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Human – Ape fused chromosome paradigm

Kenneth Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University, Rhode Island, Catholic theist and a prominent critic of creationism and the intelligent design movement.

A few years ago, Miller gave a lecture at Case Western Reserve University entitled, “The Collapse of Intelligent Design. Will the next Monkey Trial be in Ohio?”2 In this, he freely lambasted all who would question the Darwinian paradigm. Most of the lecture was about politics, but some time was also given to scientific issues. Particularly, he made much of recent studies of human and chimp DNA and argued that this provided irrefutable evidence of evolution. As I listened to this, I became open-mouthed, almost in disbelief, at the incredibly unscientific nature of his claim. Two pairs of human chromosomes had been found to be fused, he said, providing clear evidence of our shared ancestry with apes.3

[Kenneth Miller] made much of recent studies of human and chimp DNA and argued that this provided irrefutable evidence of evolution.

Chromosomes are packages of DNA, wound around proteins called histones. Humans have 23 chromosome pairs, as we inherit 23 chromosomes from our father and 23 from our mother. Chimps inherit 24 chromosomes from each parent and have 24 chromosome pairs. Although far from being beyond doubt, a good case can be made that humans did, indeed, have 24 chromosome pairs originally, and that chromosome fusion has occurred, resulting in our now having only 23. For the sake of the argument, let us concede that this is true.4

Photo iStockphoto

human and chimpanzee

According to Miller, there are only two possible explanations for this. The first is that we share a common ancestor with chimps and that, during the course of evolution, chromosome fusion has taken place. The second is that the creator/designer made humans with chromosomes which had the appearance of having been fused at some time in the past, when in fact this never happened. The second explanation, he argued, is ridiculous, thus showing the first to be correct.

For someone who prides himself as a scientist and critical thinker, Miller’s argument beggars belief. Even a child could see the fallacy of it. If, in Miller’s view, it is reasonable to believe that the chromosomes became fused in a small population of half-ape/half-humans a few million years ago, why is it not reasonable to believe that this occurred in a small population of actual humans a few thousand years ago? This could have happened very early on in human history, soon after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, or in a small, isolated group from which Noah and his family were drawn prior to the Flood.

If it is accepted that ‘evolution is a fact’ then data will always be interpreted according to this belief—irrespective of whether there is a valid alternative interpretation.

Professor Miller, of course, is a very capable and knowledgeable scientist. How, then, could he make such a basic error? The answer, surely, lies in the ‘Power of the paradigm.’ If it is accepted that ‘evolution is a fact’ then data will always be interpreted according to this belief—irrespective of whether there is a valid alternative interpretation. If humans had been found to have 24 chromosome pairs, this would have been understood as evidence for common ancestry with apes because apes also have 24. Since humans actually have 23, it is understood that this provides evidence that evolution resulted in ape chromosomes being fused. For the evolutionists, then, it’s ‘heads I win, tails you lose’.




  1. Selman v. Cobb County, 2005 and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005. Return to text.
  2. This was given on 3 January 2006 and can be viewed at to text.
  3. Ref. 2, beginning at 0:35:10. Return to text.
  4. Sodera, V., One small speck to man—the evolution myth, 2nd edn, ch. 12, Vij Sodera Productions, 2009. Return to text.

God bless you


3 responses to “Human – Ape fused chromosome paradigm

  1. Claro October 16, 2013 at 12:18

    For the sake of argument let’s suppose Chromosome No. 2 in humans is indeed a fused chromosome. Let us analyze it in the light of the fact that all humans at the present time has Chromosome No.2 and that at one time in the past our ancestors had a complete pair of chromosomes (total of 24 pairs). How could a mutation that started in one or very few individuals within our lineage spread in such a way that it overtakes the whole human population? Using Darwin’s mechanism of random mutation being acted upon by natural selection let us answer the question on the nature of the fused chromosome event – is it deleterious, neutral or beneficial? Many would say all chromosome fusion is deleterious resulting in disease like down syndrome but in the case of Chromosome 2 it is obviously not deleterious since we who have it survived through natural selection. Is it neutral then? I think not since the mutation overtakes the whole population of modern humans. This could only happen if it is beneficial. But in what sense is it beneficial? Chromosome fusion cannot be beneficial in the sense that it can create a new specie since no new information can be added in a chromosome fusion. At best the DNA can only be retained if there would be no leak coming out of a damaged telomere. Thus, the benefit can only be some resistance to a deadly virus or extreme environmental pressure or stress that existed in our past. That would account for the disappearance of those who have 24 pairs of chromosomes. They were selected out by natural selection. But if this is the case then how come the great apes with 24 pairs of chromosomes were able to survive too? Things are not adding up and we might be missing something here. Perhaps no chromosome fusion happened in our lineage in the past such that our ancestors had also 23 pairs of chromosomes and passed on this characteristic (that differentiates us from the great apes) to us. If that is the case then our ancestors too were completely humans just like us. Just my thought.

  2. Natural Historian April 30, 2013 at 18:35

    Hi, interesting alternative hypothesis regarding the fusion being in the original human population. Of course that is possible. There are always hundreds of hypothesis to explain any piece of evidence. The question is one of plausibility and likelihood. I agree that Miller overstates the strength of the evidence but he doesn’t’ use the word proof, The chromosome fusion is nonetheless obviously evidence that strongly suggests ancestry and thus can be said to be evidence for evolution. Similarly, one can come up with many hypothesis for our lack of ability to make vitamin C as do other primates. It could have been a one time mutation in the ancestor of great apes or it could have been 5 or 6 independent derivations of that same mutation. Similar to your suggestion, Adam and Eve both or maybe just one could have had this mutation and then spread it to all descendants. Both hypotheses are valid but both are equally likely. I think the best you could say about the fusion chromosome is that it doesn’t prove evolution of man but neither can it be said to not be an evidence that supports the evolutionary hypothesis. Joel

    • adonizedek May 5, 2013 at 23:58

      Hi, I appreciate your comment, however, due to the ToE total lack of convincing, solid proofs, I’m inclined to reject such view, especially the so-called “macro-evolution”, mainly when we look into fossil register, and notice the blatant absence of the transitional fossils!

      God bless you ^^

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