If lateral gene transfer is rampant throughout life, the universal tree of life becomes a matter of philosophical preference, not empirical demonstration.
The ENCODE project, now in its 17th year, ended its third phase with a new record of annotated elements in human and mouse genomes. Phase 4 is coming.
Take a look at a plant that takes nothing but gives everything. Why should it deliver so much good to so many?
“Should materialism be enforced, or are we, as scientists, willing to allow an intelligent designer through the door?”
To maintain at this point that “All Is Well” with evolution you have to be in a state of serious denial.