Friday, 21 August 2015

Darwin’s Tree of Life Has Become a Bush, Bird Research Shows

Darwin’s Tree of Life has fallen, never to rise again.

Joel Kontinen

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have examined how birds supposedly diversified during the past “65 million years.” While relying on Darwinian thinking, they found no evidence for Darwin’s Tree of Life, once touted as an icon of evolution.

Their genomic study actually found evidence against evolution (though the researchers were reluctant to admit the full import of what they found:

By using the jumping genes, or so-called retrotransposed elements, the Uppsala researchers have found that, for instance, a cuckoo can be more closely related to a hummingbird than a pigeon in a certain part of its genome, while the opposite holds true in another part. The study found numerous examples to corroborate the existence of the phenomenon.

This is not the first time Darwin’s Tree of Life has been shown to be more myth than fact. For instance, in 2009, New Scientist published a cover story that basically stated that there’s no such thing. In 2014 research on microRNAs likewise suggested that the tree has fallen.

The Tree of Life should often be understood as a Bush of Life,” the Uppsala researchers interpret their findings. Take away the adverb often, and this begins to sound like the after its kind model we’re introduced to in the Book of Genesis.


Koffmar, Linda. 2015. Livets träd – mer som en buske. Uppsala universitet (19 August).