Todd Woods on Ewert's Dependency Graph

When an interesting paper from DI came out, we had the pleasure of engaging directly with the author here at Peaceful Science, Winston Ewert: The Dependency Graph of Life. The YEC scientist Todd Woods commented on this paper, with characteristic clarity…

Next, Ewert’s dependency graph could be interpreted as a reticulating tree, which is a pattern that has been suggested by many evolutionary biologists. So is the dependency graph really different from the modern evolutionary “tree?” I’m still thinking very carefully about this, because I don’t think the answer is obvious. On the one hand, if I were a skeptic, I would say his graph is not different at all from the modern evolutionary tree, but he makes a good point by saying that the reticulations in the pattern ought to be nonrandom if they are part of some kind of design. So I’m still thinking through all of this.

It is notable that Woods knew right up front exactly my biggest critique…

Common descent does not predict a tree. Instead we see The Tangled Tree of Life. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out, though give credit to Woods for being a careful thinker here.

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If YEC, OEC and ID advocates were this tentative and careful in their thinking as a rule, their criticism would be taken much more seriously.

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Exactly.

I also give a lot of credit to Ewert for recognizing that it isn’t enough to just argue against evolution. If ID is to be taken seriously then it needs to explain the data all on its own. Even if Ewert’s model fails in the end, he still deserves a ton of credit for putting in the effort towards an alternative explanation. Science can involve a lot of failure before there is a victory.

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