back to article Men more different from chimps than women, say boffins

In genetic terms, as everyone but religious extremists acknowledges, human beings are in general very similar indeed to chimpanzees. However, scientists have now discovered that the Y chromosomes - found only in the males - of the two species are extremely dissimilar. The new study is reported this week in hefty boffinry mag …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That begs the question...

    ... why wimmins are so much more civilised, and in fact act far less like chimps than menses do.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      They aren't and don't.

      They just tell you that they do.

    2. brimful

      that's because

      We men are like abacus beads and tend to act the way women want us to act. And since women have inferior barometer setting skills than men, they tend to set the bar lower than themselves :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...nurture more than nature.

      They fake it ;)

    4. John Gaunt



      I understand the intentional humor, but that word does not mean what you think it means.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what does tell us about Steve Ballmer?

    As exhibited by that wonderful video clip you had a while back.

    Chromosomally confused perhaps?

  3. Hermes Conran

    I have nothing to say about this article,


  4. A J Stiles


    Sexual diamorphism is pretty much redundant in humans, at least in post-Industrial Revolution societies. We haven't really needed the physical strength associated with males since the invention of the electric motor.

    When real two-way machine-assisted reproduction comes along, there's a strong possibility that men who use artificial wombs for reproduction will develop differently from, and eventually lose intermateability with, women who use artificial sperm for reproduction. I would still expect both new species to remain intermateable with humans who persisted with traditional methods, though.

    1. Uncle Slacky

      What about other male roles

      Like killing spiders and opening jars?

    2. Maty

      intermateability ....

      What was that bit about language skills again?

  5. Liam Johnson

    but but

    Your average adult chimp, male or female, could kick the living shit out of even the hardest, toughest, most manly man. And yet we have more manly stuff than the chimps. Something doesn't add up!

  6. The Indomitable Gall

    Isn't it obvious?

    Think this conclusion was surely to be expected.

    Females mammals (all vertebrates?) are born with their ova (eggs) already formed in their ovaries.

    Males, on the other hand, produce their reproductive cells by cell division in their testes over the course of their life.

    In the case of humans, eggs have a genetic code formed from DNA that's less than a year old, whereas sperm has a code from DNA that's at least 13, and possibly over 70 years old.

    The majority of genetic mutations are therefore introduced into the gene pool by the degradation of the DNA in the male reproductive organs.

    Any chromosome present in both male and female populations will undergo significant mutation via the male population, but be "normalised" by the less mutated female cells. If the environment does not favour mutation (and populations often prefer the status quo), over generations, the "conservative" female-transmitted gene will be selectively preserved.

    The Y chromosome is the only thing not transmissable by females. This means that there is no "conservative" female line and the gene is left to mutate like crazy.

    It's a fairly logical outcome, although it's fair enough that people don't think about it before they see the evidence.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Actually not completely true.....

      Studies (like the one in Nature Cell Biology) show it's possible for women to produce new eggs.

      But the biggest mistake you made (and it's an esy one) is when you said "The majority of genetic mutations are therefore introduced into the gene pool by the degradation of the DNA in the male reproductive organs.", you use the term "Cell Division" which alhough is broadly true, the actual process is "meiosis", the key thing here (in meiosis) is that the division doesn't merely chop a cell in two but the chromasones are duplicated, shortly after duplication the two different linked chromasones can cross-over theoretically "blending" the attributes.

      The reasons why non identical twins may not be similar is not "degradation of the DNA" as you imply it's more do with the blending of the two chromasones during meiosis, in fact degraded, or mutated DNA is exceptionally rare compared with the changes brought in by meiosis., otherwise by the same logic men that become fathers at an old age are more likely to have children who have genetic issues (this is not the case).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we all knew already

    Or who in his right mind would let a chimp drive a car?

    (s)he who can't find irony needs an irony detector.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't they equally well have said:

    "Male chimps more different from humans than female chimps" ?

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    The obvious result of this research.

    Jungle outlets from Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton.

