I often read in scientific papers a sentence of the form "X lies on the basis of Y." or "X lies at the basis of Y." to indicate that Y is caused by X in some fundamental way. Are both forms valid and common? (Maybe both are poor English?)
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The phrase "X lies at the basis of Y", while arguably clumsy, is used reasonably often in English. On the other hand, I do not believe that "X lies on the basis of Y" is something a native English speaker would say. Consider the following Google Ngram :
Both are clumsy. Simply "X is the basis of Y" would be better, so for example "The rule of law is the basis of our freedom".