It is one of the best-known pieces of scientific trivia—that human DNA and chimpanzee DNA differ by a mere 1.6%. But are we then just chimps with a few genetic tweaks? Are our language and our technology just an extension of the grunts and ant-collecting sticks of chimps? A science documentary producer whose films have been aired as part of the television series Nova and on National Geographic television, Jeremy Taylor describes one of the great scientific quests of our times—the effort to discover precisely what makes humans different from other primates, and particularly our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee. We humans are far different, genetically speaking, than chimps, argues Taylor. More than that, we have been the architects of our own evolution through the same processes that have produced our farm animals and crop plants. We are the apes that domesticated themselves.
"Should be mandatory reading for journalists who often reinforce the general public's misconception that chimps are practically human."—New Scientist