Trees of Life: do they exist?

In my inaugural public lecture as Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary University of London, I asked the question "Do they exist?" of the Darwinian tree of life and the Biblical tree of life. My conclusions may surprise you.
Published in Ecology & Evolution
Trees of Life: do they exist?

The lecture drew on articles I have published in Nature Ecology and EvolutionNature Plants, and American Journal of Botany. I describe work by others in Nature and Nature CommunicationsThe Origin of Species provided my starting point on Darwin's tree of life simile. The works of Richard Dawkins, especially The Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion, provided helpful material in both sections of the lecture. On the Biblical tree of life, I used an argument by Peter J. Williams, (whose research recently featured in Nature) developed in his book Can We Trust the Gospels? I also refer to research by Elizabeth Barnes on inclusion in the biological sciences.

Here is a recording of the lecture, given on 16th November 2022 to a public audience at Queen Mary University of London. I hope you find it interesting.

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Go to the profile of Susanne Renner
over 1 year ago

What a fabulous and inspiring lecture!! 

Go to the profile of Richard Buggs
over 1 year ago

Thank you, Susanne. This is very encouraging coming from such an authority on plant phylogenetics!