobos have Gene Z, and are therefore not the same species.

Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (2)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326903)

Is this an accurate depiction of the genetic situation, or did you just make it up?

No real surprise here (5, Funny)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326029)

Always figured they were closely related to man, considering how endlessly horny they are.

Re:No real surprise here (2, Funny)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326133)

Always figured they were closely related to man, considering how endlessly horny they are.

Always figured they were closely related to me, considering how endlessly horny they are.

Re:No real surprise here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326397)

humans: somewhere between licentious bonobos and face tearing chimpanzees.

I've suspected this for a long time actually. (2, Funny)

conspirator23 (207097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326041)

I always figured that conservatives evolved from the innocent-seeming but violent, territorial, face-eating chimpanzees, and liberals evolved from those oversexed, touchy-feely bonobos. Now we know the truth!

Re:I've suspected this for a long time actually. (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326271)

I always figured that conservatives evolved from the innocent-seeming but violent, territorial, face-eating chimpanzees, and liberals evolved from those oversexed, touchy-feely bonobos. Now we know the truth!

Real liberals, yeah. The socialists who think nothing of threatening others with violence to get their way - chimps.

Re:I've suspected this for a long time actually. (-1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327203)

Let me guess, the "violence" you are talking of is actually the fact that you have to pay taxes to finance part of the society that is supporting you?

Re:I've suspected this for a long time actually. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326451)

Based on the toilet sex scandals and the cases of yoga-rage those characteristics are distributed evenly from a common ancestor. It's just a matter of gene expression, which is clearly a function of street address.

News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326043)

I thought this was known. My copy of The Ancestors Tale is several years old, and it says chimps and bonobs are closer cousins to each other than either is to humans, which means they are equally distantly related to humans, genetically speaking.

uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326071)

So what if they share 99% of our DNA? We perhaps share 50% with a banana. And we all share 100% of a few dozen chemical elements.

Re:uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326159)

So what if they share 99% of our DNA? We perhaps share 50% with a banana. And we all share 100% of a few dozen chemical elements.

We're related to just about every living thing on this planet that has a face. I think that's pretty mind blowing.

Re:uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326635)

And about 90% of what makes you "You", isn't even human. It's bacteria on your skin, in your gut, etc.

Re:uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326643)

But not to someone whose face was torn off by a chimpanzee, right?

Re:uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326879)

Or eaten off by another human. ...Oh, what? Too soon?

Re:uninteresting consequence of the decimal system (5, Insightful)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326891)

We're related to just about every living thing on this planet that has a face. I think that's pretty mind blowing.

Nope. We're related to every living thing on this planet full stop .

After all, we all share the same ancestor if you go back far enough.

1% of three billion (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326119)

Three billion DNA pairs in human dna. 1% is 30 million. So we differ by 30 million dna pairs. To the layperson, saying we have 30 million differences explains the differences quite well versus 99% in common.

Re:1% of three billion (4, Informative)

codewarren (927270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326557)

The difference from humans to other humans can be 3 million base pairs, (0.1%), for perspective. 30 million (a factor of 10) doesn't seem like that much.

Re:1% of three billion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326573)

This seem superficially to be reasonable, but in fact this is even more misleading than the 99% figure. You have to remember the sheer quantity of useless stuff in our genome, as well as the redundancy of protein structure. Almost half of the human genome is derived form a specific class of genetic parasite called retrotransposons, there are many other types of repetitive element too. Structural DNA,which needs to be roughly the same but who's actual content has little value, includes the centromere (middle bit of the chromosomes) and the telomeres (end bits) . In addition to this the genetic code is redundant so almost 1/3 of changes have no affect, and most of the amino acids in most proteins can be substituted for similar ones again with little or no affect, only big changes in important areas actually matter.

