The Current Status of Ewert's Dependency Graph of Life

//… if atheists want us to believe that atheism is true, then they must make a claim about the world and show that what they lack a belief in—God—does not exist.//

//Likewise, even if the theist isn’t able to make his case that God exists that doesn’t show God does not exist and therefore that atheism is true. As atheists Austin Dacey and Lewis Vaughn write:

“What if these arguments purporting to establish that God exists are failures? That is, what if they offer no justification for theistic belief? Must we then conclude that God does not exist? No. Lack of supporting reasons or evidence for a proposition does not show that the proposition is false.”

If he wants to demonstrate that atheism is true, an atheist would have to provide additional evidence that there is no God just as a defense attorney would have to provide further evidence to show his client is innocent as opposed to being just “not guilty.” He can’t simply say the arguments for the existence of God are failures and then rest his case.//

Is Atheism a Belief or a Lack of Belief? : Strange Notions

Any suggestions as to how I ‘actually find’? :slightly_smiling_face:

I certainly have no trouble agreeing with that, although ‘many’ is a relative term. And I would suggest that all of the many would be YECs.

Heyyyy I used to be a moderator for Real Atheology. Great group of guys and a great podcast!

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OK, this is just spamming. Please stop it.



Three sequential posts is spamming. Just take them one at a time. Sloowly. :slightly_smiling_face: But do take them.

The problem is that they are off topic. Please start new threads for new topics.


Conversations evolve. :slightly_smiling_face: They were relevant in reply to @T_aquaticus:

Dale, who has ever claimed that Science has all the answers? (Indeed, who has ever claimed that theology has all the answers? Who has claimed that any academic field “has all the answers”?)

I don’t understand the purpose of your “prediction”. Obviously you are being facetious—but I don’t understand why. What is your point? And how does that point relate to Ewert’s Dependency Graph of Life?


Start learning to stay on topics. Learn how to “reply as a linked topic”. In the reply panel, the upper left corner has an arrow you can click, which allows you to fork a topic. Start doing that so the moderators do not have to. Failure to do this clutters topics and makes your posts seem like spam.


But remain subject to moderator selection! :wink:


Before I respond to my latest topic, I wanted to alert everyone to a comment that @John_Harshman made in another topic and ask everyone whether they agree with him on Winston’s Dependency graph model:

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. In science, you don’t start with a conclusion and find justification for it. As for Ewert’s idea, I have mentioned several flaws, each of them individually fatal.”

So do you agree with him that there is no way to salvage the model in the future?

Apparently Ewert himself agrees, as he has offered nothing since.


Yes I think the numerous reasons discussed around here show there’s no reason to hope for any future salvation for the dependency graph.

There is simply no way for the model to simultaneously deal with the nested hierarchy in both DNA sequences, comparative anatomy, physiology, molecular functions, and behavior, much less the inclusion of and correlation with the fossil and geological records, including the existence, ages and phylogenetic positons of transitional species.
You can’t account for any of that by postulating a dependency relationship between clusters of genes.

Think about it for just a moment. These genes depend on each other to function - therefore there should be a 375 million year old semi-aquatic near-basal elpistostegalian tetrapodomorph? No.

That endeavor is hopeless.


IMO the model although immature due to the state of detailed annotation provides valuable inside to the idea that intelligent creation is behind life.

One of the key parts of the paper is showing that a software program using modules follows a tree pattern showing that a tree pattern is not unique to common descent.

Ewert’s model is testable and falsifiable. There is nothing wrong with the model itself, it just happens to be incorrect.

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But it doesn’t show that. You are confused. That’s not how Ewert used computer programs (not “a computer program”), and he didn’t actually show his work either. The computer programs fit a tree better than they fit his null model (a star tree), but they fit a dependency model better than a tree. This makes sense, as the dependency model is the true structure. But his dependency model for biological data isn’t a true dependency model, as his “modules” are entirely ad hoc and have no objective validity.


The objective validity is that the gene sets observed build unique animals.

I’ve complained to you about word salad many times. Yet you never learn.


That’s not objective validity of that idea. Nobody disputes that there will be dependencies between the genes encoded in the genome of an organism, in order for said genes’ expression to result in a functional life-form. What is disputed is

  1. That a non-genealogical process of independent creation, that is a process without any sort of splitting lines of descent with modification accumulating along those lines of descent, should produce consistent and strong hierarchical structure in the data.
  2. That this mere fact of co-dependence for some genes should necessarily result in an objective nested hierarchy corroborated by many independent and wildly different sorts of data(including but not limited to DNA sequences, organismal behavior, and fossil/living organismal morphology, and so on) .
  3. That the “modules” postulated by Ewert really are real and dependent on each other.

This remains a often repeated unsupported assertion which Winston challenged this in his paper. The software program does create a tree like structure.