Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Little Factoids That Will Blow Your Mind

At least, they blew my mind. I picked up both from Richard Dawkins's excellent series, "The Genius of Darwin."

First up: Imagine your mother holding hands with your grandmother, and your grandmother holding hands with her own mother, and so on and so forth all the way back to the mother ancestor of chimpanzees and man. How long do you think this chain of ancestry might stretch? Around the world? To the moon and back?

WRONG. The answer is just 300 miles.

Ready for the second factoid? There is more genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees than there is between an ass and a horse. And an ass and a horse are sometimes known to produce offspring... Bring on the Humanzee!