How stands the Tree of Life a century and a half after The Origin?
1 Department of Philosophy, Quadrangle A14, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2 National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD20894, USA
Biology Direct 2011, 6:32 doi:10.1186/1745-6150-6-32Published: 30 June 2011
We examine the Tree of Life (TOL) as an evolutionary hypothesis and a heuristic. The original TOL hypothesis has failed but a new "statistical TOL hypothesis" is promising. The TOL heuristic usefully organizes data without positing fundamental evolutionary truth.
This article was reviewed by W. Ford Doolittle, Nicholas Galtier and Christophe Malaterre.