In Darwin’s The Origin of Species, published in 1859, the British naturalist drew a diagram of an oak to depict how one species can evolve into many.


Researchers say although for much of the past 150 years biology has largely concerned itself with filling in the details of the tree it is now obsolete and needs to be discarded.

Dr Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said: ”For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life. We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.”