The question whether there is “a tree of life” or not is tricky. At first, it appears to concern whether one believe in evolution or not, but at a closer look, it actually concerns the fundament for thinking, that is classification.
The closer look reveals that those of us that believe in the theory of evolution have an insurmountable problem to describe it in the form of “a tree of life”. The problem is that in order to describe it in this form, we have to assume that classes either are real or not real, none of which can lead to an unambiguous “tree of life”. Assuming that they are real leads an ambiguity concerning which tree that is “the true tree”, because classes are then fundamentally ambiguous, whereas assuming that they are real leads to a paradoxical ambiguity concerning which tree is “the true tree”, because classes are then fundamentally paradoxically contradictory. It does thus not matter whether we assume that classes are real or not real, we none the less end up in an ambiguity (pure or paradoxical).
The only difference between these two orthogonal approaches to this problem is that assuming that classes are real is unscientific (ie, self-contradictory), whereas assuming that they aren’t real is scientific (ie, consistent). This difference means that only the latter can lead to understanding of mathematics, and thereby also of quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, quantum mechanics is incomprehensible (except mathematically).
Assuming that classes are real is instead the fundament for the approach we call “populism”. It is the rational variety of extremism (like racism). The devil does thus reside on the back (the comprehensible) side of rationality. It appears sensible for rational people that can’t keep cocks and carrots apart.