The concept of a tree of life as a many-branched tree illustrating the idea that all life on earth is related has been used in science, religion, philosophy, mythology, and other areas. A tree of life is variously,
- a motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies;
- a mystical concept alluding to the interconnectedness of all life on our planet; and
- a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense.
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the tree of knowledge, connecting heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree. According to some scholars, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, portrayed in various religions and philosophies, are the same tree.
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