News Tree of life

The non-tree of life

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Third slide Here:

Interactive Tree Of Life is an online tool for the display, annotation and management of phylogenetic trees.

Explore your trees directly in the browser, and annotate them with various types of data. More.

This is absolutely not a tree. Not the remotest resemblance to a tree. Just sayin’ is all.

How about a rotunda of life with many alcoves?

See also: Tree of life problematic

The tree of life is mostly a complete mystery (so then how do we know it’s a tree?)

Kirk Durston on the new tree of life

Tree of life morphs into … leaf?

Maybe the Tree of Life is more of an art exhibit than a science pursuit?

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8 Replies to “The non-tree of life

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Part of me thinks these “not a tree” threads are just intended to get a rise out of us evos. If so, well done. 🙂

    Do any other ID advocates here agree that the linked Interactive “Tree” of Life is not a tree?

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Less like a tree and more like a slide rule

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    a few notes:

    Toward a Consensus: An Open Letter to BioLogos on the Genetic Evidence – Cornelius Hunter – May 27, 2016
    Excerpt: One of Venema’s basic points (see here and here) is that the genomes of different species are what we would expect if they evolved.,,,
    What Does the Evidence Say?
    For starters, phylogenetic incongruence is rampant in evolutionary studies. Genetic sequence data do not fall into the expected evolutionary pattern. Conflicts exist at all levels of the evolutionary tree and throughout both morphological and molecular traits.,,,
    As one evolutionist explained, “The tree of life is being politely buried.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02879.html

    “The genomic revolution did more than simply allow credible reconstruction of the gene sets of ancestral life forms. Much more dramatically, it effectively overturned the central metaphor of evolutionary biology (and, arguably, of all biology), the Tree of Life (TOL), by showing that evolutionary trajectories of individual genes are irreconcilably different. Whether the TOL can or should be salvaged—and, if so, in what form—remains a matter of intense debate that is one of the important themes of this book.”
    Koonin, Eugene V. (2011-06-23). The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution (FT Press Science) (Kindle Locations 76-80). Pearson Education (USA). Kindle Edition.
    more studies

    A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome – Didier Raoult – 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.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....izome.html

    Reviewing The Evolution Revolution, the NCSE Offers Uninformed Criticism that Misses the Point – Lee M. Spetner – January 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Some researchers in the life sciences, who are not necessarily knowledgeable about evolution (including Levin), think that the various trees based on different biological systems or on protein- and DNA-sequence data yield the same tree. Life scientists once thought that trees based on anatomy and on the molecular sequences of proteins and DNA would be the same, but they were wrong (Nichols 2001; Degnan and Rosenberg 2006; Degnan and Rosenberg 2009; Heled and Drummond 2010; Rosenberg and Degnan 2010). They thought at least there would be consistency among the trees based on the DNA sequences of different genes, but again they were wrong. They then hoped that if they used the whole genome instead of individual genes, the data might average out and things would be better. In fact, it only made matters worse (Jeffroy et al. 2006; Dávalos et al. 2012). All this is discussed in my book. Levin is mistaken about what he calls the “cornerstone” of the evidence for common descent.
    He criticizes my rejection of common descent. I reject common descent because it is based on only circumstantial evidence. The drawback to circumstantial evidence is that it needs a valid theory to connect the evidence with the conclusion, and evolutionary theory is invalid, as I explain at length in my first chapter. There is thus no valid evidence for common descent — and certainly not what Levin calls its “cornerstone.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02281.html

    More Fossil-Molecule Contradictions: Now Even the Errors Have Errors – Cornelius Hunter – June 2014
    Excerpt: a new massive (phylogenetic) study shows that not only is the problem (for Darwinists) worse than previously thought, but the errors increase with those species that are supposed to have evolved more recently.,,,
    “Our results suggest that, for Aves (Birds), discord between molecular divergence estimates and the fossil record is pervasive across clades and of consistently higher magnitude for younger clades.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....s-now.html

    Richard Dawkins: How Could Anyone “Possibly Doubt the Fact of Evolution” – Cornelius Hunter – February 27, 2014
    Excerpt: there is “no known mechanism or function that would account for this level of conservation at the observed evolutionary distances.”,,,
    the many examples of nearly identical molecular sequences of totally unrelated animals are “astonishing.”,,,
    “data are routinely filtered in order to satisfy stringent criteria so as to eliminate the possibility of incongruence.”,,,
    he has not found “a single example that would support the traditional tree.” It is, another evolutionist admitted, “a very serious incongruence.”
    “the more molecular data is analysed, the more difficult it is to interpret straightforwardly the evolutionary histories of those molecules.”
    And yet in public presentations of their theory, evolutionists present a very different story. As Dawkins explained, gene comparisons “fall in a perfect hierarchy, a perfect family tree.” This statement is so false it isn’t even wrong—it is absurd. And then Dawkins chastises anyone who “could possibly doubt the fact of evolution.” Unfortunately this sentiment is typical. Evolutionists have no credibility.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....nyone.html

    Darwin’s Tree of Life is a Tangled Bramble Bush – May 15, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, One whole subsection in the paper is titled, “All gene trees differ from species phylogeny.” Another is titled, “Standard practices do not reduce incongruence.” A third, “Standard practices can mislead.” One of their major findings was “extensive conflict in certain internodes.”
    The authors not only advised throwing out some standard practices of tree-building, but (amazingly) proposed evolutionists throw out the “uninformative” conflicting data and only use data that seems to support the Darwinian tree: “the subset of genes with strong phylogenetic signal is more informative than the full set of genes, suggesting that phylogenomic analyses using conditional combination approaches, rather than approaches based on total evidence, may be more powerful.”,,,
    ,,,tossing out “uninformative” data sets and only using data that appear to support their foreordained conclusion. Were you told this in biology class? Did your textbook mention this?
    http://crev.info/2013/05/darwi.....mble-bush/

