A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 2): Conflicts in the Molecular Evidence

Note: This is Part 2 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 1 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. The Molecular Evidence When speaking to the public, evolutionists are infamous for overstating the evidence for universal common ancestry. For example, 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 Read More ›

A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 1): The Main Assumption

Note: This is Part 1 in a 5-part series titled “A Primer on the Tree of Life.” Read Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here. The full article can be found, here. Evolutionists often claim that universal common ancestry and the “tree of life” are established facts. One recent opinion article in argued, “The evidence that all life, plants and animals, humans and fruit flies, evolved from a common ancestor by mutation and natural selection is beyond theory. It is a fact. Anyone who takes the time to read the evidence with an open mind will join scientists and the well-educated.”1 The take-home message is that if you doubt Darwin’s tree of life, you’re Read More ›

Salvo Magazine: Are Neo-Darwinists “Barking up the Wrong Tree”?

In the recent Intelligent Design issue of Salvo Magazine, Logan Gage and I co-authored a piece titled, “Barking up the Wrong Tree,” which assesses popular arguments for universal common ancestry. From the outset, it should be stated that neither Logan Gage nor I feel that universal common ancestry is necessarily incompatible with theism. In a twist of poor logic, however, that fact is apparently sufficient for some theists to think that they should therefore accept common ancestry. Logan Gage and I observe that “when discussing science and faith, it is vital to ask the right questions. Queries beginning with the words ‘Could God have…?’ tend to be unenlightening. The much more revealing question is ‘What does the evidence say?’” Thus Read More ›

More Troubles in the Tree of Animal Life

In late 2005, three biologists published a study in Science which concluded, “Despite the amount of data and breadth of taxa analyzed, relationships among most [animal] phyla remained unresolved.” In 2008, the relationships among animals are still controversial. A recent news release at Science Daily highlights a new study, “Tree Of Animal Life Has Branches Rearranged.” The story reports, “The study is the most comprehensive animal phylogenomic research project to date, involving 40 million base pairs of new DNA data taken from 29 animal species.” According to the article, the study yielded surprising results: “Comb jellyfish — common and extremely fragile jellies with well-developed tissues — appear to have diverged from other animals even before the lowly sponge, which has Read More ›

Peter Atkins Dramatically Overstates the Evidence for Evolutionary Phylogenies

I recently picked up Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science by Oxford chemist Peter Atkins. It’s a 2003 book, and on the plus side, it offers enjoyable and concise explanations of many important scientific theories, including some lucid diagrams explaining Einstein’s ideas about relativity. In his chapter on evolution, Atkins boldly states, “The effective prediction is that the details of molecular evolution must be consistent with those of macroscopic evolution.” (pg. 16) I’m willing to accept that “prediction.” However, Atkins unfortunately goes on to dramatically overstate the evidence for molecular evolution by asserting, “That is found to be the case: there is not a single instance of the molecular traces of change being inconsistent with our observations of Read More ›