But Isn’t There a Consilience of Data That Corroborates Common Descent?

In my previous post, we saw that Eugenie Koonin argued that a formal test of universal common ancestry (UCA) “is unlikely to be feasible” but yet he claimed that the evidence in support of UCA “by comparative genomics is overwhelming.” Such thinking is common among evolutionists, who seek to to demonstrate UCA by finding a consilience of multiple lines of evidence in favor of it. In his Nature paper, Douglas Theobald similarly seeks to support UCA through a consilience of multiple lines of evidence: UCA is now supported by a wealth of evidence from many independent sources, including: (1) the agreement between phylogeny and biogeography; (2) the correspondence between phylogeny and the palaeontological record; (3) the existence of numerous predicted Read More ›

Douglas Theobald’s Test Of Common Ancestry Ignores Common Design

In my prior post, I explained why Doug Theobald used the wrong null hypothesis for testing common ancestry. The odds of two lengthy genes arriving at a highly similar DNA sequence by chance, or even evolutionary convergence, is extremely small. Unless there’s an underlying political motive, it shouldn’t take a paper in Nature to show that obvious point. Common descent is a much better explanation for these genetic similarities…. Unless, that is, you admit the possibility of common design. If you ignore common design, then the explanation for similarities between gene sequences must be common descent. Doug Theobald’s recent paper in Nature gets to his conclusion only by ignoring the possibility of common design and then equating common design (wrongly Read More ›

Douglas Theobald Tests Universal Common Ancestry by Refuting a Preposterous Null Hypothesis

In March 2010, Douglas Theobald published a paper in Nature purporting to demonstrate “A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry.” According to his cheering squad at National Geographic, the paper “supports the widely held ‘universal common ancestor’ theory first proposed by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.” National Geographic is mistaken on one obvious point: Darwin wasn’t the first to propose universal common ancestry. But never mind that. The paper makes no official claim to be a response to scientific skeptics of universal common ancestry, but given Theobald’s notoriety as the author of the widely criticized “Talk Origins Common Ancestry FAQ,” his motivation is clear. If there were no doubts about universal common ancestry (“UCA”), his Read More ›