Common among secular writings addressing human origins is the story that chimpanzees are our closest relatives and that humans and chimpanzees evolved from an unknown common ape ancestor millions of years ago. Why connect humans to chimpanzees? The answer begins with a principle of biology that life always comes only from life. This means in evolutionary thought that the more advanced forms of life must have evolved from less advanced life forms. To trace evolutionary ancestral species, the only possible tool available to evolutionists is similarity. And apes particularly chimpanzees are the most similar animals to humans. But similarity has it limits and is not absolute proof. Another possibility is that humans and chimpanzees are related only by a common designer.
Researchers have found anatomical (e.g., internal ear, teeth, larynx, fingers), ability (e.g., make tools, walk upright) and behavioral (e.g., socialization) similarities between humans and chimps but also many differences. A search among the numerous articles and research papers primarily on the internet revealed many differences of which 134 are listed below. Although 134 are a lot of differences, they may be only the tip of the iceberg.
1. “The human brain is about three times as big as” that of a chimpanzee. 
2. “Moreover, a part of the brain called the cerebral cortex – which plays a key role in memory, attention, awareness and thought – contains twice as many cells in humans as the same region in chimpanzees. 
3. Human intelligence is far above that of chimpanzees or any other animal.
4. Networks of brain cells in the cerebral cortex also behave differently in the two species.” 
5. Humans have more folds in their brains than chimps or any other primate. “These folds or wrinkles appear because our cortex is arranged like a sheet and the only way to fit a big sheet in your skull is to fold it.” 
6. “The large brain of humans is attributable not so much to an increased nerve cell content as to an increase in the size of the nerve cells and to a greater complexity of the connections linking one cell to another.” 
7. “[T]he anatomy of the chimpanzee brain is more strongly controlled by genes than that of human brains, suggesting the human brain is extensively shaped by its environment no matter its genetics.”  “[C]himpanzee brains are not particularly plastic while human brain connections individualize and adapt as they grow.” 
8. Researchers have found “structural asymmetries in both human and chimpanzee brains, but human brains were especially asymmetric.” 
9. “In humans, the arcuate fasciculus (AF) white matter and the posterior portions of the middle temporal gyrus are crucial for language... posterior temporal connectivity via the AF in humans compared with chimpanzees is expanded in terms of its connectivity not just to the ventral frontal cortex but also to the parietal cortex.” 
10. “Speech is uniquely human. Furthermore, studies of 36 documented cases of children raised without human contact (feral children) show that speech appears to be only learned from other humans.” 
11. The “interneurons expressing genes that code for dopamine synthesis are present in human striata but not in non-humans.”  “Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It's a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.” 
12. DNA methylation patterns between human and chimp brains have major differences. Methylation provides “critical regulation of the activity of DNA-manipulating enzymes both during embryonic development and during the daily life of adult cells.” 
13. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a region in the brain that is present only humans and “primates and essential for higher-order cognition.” In this region, there is “a type of microglia, or brain-specific immune cell”, that is unique to humans. 
14. The human microglia also contain the human specific FOXP2 gene.  This gene makes a protein that is a transcription factor that controls the activity of other genes. “Studies suggest that it plays important roles in brain development...”  Along with its other functions, it appears to be critical in developing normal speech and language.  
15. “We have found several quantitative and qualitative differences in the organization of the brainstem between humans and other species, supporting a unique organization of the human brainstem.” Unique features of the human brainstem range from relatively subtle neurochemical differences in conserved nuclei to the emergence of altogether new structures.” 
16. “Humans have a lot more fine motor control than chimps...” 
17. The human braincase is about three times larger than that of chimps and more bulbous.
18. Humans have a smooth skull. 
19. The widest part of the human skull is near the top while in chimps is lower down at or close to the cheekbones (zygomatic bones).
20. Chimps’ foramen magnum (hole where the spinal cord enters the skull) is towards the back of the skull and in humans it is at the balance point of the head. 
21. Occipital condyles of the occipital bone of the skull balance on the spine. Like the foramen magnum they are towards the back on chimps and central for humans. 
22. Chimps have a bony crest on the occipital bone (bone on the lower part of the back of the skull.) 
23. Chimps have a heavy brow ridge and humans have no brow ridge. 
24. The human zygomatic arches are much smaller than in chimpanzees. 
25. Humans have a larger mastoid process than chimps.  
26. Humans have cranial sutures (fibrous material) that connect the bones of the skull. Sutures are absent in chimps. 
27. Humans have a bigger temporal fossa (temporal depression) than chimps. 
28. Compared to chimpanzees, humans have a relatively small nuchal area.   This is the area where the neck muscles attach to the skull and is located on the occipital bone of the skull.
