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Submitted on
July 27, 2009
Image Size
1.9 MB


7,535 (2 today)
64 (who?)
Infinite Complexity by EranFolio Infinite Complexity by EranFolio
Download for full size at 1920x1200.
This is a creative commons image. Do with it as you will, so long as you credit the source.
(I wish there was a "technical" or "educational" category...)

A wallpaper based upon the David Hillis, Derrick Zwickl, and Robin Gutell version of the circular phylogenetic "tree of life." I admit that I am rather aesthetically biased, but circular versions are widely considered to be the most accurate, thanks to the lack of any suggested hierarchy.
The caption, "The Blind Watchmaker," is of course a reference to the Intelligent Design debate, and was used as the title of Richard Dawkins' famous book. Intelligent Design supporters claim that life contains irreducible complexity, which can only be explained by an intelligent designer. This is not the case: what we see instead is a clear progression of transitional forms extending into the past, each level of complexity being easily reduced and explained by the natural processes of evolution. From simplicity may arise infinite complexity, which is why evolution itself may be considered "the blind watchmaker."

Because I fully expect someone to begin foaming at the mouth in the comments section, I would like to direct anyone curious about evolution to this explanatory series of videos: [link]

Any questions about evolution, or suggestions regarding typography etc. are welcome.

I was delighted to find the resource stock for this massive image here, [link] which is available to anyone so long as the application is non-profit and gives credit to the source. I warn you, it prints to a full size of almost five feet across.
Background paper texture was used courtesy of this deviant: [link]
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EonOrteaShadowmaster Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011  Student Writer
That, my friends, is true beauty!
aileen Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
Mmmm... systematics.
thesunshotme Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this, great job.
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010  Hobbyist
nice work on a thrilling subject.
Chrillen Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2009
Incredible. The level of detail alone, it baffles me. And the overall design, the way you have put it all together.
Gah, I would need a thousand words to describe the way I feel about it, eh?
Dmitrirosanegra Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
Great, as a biologist I must say I love it
tymej Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009
I love your wallpaper, but on 1280x800 letters are too small. Is it possible to create version for smaller screens? I mean, with bigger letters. If i set "fit to screen", they are to small, if i set "center", title and part of graph are outside screen.
EranFolio Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I'm afraid the scale of the ring of text is so huge, that to fit any of it on the screen at all, the text had to be very small. Even at very high resolutions it's almost unreadable. When I scale up the text and not the ring, the words overlap; when I scale up the whole ring, I lose the curve of the circle and end up with a flat wall of text.
fallingskyz Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2009
awesome! I love how informative you are too, as well as the way you present it.
EdmondDantes Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
Brilliant! :D

I used the same phylogenic tree in a logo I was designing. [link]

I've always liked the look and complexity of it, as well as the shape of it tying back nicely to my notions of "life on earth".
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