Some questions about the similarity of the human genome with other animals and plants


#1

Please indulge me a few questions in one post. I’ve always wondered how the human genome can be so similar to chimpanzees and bananas (most used examples)? What does our genetic make-up have in common with bananas? Does this suggest anything about our relationship to other species?


#2

All living things - animals and plants - are somewhat related, so what happens is that we have many many genes in common. We all share some very basic enzymes - from very simple life forms like bacteria to complex organisms like humans; while other genes are common to just eukaryotes (plants and animals), some genes are shared by all animals, then other genes are shared by all mammals, then finally it’s only primates that share a number of genes.

Here’s an analogy. Not the smartest, but it makes sense. Comparing life forms is kind of like comparing trucks and laptops; they certainly don’t look very similar, but they have so much in common beneath the surface: they both have some electrical wiring, screws to keep parts in place, metal and plastic components, a battery, keys and buttons, and many other things. Now all this is because both trucks and laptops were designed and built by humans with technology that humans created, similar to how plants and animals come from the same basic biology.