  10. Tom Turck

    Still not doing a chimp

    Whatever! I'm still NOT going to do a chimp! Makes you wonder what goes on at the "dna research" sessions at that Lab

  11. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    Spunk and poo in the same story!

    Good old el Reg - sod old media, I don't see the Times or the FT giving us such top quality reporting! :o)

    Paris of course!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Turning a new page in human evolution

    So, is David Page related to Lewis Page?

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re Turning a new page in human evolution

      Ever heard of the theory of human relatedness? It says that every human being is related to any other human being on [a incredibly low number] degree of relationship (go and google yourself). Basically, this means that I am related to you on - let's assume - 5th degree and we are related to the two Pages and even to Ms Bee (though she may deny this at least for my part).


  13. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Turning a new page in human evolution

    They are both descended from apes, obviously.

    1. Jay Castle

      She's back!

      Had a funny feeling this story might merit a comment from our illustrious Moderatrix.....

      Been too long since I saw post from you, thought you might have finally gotten tired of us! ;0)

      What happened to CofTW, by the way?

  14. P.Nutt
    Thumb Up


    So next time I am told off by the wife for telling my 3 year old daugjter she was once a monkey and we shaved. I can tell her I am only telling the truth.

  15. Joel Fiser

    Was the swipe at Christianity necessary?

    What a jerk-off you must be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Halo

      Don't worry

      The swipe wasn't against Christianity.

      It was against all religions, which are all, of course, equally real.

      1. Joel Fiser
        Big Brother

        Right... Intolerance is a sure sign of intelligence

        I'm sure you and the author must be freaking brilliant and have all the answers to the unanswerable.

        Please share them with us...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          That would be a neat trick

          "I'm sure you and the author must be freaking brilliant and have all the answers to the unanswerable."

          Well, the definition of "unanswerable" essentially means there is no answer, so I doubt you'd find anyone who does.

          Not knowing the answer to every question does not mean they have no answers and the religious "my invisible friends knows" stance is not terribly useful if they won't tell you.

          Try asking an average four year old how the internal combustion engine works if you'd like a practical demonstration of "made it up on the spot" functions, then see if you can extrapolate that to see how a religion might get started.

          Worth a look at how the Vatican has changed its position on some "facts" in the last couple of thousand years, too.

          Christianity has had its fair share of dishing out intolerance for quite a while now, time for someone else to have a go.

          To quote Mr Brigstocke:

          "Do you think that when you've finished smashing up the world and blowing each other to bits and demanding special privledges while you do it, do you think that maybe the rest of us could sort of have our planet back? I wouldn't ask, but I'm starting to think that there must be something written in the special books that each of you so enjoy referring to that it's ok to behave like special, petulent, pugnacious, pricks."

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          "Intolerance is a sure sign of intelligence"

          What intolerance? Is tolerance the obligation to believe in whatever fairytale you happen to endorse?

          "Please share them with us"


        3. david wilson

          Answers to the unanswerable?

          >>"I'm sure you and the author must be freaking brilliant and have all the answers to the unanswerable."

          No, that'd be people with all-answering religious tomes you'd be thinking of there.

          By contrast, science actually progresses by people knowing and admitting that there are questions that they can't yet answer, and waiting until they've done more than invent myths before declaring the question [probably] answered.

          That's why science is generally a highly successful way of finding things out, and why it *so* annoys the people who want to believe different answers.

          They can't find fault with the reasoning, so they frequently try and attack the people involved for being 'too clever'.

          However, coming from the kind of people who typically make such comments, that really isn't likely to be seen as an insult.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Why the unanswerable questions?

            ...and, curiosity being a double-edged sword that's slain many cats, what we scientists would like to find out, in the near future, is what makes people ask unanswerable questions in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was the swipe at Christianity necessary?

      Not until now.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: swipe

      You mean this?

      "In genetic terms, as everyone but religious extremists acknowledges, human beings are in general very similar indeed to chimpanzees."

      I don't see anything wrong with that.

