How different are we from chimpanzees?

Today I watched a video clip about the difference between humans and chimpanzees. The speaker claimed that chimpanzees and humans share 99% identical DNA, and all of the difference is about 1%. Then, he wondered how that 1% difference could cause so much advancement in life style and achievements in humans.

I think there are a few points worthy of mention about this subject:

I explained in another post about how such scientific claims should be treated. Personally, I don’t buy the claim that “if we know everything about DNA, we will know everything about human creation”. Can it be claimed that “if we know how a brick is made, we will know everything about the architecture made with that brick?”. One architect may design a simple building using that type of brick and another one can design a state of art masterpiece. In designing a building, much more is going on than the brick itself. DNA, like a brick, is a building block and therefore the same concept can be applied. Moreover, I don’t currently see science to be in a position to claim they know everything about DNA, beyond doubt.

One of the strange things about modern people is, the role of the Creator is totally out of picture for them, and that video clip I mentioned, is just an example.

One of the wrong assumptions in that speech is “1% difference in DNA is responsible for all the difference in human lifestyle with that of chimps”. If that statement was right, the IQ of a nation should accurately specify their wealth and development. If 1% of the genome determines IQ, and that IQ determines ultimately, development and success, you could say that the IQ of a nation determines wealth and success. In fact, all that can be claimed is that the IQ of a nation correlates with its wealth, but does not determine it. Moreover, this is not true for every nation, and it cannot be true over time. In reality, nations go up and down in history, and it’s not just about IQ change. If it was true, Qatar would be in the top 10 in IQ rankings, but its estimated national IQ is 78.

So there is another cause responsible for all of this, and that’s the will of the Creator. In the Quran’s view, we or any other creature are not capable of running a system and all systems are directly managed by the Creator himself. One can bring examples of systems which are designed and run by humans, but such claims are just superficial. Just imagine someone starts a car and drives it, and then he claims that he rules everything about the car. Even if one knows everything about that car, to drive a car there are lots of things that should work together to provide a sustainable mode of transportation. You need fuel, and someone to extract and refine it. To extract the oil, the Creator should create oil fields not too deep, so people can extract it. If the fuel is extracted from vegetation like corn, there should be enough fresh water to grow it, and rain is managed by the Creator. Although humans may try to do God’s job, but the Creator is, and was always, capable of proving that they cannot.

So the Quran in several occasions, reminds us that the credit of every sustainable system goes to the Creator, and being arrogant and ignorant about this fact, may disrupt all the systems we are benefitting from.

In verses 43:12, 13, the Quran reminds us that the Creator is the one who facilitates our usage of all modes of transportation, and we cannot do this on our own:

And who created the species, all of them, and has made for you of ships and animals (My explanation: all modes of transportation) those which you mount. (12) That you may settle yourselves upon their backs and then remember the favor of your Lord when you have settled upon them and say. “Exalted is He who has subjected this to us, and we could not have [otherwise] subdued it.

In the Quran 23:18 says:

And We have sent down rain from the sky in a measured amount and settled it in the earth. And indeed, we are Able to take it away.

Sometimes, the Almighty God really takes the rain away to remind people who is in charge, so they think twice before getting arrogant.

In the Quran 67:30 says:

Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken [into the earth] (My explanation: way deeper than current tables), then who could bring you flowing water?”

The Quran just wanted to remind us that there is a divine design of how to store water in underground water tables, and, so, if we can grow food, we cannot claim any credit for that, but it’s because of God’s permission.

In verse 45:12 the Quran says:

It is Allah who subjected to you the sea so that ships may sail upon it by His command and that you may seek of His bounty; and you might be grateful (my explanation: and use it in a proper way).

In conclusion, if one thinks that humans are 1% different from chimps and that difference is responsible for all the differences in lifestyle, one cannot claim more than 1% difference with a chimp. If one has a high IQ, one should be able to recognize the fact that there are lots of elements helping our success, beyond our capability to manage them, and that is simply phrased “God willing”.

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