Macroevolution v. Microevolution – There is a Difference

Macroevolution v. Microevolution…There is a Difference

 

            Macro means large.  Micro means small. So Macrocosm refers to the whole earth or universe while Microcosm refers to a miniature version of the former. 

            When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book, “The Origin of Species”, which has served evolution’s cause of being the sole view heard in the science classroom, he devoted much attention to his observations about finches in the Galapagos Islands.  In this, he gave particular attention to the great variety of beaks in these Galapagos finches.  There were short and long beaks, thin and broad beaks, and from this observation, Darwin formulated his famous hypothesis about macroevolution.

            From his observations, Darwin came to believe that broad categories of living things have changed into completely new categories of life.  This requires a huge quantum jump across rigid biological barriers.   So the standard biology textbook of today teaches the evolutionary dogma that certain fish evolved (changed) to such an extent that they were able to crawl out of their aquatic existence and take up an entirely new existence on land as amphibians; that amphibians later were able to cross vast biologic barriers to become reptiles; and that reptiles were able to cross the barriers twice to become birds and mammals.   Macroevolution would require critical alterations in genetic information to compel the stupendous changes in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry that are needed to generate entirely new categories of life.  Note that these “critical alterations” are not necessarily about the percent similarity of DNA nucleotide sequences or the resulting amino acid sequences of proteins, but rather, the key gene alterations needed to produce the huge differences required for changes on the scale of macroevolution

            It is not uncommon for science textbooks and the media to use differences among individuals within a species as evidence of macroevolution.  Darwin’s whole premise was that the finches showed great variety in their beaks and so that was evidence of their macroevolution from former life forms and their progression toward even newer ones.  I have read in science textbooks where the variety in sizes of dogs and horses was promoted as evidence of macroevolution.  The keen student would note that the Chihuahua and the Great Dane are both very much still dogs.  Another false evidence for macroevolution that has been used is when insect resistance to insecticides or bacterial resistance to antibiotics is spoken of as being evidence for macroevolution.   A typical statement in the media or textbook would go something like the following:  “The E. coli evolved into an antibiotic resistant form.”   Though the statement is technically correct (change has occurred) it leaves the nonscientific reader or student with the impression that a whole new life form has been formed.

            Every species has great genetic potential to make small changes that allow it to adapt to its environment.  So when a certain antibiotic is applied too much, certain individual organisms have a statistical probability of having switched a gene on or off which protects them from the antibiotic, and then allows them to advantageously reproduce relative to others of that same species.  But it is extremely important to note that the resistant version is still the same species as it was formerly.  That is, an antibiotic resistant E. coli bacteria is still very much E. coli in every other respect.   It hasn’t crossed the vast barrier that would make it an entirely new category of life.    Similarly, if certain grasshoppers acquire resistance to an agricultural insecticide, they will be found upon careful examination, to still be the same species of grasshopper as they were formerly, as determined by anatomy, physiology, and genetics.    These resistant hoppers will still freely inter mate with nonresistant hoppers, proving that their species has not changed and they have not become a new category of living creature.   Furthermore, these small interspecies changes are often reversible, proving that no macro evolutionary barrier has been crossed.

            The great variety of individuals that can and does occur within a species is properly called microevolution.  This word specifies that only small changes have occurred.  No  professional creation scientist disputes these small changes within the individuals of any given species.  What they do dispute, is that the magnitude of change can ever carry beyond biological barriers that are fixed by genetics into entirely new phyla or even broader categories of life.

            Reader, do not be duped by careless, ignorant or even disingenuous examples given as “proofs” for evolution that are actually very minor fluctuations in genetic expression of creatures, great or small, within the established boundaries of the species.  Human beings are subdivided into races based upon skin color and a few other features but every one of us are fully human.  That’s all we have ever been and that’s all we’ll ever be!

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