A recent paper in the journal BIO-Complexity, authored by Winston Ewert, uses a dependency graph approach to model the relationships between the species. This idea is inspired by computer science which makes great use of dependency graphs for packaging of software and optimization of software architecture.
Complicated software applications typically use a wealth of lower level software routines. These routines have been developed, tested, and stored in modules for use by higher level applications. When this happens the application inherits the lower-level software and has a dependency on those modules.
What Ewert has developed is a model to explain the pattern of similarities in different organisms that mimics how computer applications inherit software from a diverse range of lower-level modules. More.
It may be easier to picture as a “tree” (as in Darwin’s Tree of Life) but that’s not really what’s going on, he says, which accounts for the problems with the Tree of Life model.
See also: Molecular biologist: Speculation re the last universal common ancestor is not helping science
Dr. Ewert answers some questions
Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Summary
Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three, Dembski, Ewert, and Marks on the true cost of a successful search
Also: Bill Dembski on the Evolutionary Informatics Lab – the one a Baylor dean tried to shut down
Evolutionary informatics has come a long way since a Baylor dean tried to shut down the lab
Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics: Media to get you started