Todd Wood on Evolution and Phylogenies

I think it was @AllenWitmerMiller who asked me to share this series, once Todd Wood shared data he thought didn’t fit with the current evolutionary model.

He takes a while to set it up. I’d suggest skipping to 8:30 and just watching the last 3-4 minutes.

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Little bit of a bait and switch there. He starts out with the relationships of animals and jumps to the non-treelike early evolution of prokaryotes. One may note that when we reach eukaryotes in that slide, everything is treelike again. This supposed lack of fit to a tree is only as common within eukaryotes as would be expected from known mechanisms, and those mechanisms leave evidence of their operation that we do in fact find when we look. Further, separate creation explains none of the data; if branching descent is ever abandoned in favor of some better model, creation will not be that model.


It also has to be said that his analogy to replacement of the Ptolemaic model of the solar system by the heliocentric model is rather misleading, because the mechanisms of horizontal transfer of genes creating the web-like pattern in prokaryote evolution has lots of empirical support (hgt between prokaryotes has of course been observed many, many times), and so has endosymbiosis and symbiont-to-host transfer of genes. Yet Todd Wood makes it seem like it’s just some sort of ad-hoc explanation being concocted out of thin air like the epicycles in the Ptolemaic model.


Thanks for pointing that out. I would not have noticed, and he should have been more clear on what that picture represented.

Creationism obviously views eukaryotes and prokaryotes as not have a common ancestor and also has branching descent. I’ve suggested perhaps a larger tree gives evidence of the order of creation from an artistic perspective. I don’t know enough yet to know if that’s plausible. So why wouldn’t creation fit the data?

Then you shouldn’t be making pronouncements.

Two simple words: nested hierarchy. To the extent the pattern is a nested hierarchy, it’s explained by branching descent, but separate creation has no such expectation. Further, the fossil record also fits branching descent quite well. You could go with progressive creation (though you don’t) but why would a creator make new species only similar to immediately prior species?


Does it? Where is this stated? I can’t recall the Bible making any mention of prokaryotes at all.

Really? Again: Where is this described?

“Artistic perspective”?


Here’s an example.

The creationist scientific model has branching descent. The Bible isn’t a scientific textbook.

I need to study the word “kind” more, but for now, I’m wondering if these verses hint at it - it groups certain birds into kinds - but not others - maybe suggesting some could still interbreed but others could no longer because of evolution or never could.

“All clean birds you may eat. 12 But these you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 13 the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds; 14 every raven after its kind; 15 the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; 16 the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl, 17 the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl, 18 the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.

An artist who makes one piece of art tends to make similar pieces of art. That’s why experts can look at a work and guess or even determine the artist. That’s what I was getting at.

There’s nothing there that speaks to the Bible describing single-celled organisms lacking a cell-nucleus. The symptoms of various diseases would have been known in whatever biblical periods, but the causes of these symptoms were not.


That refers to tuberculosis as a disease, not to the pathogen that causes it.

Ah, right. “Variation within kinds.” Got it.

You err in calling it a scientific model, however. It is a religious myth.

Which artist’s work has been demonstrated to fall into a nested hierarchy?


Let me know when you come to a conclusion rather than just wondering.

Does God have such human limits? Such a small god you have.


Why don’t IDcreationists see that these analogies with human designers are not congruent with any omnipotent God?