Re: SCI:BIO: raw genome length not a good measure of organism

Sean Morgan (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 21:08:16 -0700

Eliezer Yudkowsky <> wrote:

>Can you tell me
>where to find a documented comparision of human and chimpanzee genome?

I was wrong in the detail. It's closer to 98% than 99%. (Sibley et al.,
1990, Journal of Molecular Evolution 30: 202-236) using DNA-DNA
hybridization methods, which measure the similarity at the DNA sequence
level of all single copy sequences between two genomes found that humans
differed from chimpanzees by 1.61% (on average, 161 substitutions are found
along any string of 10,000 nucleotide sites). Gorillas differ from humans by
1.72%, Oranutans by 3.39%, Gibbons by 5.05%, Old World monkeys by 7.43%, and
the next similar animal is around 10% (New World monkeys).

>It seems to me that this assertion requires comparing the whole
>sequence, or at least quite a bit of it.

DNA hybridization does not require sequencing.

>And anyway, 1% of 750M is 7.5M, which does not fit uncompressed twice
>over on a normal floppy. A Zip disk, maybe.

You got me there!
Sean Morgan (