Chromosomal Comparisons and a Fusion Event
Chimpanzees and gorillas have 24 pairs of chromosomes but humans have only 23 pairs. Did humans lose a set of chromosomes after splitting off from the human-chimp common ancestor? Perhaps, but when scientists looked more closely they found evidence for the fusion of two of the human chromosome pairs. In other words, after splitting off from the human-chimp common ancestor, the branch leading to humans initially had 24 chromosome pairs but at some point two of the pairs fused together to form a larger, single chromosome. Evolution dodged a potential problem.
Evolution also was able to make the argument that before that fusion event, the 24 chromosome pairs in the lineage leading to humans would have been all the more similar to the chimpanzee’s 24 chromosomes. In other words, with the hypothesized fusion event, the evidence fit the common descent pattern pretty well.
But as we have seen above, comparisons that fit the common descent pattern have lost their evidential status because there are so many contradictory findings. Furthermore, any evidence that confirms a prediction is, well, just that. An observed confirmation, of a prediction of a theory, has very limited power to prove anything in science. In fact, to think otherwise, as evolutionists such as de Duve have, is the fallacy of affirming the consequent. If P then Q does not imply that if Q the P.
So readers may have been flummoxed by Chris Mooney’s piece this week touting the human, chimp and gorilla chromosome comparisons as a “particularly stunning evidence of evolution,” and a “compelling piece of evidence” that serves “to clinch the argument for evolution.” Indeed, Mooney characterized these comparisons as “the most powerful evidence for evolution that you can imagine.”
Evolution dodged a problem and the result was a similarity between humans, chimps and gorillas. That’s hardly a clincher for evolution.
But evolutionists are not simply committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent. And they are well aware that there are many other similarities between the primates. They are also quite knowledgeable of all those differences between the species that don’t fit the common descent pattern.
So why the high confidence? The answer, as usual, is religion. This chromosomal comparison does not prove evolution in any sort of direct sense. Rather, it disproves creationism. These data do not somehow demonstrate that humans, or any other species for that matter, must have arisen from chance mutations. Indeed, the evolutionary narrative that Mooney and the evolutionists set forth to explain the comparison is a chromosomal fusion event.
The chromosomal fusion event doesn’t even require any species to be created—it occurs in the human genome, period. Evolution has nothing to do with it.
But evolutionists triumphantly declare this evidence to prove evolution because it disproves creationism. Mooney’s headline says it all: “This Picture Has Creationists Terrified.” For evolutionists it’s all about their metaphysics.
As evolutionist Barry Starr explains:
An alternative explanation is that the designers fused the two chromosomes together when they created humans. ...
The difficulty with this idea is that there is no obvious advantage to having 46 chromosomes instead of 48. ...
And even if there were, a designer who can easily put in the 60 million or so differences between humans and chimpanzees should be able to accomplish whatever results a chromosome fusion gives more elegantly than sticking two ape chromosomes together.
The power of the argument is not that evolution is confirmed, but rather than design is falsified. As Denis Alexander elaborates in his book Creation or Evolution, the fused chromosome “reveals our shared ancestry with the apes.”  Of course the chromosome reveals no such thing. It provides no more evidence for evolution than any other similarity. Starr, Alexander and the evolutionists may as well be discussing similarities we share with the apes in our bones or our biochemistry. But the evolutionists focus on cases such as the fused chromosome because these cases provide far more powerful religious evidence. As Alexander explains:
The suggestion that God has planted misleading ‘molecular fossils’ in our bodies is parallel to the suggestion that God planted misleading physical fossils in the rocks to test the faith of the believer. The obvious and profound theological problem with such a suggestion, as we considered in Chapter Six, is that it makes God into a deceiver on a grand scale. It would mean believing in a God who deliberately confuses people, making it look certain that we had shared common ancestry with the apes, when really this was not the case. 
And likewise Ken Miller makes this same argument about the very evidence he presented in the Dover court:
So all we have to do is to look at our own genome, look at our own DNA, and see, do we have a chromosome that fits these features?
We do. It's human chromosome number 2, and the evidence is unmistakable. We have two centromeres, we have telomere DNA near the center, and the genes even line up corresponding to primate chromosome numbers 12 and 13.
Is there any way that intelligent design or special creation could explain why we have a chromosome like this? The only way that I can think of is if you're willing to say that the intelligent designer rigged chromosome number 2 to fool us into thinking that we had evolved. The closer we look at our own DNA, the more detailed a glimpse we get of our own genome, the more powerful the evidence becomes for our common ancestry with other species.
In his testimony, Miller told the Dover court that:
the closer that we can get to looking at the details of the human genome, the more powerful the evidence has become.
And when out of court, he makes the same statement:
The closer we look at our own DNA, the more detailed a glimpse we get of our own genome, the more powerful the evidence becomes for our common ancestry with other species.
The difference is he carefully omits the religion when in court. Nor did Miller reveal to the court that evolution is in no way required to explain the chromosome fusion evidence and that, beyond speculation, evolution has no explanation for how chromosomes evolved in the first place.
And so while creationists say evolution is atheism in disguise, and evolutionists say evolution is nothing more than just science, the fact is it is neither. Evolutionist’s conclusions that evolution must be true because a creator or designer would never have made this world can be true only if a creator or designer really would never have made this world. Evolutionists are convinced these premises of theirs are true, but those premises do not come from science.
Evolution is far more powerful than is often understood. For evolution is not atheism, it is theism.