Controversial ideas of Williamson, Margulis & others suggest speciation by hybridizing might be more common than originally thought.

Taking this concept to the nth degree & assuming that indeed, speciation mostly occurs by hybridizing events, not the accumulation of mutations or genetic drift, here is a catalogueoflife2gedcom converter. It allows the tree of life to be displayed as a human genealogy tree with hybridizing events depicted as "marriages." The idea then is that mutation accrual & genetic drift are the determining factors for "species maturation," not speciation itself.

Unfortunately the Catalogue of Life Project,, changed its database format more recently, so this converter only works on older versions of the data. In the last working version of the database, making the assumption that each taxonomic name, no matter what level, refers to an original real species & starting them all as female, over 2 million "species/persons" were generated.


  • Makes a gedcom fole out of older versions of the Catalogue of Life Project,
  • Makes all of the generated "species/persons" female.
  • From older versions of the Tree of Life data 2 million plus "species/persons."

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Additional Project Details



Intended Audience

Information Technology, Science/Research, Education, Advanced End Users, Religion, Agriculture

User Interface

Win32 (MS Windows), Web-based

Programming Language

PHP, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

Database Environment

Project is a database conversion tool, MySQL, Flat-file, Microsoft Access