D. J. Scott
[Last Update: December 3rd, 2018]


This was a project begun for my Genesis Panthesis website back in the year 2000 C.E. Unfortunately the harddrive that I had all of my files on became corrupted and the files could not be retrieved, so I’ve mostly had to start over. Still in the beginning stages right now. Massive undertaking.

Related Articles

The Origin & The Evolution of The Mitochondrion, and Possible Implications for Astrobiology
The Origin of Eukaryotic Life
The Origin of Life
The Last Universal Common Ancestor


The Phylogeny Explorer Project
Explore the Beauty of Evolution
The Talk.Origins Archive
Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy


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D. Jon Scott’s WebsiteSciencePhysicsChemistry ► Organic Chemistry ► BiologyEvolution
D. J. Scott

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Copyright © 2000 C.E. by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: June 6th, 2018]
Image by brian0918 ™ - Own work, Public Domain, Link


All life on Earth is related. When we look at the 3-dimensional cross-section of life on Earth we are capable of seeing at any given moment, organisms appear quite individuated, however in 4 dimensions we represent a literal Tree of Life, a great family tree upon which every living thing is but a tip upon a twig upon a branch leading ultimately to a root sometime prior to 4 billion years ago. If one could condense life on Earth along the t axis, such that an individual person were but a blurry line leading back to his mother, and she to her mother, ad genetum, one would see this tree as a literal reality. The Tree of Life in biology textbooks is therefore more than just an abstraction; it is by the inherent brevity of our sensory experiences that we are capable of seeing a mere 3-dimensional cross-section of this 4-dimensional Tree of Life that we perceive individual organisms as separate from one another.

Part I

Highest-Level Divisions

The highest-level division of life on Earth was once the kingdom.

Part I.a.

The Principle Dichotomy

The most fundamental distinction among cellular organisms on this planet is that between the Archaea (including we Eukaryotes) and the Bacteria (including the mitochondria inside our Archaea-descended, Eukaryotic cells). We Eukaryotes are a sort of cellular "hodge-podge" of the two prokaryotic domains, although the coding DNA in the nucleus of the Eukaryotic cell is clearly inherited (mostly, and with modification) from the Archaea.

Figure 0 — The modern Tree of Life, showing the relationship of the Eucaryota (Eucarya) to the Proteoarchaeal phylum, Heimdallarchaeota, the relationship of our mitochondria to the Proteobacterial class, Rickettsidae, and both groups' ultimate derivation from the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA).

Part I.b.

Previous Models

Part I.b-1.)

The Arcaryan Hypothesis
Figure 0 — the tripartite Tree of Life (see below), with mitochondrial acquisition by the Eucarya (discussed later) indicated in red.

This was a modification of the Woesean tripartite Tree of Life which re-asserted the importance of endosymbiotic theory as the explanation for eukaryogenesis.

Part I.b-2.)

The Tripartite Tree of Life


Part I.b-3.)

The Prokaryote-Eukaryote Dichotomy

While the prokaryote-eukaryote dichotomy is still very useful for morphological/anatomical discussions, it has become considered a sign of grave ignorance to mistake this for a legitimate genetic delineation (much like the even more antequated vertebrate-invertebrate dichotomy used for animals). Though we now know that we Eucarya nest cladistically somewhat deeply within the Archaea, a type of prokaryote (much like we now know that vertebrates nest cladistically within the chordata, a type of invertebrate)...

Part I.b-4.)

The Five-Kingdom System

Part I.b-5.)

The Three-Kingdom System

Part I.b-6.)

The Two-Kingdom System

II.b. Genetic Relationships


Works Cited