It’s just not like that, says a Queen Mary U prof. He points to this vid:
The lay-person reading this, or watching the video above, is given the clear impression that every gene or pseudogene in every living organism gives essentially the same phylogenetic tree, when analysed with its homologs from other species. This is simply not true.
If this were true, then phylogeny building in the genomic era would be a walk in the park. But, as many of my readers will know from personal experience, it is not.
If this were true, terms like horizontal gene transfer, incomplete lineage sorting, introgression, and molecular convergence would be rare curiosities in the genomic literature. But they are common (click on the links in the previous sentence to see searched for these terms on Google Scholar).
If this were true, commonly-used phylogenetic software like ASTRAL, ASTRID and BUCKy, designed to deal with gene tree incongruence, would be seldom used. But they are used often.
I hardly need to labour my point to the present audience. Dawkins’ statements are simply wrong. Gloriously and utterly wrong.Richard Buggs, “Obsolete Dawkinsian evidence for evolution” at Nature: Ecology & Evolution
You know, Dawkins may be losing his shine. New Scientist was making similar types of noise last October. It’s now okay to say when there’s something wrong with this stuff.
See, for example: The Selfish Gene is no longer cool. At New Scientist: “Some researchers think the solution lies in an idea called cultural group selection. Forget shared genes, they argue: selection can favour cooperative groups if the people within them share enough culture.” Darwin has left the building and returned to his estate.
This is New Scientist we’re talking about. And that’s Dawkins’s Selfish Gene.
So maybe science really is self-correcting. We’ve had lots of reasons to wonder if that’s just a myth. You know, nonsense drop-kicked from one journal article to the next doesn’t inspire confidence.
If they can set the record straight about the Tree of Life stuff, maybe a lot of other things would start getting straightened out.
3 Replies to “Dawkins’s claim: “every gene delivers approximately the same tree of life” contested at Nature Portfolio Ecology & Evolution”
A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome – May 2010
Excerpt: “Thus we cannot currently identify a single common ancestor for the gene repertoire of any organism.,,,
Overall, it is now thought that there are no two genes that have a similar history along the phylogenic tree.,,,Therefore the representation of the evolutionary pathway as a tree leading to a single common ancestor on the basis of the analysis of one or more genes provides an incorrect representation of the stability and hierarchy of evolution. Finally, genome analyses have revealed that a very high proportion of genes are likely to be newly created,,, and that some genes are only found in one organism (named ORFans). These genes do not belong to any phylogenic tree and represent new genetic creations.”
– Didier Raoult – has been referred to as the ‘Most Productive and Influential Microbiologist in France’
Richard Buggs also did this very interesting bit of research where he found that the genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees is not nearly as great as Darwinists had claimed,
Richard Buggs’s research, ‘surprisingly’, almost perfectly matches other research that was conducted by Jeffrey Tomkins
University of Oregon (2020):
“Researchers find flaws in how scientists build trees of life”
“In a new paper placed online April 15 ahead of print in the April 23 issue of the journal Nature, they argue that long-used approaches for reconstructing evolutionary paths are deeply flawed.”
““Our finding casts serious doubts over literally thousands of studies that use phylogenetic trees of extant data to reconstruct the diversification history of taxa, especially for those taxa where fossils are rare, or that found correlations between environmental factors such as changing global temperatures and species extinction rates,” Louca said”
“”I have been working with these traditional types of models for a decade now,” Pennell said. “I am one of the lead developers of a popular software package for estimating diversification rates from phylogenetic trees. And, as such, I thought I had a really good sense of how these models worked. I was wrong.””