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Nature- We are all the same, so just express yourself!

“We have 99% the same DNA as monkeys!”

Regardless of you opinion of evolution, whenever anyone attempts to shock by announcing how much DNA sequence I have in common with other animals, especially mammals, I have one response: Duh? (and actually it is only the highest with the great Apes, it gets less as you go down the chain.)

I also have a magic 8 box (same concept, just in a box, from Sigma) that informs me that humans share about 50% DNA similarity with a banana. While I am pale like a banana it can be hard to imagine where that 50% comes from.

Well, my delightful children, let me tell you something- we are all made of cells! And cells all need the same things- a nucleus, organelles, actin, membrane proteins, DNA binding proteins, and the list goes on.  And let me give you the real shocker- Nature is a lazy wench, and if it ain’t broke she don’t fix it.  There is no need to redesign the actin molecule for every different cell type or species.  That would take entirely too much work (and the actin molecule is the one that is highest homology, or similarity, across the animal kingdom).  and even of the exact molecule won’t work for two different kingdom, it does not take too much to tweak that molecule to make it work favorably in another kingdom.

So, getting back to Apes.  We both have hair, similar anatomy and physiology, nails, eyes, teeth… exactly how many ways do you think there are to make teeth?  The real difference lies in the expression of these individual genes.  Is hair expressed all over, or just in certain places (and we have seen mutations of these regulations in the”wolfman” or hypertrichosis.  Or when people have vestigial tails. This is all just a delicate dance by the many things in your genome that actually have nothing to do with coding.  The term is “functional genomics”.  Which is something we have only begun to delve into with the ever growing world of siRNA and DNA methylation patterns.

Does this mean that we evolved from something that had a tail? Or that we all have the same coding potential and just get the expression tweaked?  I will leave that question to your inner self, as I’ve no interest of going on an evolutionary diatribe at the moment.

But the question is posed: Is everything a show of evolution, or is it just that, in her lazy way, Nature made a template and we are all variations of a theme?

Either way, your genetics are all statistically the same.  Life is all about expression! So express yourself!

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