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Tree of Life: Sir, the dog ate my Darwin textbook

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Further to Researchers: Jumping genes make the Tree of Life a bush (For instance, a cuckoo can be more closely related to a hummingbird than a pigeon in a certain part of its genome, while the opposite holds true in another part), from Science News:

Schoolroom kingdoms are taking a backseat to life’s supergroups

Since a radial diagram based on 1990s genetics inspired a rush for tree-of-life tattoos, technical diagrams of life’s ancestral connections have been redrawn. And the simplified version of the tree of life memorized by schoolchildren for decades lags far behind what researchers depict today.

In the new vision — based on increasingly sophisticated genetic analyses — people and other animals are closer cousins to single-celled choanoflagellates than to other multi-cellular organisms. Giant kelp that grow as wavering undersea forests off the California coast are closer relatives to single-celled plankton called diatoms than to multicelled red seaweeds or plants.

Biologists analyzing this treetop rarely use the word kingdom anymore. They talk of five or maybe seven bigger branches called supergroups. More.

See Eukaryote treetop of life

See also: Talk to the Fossils: Let’s see what they say back

Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more


Larry Moran misses the point about Gunther Witzany (Schoolbook Darwinism needs replacing)

*In fairness, I fed it to him, doused in chicken liver gravy.

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Hat tip: Suzan Mazur, author of The Origin of Life Circus

3 Replies to “Tree of Life: Sir, the dog ate my Darwin textbook

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    “The supergroup tree offers the little back-of-the-neck shiver-thrill of realizing that every tomato patch, termite gut or beach bucket of seawater holds life much vaster and stranger than imagined. Says Burki: “It’s like the astronomers discovering there are planets around other stars.”

    Yes, biology is just now discovering “other planets”. They have a while to go before discovering biological “fine tuning”. Science is wonderful.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Jumping genes make the Tree of Life a bush

    As long as it’s not running for president I don’t have a problem with that.

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