No evidence for evolution’s “Tree of Life”

A Primer on the Tree of Life (Center for Science and Culture)

some excerpts:

…when speaking before the Texas State Board of Education in January, 2009, University of Texas evolutionist biologist David Hillis cited himself as one of the “world’s leading experts on the tree of life” and later told the Board that there is “overwhelming agreement correspondence as you go from protein to protein, DNA sequence to DNA sequence” when reconstructing evolutionary history using biological molecules.

But this is not accurate. Indeed, in the technical scientific literature, one finds a vast swath of scientific papers that have found contradictions, inconsistencies, and flat out failures of the molecular data to provide a clear picture of phylogenetic history and common descent.

“The problem was that different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories.”

“For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” says Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. A few years ago it looked as though the grail was within reach. But today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded. “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality,” says Bapteste. That bombshell has even persuaded some that our fundamental view of biology needs to change.

As the New Scientist article stated:

The problems began in the early 1990s when it became possible to sequence actual bacterial and archaeal genes rather than just RNA. Everybody expected these DNA sequences to confirm the RNA tree, and sometimes they did but, crucially, sometimes they did not. RNA, for example, might suggest that species A was more closely related to species B than species C, but a tree made from DNA would suggest the reverse

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Now for something that’s both sad and actually funny:Dawkins doesn’t know about differing genetic codes — falsely believes in LUCA (“Last Universal Common Ancester”, as does Paul Davies):  Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life — and Another Dawkins Whopper

There are at 18 different genetic codes identified at this time:  The Genetic Codes – National Center for Biotechnology Information

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