      1. Joel Fiser
        Big Brother

        Every Christian I know acknowledges this

        I'm a Christian. But I acknowledge "human beings are in general very similar indeed to chimpanzees". Gophers, roosters and penguins too.

        I don't know one Christian who doesn't acknowledge that.

        I understand it's fashionable to bash Christianity among brilliant intellectuals like you people obviously are. It just gets a little old, predictable and boring.

    4. Jay Castle
      Thumb Down

      Yes, it was.

      "What a jerk-off you must be."

      My, how very Christian of you.....

    5. J 3


      He mentioned religious extremists, not Christianity. Oh... never mind.

      And by the way, I thought you were supposed to be turning the other cheek (and therefore keeping your mouth shut) instead of trying to "retaliate". I therefore conclude you are no Christian -- or a quite lousy one at best. Scientologist?

      1. John Angelico

        And you are ... ?

        ... the final authority on what constitutes a Christian or a lousy one, are you?

  16. Psymon


    I knew it!!!!!

    We men are genetically superior to women at something - producing sperm!!!!


    any opportunity for a much deserved swipe at christianity should never be passed up.

    If you don't like it, forgive me!

    1. Beelzeebub

      That depends...

      ...on which branch of the 'faith' you subscribe to.

      Although Henry VIII is down here along with the rest of the followers of his new reiigion :-)

  17. Sarah Davis
    IT Angle


    all this indicates that genrally men are biggers w*nk*s than women

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


      It means that objectifying women was generally less wrong than we thought.

      Paris, because she is genetically related to a brick.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    So, ladies, if I've understood this correctly it's

    OK to have sex with a monkey. Catch ya later

  19. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    "Hefty boffinry"

    I like

  20. J 3


    "What this means, of course, is that women are in fact much closer genetically to being chimps than men are. "

    Woa, *much closer*!? Have any idea how tiny the Y chromosome is? And how little of it is actually coding and not just repetitive stuff?

    "Some have even interpreted the research to mean that men are "more evolved" than women, having left their heritage as apes further behind than the ladies."

    Hm, who are the "some", I wonder... Citation required, hehe. All fun to tease the girls (specially if some make up sex is involved later), but "more evolved" is really not the case...

  21. Idiots _Quotient

    We now know that we don,t know the unkowns we Never Knew

    DNA itslef is not infallible .........................

    just like The Man landed on moon ?

    WMDs ?

    Global Warming ?

    we are runnin out of Fosil Fuels ?

    Obama deserves the Peace Prize ?



  22. bogsheet

    In response to 'No I will not fix your computer'

    The main reason two non-identical twins differ is because they are conceived with separate sperm (not to mention separate eggs) which differ principally because the process of meiosis involves the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the father splitting, with the resultant two sperm having a 50/50 chance of having either one or other of each distinct chromosme pair. This results in 2^23 possible combinations of chromosomes for a given sperm long before you factor in chromosomal crossover, which is what you describe. It's almost as if to suggest that without chromosomal crossover, there would only be two different genetic make-ups in resulting sperm! I think not...

    You also say that in meiosis, chromosomes are duplicated. This is also incorrect. It is fairly fundamental biology that normal haploid cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which split into diploid cells containing 23 single chromosomes. There is no duplication here...

    It's going to be pretty difficult for the Indomitable Gall or anyone else to accept criticism or correction on these matters from your good self bearing these mistakes in mind, not to mention the fact that you spell 'chromosome' wrong. It looks like the spelling has undergone two distinct mutations in your mind resulting in 'chromasone'.

    I never cease to wonder how frequently people make critical posts on internet forums in a tone as to suggest they are more knowledgeable than those whom they attempt to correct, when in fact their 'corrections' are littered with factual errors. Please be critical of your own knowledge before you criticise that of others!

  23. JC 2

    @ Aha!

    Forgiveness comes only after we make you repent, and repent, and repent.

