I was reading this week’s issue of The Week, a respectable news magazine which I thoroughly enjoy, when I came upon the following:
Now, I can understand humans and chimps sharing a great deal of DNA. We both have fingers eyes, noises, legs, lungs, a brain (mostly) similar reproductive organs, etc. But what in hell do we have in common with a banana, that 50% of our DNA should be the same? They have no blood, no bones, no muscles, they are immobile, don't breath, exist thanks to photosynthesis, . . . I suppose we are made up of cells, which probably share some commonality, but what could that 50% be?<2010 “Most scientists agree that humans share 98.5 percent of our genetic code with chimpanzees. However, it would be very misleading to say that humans are therefore 98.5 percent chimp. We also share 50% of our DNA with bananas, but that doesn’t make us half plantain. What makes each kind of biological organism unique is determined by their small genetic differences, not their numerically greater similarities.”—The Week, 4 June, page 44>
However, some people do go bananas. And some folks have personalities that share some traits with bananas. And now and then I do fall into a bit of a yellow funk and have a weakness for banana splits. But 50% of our DNA – well I guess that will learn me for having studiously avoided the subject like the plague.
Ken – June 2, 2010 (yellow-bellied when faced with fisticuffs)