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Evolution from a single ancestor is discredited (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Evolution from a single ancestor is discredited (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CB822:

According to the theory of evolution, life evolved with different forms branching from a common ancestor. Recent scientific work contradicts this expectation. Molecular data indicate that the tree of life should be uprooted and discredits the homology concept.

Source:

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The claim refers to results that indicate that horizontal gene transfer was common in the very earliest life. In other words, genetic information was not inherited only from one's immediate ancestor; some was obtained from entirely different organisms, too. As a result, the tree of life does not stem from a single trunk but from a reticulated collection of stems. This does not invalidate the theory of evolution, though. It says only that another mechanism of heredity was once more common. 2. Horizontal gene transfer does not invalidate phylogenetics. Horizontal gene transfer is not a major factor affecting modern life, including all macroscopic life: "Although HGT does occur with important evolutionary consequences, classical Darwinian lineages seem to be the dominant mode of evolution for modern organisms". And it is still possible to compute phylogenies while taking horizontal gene transfer into account.

All Talk Origins has done here is to prove that the idea of a single common ancestor for all life on Earth is an unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific concept. They did this by demonstrating that any evidence to the contrary is just explained away, thus making it an untestable article of faith, and not science.

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