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Critics Need to Grapple with Ewert’s Challenge to Darwin’s Tree

David Klinghoffer

Darwin’s Tree

Winston Ewert’s recent open-access paper in the journal BIO-Complexity is at the cutting edge of research potentially undermining of the traditional Darwinian evolutionary model. For a new ID the Future episode, Ewert sat down with Robert Marks of Discovery Institute’s Bradley Center to discuss Ewert’s testing of the hypothesis that, rather than Darwin’s Tree, genetic data better fits a dependency graph. The latter describes the relationship of computer programming modules and how software engineers reuse them.

Download the episode or listen to it here. Critics of intelligent design must take note. It seems to me this is just how the evolution debate should be conducted, with clarity and congeniality.

This is not a simple subject and Dr. Marks and Dr. Ewert do a great job of breaking it down for the lay listener. You can find the first part of their conversation here. This is episode is the second part.

Winston Ewert is admirably modest in presenting the conclusion of his study, and he answers some common challenges to it. What’s at stake here is significant: Darwinists until now have insisted that we accept the tree model because despite problems, only it can come close to describing what we see in life. True? If the evidence is more suggestive of a creative enterprise like software engineering, that would have major implications in favor of reading biology as reflecting common design.

Photo: Tree of Life, at Walt Disney World Resort, by KirkMoorePhoto [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons.