Can you make a man out of a monkey? Ask Smithsonian (Smithsonian.com)
Can you make a man out of a monkey?
Lexile

Humans share ninety eight percent of their DNA with chimpanzees, so could you genetically engineer the rest to make it into a human? Settle down, were not making any human-animal hybrids around here.

Even if we wanted to, it doesnt mean we can. See, the important thing to realize is, even though we have 98% of the same DNA, it doesnt mean were 98% identical. Look at a banana. A banana shares about 50% of the same DNA as humans and youd never confuse one for the other.

DNA is basically a set of chemical instructions. The instructions tell cells how to make proteins, that in turn, make us. Little differences in the instructions can make big differences in not just how separate species turn out, but even how members of the same species turn out. So yes, since humans and chimps share a common ancestor, of course we share a lot of the same DNA instructions instructions for things like opposable thumbs, no tail, or relying on sight more than smell. Not to mention the many, many characteristics we share with all mammals. But we also have big differences. Pound for pound, chimps are stronger - but they cant throw as well. They can communicate simple ideas, but they dont really get pointing. They make tools out of sticks, and we make tools that can sequence DNA.

But hopefully, well never make a tool to create a human-chimp hybrid. Because both species are remarkable enough on their own.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do chimpanzees need to be pound-for-pound stronger than humans?

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COMMENTS (109)
  • briona0311
    5/19/2014 - 10:08 a.m.

    I think it is truly remarkable that we and chimpanzees share 98% of DNA. Some people today do share some similar characteristics, such as the bone structure etc.

  • Rico O'Neal
    5/19/2014 - 11:07 a.m.

    Humans share ninety eight percent of their DNA with chimpanzees, so could you genetically engineer the rest to make it into a human? Settle down, were not making any human-animal hybrids around here. Even if we wanted to, it doesnt mean we can. See, the important thing to realize is, even though we have 98% of the same DNA, it doesnt mean were 98% identical. Look at a banana. A banana shares about 50% of the same DNA as humans and youd never confuse one for the other. To see

  • isaiah12321
    5/19/2014 - 11:09 a.m.

    Even if we wanted to, it doesnt mean we can. See, the important thing to realize is, even though we have 98% of the same DNA, it doesnt mean were 98% identical. Look at a banana. A banana shares about 50% of the same DNA as humans and youd never confuse one for the other.

    DNA is basically a set of chemical instructions. The instructions tell cells how to make proteins, that in turn, make us. Little differences in the instructions can make big differences in not just how separate species turn out, but even how members of the same species turn out. So yes, since humans and chimps share a common ancestor, of course we share a lot of the same DNA instructions instructions for things like opposable thumbs, no tail, or relying on sight more than smell. Not to mention the many, many characteristics we share with all mammals. But we also have big differences. Pound for pound, chimps are stronger - but they cant throw as well. They can communicate simple ideas, but they dont really get pointing. They make tools out of sticks, and we make tools that can sequence DNA.

  • Tomas01
    5/19/2014 - 11:26 a.m.

    i think that if we really made hybrids that it would be like X men lol but i guess that's just me but if we did it would be cool i guess

  • fernando1998
    5/19/2014 - 11:41 a.m.

    I think you can make a man out of a monkey because the monkeys have the strutter like the humans and are very smart like the humans.

  • LF2921
    5/19/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    i think its pretty cool to make a man out of a monkey because it shows what we can do and how we relate and look like them.

  • CN23green
    5/19/2014 - 12:58 p.m.

    Chimpanzees and humans don't go together when it comes to creating hybrids. It may create a spectacular superhuman, but it wouldn't look or be right.

  • Reef
    5/19/2014 - 01:10 p.m.

    I don't think they should mix species to get hybrid animals because if we ever do I can already tell something will go wrong or something go bad.

  • TaylorMas
    5/19/2014 - 01:41 p.m.

    i personally think that you couldn't we may be similar but we aren't exactly the same to create a human from a chimpanzee. i think that it would be kind of weird

  • Calvin71
    5/19/2014 - 02:05 p.m.

    I never knew that humans and monkeys are that alike,and that 98% of them is human DNA. I don't think its a good idea to make a human monkey hybrid either.

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