Added to this
"Typical human and chimp homologs of proteins differ in only an average of two amino acids. About 30 percent of all human proteins are identical in sequence to the corresponding chimp protein."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee_genome_project

So 30 million differences, most of which are just line noise, the real visible changes are in a much smaller set of actually important sites, and many (even most) of these are not important in "making us human" but just disease resistance.

Re:1% of three billion (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326675)

While I respect scientific authority to a large extent, I'm not sure how serious to take their current understanding of the subtle interpay between various parts of our genome. There is still a great deal that is not understood, which makes it a great time to be in the field. I think in another 20- 30 years when the result of all of this reasearch is as obvious as the world champion 95 year old sprinter's bulging leg muscles, I'll have more faith in their prouncements on the ultilization of various parts of the genome.

Re:1% of three billion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326973)

your argument boils down to that I can not be certain of everything so you are right.....
There may indeed be an underestimation by current methods, but that does not change the fact that most of the 30 million differences do nothing. If the regions they where in where actually important and they did something then they would show the inheritance patterns of selection, which they do not, whether or not we understand what is being selected for or against is unimportant for this. Only about 600 genes show signs of selection although each may have more than one change in it.

Re:1% of three billion (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326621)

Humans have 23 chromosome pairs.... 46 chromosomes in total. In women, there are 2 X and in males, 1X and 1Y. Males of our species share 45/46 or 98% with females.

Explains why I understand male monkeys much better than female humans

Oooh Oooh Ah Ah Ah

Re:1% of three billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327045)

Same kernel, different GUI?

Chimps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326131)

Erm, Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are "chimps": they share the genus "Pan" (=chimpanzee") with the "common chimpanzee" (Pan troglodytes).

Re:Chimps? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326295)

So dog == wolf == fox == coyote == jackal == dingo? Erm, no.

Re:Chimps? (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326555)

Dog == wolf == dingo, yes (they are all in the canis lupus species). The other three are different species, but bonobos and common chimps are both often referred to as chimps: the only real reason they are considered separate species is that they have never been observed to interbreed (which doesn't mean they can't). They do have a few physical differences, but then again so do Asians and Caucasians.

Re:Chimps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326685)

"they have never been observed to interbreed (which doesn't mean they can't)" this can also be said of humans and chimps....(although in this case they would probably be infertile) do you really think that they are the same species as us ? do you want to try? Also if they do not normally interbreed in the wild they are not the same species, even if they can, so you are wrong there too (and they would not be the same even if they did Chihuahua DOES NOT equal Alsatian)

Re:Chimps? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327361)

You think no one tried that one before?

Or vagina (1)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326593)

Sorry.

Re:Chimps? (4, Informative)

alva_edison (630431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326627)

Well dog == wolf == dingo is true, they are all Canis lupus (C. lupus familiaris, C. lupus lupus, C. lupus dingo).

Coyote and Jackal (and occassionally wolf) are used for other species within the Canis genus, so are closely related.

Foxes are members of the same sub-family, but a different genus, so the least related among the bunch.

Also Canis Lupus and Canis latrans are able to produce viable offspring, but the viability decreases across generations. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canis_lupus_X_Canis_latrans

No... (3, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326647)

Foxes are members of the genus vulpes (the ones we see around are vulpus vulpus). The wolf is canis lupus and the domestic dog is considered to be a subspecies, canis lupus familiaris. Coyotes are a different genus again. Jackal is not a taxonomic description. The dingo is a subspecies of canis lupus and is derived from domestic dogs run wild.

So the GP is right, and you are creating a complete straw man. Wolf, dog and dingo are all part of the same genus but for historic reasons dogs and dingos are only formally called wolves, not in colloquial speech. Foxes and coyotes are from different genera and are not dogs. "Jackal" is a colloquialism. Because pan paniscus and pan troglodytes are in the genus pan, they can both quite properly be called chimpanzees, just as we refer to members of the genus homo as "men", though we are no more like h. afarensis than bonobos are like p. troglodytes. When I tell my dog not to behave like a little wolf, he can reasonably argue that he is one, just one adapted for a specific ecological niche.

Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326165)

The bonobo has three times the intelligence of the "slashdotius anonymious cowardius" species.

Re:Comparison (2)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326407)

Since you posted as AC, I guess that this makes sense.

Nope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326169)

I didn't come from no monkey's butthole

Re:Nope... (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326245)

That's OK you are still an ass :)

I jest, I jest.

Re:Nope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326299)

The two of you owe me a new keyboard.

Re:Nope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326367)

I didn't come in no monkey's butthole

TFTFY. And yes - yes, you did.

Re:Nope... (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326911)

I didn't come from no monkey's butthole

It's an honest mistake. Most people just assume there's a family resemblance.

Two different closest living relatives? (0, Offtopic)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326205)

Okay, I read this twice.

Two. Different. Species. Equally. Close.

On behalf of the Old Earth Creationists, let me request that this is presented such it doesn't practically beg Young Earth Creationists to scoff at science here.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326363)

Young Earth Creationists scoff at any science related to genetics, no matter how it's presented.

OECs, less so, but Creationism as an "ism" that takes Biblical allegory and perverts it into something else.

--
BMO

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (2)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326549)

Well, no, "Creationism" as it's commonly-used is a deliberate invalid collapsing into one word two different and non-dependent notions, first that the universe was created, and second the entirely distinct notion that it is 6000 years old.

Though commonly-used this way (particularly by atheists), to attempt to sneak a False Dichotomy Fallacy into the discussion by offering only one word implying both, and thus demanding the listener either accept or reject both premises together, this is invalid usage of any word, going all the way back to Aristotle...

...but that's a conversation for another day.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326721)

so both of these concepts are equally close , and share 99% of their content with each other?

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326853)

We'll use High School geometry to answer all questions in any epistemological domain! Brilliant! ;)

A Ferrari is 99% close to a Ford Escort, then. Trade ya.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326851)

Well, no, "Creationism" as it's commonly-used is a deliberate invalid collapsing into one word two different and non-dependent notions, first that the universe was created, and second the entirely distinct notion that it is 6000 years old.

No. Creationism is the conflating of the Creation Stories (two of them) as science, or trying to use them as a basis of a weird frankenstein-monster of bad logic posing as science. like Intelligent Design trotted out by the Discovery Institute.

arguing semantics instead of the facts on the ground
Aristotle

See, the problem with Aristotle is that a bunch of his stuff was simply gedankenexperiments to explain the world. Many of them wildly false.

I will not even address the semantics BS.

>your username - empiric, as in empirical, as in science and testable hypotheses.

I find that most ironic. Do you wear that appellation as a joke?

Or do you wear it in the second sense of the word, a charlatan or quack?

--
BMO

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (2, Insightful)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326961)

Okay, I -accept- the universe was created, and -reject- that it is 6000 years old.

Pick the word you want to use for that, as they're never mutually dependent.

The rest is the standard boilerplate Ad Hominem and Genetic Fallacy, so I'll be skipping that. Code to do.

And yes, I did test it. The test confirmed.

Day-age creationism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327135)

Okay, I -accept- the universe was created, and -reject- that it is 6000 years old.

Pick the word you want to use for that

I have a few words for that: "day-age creationism", and "sensible".

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327147)

But Creationism is not science. It's not testable. It doesn't even come close to the testability of abiogenesis hypotheses. It is based on a Biblical interpretation. It is NOT SCIENCE.

With regards to your last sentence:

That is the same "la la la" fingers-in-ears that I get from Bible literalists.

And btw, I'm not the one who picked your name. You did.

