Fw: Chimp and human

Michael L. Sullivan mlsulliv at facstaff.wisc.edu
Mon Nov 27 12:16:46 EST 2000


>> Another equally valid way of quoting this number, with, of course,
>> dramatically different socio-political spin, is to say there are on
>> the order of 50 million differences.  I don't think either of these
>> statements provide much true insight.  Would that we had a theory rich
>> enough to actually produce a number or set of numbers having some
>> significance.
>>

One "use" of this number is to help teach students (and others) to think
critically about science and what they read and hear.  Just what does the
98% number mean?  On the one hand you can say, "see how much we have in
common".  On the other hand, you can make the point, that small changes can
make big differences.  It's not bad to  discuss things like "the number"
with people.  It makes people think a little more deeply about such things.

Mike


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