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Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CB902:

Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution.

Source: Wallace, Timothy, 2002. Five major evolutionist misconceptions about evolution.


CreationWiki response:

Evolutionists seem rather obstinate in defining evolution as any change in 'gene frequencies' among a population. If evolution is defined so broadly then creationists might as well be known as theistic evolutionists. Macroevolution and microevolution should be put into their respective categories. Microevolution in itself isn't sufficient to establish that macroevolution has occurred because every single observation that is made, is in accord with the created kinds.

Microevolution: the name used by many evolutionists to describe genetic variation, the empirically observed phenomenon in which exisiting potential variations within the gene pool of a population of organisms are manifested or suppressed among members of that population over a series of generations. Often simplistically (and erroneously) invoked as “proof” of “macro evolution”

Macroevolution: the theory/belief that biological population changes take (and have taken) place (typically via mutations and natural selection) on a large enough scale to produce entirely new structural features and organs, resulting in entirely new species, genera, families, orders, classes, and phyla within the biological world, by generating the requisite (new) genetic information. Many evolutionists have used “macro-evolution” and “Neo-Darwinism” as synonymous for the past 150 years.

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Microevolution and macroevolution are different things, but they involve mostly the same processes.

In all of our observations, there has not been a single large change that would show that it involves the same processes. Instead, what we simply observe is a change within kinds.

There is no argument that microevolution happens (although some creationists, such as Wallace, deny that mutations happen).

The reason that there is no dispute for microevolution is because it is observable and fits into the creationist model. What was Isaak reading? Wallace never denounced the occurrence of mutations.

Furthermore, a genetic, mutational change alone, while it may qualify (in a broad sense) as evolution (“micro-evolution”), does not demonstrate evolution per se: Evolution does not require mere change, but progressive change (i.e., from simple to complex, from one organism to another organism—an increase in both quantity and quality of genetic information). Timothy Wallace.
Speciation has also been observed.

True, but no informed creationist would state that speciation has not been observed. In fact, speciation is an essential process for creationism but is done within limits. Speciation is not evidence for macroevolution in any shape or form.

Creationists have created another category for which they use the word "macroevolution."

It appears that Talk Origins is implying that creationists are the creators of the term but this is false even considering material on their own website. Creationists do, however, make the distinction between the two, while evolutionists would rather consider them as the same process.

They have no technical definition of it, but in practice they use it to mean evolution to an extent great enough that it has not been observed yet(Some creationists talk about macroevolution being the emergence of new features, but it is not clear what they mean by this. Taking it literally, gradually changing a feature from fish fin to tetrapod limb to bird wing would not be macroevolution, but a mole on your skin which neither of your parents have would be.) I will call this category supermacroevolution to avoid confusing it with real macroevolution.

It is also used to point out the difference between small changes and large changes although AiG has suggested the key importance is new genetic information. What creationists? No source is given to back up that they define macroevolution as “new features” but Wallace provides a much more descriptive definition:

The postulation of “macro-evolution” (i.e., the emergence of entirely new and more “advanced” features through innumerable, completely new genetically-defined traits) is not to be confused with genetic variation (i.e., “micro-evolution”), which is the appearance and/or disappearance of existing and/or potential genetic traits through recombination of existing genetic code. Proponents of evolutionism often fail to note the important difference between these two, simply calling them both “evolution,” and thereby deliberately blurring the distinction between them.

if this definition is not sufficient, then how 'technical' or descriptive does Talk Origins want it to be? One wonders why T.O didn't attempt to create their own technical definition because there are evolutionists who make that distinction.

Supermacroevolution is harder to observe directly. However, there is not the slightest bit of evidence that it requires anything but microevolution. Sudden large changes probably do occur rarely, but they are not the only source of large change. There is no reason to think that small changes over time cannot add up to large changes, and every reason to believe they can. Creationists claim that microevolution and supermacroevolution are distinct, but they have never provided an iota of evidence to support their claim.

There is also no positive reason to believe that small changes can account for large changes. For example, a car that starts to rust in a small area and as time elapses, the rust increases. But how is degradation evolution? A lack of evidence against large changes doesn't exactly demonstrate that it can occur. When we look at the weather, the small local changes in temperature and pressure that occur every day may explain small temperature and pressure changes in the future but they will never be able to explain why summer is hotter than winter (a different explanation is needed; the tilt of the earth’s axis). It is not scientific to assume that small changes can account for large changes. The burden of proof is on the evolutionist to support the claim that micro and macro are not distinct, because creationists are merely working with what is observable. Here we have an example of evolutionary assumptions in action.

In fact, creationists have proposed and continue to provide reasons for disbelieving Talk Origin's claims. John Sanford, who is the author of the book entitled Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome has argued that detrimental mutations greatly outnumber beneficial mutations, which would lead to genetic load. This would then have drastic effects on the species and can cause death. Macroevolution cannot accumulate through genetic losses. Examples such as the moth merely demonstrate changes in gene frequencies with no new genes, but the origin of the moth is another question. How does a complex process head in the direction of increased complexity if there is no intelligence involved? There is not the slightest evidence that randomness can lead to an increase in complexity. Walter ReMine, who is known for advancing Haldane's Dilemma, has confirmed that there is a severe limitation to the speed of evolution.

The final rebuttal of macroevolution would be to demonstrate that the age of the earth is not 4.5 billion years old, as macroevolution requires. This is something that creationists have gathered much material on and are continuing to research.

For Talk Origins to claim that there is no evidence against macroevolution shows that they are not informed on the creationist position.

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