Hunter has a good post up right now called "David Brooks observes Americans will soon be 'mutts,' which does not go over well," http://www.dailykos.com/... .

I just posted a long comment in that diary.  It occurred to me it deserves to be a diary in its own right.

One thing an idiot like Brooks doesn't understand is how closely related are all living beings on earth, not just all humans.

There is a mind-blowing chart on pages 102 and 103 of the July 2013 National Geographic.

All animals, plants, and fungi are thought to descend from a common ancestor from about 1.6 billion years ago.  Evolution rigorously conserves genes.  So amazingly enough, we share huge proportions of our genes with life forms that seem very remote.

Here's a chart of what proportion of genes is shared by humans and the following life forms:

Baker's yeast 18%
Grapes and rice 24%
Roundworms 38%
Honeybee 44%
Sea anemone 54%
Chicken 65%
Platypus 69%
Zebrafish 73%
Dogs and horses 84%
Cows 85%
Mice 88%
Chimpanzee 90%

So we're considerably more closely related to mice than to dogs, and more closely related to cows than to dogs.

No, cats weren't mentioned, probably out of fear it would blow people's brains out to realize they're more closely related to mice than to cats.

I've been boggling over that chart all day.

Edit:  In 10 years I've never done anything like this, but there's a first time for everything.  Interestingly, there's much more discussion, including some good humor, over my original comment (with all of its typos) than over this little diary, so far.  So if anybody really wants to see everything on this, please try this thread too:  http://www.dailykos.com/... .

Lots of good information there, especially concerning the apparent mistake over the relatedness of the great apes to humans.

By the way, I don't claim to be much of a scientist.  But I've darn sure always been interested in science!


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