The Current Status of Ewert's Dependency Graph of Life

Well of course there’s a significant relationship. He doesn’t understand and he can’t explain it in words. But people think they’re making sense when they don’t all the time. They think they understand when they don’t all the time. It’s like you’ve never been on the internet before. Dunning-Kruger syndrome.

Bill doesn’t know some of the words, but more importantly he doesn’t understand the concepts, though again he thinks he does.

This seems to be a particularly extreme example considering the length of time Bill has persisted in his delusion that he’s making sense, particularly considering how often and how many different people tell him that he doesn’t. But true there are many examples of people thinking they make sense even when they don’t, though often times they just state opinions, rather than spend so much of their time trying to be an advocate for a particular viewpoint.

Bill isn’t just here stating or reiterating his beliefs(though it does often amount to nothing but that). He does appear to be trying to argue against evolution and advocate for ID-creationism, so you’d think he would have more interest in taking some the most basic and fundamental steps necessary for persuasion: Making sense so you can be understood.

1 Like

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

1 Like

I cannot worry that everything I write will immediately make sense to you or John. Everyone interprets data through their own filters. Both you guys are heavy indoctrinated in the overall reasoning of evolutionary theory.

So does common design as Winston demonstrated.

How would you test the validity of the major transitions supporting the nested hierarchy claim?

Some people’s filters are more blinding and opaque than others. Yours seem to be more dark and constricting than a supermassive black hole.


“Heavily indoctrinated in the overall reasoning of evolutionary theory” is scare words for having an education, and both reason and science on our side.

How is “so does common design as Winston demonstrated” intended to constitute an answer to the question I posed? I’ll try again, how else would you GET a nested hierarchy in the pattern of gene presence and absence but by the loss and gain of genes on different lines of descent?

Different lineages have to be different in order to get a tree (they can’t all be identical), there has to be something that merits a bifurcation of a branch. That is, a branch should split into at least two. But in order for that to happen, one organism has to have something that is different from another organism in order to be recognized as different.
So when it comes to what genes different organisms have, those on one lineage must possess one or more genes those on another linage doesn’t possess. That means genes must either be gained or lost, there is no way around this. If two species are to share common descent, yet not be 100% identical with respect to the genes they have, one or both must gain or lose genes, and different ones. That’s the only way to get a nested hierarchy with gene presence or absence.

The way you phrased that question it doesn’t seem to make any sense. Are you trying to ask how we know certain major evolutionary transitions occurred? Are you asking how we know different clades are related through common ancestors? Something else entirely?

Try harder to ask a sensible question.


Word salad Rum :slight_smile:

I am asking you to directly test the validity of the claim.

Not with a tree pattern but with how reproduction and natural variation explains what we are observing.

There is common descent in the pattern but how do we know if we are dealing with a LUCA LVCA (vertebrate) LMCA (mammal) or LPCA (primate) as the right starting point for science?

This is a foolish question.

LUCA, LVCA, LMCA and LPCA are all abstractions. They cannot be the starting point. I’m wondering why you omitted LHCA (the H is for “human”) on a site that frequently mentions GAE.

1 Like

Nested hierarchy is not a claim, it is the observation. Why can’t you make this distinction?


I assure you that it isn’t. I understood it, and asked you the same question. This is a new low for you.

Still confusing common descent with the source of variation, I see. Very sad.


Can you please elaborate on this because I don’t see how a model can both be incorrect and NOT have anything wrong with it?

Most papers that are written assume LUCA or some other point of origin such as the ones mentioned.

Only under the LUCA assumption.

You are assuming that the tree pattern is only caused by common descent and you and Rum are ignoring the evidence Winston provided.

We are talking about points of origin not simply common descent.

Yeah but Winston’s model does not need to explain all the data because we have studies already that explain it from a common design perspective:

[Expression of multiple horizontally acquired genes is a hallmark of both vertebrate and invertebrate genomes | Genome Biology | Full Text (

Biased gene transfer mimics patterns created through shared ancestry | PNAS

It just needs to explain nested hierarchy between closely related species from a more recent time in the past.

So would you still agree with @John_Harshman that it is a foregone conclusion and Winston’s model cannot potentially be salvaged at all even if the model is only needed to explain a particular set of data?

Do they assume it? Or do they infer it from the evidence?

We know that you would prefer a shrub or forest, rather than a tree. But arguing about LUCA, LVCA, LMCA, LPCA and LHCA doesn’t get you there.


@swamidass you really should be chiming in here since you are not only an expert in this area but you are a theist.

Do you agree with @John_Harshman? Is Winston beating a dead horse and just wasting his time?

No we don’t. Nothing in those links explain why there is a consistent nested hierarchy in 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.

The dependency graph still cannot explain these things. And yes you do need to explain these things.

1 Like

When it comes to accounting for the nested hierarchy in all the independent lines of evidence I alluded to, he’s wasting yours too.

Even if you could hypothetically come up with some sort of alternative explanation for hierarchical structure in genetic data (such as the postulated dependency relationship), you can’t explain the age and morphology of a fossil by positing a hypothetical gene-dependency relationship, obviously. The fact that so many different types of data corroborates the nested hierarchy of life is not explained by any of your links.


I agree it is inferred from the nested hierarchy based on methodological naturalism.

I think the math supports multiple points of origin and will eventually win out with the evidence that is coming due to high speed sequencing.

That’s not what the studies suggest:

“Although observed rates of acquisition of horizontally transferred genes in eukaryotes are generally lower than in prokaryotes, it appears that, far from being a rare occurrence, HGT has contributed to the evolution of many, perhaps all, animals and that the process is ongoing in most lineages . Between tens and hundreds of foreign genes are expressed in all the animals we surveyed, including humans. The majority of these genes are concerned with metabolism, suggesting that HGT contributes to biochemical diversification during animal evolution.”

From the second study:

“We have shown three lines of evidence for preferential gene transfer having the potential to create phylogenetic patterns comparable with those generated by shared ancestry. These transfers are characterized by the preference of taxa to exchange genes with partners more similar to themselves rather than rare HGTs that may occur randomly and indiscriminately.”

The math supports the idea that a tree has many subtrees. I suppose you could say that the node at the base of a subtree is the point of origin of that subtree. But it doesn’t actually get you anywhere.

1 Like