Howe's Diagram (not really): Round Two

@colewd in a previous thread has refused to comment on whether the organisms sampled and shown in the Venn diagrams below are independently created or not.


That’s a strange decision since the Venn diagrams were made in exactly the same way as the Howe diagram which he claims is better explained by independent creation even though it shows a freaking nested hierarchy.

The organisms in the above diagrams are all E.coli, but different strains. Note how common descent of these strains creates a nested hierarchy pattern matching that seen in Howe’s chart. We also see the same gene loss and gene gain events John showed in Howe’s diagram. For example, in Venn diagram “b”, we observe that E.coli strains “7.3” and “Nissie 1917” retained 13 ancestral genes, but those genes were lost in strains “K-12 substr. MG1655” and “ATCC BAA-460”. Conversely, “7.3” and “Nissie 1917” individually gained 123 and 723 genes, respectively.

Another similar paper (looking at Klebsiella pneumoniae strains) with the same diagram, showing common descent and gene loss and gain following that descent:

That’s all guys. Common descent wins.


How are you explaining the gene gain/loss in these patterns? Assuming that all these species do indeed share a common ancestor? What Venn diagram would you have expected from the Lenski experiment given this data?

I would expect no Venn diagram, because the Lenski experiment began with a single clone and didn’t go on long enough to expect very many genes to be lost or gained. There would doubtless be a few, and they would fit the tree of descent within the clone, but they wouldn’t populate most of the diagram.

Are you claiming that strains of E. coli do not share a common ancestor? Are you going so far as to claim that even single species are not related within themselves?

He doesn’t have to. It’s the pattern that counts, and the pattern is explained by common descent.


Yet in the other discussion you agreed that the pattern was explained by common descent along with gene gain and gene loss.

The combination of a particular tree of common descent within vertebrates and gene gain/loss explains the pattern in the data.

Yes, but the point is that it isn’t necessary, in order to explain the pattern, also to explain the gains and losses. Once again I urge you to think before you type. Or if this is you thinking, I urge you to think better.


This is a claim that one piece of evidence is sufficient to confirm a hypothesis. It turns out we can explain divergent gene patterns in prokaryotic cells because of HGT. This is common descent plus HGT.

There is no equivalent explanation in vertebrates. Why did you let Michael push this deception of not providing a citation and demanding an answer?

That’s totally irrelevant Bill. All I have demonstrated is that common descent reproduces the Howe pattern, completely refuting the arguments you have been throwing about in the name of Sal’s flower. Gene loss and gene gain were also clearly evident.

Those aren’t different species. They are different strains of the same species, which is E.coli.

I am also not “assuming” common ancestry here. Do you even know what a strain is?

The same diagram, but with few gains and losses due to the nature of the ancestor and the length of the experiment. Something like this:

zjom_a_1905958_f0001_oc (1)


It is not. You mistake the quantity of evidence even in that one diagram, much less all the other evidence people have mentioned to you and you have ignored.

Not nested hierarchical patterns. You are confused.

It wasn’t deception. You should be able to answer, as you claim to be able to tell that the Howe diagram is the result of separate creation without reference to anything other than the diagram, you should also be able to tell whether these other diagrams are also, without advance knowledge of the identities of the taxa being compared. Your inability to work with the new diagrams suggests that your claims about the previous one are not warranted. And that was the point, amply shown.


Can I pull quotes in the future without a citation when we are having a discussion?

Are you going to claim that the diagrams were prokaryotic vs multicellular eukaryotic was not relevant to the discussion?

You have, you will. But that’s not at all the same. This was a test, a blind experiment. The result of the experiment is clear.

Yes. It wasn’t relevant. When comparing gene presence and absence, it doesn’t matter whether the organisms involved are prokaryotic or eukaryotic, unicellular or multicellular. If the diagrams show nested hierarchy, the explanation is common descent. You can make all the vague, whiny noises you like, but it doesn’t change the facts.


You want multicellular eukaryotes? Cool. Look at the Venn diagram below and tell me whether the compared organisms were independently created or not?


What was clear is evolutionary biologists are continuing to push prokaryotic micro evolution is the same as multicellular macro evolution.

Even if the reproductive processes are different? Even if the cellular structures are different. You are claiming equivalence based on a pattern?

The burden is on evolutionary biology to show this pattern is consistent with the LUCA and LVCA hypothesis. If this is not addressed credibility is lost. A pattern as the only evidence is not going to hold up IMO. You need to explain the how the changes occurred or change the starting points.

No one at this point is arguing the common ancestry of bacteria. They are biologically apples and oranges with multicellular eukaryotes.

That’s what someone in my recollection has referred to as the “labeling fallacy”. The diagrams don’t care if they come from prokaryotes or eukaryotes, from microevolution or macroevolution (however you think those terms may be defined). Their similarities are clearly the result of similar processes, and similar conclusions may be drawn from them.

They are not, in any way that matters here.

They are not, in any way that matters here.

You are so far out of your depth that you are reduced to random sputtering. Thanks to @Michael_Okoko for a most elegant demonstration of your position’s vacuity.


Please explain.

You support asking for yes or no answers based on an incomplete reference? This reminds me of Washington politics. John, you need to support your claims more than an assertion based on a pattern.

The same evolutionary processes happen in both of them. The differences don’t affect that. What more needs to be explained?

I have, and I do. This is more random sputtering.


This is woefully incorrect, but since you want multicellular eukaryotes no problem. The Venn diagram below shows two multicellular organisms: (2)

Remember this was made exactly the same way as Howe’s diagram, so it should be too easy to say whether they were made separately or not. Which is it?


Guys forget it. Just forget it. This is Bill Cole. There’s a 5000 post thread on theskepticalzone where 3-4 people try to explain things to him. Elementary things like the more distantly related the more divergent, common descent predicts consilience of independent phylogenies(including an outright demonstration of this), the patterns of gene gain and loss corroborate the same tree, etc. 5000 posts to no avail.


That one, at least, is not true.

To a first approximation it’s close enough. And you can generally show this just by looking at close family relationships, like parents and their children, vs grand-cousins and the like. Descent with modification accumulating along branching lines of descent. Yes rates of evolution can vary due to both changes in mutation rates and the effect of selection, so that some independent lineages retain more similarity over longer timescales, while others can diverge much more radically in the same amount of time. The point is, even these plain and simple things we can see in our own family trees everyone can understand Bill would become mysteriously incapable of wrapping his head around.