29. “[T]here are about 1,000 groups of genes that triggered in different ways during the development of facial features in chimps and humans.” 
30. Human faces “lie almost entirely beneath the anterior cranial fossa”, whereas chimp faces “project forward of the anterior cranial fossa.” 
31. Humans have foreheads and chimpanzees do not.
32. Chimps have no hairy eyebrows unlike humans.
33. Human eyes have a visible white sclera and chimps do not.  Human eyes are expressive and chimp eyes are cryptic.
34. Human eyes have larger width/height ratios and more exposed visible sclera than any of the primates. 
35. Humans roll their eyes and chimps do not have this ability. 
36. Human noses project more than chimps.
37. Chimps have a long mobile upper lip. 
38. Humans have a philtrum (i.e., a vertical depression bordered by ridges between their upper lips and nose) and chimps do not.
39. Chimps unlike humans do not have chins. 
40. Humans have smooth skin compared to chimps. 
41. “Humans have about 20 more facial muscles than modern chimpanzees.” 
42. Human lips are on “constant display” while “apes’ closed mouths hide that soft red tissue.” 
43. Unlike humans, chimp noses do not contain bone and cartilage.  
44. “The human airways are flexed, like an inverted U...” while chimps are straight.
45. The external ears of chimps are larger and rounder than humans.
46. Humans have ear lobes and chimps do not. 
47. Chimpanzees tested “more sensitive than humans to frequencies higher than 8kHz but less sensitive to frequencies lower than 250 Hz and 2- to 4-kHz tones.”
Jaws and Teeth
48. The upper (maxilla) and lower (mandible) jaws are much larger in chimpanzees than humans.
49. Humans have relatively small chewing muscles compared to chimps. 
50. Chimp’s teeth protrude out considerably from their face. Human teeth protrude out very little.
51. “The distance between teeth and cheekbones is shorter in humans than in primates.” 
52. Humans have flatter and smaller teeth than chimpanzees. 
53. Chimp’s upper and lower teeth are in a U or rectangular pattern with the molar rows across the palate parallel to each other. Human upper and lower teeth are in an arched pattern with the right and left teeth rows diverging posteriorly.  The dental formula for humans and chimps are the same.
54. Adult male chimpanzee’s canine teeth are very sharp compared to humans.  They also are longer than their adjacent teeth. Human canines are close to the same length as their adjacent teeth.
55. Normally chimpanzees have a diastema (space) “opposite each of the four canine teeth if the canines are significantly longer than the other teeth.” 
Throat and Vocal
56. Humans “have a longer throat and smaller mouth better suited for shaping sound” than chimps. 
57. “Humans have a flexibility in the mouth, tongue and lips that lets us form a wide range of precise sounds that chimps simply can’t produce...” 
58. In humans the tongue is globular shaped while in chimps it is flat. 
59. The epiglottis, hyoid, and larynx (voice box) are lower in the human throat than in chimps. 
60. The epiglottis is separated from the soft palate (palatal velum) in man but not in the chimpanzee.  
61. The hyoid bone in chimps is horseshoe-shaped and in humans is flat and bar- shaped.
62. In chimps there is a cup-shaped extension to the hyoid that is absent in humans. 
63. Vocal cords vibrate when air from the lungs meet them. To produce the finely differentiated sounds necessary to make up recognizable words, fine motor control of the lungs as present in humans is required. Chimps lack this fine motor control.
64. Chimps and all other primates unlike humans have in addition to vocal cords, a vocal membrane. This membrane plus vocal cords allows primates to “loudly and efficiently produce a wide range of frequencies, but at the cost of vocal stability.”  Vocal stability is necessary for language.
65. “Unlike other mammals, in humans the lower jawbone, hyoid bone, and larynx are separate from each other and are suspended vertically from the cranium by muscles.” 
66. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have 29 vocalization sets and humans are estimated to have over a million. 
67. “Chimpanzee bodies are covered by coarse hair, except for the face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet.”  Humans and chimpanzees have approximately the same number of hair follicles. Unlike chimpanzees, humans are covered in “mostly fine downy “vellus” hairs”, except for “the tops of our heads.” 
68. Human head hair continues to grow, and chimpanzee hair gets to a certain length and stops growing. 
69. “The keratin content of human head hair is different than what’s found in fur on chimpanzees...” 
70. Humans gray more as they age in a fairly linear pattern. “Chimps reach this point where they’re just a little salt and peppery, but they’re never fully gray...” 
71. Eccrine sweat “gland density is on average 10-fold higher in humans compared to chimpanzees ...” 
72. Almost 100 percent of the human sweat glands are eccrine. Chimpanzees “have roughly two eccrine for every apocrine” sweat gland. 
Body Strength and Endurance
73. ‘Chimps possess about twice the amount of “fast-twitch” muscle fibre. This type of fibre contracts quickly and is useful for rapid movements such as sprinting. But fast-twitch fibres have a downside: they quickly tire... human muscles are dominated by “slow-twitch” muscle fibres ...useful for activities that require endurance.’ 
74. “The physical strength of chimps is around 1.5 times greater than humans due to higher content of fast twitch muscle fibres.” 
75. This ligament extends from the occipital protuberance at the back of the skull to the seventh cervical (neck) vertebra. It is well adapted for running as it keeps the head from bobbling violently.   Humans have this ligament, and it is absent in chimps. 
76. Chimps and other apes “keep their fat internally, mostly between the muscles in their torso, so all you can see externally are their big scary muscles. But we humans store a layer of blubber right under our skin.” 
77. Humans are unique in their “ability to throw projectiles at high speeds and with incredible accuracy.”  “[H]umans are able to throw projectiles at incredible speeds by storing and releasing energy in the tendons and ligaments crossing the shoulder.” 
78. The socket area of the scapula in humans points out to the side and that in chimpanzees is more upward oriented.  This orientation in the chimpanzees’ shoulder joint (glenoid fossa) gives “an advantage to the arms when climbing or swinging through the branches.” 
79. There are significant differences in the shoulder muscular anatomy between chimpanzees and humans. 
Arms, Hands and Wrists
80. Humans can perform “fine, manipulative movements - precision grip” while apes “can only perform gross manipulative movements - power grip only.”
81. The fingers and palms of chimps are longer than those of humans. 
82. “Human hands are distinguished from apes by possessing longer thumbs relative to fingers.” 
83. In humans, the first metacarpal bone located at the base of the thumb is connected to the wrist by a saddle bone which allows the thumb to touch all the fingers from tip to base. Chimps do not have this feature. 
84. The human thumb has an independent muscle/tendon attached to the last joint that enables the first phalanx (bone) to move independently of the second phalanx. Chimps do not have this muscle/tendon and cannot move these bones independently. 
85. “Each curve in the contour of the bone at the end of the thumb (pollical distal phalanx) enhances the human ability to feel and grip tiny objects gingerly but securely... Living great apes like chimpanzees and gorillas do not have these bony contours.” 
86. “Chimpanzees exhibit pronounced curvature in their hand ... phalanges” which are “distinct from humans.” 
87. Humans are slower than chimps in developing hand dexterity (ability to perform fine tasks with their hands) but their potential dexterity far surpasses them.
88. “The arms of a chimpanzee are longer than its legs and can reach below the knees.”  The arms of a human are shorter than their legs and cannot reach their knees when standing fully erect.
89. The radius bone in a chimpanzee’s forearm and its wrist bones lock together to form a solid supporting structure during the weight bearing stage of knuckle walking. Humans do not have this locking feature. 
90. There are clear differences in the shape of the first cervical (atlas) vertebra between humans and chimps. 
91. The cervical spinal canals in chimpanzees are “significantly smaller and rounder than the more transversely expanded canals of Homo sapiens...” 
92. “[T]he detailed attachment and role of some neck muscles (e.g., sternocleidomastoid) are different in humans from those in apes.”
93. Humans have S shaped, and chimps arched spines.
94. Chimps have an average of 3.6 lumbar vertebrae and humans have an average of 5. 
95. Human lumbar vertebrae get bigger as they get lower down while chimps remain about the same size. 
96. “Human hearts are significantly different from ape hearts. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood around the body, and in humans it is more elongated and simply larger than it is in chimpanzees.” 
97. “There's one additional significant difference between the hearts of humans and apes. When human hearts pump, they also rotate. This twist helps push more blood out each time it beats, and also draw more blood in for the next time it pumps.” 
98. “Despite their trace dietary phytanic acid intake, all great ape species had elevated red blood cell (RBC) phytanic acid levels relative to humans on diverse diets.” 
99. “[C]himps don’t get infected by the malaria parasite Plasodium falciparum, which a mosquito can transmit through its bite into the human blood.” 
100. “[T]he blood of pigs is actually a better match for human beings than chimps and great apes.” 
101. Humans have lower total levels of plasmalogens in their red blood cells than chimpanzees. Plasmalogens are “required for normal mammalian developmental, physiological, and cognitive functions.” 
102. “[H]umans manifest a generalized lymphocyte over-reactivity relative to chimpanzees...” 
103. Chimps have a cone-shaped rib cage and humans have a broad rib cage flatter from front to back.
104. “While the large intestine represents the majority of the great ape gut volume, the majority of the modern human gut volume consists of the small intestine.” 
The human pelvis is drastically different in overall form from chimps and other “primates in many key ways” for “bipedalism, thermoregulation and parturition.” 
105. The human iliac blades flare out to the side making it comfortable to stand while they are positioned along the back of chimps making standing for long periods of time uncomfortable. 
106. Humans have a wide shield shaped sacrum while that of a chimp is much narrower.
107. The human pelvis is short and broad compared to a chimp. 
108. “Relative distance between the hip and sacro-lilac joint is shorter in humans, strengthening the region, transmitting body weight between two joints.” 
109. The human ischial tuberosity projects to the rear. 
110. “No mammal has a habitual extended hip joint position like humans do... non-human apes (i.e. ... chimpanzee ...) have a ‘mid-flex’ hip position as their default.” 
111. “The human gluteus maximus is a distinctive muscle in terms of size, anatomy and function compared to apes ...”  In humans, this muscle is primarily active during climbing... as well as running and other activities that involve stabilizing the trunk against flexion.”
112. The “muscles (gluteus minimus and gluteus medius) ... are used by the chimpanzee to push the leg back (hip extensors)...” In humans, these muscles are in a different “relation to the hip joint” acting “as abductors to balance the trunk on the weight-bearing leg during walking.” 
113. The “human bipedal gait features a unique combination of pendular limb motion and orthograde spine, not seen in other vertebrates.”  Orthograde means positive upright.
114. In the human body, the long, elastic Achilles tendon connects the heel bone with the calf muscles.  It allows us to stand on our toes when walking, running, or jumping.  Without it our “running ability would be greatly reduced with top speeds halved and energy costs more than doubled.”  Chimps lack an Achilles tendon and instead “have a short tendon and long-fibred triceps surae.” 
115. “[T]he human knee locks when the leg is straightened and unlocks when the knee is bent.” This locking mechanism conserves energy in walking and standing. Chimpanzees lack this locking mechanism and can stand and walk upright, but with slightly bent knees.   Walking with bent knees is very uncomfortable and tiring. Instead, chimpanzees normally progress on the ground “on all fours, using the bent knuckles to support the front of the body.” 
116. “Compared to other mammals, humans have long femora.” 
117. The human femur slants in towards the hip bringing the knees close together and makes an angle (valgus angle) of about nine degrees with the tibia.  This placed the human knees and lower legs close to the center of the body’s weight allowing the erect body to more easily balance when each leg is raised as in walking or running. In chimps the valgus angle is approximately zero keeping the legs far apart. As a result, when chimps walk erect, they are very unbalanced and wobble considerably.
118. Humans compared to chimps have more “buttress of bone at the base of the femur (which prevents the sideways defection of the leg and thigh muscles when walking).” 
119. Humans have “roughly twice the quadriceps volume compared with hamstrings (Q:H ratio).” Chimpanzees “have a roughly 1:1 Q:H ratio.” 
120. Chimpanzees have opposable big toes for gripping in arboreal life. Human big toes are not opposable but provide a boost in upright walking and running.
121. The feet phalanges of humans are relatively short compared to chimpanzees. 
122. “[C]himpanzees exhibit pronounced curvature in their ... feet phalanges” which are “distinct from humans.” 
123. “[T]he human foot exhibits unique morphological features, such as a longitudinal arch with an enlarged, robust calcaneus, and a well-developed plantar aponeurosis, which allows mechanical energy to be stored in the form of elastic energy and successively released during contact of each foot.”  The calcaneus is the heel bone in humans and primates. The plantar aponeurosis is thick connective tissue that supports the arch. 
124. Gestation periods (the time between conception and birth) for chimpanzees is about 8 months   and that for humans about 9 months. 
125. Newborn chimps weigh about 4 pounds, are almost helpless, and cling to the belly fur on their mothers.  Newborn human babies weigh on average 7+ pounds  and are helpless at birth.