    Swipes at people's religious or other beliefs however, are just a pathetic attempt to blame someone else for your own miseries. It's always THEIR fault not your own, isn't it?

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eve was wifey number three

    and I bet Adam didn't want to give up another bone, so God used a chimp bone, well that explains a lot doesn't it.

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Ah well that explains...

    ... the Spice Girls.

  28. jake Silver badge

    My wife would like to know ...

    So it's true, then, that men are built to think with their dicks?

  29. Mos Eisley Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    If religion is the word of god

    Then it must be perfect.

    If it is perfect, then it must be above criticism.

    Ergo: Have a banana monkey-boy!

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Discovery? Hardly!

    If I don't disremember, it was more than 30 years ago, in a course on evolution, the learned scientist-lecturer made it clear that A) biological functions and traits could be rated on a scale of conservative to superficial with conservative traits/functions being those that only gradually changed over time and superficial ones, those that changed more rapidly, and B) that reproductive processes, being the mainspring of evolution itself, were the most conservative. An example of most superficial would be coloration which can change in a relatively few generations.

    That is, ma Nature, doesn't lightly fool around with that on which her whole enterprise of life depends - the reproductive machinery. Or, from another view, once a major change occurs in such a conservative process (such as moving from external to internal fertilization of egg by sperm or from proto-reptilian oviparous development to mammalian viviparous), she never goes back.

    Therefore, it is not too surprising to find that the keepers of the sacred machinery, females, are more conservative, re that machinery, its genotype and phenotype (on which selection operates), than males (or that Pan and Homo males vary more than the females). Yea, from mom's POV, it is we males that can be allowed to fool around with this or that experimental variation in plumage or behavior, more or less randomly, effectively testing what works and what doesn't without much risk to the female design which will, in the end, keep us going despite our never ending flights of fancy - barring our self-induced nuclear immolation or other planetary despoliation, of course.

    It is good to see that geneticists are catching up - finally.

  31. the Jim bloke

    To boldly go where no chimp ...

    It all seems very reasonable to me. Men do the beta testing on genetic variation, and wimmins who actually carry the developing fetus, stick with a more conservative version.

    The fact that the obverse is not the case demonstrates that it was not evolutionarily(?) succesful.

    A non-viable or less succesful male mutation is easily replaced.

    Babies icon obviously

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me know when it's safe to come out

    'Some have even interpreted the research to mean that men are "more evolved" than women...'

    You're not easily scared, are you?

  33. fred #257

    @Joel Fisher

    So, why did you immediately conclude that the reference to 'religious extremists' was a swipe at Xtians when you claim not to be an extremist yourself? All the Christians _you_ know may accept DNA and, presumably, evolution (are you sure there aren't any fundies among them?) but far the loudest noise against evolution comes from (predominantly American) Creationists, who are invariably Xtians, and a very loud noise it is.

    We hadn't noticed much noise coming from the rest of Christianity wanting to dissociate themselves from those fundies. If you don't wanna be identified with them, better say so publicly. But hey, the article didn't even say religious extremists were Xtians, YOU did. Gotta love the irony.

    (Methinks he doth protest too much. Never mind, he wants to be a martyr, I'll supply the nails)

    Now if I just had a buck for every time I, as an atheist, have been identified with godless Communists or (and this is really good) Satanists, I'd be rich.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Not much noise...?

      "We hadn't noticed much noise coming from the rest of Christianity wanting to dissociate themselves from those fundies. If you don't wanna be identified with them, better say so publicly."

      Well then you weren't paying attention. Both the Vatican and the Archbishopric of Canterbury publicly commemorated the 200/150th Darwin anniversary last year.

      The simple fact is that the fundies are obsessed with the idea that evolution is wrong. Most people who believe in natural selection are not "obsessed" with it and as such simply do not devote as much time and energy to the subject as the obsessives.

      You may similarly suggest that most vegetarians share PETA's extreme views because "they don't make as much noise" as PETA.

      It would be a sad existence indeed if we had to devote our lives to shouting very loudly about what we aren't.

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