    That Yeast Study is a Good Example of How Evolutionary Theory Works – Cornelius Hunter – June 2013
    Excerpt:,,, The evolutionists tried to fix the problem with all kinds of strategies. They removed parts of genes from the analysis, they removed a few genes that might have been outliers, they removed a few of the yeast species, they restricted the analysis to certain genes that agreed on parts of the evolutionary tree, they restricted the analysis to only those genes thought to be slowly evolving, and they tried restricting the gene comparisons to only certain parts of the gene.
    These various strategies each have their own rationale. That rationale may be dubious, but at least there is some underlying reasoning. Yet none of these strategies worked. In fact they sometimes exacerbated the incongruence problem. What the evolutionists finally had to do, simply put, was to select the subset of the genes or of the problem that gave the right evolutionary answer. They described those genes as having “strong phylogenetic signal.”
    And how do we know that these genes have strong phylogenetic signal. Because they give the right (preferred) answer.
    This is an example of a classic tendency in science known as confirmation bias.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....f-how.html

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to the the biased way in which Darwinists handle the genetic evidence in order to try to find patterns that match up with their preconceived biases, is the biased way in which Darwinists handle the fossil evidence in order to find patterns that match their preconceived biases (i.e. confirmation bias):

    Why Fossils Cannot Demonstrate Darwinian Evolution – William A. Dembski and Jonathan Wells – July 6, 2016
    Excerpt: (1) Using the fossil evidence selectively. As in the case of therapsids, fossils more mammal-like can occur earlier in the fossil record than fossils that are less mammal-like. Yet to trace an evolutionary lineage on the basis of the fossil record requires that therapsids structurally more similar to mammals enter the history of life later than those that are structurally less similar. Evolution, after all, needs to follow time’s arrow and cannot have offspring giving birth to parents.
    A similar problem arises with geographical mismatches, in which fossil organisms that are supposedly next to each other in a structural progression are widely separated geographically. If the geographical separation is too great, how can one organism be ancestral to the other? Reproduction, after all, requires proximity — parents do not give birth to offspring at the other side of the globe.
    The problem of temporal and geographical mismatches is widespread. The Darwinist’s way around this problem is to assume that organisms that appear to enter the fossil record too late or too far away actually entered earlier or closer together. But such assumptions are entirely ad hoc and ignore the actual fossil evidence.
    This illustrates a larger problem — what scientists call “cherry-picking.” Given a sufficiently large data set, it’s possible to find salient patterns simply by trying out enough different ways of combining items of data. Many structural progressions found in the fossil record are nothing more than “cherries” — in other words, they are statistical artifacts that result from trying out enough different ways of combining fossil data. The sheer quantity of fossil data is immense. Simply by combining and recombining these data in enough different ways and by attending to sufficiently many distinct features of structural similarity, it is possible to generate reasonably long fossil progressions arranged by structural similarity.,,,
    “If similar structures can evolve and re-evolve repeatedly, then fossils cannot distinguish convergence from common ancestry, and tracing evolutionary lineages in the fossil record becomes impossible.” ,,,
    According to Gee, we call new fossil discoveries missing links “as if the chain of ancestry and descent were a real object for our contemplation, and not what it really is: a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices.” He concluded: “To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story — amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”5
    In short, fossils cannot demonstrate Darwinian evolution.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02974.html

    The overall fossil record, despite such questionable attempts by Darwinists to fit pieces of it into their narrative, simply does not fit the Darwinian storyline:

    “The record of the first appearance of living phyla, classes, and orders can best be described in Wright’s (1) term as ‘from the top down’.”
    (James W. Valentine, “Late Precambrian bilaterians: Grades and clades,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 91: 6751-6757 (July 1994).)

    Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that,
    “The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”
    Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67021.html

    “In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution.”
    – Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    “The facts of greatest general importance are the following. When a new phylum, class, or order appears, there follows a quick, explosive (in terms of geological time) diversification so that practically all orders or families known appear suddenly and without any apparent transitions. Afterwards, a slow evolution follows; this frequently has the appearance of a gradual change, step by step, though down to the generic level abrupt major steps without transitions occur. At the end of such a series, a kind of evolutionary running-wild frequently is observed. Giant forms appear, and odd or pathological types of different kinds precede the extinction of such a line.”
    Richard B. Goldschmidt, “Evolution, as Viewed by One Geneticist,” American Scientist 40 (January 1952), 97.

  5. 5

    Darwin’s tree of life drawing from 1859 is completely debunked. It, like his general theory, is an absurdity based on speculation and faith.

  6. 6
    Kajdron says:

    But what would you expect a tree to look like?

    The real problem with this tree is that of all reconstruction. They don’t show what really is ‘known’ and what is guessed and by what evidence. Even more, this is a case where many contrary evidence is hidden.

    PS: What would we know about elephant trunks if elephants were only known by fossil bones?

  7. 7
    rvb8 says:

    The best ‘tree’ I’ve seen on the net is at http://www.onezoom.org.
    You won’t like it, it’s easy to use, shows branches clearly, and pretty much explains life’s various relationships.
    I spend hours there.

  8. 8
    Kajdron says:

    @rvb8:
    That tree may be visually more appealing, but has in essence the same problems, as I mentioned above. It only gives the impression of clear knowledge and hides much uncertainty and many contradicting evidence.

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