Dr. Andy Thomson (via hasty-g)
We are the Third Chimpanzee. One of my favourite facts about ape genetics is that common chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas. (if you count the number of mutations in certain important genes or chunks of non-coding DNA).
On the other hand, if I am blood group A and you are blood group B, but Kanzi the infamous talking chimp is blood group A, then, on that particular coding gene I am more closely related to Kanzi. In theory, the gene-centred viewed of evolution would suggest that if this allele I share with Kanzi were to cause a propensity on my part to be nice to chimps with that allele, but nasty to humans without it, then that allele ought to spread throughout the population. This of course assumes that it would be easy to tell whether some(one/chimp) had that allele, so blood groups are a bad example. However, the point here is that from the viewpoint of that specific gene it doesn’t matter a jot whether its in a chimp body or a human body…
That I think shows some of the logical fallacies inherent within species-centric evolution and also, to some extent, pulls the hallowed ground from under our feet - each individual human is a subset of the population of living things all descended from one ancient common ancestor.
(*note that this hypothetical proves nothing, it makes us consider a possibility. I would love to know if there is any two animal species which are fairly related, where individuals of one species are predisposed to help individuals of another, on the basis of some shared characteristic)