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EnhancerFinder, a supercomputer program, is supposedly revealing genetic enhancements that once upon a deep time put an apelike ancestor on the fast track to becoming human.* The claim is that EnhancerFinder finds genetic regions that mutated rapidly, leading to the evolution of humans from a common ancestor we supposedly shared with chimps.
John Capra, lead author of a report published in the November issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, explains, “EnhancerFinder is a machine-learning algorithm that takes in basic genetic information—a HAR [Human Accelerated Region] sequence, known evolutionary patterns, other functional genomics data—and returns a prediction of that HAR’s function.”
Notice that EnhancerFinder’s programming was based not just on observable differences between human and chimpanzee genomes but also on “known evolutionary patterns.” Yet those patterns have never been observed and are only assumed. Even naming these sections of the human genome “accelerated” or “enhanced” assumes that the DNA came from a common ancestor that humans share with chimps.
Humans and chimpanzees do have physical and genetic similarities. No surprise there, since biologically they are both mammals designed by the same God. But that does not prove we share a common ancestor.
EnhancerFinder’s developers believe HARs have played an important role in the evolution of humans. Molecular geneticist and creationist Dr. Georgia Purdom disagrees: “From Scripture we know humans and chimps are distinctive creatures; so, in reality, genetic regions labeled ‘accelerated’ are likely regions God designed differently in chimps and humans.”
The Human Genome Project examines only a physical aspect of human beings—the genome. God formed that genome when He created Adam’s physical body and endowed him with a spiritual nature. In addition, God made humans, not animals, in His image.
God’s “human project” did not end, even when through rebellion we incurred the sentence of death, both spiritual and physical. All people have sinned (Romans 3:23), but God graciously offers forgiveness, purchased by the death of His Son Jesus Christ, so that people may be restored to fellowship with their Creator when they repent and trust Him.