I have consistently argued that intelligent design neither rules out the common descent of life on Earth (Darwin’s single Tree of Life) nor restricts the implementation of design to common descent, as if that were the only possible geometry for the large-scale relationships of organisms. Thus, with regard to this forum, the truth or falsity of common descent is an open question worthy of informed discussion.
To open up Uncommon Descent in this way reflects not just the ID community’s diversity of views on this topic but also the growing doubts about common descent outside that community. For instance, W. Ford Doolittle rejects a single “Tree of” and argues instead for an intricate network of gene sharing events. Likewise, Carl Woese, a leader in molecular phylogenetics, argues that the data support multiple, independent origins of organisms.
In short, it is not just ID advocates who are suggesting that there is no universal common ancestor.