02 Family trees and bushes

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Many traits of living creatures are allocated so unsystematically that, with increasing research, it becomes, not simpler, but more difficult to draw up consistent family trees and to reconstruct non-contradictory genealogical relationships. Instead of family trees, continuously new, stand-alone family bushes must be drafted. There is also the fact that modern DNA analyses force us to revise already accepted genealogical trees and to represent them once again as individual bushes. The creation of a generally acknowledged family tree of species has failed.

By drafting a single family tree of life (monophyletic representation), one is attempting to trace the origins of different forms of life (basic types) back to a single common ancestor. If, on the other hand, one talks of family bushes (polyphyletic representation), one means a plurality of individual lineages, which cannot be traced back to a single common ancestor (1).

In the past, one relied on drawing up family trees on the basis of anatomical and physiological features and characteristics of reproduction and behavior. Even then, it was often difficult to categorize the diversely distinctive genera, families and species of plants and animals in an unambiguous classification. Today, modern research also has the analysis of genetic makeup (DNA) at its disposal. Up until a few years ago, it was hoped that these DNA analyses would provide confirmation of the then-current family genealogical tree structures. These hopes were, however, quite unequivocally not fulfilled. The opposite was the case. Instead of the hoped for family tree, the designation of new family bushes came, ever increasingly, to the forefront.

Family tree research in fossils:

In spite of intensive research, to date not a single sequence of fossils has been found, which starts with the invertebrate and progresses via fishes, amphibians and reptiles to mammals (2).

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 Reinhard Junker und Siegfried Scherer, Evolution, ein kritisches Lehrbuch, 2006, page 247.

(2)  Vij Sodera, One Small Speck to Man, the Evolution Myth, Vija Sodera Productions, 2003, page 37.

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