Big Idea: Common Genetics

If you enter the Hall of Human Life in Boston’s Museum of Science, you can check your vital signs, test your balance, see if your social network is strong enough to foster emotional and cognitive health, watch chicks hatch, check out a beehive, and see cotton-top tamarins. You will also find a display that shows how much of our own DNA is shared with other species. Just a few:

Trees: 50%

Zebrafish: 70%

Dog: 86%

Cats: 90%

Chimpanzee: 99%

We have a lot in common with the other life that inhabits our little blue planet. In an evolutionary sense, we are kindred, related by the common building blocks that govern our growth and traits. At the same time, we are a diverse bunch, having different needs and adapting to our home planet in different ways over millions of years.

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. Painters have been using the same colors, creating wildly different pieces – Munch and O’Keefe. Musicians have done the same with sound – Simone and Bach. How could it be otherwise in creating life?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *