It is widely known that humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor, but when the first analytical comparison of human and chimpanzee genomes was released in 2005, it became official: humans are 98.77 percent chimpanzee. Fry’s Humans vs. Chimps image accompanied an article about these findings in Seed magazine in 2005. In his visualization, Fry shows how the gene FOXP2 differs in humans and chimps, a part of that 1.23 percent difference, linked to language. All of the nearly seventy- five thousand letters of the gene are depicted; nine letters—shown with red dots—indicate the only significant differences.
Gallery label from Design and the Elastic Mind, February 24–May 12, 2008.