126. “While the genetic difference between individual humans today is miniscule – about 0.1%, on average – study of the same aspects of the chimpanzee genome indicates a difference of about 1.2%.” “Surprisingly, even though all chimpanzees live in relatively close proximity, chimpanzees from different populations were substantially different genetically than humans living on different continents. That is despite the fact that the habitats of two of the groups are separated only by a river.” 
127. “Humans have 46 chromosomes and chimps have 48.” 
128. The human genome has 3,096,649,726 base pairs and the chimp genome has 3,309,577,922 base pairs.  Based on this, chimps have 212,928,196 (i.e. about 6.9%) more base pairs than humans. Each base in a base pair is part of a different nucleotide. “Almost every nucleotide is associated with a function of some sort or another, and we now know where they are, what binds to them, what their associations are, and more.” 
129. “About 35 million DNA base pairs differ between the shared portions of the two genomes. In addition, there are another 5 million sites that differ because of an insertion or deletion in one of the lineages, along with a much smaller number of chromosomal rearrangements.” 
130. The human Y chromosome containing about 60 million nucleotide subunits determines male sexual characteristics and differs radically in sequence and gene content from chimps. 
131. In one study, researchers found “that six to eight percent of the genes examined...displayed differences in alternate splicing patterns in humans and chimps.” 
132. “A draft version of the chimpanzee genome was published in 2005 and encodes 18,759 proteins, (compared to 20,383 in the humane proteome).” 
133. “At the protein level, 29 percent of genes code for the same amino sequences in chimpanzees and humans.” 
134. Humans have “the same DNA sequence” that makes a keratin protein in chimps, but “human cells don’t use it to make the protein.” 
a dsg-photo.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
b artlessstacey/artlessstacey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
c LadyofHats, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
d Thomas Lersch, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
e By Carine06 from UK - Chimp yawn, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92938108
f Museum of Veterinary Anatomy FMVZ USP, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
g By Sklmsta - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9896470
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115 Holmes, B., Achilles tendon is key to evolution of human running, New Scientist, April 1, 2010, Internet
116 Hoffman, M., Picture of the Achilles Tendon, WebMd, June 14, 2021, Internet
117Was Ability To Run Early Man’s Achilles Heel? University of Manchester, Science Daily, September 12, 2007, Internet
118 Aerts, P., et al., The gibbon’s Achilles tendon revisited: Consequences for the evolution of the great apes? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, June 2018
119 Menton, D., Differences Between Humans and Apes, Answers in Genesis, May 29, 2018, Internet
120 Chimpanzee, Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, (New York: P.F. Collier & Son Corporation, 1955), 155
122 Chimpanzee, Collier’s Encyclopedia, Ibid.
123 Hogervorst, Part 1, Ibid.
126 Hogervorst, Part 1
127 Wang, W., et al., Analysis of joint force and torque for the human and no-human ape foot during bipedal walking with implications for the evolution of the foot, Journal of Anatomy, June 13, 2014, Internet
128 Wallace, I., et al., Phalangeal curvature in a chimpanzee raised like a human: Implications for inferring arboreality in fossil hominins, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 11, 2020, Internet
129 Ito, K., et al., Comparative Functional Morphology of Human and Chimpanzee Feet Based on Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, January 13, 2022, Internet
130 Plantar fascia, Wikipedia, Internet
131 Chimpanzee, Collier’s Encyclopedia, Ibid.
132Chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, Breeding, Young People’s Trust For the Environment, Internet
133 Jukic, A., et al., Length of human pregnancy and contributors to its natural variation, Human Reproduction, August 6, 2013, Internet
134 Nishida, T, Chimpanzee, Britannica, Internet
135 David, R., Collins, J., Differing birth weight among infants of U.S.-born blacks, African-born blacks, and U.S.– born whites, New England Journal of Medicine, October 23, 1997
136 What does it mean to be human? Genetics, Genetic Evidence, DNA, Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History, Internet
137 Chimps show much greater genetic diversity than humans, Science, University of Oxford, Internet
140 Yong, E., ENCODE: the rough guide to the human genome, Discover Magazine, September 8, 2012, Internet
141 Comparison of Human and Chimpanzee Genomes Reveals Striking Similarities and Differences, Broad Institute, August 31, 2005, Internet
142 Wells, J, The Myth of Junk DNA (Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2011), 111
143 Rana, F., Yet Another Genetic Difference between Humans and Chimpanzees, Reasons to Believe, February 7, 2008, Internet
144 Chimpanzee, Wikipedia
145 Comparison of Human and Chimpanzee Genomes...