--
BMO

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327089)

I tend to be a bit confused by the old-earth creationists, though. In the particular flavor I tend to encounter them - i.e. Catholics - they will basically accept scientific facts. But, if you do that, how do you end up with anything else than either a "god of the gaps"-model or a completely deistic approach. Since most well-educated Catholics I talked to do not tend towards the god of the gaps, I have to wonder how you can arrange the image of a personal god with a basically deistic creation account within your mind.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327127)

Not in the usage I know, It tends to get used as a label for people who believe that god created things individually rather then creating and then than twisting or exploiting natural processes. The former eg the special creation( of each branch of life, or planet, etc.) is contradicted by the evidence the latter, eg theistic evolution is not.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326391)

On behalf of the Old Earth Creationists, let me request that this is presented such it doesn't practically beg Young Earth Creationists to scoff at science here.

I have no idea what you're saying here. Please clarify.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326503)

What is wrong with this? Logically, if one species splits in two, and one of the resulting species splits again, you're going to have both of those secondary split species related to the other with fairly close similarity. Did you know that I'm equally closely related to all of my first cousins (to within a small margin of error)? That's not all that surprising is it?

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326633)

"Fairly close" I'd have no problem with. "Equally close", in the context of genetics, doesn't make much literal sense. Also, we are -descendants- in the OP's case, not predecessors. There's a reproductive causality problem the other way around, I think.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327095)

Since there is (obviously) variation within a single species' genome, "equally close" can only refer to a statistical model in any case. And I'm not sure what your comment about "descendents" has to do with anything. Chimps and bobobos both come from a common ancestor that had already split from the human branch, so it's seems fairly obvious that they would be equally close within any reasonable approximation of closeness.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327383)

How are you your cousin's predecessor?
OK, again. Your mother's sister had two children: your cousin Chimp and your cousin Bonobo. Chimp and Bonobo are very different in temper, and Bonobo moved across the river because she didn't like to be beaten up by Chimp all the time, but as far as genes go they're pretty close. You are related to both of them, but to a lesser extent than they are interrelated. You are related to both equally, because your branch split from theirs before they were born (one generation earlier). It makes perfect sense.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326507)

Look at the three branches of a Y. The ends can all be equally close, yet different.

It ain't that hard.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326511)

Perhaps it can easily be explained to those Creationists;
Some moment in time, they genetically seperated from us, some time later they genetically seperated from each other.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326521)

I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. Do creationists really have a problem understanding that multiple objects could be equidistant? Hell, do they have a problem with multiple siblings all being equally closely related?

If any of these concepts pose the slightest difficulty for you, please refrain from forming any opinions on anything scientific or technical. Your brain just isn't up to the job.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

jofer (946112) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326529)

And what exactly is improbable with having two different species that are genetically equally similar to Homo sapiens sapiens? How in the world would that cause anyone to "scoff at science"?

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326579)

Two. Different. Species. Equally. Close.

No surprises here as distance is symmetric.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326655)

Between three objects??

That would be a surprise.

Re:Two different closest living relatives? (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326631)

Creationists beg to scoff at science every chance they get.

Left out importance facts! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326243)

Are they single?

not surprised... (1)

lothie (629029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326249)

Since bonobos are the same genus, I'm not really surprised that they would be as close to us, genetically, as the other members of that genus (there are only two species in the genus Pan). But maybe there's just something I'm missing about how biology works (which wouldn't be surprising either since I'm not a biologist).

What next? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326253)

What next? Donald Trump?

Re:What next? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326349)

What species is that thing on his head?

Re:What next? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326849)

Mephitis mephitis.

Re:What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326887)

What species is that thing on his head?

Rod Blagojevich.

Yuo fgail it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40326827)

I fail to see how this is surprising (4, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40326967)

Doesn't the evidence show that bonobos and chimps split from their common ancestor long after protohumans split from the common ancestor of all three? In which case, isn't this more-or-less exactly what you'd expect?

My closest human relatives? (0)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40327013)

My closest human relatives live in Louisiana and they're not Bonabos or Chimps from what I can tell.

Ugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327105)

They both had the same common ancestor, so they're both equally as far away from us as each other. Now I suppose if they're counting mutations... differences only, it's possible there have been more in one than the other..

Bonobos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40327319)

That's gay.
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