One of the common genetic arguments used to argue for human-chimp common ancestry is the supposed chromosome 2 fusion event. According to the evolutionists, supposedly the fusion took place after the human-chimpanzee split, but prior to the divergence into Denisovans and Neanderthals. There are, however, a lot of problems with the chromosome 2 fusion model. This article is going to present a lay summary of these arguments and why this supposed fusion event never took place.
Chromosome 2 fusion is required for the evolutionary model because of the differing chromosome numbers between chimpanzees and humans. Humans have twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, for a total of forty-six. Chimpanzees have twenty-four pairs, for a total of forty-eight. Obviously, these two numbers are not the same, but they should be if chimps and humans shared a common ancestor. This means either chimps underwent a chromosome duplication, or humans underwent a chromosome fusion if human/chimp common ancestry is true. According to the evolutionists, humans underwent a fusion.
Chromosomes have some very interesting features to them that are relevant to this discussion. The ends of chromosomes are “capped” by repeated sequences called telomeres. Telomeres exist at the end of every chromosome, and serve to protect the internal genes from fraying damage during replication. There are no genes present in a telomere Another important feature is the centromere. The centromere links the arms of the chromosome together during meiosis. It helps control the development of certain proteins required for the formation of the meiotic spindle. Both of these create issues for the possibility of a fusion. If fusion occurred, chromosome 2 should show a fusion site as well as the remnants of a centromere.
Evolutionists claim that chromosome 2 exhibits both of those traits. If a fusion occurred, then there should be a sequence within chromosome 2 that shows a section of tandem repeats that look like a fusion. Such a section exists. However, recall above we discussed that no genes are found in the telomeres. Turns out, there is a gene in the chromosome 2 supposed fusion site. Dr. Jeffrey Tompkins, former director of the Clemson genetics lab and current staff geneticist at ICR has written a series of papers in the Answers Research Journal refuting chromosome 2 fusion. In one published in 2013, Tompkins points out that there is a functional gene found in the supposed fusion site. Further, this gene is highly expressed. This alone would negate fusion immediately. Evolutionists might object that a neofunctionalization event has occurred at the site. This has two problems. One, neofuctionalization is incredibly uncommon as an outcome for a gene. Two, neofunctionalization is supposed to be a result of a gene duplication, not a fusion event. As best I can tell, evolutionists have no response to the discovery of a functional gene in the supposed fusion site.
There are other problems as well. All other known fusions in mammals are around the centromeres of the chromosomes. The supposed chimpanzee human chromosome fusion was telomere to telomere. We have no other examples (that I know of, feel free to link papers if you know of them), of telomere to telomere fusion in mammals. Further, the second centromere that should be present, even in a degraded form, simply does not match up to expectations. Again, Tompkins points this out. The sequences are not homologous between the chimpanzee centromeres and supposed cryptic centromere in humans. This is largely because 2B, the chimpanzee homolog to the human chromosome 2 is mostly vacuous sequencing. It was basically copied from the human chromosome 2 and there are a lot of gaps. Obviously, there is a logical hole here. The evolutionists are assuming that humans evolved from chimps, and thus chimp 2B is copied from humans. The evolutionists then argue that human 2 and chimp 2B are homologs. They have assumed what they are trying to prove. (Most of the above is simplified from the linked Tompkins paper)
Chromosome 2 fusion may have been a good argument when it was dreamed up, but genetics has advanced a long way since 1991. Now that we know the supposed fusion site contains a functional gene, and that the supposed cryptic centromere does not exist, it is time to retire Chromosome 2 fusion as an argument. Not that the evolutionists will, mind you. I still see Haeckel’s embryo’s in textbooks. But their continued use of an old, retread, already refuted argument indicates a weakness in their position and a reliance on people not to check into things for themselves.
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