Darwin's Tree of Common Descent is Useless to Applied Science

(Haywood Clark) #62

No, you wouldn’t. If you would, you and your progressive creationist buddies would have started a creationist pharma company by now.

By the way, Steve has taken you up on your offer to wager…

(Haywood Clark) #63

What mechanism(s) produced those nested hierarchies if not common descent?

I suspect that you don’t really understand the concept.

(Haywood Clark) #64

I did. That paragraph was an explanation. What aspect of it requires further explanation?

You seem to be forgetting that you made a claim, so the burden of proof is entirely yours. Surely, you, as a serious Christian, looked at applied science in great detail before making your claim.

(Haywood Clark) #65

Are you kidding, Edgar? Shouldn’t you KNOW this cold before opining?

(Haywood Clark) #66

post deleted by moderator

(Matthew Pevarnik) #67

Let me tell you a story from physics. Some nerdy physicists who love to wonder what the universe is made up of solved some equations one day. One of the equations was solved by a fellow named Paul Dirac and he was solving this equation:

An interesting feature of this equation is that the energy could have a negative solution and the equation would be solved just the same as with a positive energy (E= energy, m=mass, c=speed of light, p=momentum of particle). So he proposed there could be this stuff called antimatter. That is something that has the same mass as regular matter but some kind of negative energy. Anyways, his playing around with theoretical physics led to some experiments. And what good is it to try to figure out if antimatter is real people said. They scoffed at the physics community and lo and behold, here you go several decades later.

What is this? Its a PET scan. That is positron emission tomography. Crazy thing is its based upon antimatter. That thing people scoffed at as you are presently.

I see. It was someone who could have used a chimpanzee heart as guess what? Chimpanzees are closer related to humans than baboons but the doctor chose the baboon because he rejected common descent.


I was thinking more along the lines of $1.50.


Yes, good point. You mean a vertical nested hierarchy not a horizontal one. Common descent is a reasonable explanation of a vertical nested hierarchy … but so what? How has this theory provided a practical use in applied biology?


Please explain how the common ancestry of humans and mice has proven useful in bone-marrow transplants.


Can you elaborate a little, please (in layman’s terms, if possible). How has Darwin’s tree (ie, macroevolution) provided a practical use, and which practical use?


Forgive me for being a Doubting Thomas, but I’ve been posing the OP question to various biologists and scientists for years, and all I get from them is explanations and theories (as is evident from this thread, with one exception), which are not the same as a practical use, or even close … or, as in one case, a biologist equated his interpretation of common descent from the data with the data itself, illogically claiming that common descent was useful - but it was the data that was practically useful, not his interpretation of the data. Are you doing something similar? I don’t know.

You’re the first biologist/scientist I’ve ever encountered who claims to have empirical proof that Darwin’s tree is practically useful to science.

I’m not a YEC, btw - far from it - I accept the fossil and geological records that reveal an overall evolution of life that took billions of years. I believe in a progressive creation model, in which God took genetic material from an existing creature to create the “next” creature (this comes from the description of how God created organisms from existing matter (Genesis 2:19).
This being so, all life would be genetically linked (in a true, physical sense), so there may well be a practical scientific use for such links - only I’m not (yet) convinced there are any. It’s possible your research has indeed found a practical use for these genetic links. But my model is not based on Darwin’s tree, which is based on a contiguous process of biological evolution. My model is based on separate, but genetically-linked creations.

Incidentally, I read your article, Testing Common Ancestry: It’s All about the Mutations, which I found very interesting (although I’d be lying if I said I fully understood it!). I was wondering if the observations described in this article would be consistent with my progressive creation model.

Does Genetics Science support this Progressive Creation model?
(Christy Hemphill) #73

@Edgar Would you mind starting a new thread for this discussion since it is a totally different subject? I would split it myself, but there is no good way to do it if I want to leave the first part of your post here and just put this last part into its own new thread. Thanks.

(Haywood Clark) #74

I did. If one didn’t accept the common origin of the mouse and human immune systems, one would be committing murder when one lethally irradiated the patient, an essential part of the treatment.

What don’t you understand about the common ancestry of the immune system and hematopoiesis?

Why so little? Why do you have no confidence in your grand claim?


You have a penchant for evading questions by providing vague and meaningless answers. If you can’t explain how the common ancestry of humans and mice has proven useful in bone-marrow transplants, that doesn’t surprise me one little bit, because your claim in most likely nonsense.


Okay, but it may have to wait until another day. I have to go soon.

(Haywood Clark) #77

Please, Edgar. I did not evade and explained clearly:

What don’t you understand? It’s perfectly clear to me. Are you questioning whether lethal irradiation is not an essential part of BMT?

How can you make claims without any evidence, and why do you repeatedly try to pass off the burden of proof? It’s all on you.


Elliptical orbits exist regardless of Einstein’s theory of relativity and Newton’s laws of gravity. Does this mean those concepts are worthless and should be ignored? Or are they useful in explaining why planets have the orbits they do?

Again, why do you lack curiosity? Aren’t you interested in life’s history?

(Steve Schaffner) #79

Yes, what you propose is a form of common descent. (Note that, to be consistent with genetic evidence, the newly created organisms would have to be created as a substantial population with genetic variation rather than as a single pair.)

The tree is the same, regardless of what you label it. Assuming you allow species to evolve before the next one is created from it, that is.

Well, it’s a practical use in my meaning of ‘practical’: it let’s me learn things I couldn’t otherwise learn. As it happens, I think these uses are likely to contribute to medically useful advances eventually, but the path there is long. First use: this paper. (This one is not conceptually simple and it’s pretty mathematical in execution.) We came up with a way of estimating how uniform recombination is in the human genome, based on how similar rates of genetic diversity are as you look along a chromosome. To apply it, though, we had to correct for local variation in mutation rate. We did this by comparing human DNA to that of other species, to estimate the mutation rate at different points in the genome. This solution only makes sense if the genetic differences between the species are the result of mutation, i.e. it relies on common ancestry. (This paper was the first systematic demonstration that recombination is focused in hot spots in the genome, which has been crucial in finding genetic risk factors for many diseases.)

Second use: this paper (and many others). Here, we just needed to know what the “original” state of human DNA was where there is a genetic variant in the population – which variant is the result of mutation and which was there before? Once again, we determine this by comparison with other species, since the variant that’s the same as in chimpanzee, say, is likely the original and the alternative represents a mutation.

Does Genetics Science support this Progressive Creation model?

For those who are interested, phylogenomic techniques which incorporate data from many different species (from human to armadillo) are being used to model gene networks involved in Alzheimer’s Disease.

“The use of ASAP2 enabled the generation of a first view of a gene network based on an integrated phylogeny of AD-associated genes. The results suggest that SA techniques may have utility in the development of network perspectives of large-scale studies that aim to model the evolutionary development, transmission, and interaction of disease associated gene sets.”
Chen et al. 2016


The square root of E^2 could be +E or -E. Positive or negative energy. Fascinating.

Wow, that is … freaky. Thank you for making me aware of it.

Okay thanks, I get it now. But you’re barking up the wrong tree (excellent pun, no?) here: The fact that chimps are genetically closer to humans than baboons doesn’t depend in any way on Darwin’s tree of common descent. Theories don’t change facts. So the doctor’s rejection of common descent is irrelevant in this case.