A more accurate chart of the natural evolution of species is a disk radiating outward, like this one (above) first devised by David Hillis at the University of Texas and based on DNA. This deep genealogy mandala begins in the middle with the most primeval life forms, and then branches outward in time. Time moves outward so that the most recent species of life living on the planet today form the perimeter of the circumference of this circle. This picture emphasizes a fundamental fact of evolution that is hard to appreciate: Every species alive today is equally evolved. Humans exist on this outer ring alongside cockroaches, clams, ferns, foxes, and bacteria. Every one of these species has undergone an unbroken chain of three billion years of successful reproduction, which means that bacteria and cockroaches today are as highly evolved as humans. There is no ladder.

The Myth of a Superhuman AI – Backchannel