14 Feb 2018           home | science

The Building Blocks of Life

Living things, including plants, are constructed with genetic building blocks. Scientists tell us the our body has three billion genetic building blocks (or base pairs) that make us who we are.

Vegetation existed before humans, and scientists tell us that genetically we are only 16 percent similar to a head of lettuce. Genetically we are closer to bananas: 60 percent (higher in evolutionary development?). We are closer still to fruit flies, at 61 percent; a cow at 80 percent; a mouse 85 percent; a cat 90 percent; a chimpanzee 96 percent.

We humans have our cultural differences. Hitler spoke of the cultural differences between Jews and Aryan Germans but he confused culture differences with biological (genetic) differences. Humans differ from one another in only 0.1 percent of their genetic makeup (in other words we are 99.9 percent identical).

Dogs are similar to humans somewhere between cats and chimpanzees, in addition (of course) to being slightly different genetically between breeds and individual dogs. Genetic tracing tells us that the common ancestor of dogs and wolves lived in Europe between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago." (See Jen Viegas, "Dog Family Tree Traced Back 2 Million Years.") A more complex explanation of genetic differences among dogs is described here.


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