Quantifying genetic commonality

Julian Assange proff at iq.org
Tue Feb 20 15:51:34 EST 2001

Nancy Bennett <nancyb at ignet.com> writes:

> My question is -- can anybody even wildly estimate the degree to which any
> two randomly chosen humans (or let's make it easier and say any two randomly
> chosen Europeans) are, in fact, genetically similar?  I recently read on the
> Human Genome Project web site that humans may have as few as "one gene in
> 500" that differs between individuals.  This would suggest that, on average,
> the genes at 99.8% of all loci are identical.  Is this an accurate
> estimate??

Yes, depending on what you mean by `gene' and `differ'. But it rarely
makes sense to talk about this data in absolute terms. You may have 19/20
positions correct for the state lottery, yet this does not mean you
have won 19/20ths of the lottery.

 Julian Assange        |If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people
                       |together to collect wood or assign them tasks and
 proff at iq.org          |work, but rather teach them to long for the endless
 proff at gnu.ai.mit.edu  |immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

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