MicroEvolution: Dispelling the Myths and Misconceptions
As the above image implies, there's a mist that surrounds the concept of microevolution that conceals clarity on the matter. If you're not a close follower of the theories that comprise Darwin's theory of evolution, you are probably laboring under a misconception of what microevolution is. That misconception is furthered (it appears to me) by Darwinists seeking to bolster the evidence-lacking theory. To dispel the mists surrounding this often abused term, and shine the light on the truth, following are five myths or misconceptions, and the reality or the truth behind each one.
As I point out in an article titled "Games Evolutionists Play: The Name Game" part of the problem with demonstrating the falsity of Darwinism is that evolutionists keep changing the definition in an attempt to keep evolution from being falsified. So let's start with a firm definition. Jonathan Wells, author of "Icons of Evolution" provides a firm definition of both micro-evolution and macro-evolution in the glossary of his book "The Myth of Junk DNA":
Here Wells reveals one trick evolutionists use to try to show evolution is true: By defining it as "change over time" which no one - including creationists and ID (Intelligent Design) advocates - disagrees with. ID advocate Paul Nelson also points out the name game that evolutionists play, but goes on to give us a crystal clear definition of the current theory of evolution:
He calls it "neo-Darwinism" because evolution as currently understood includes mutations - which Darwin knew nothing about. Notice the scope of Darwinism, a.k.a. evolution, a.k.a. macroevolution: the origin of all species - all of them - plants, animals, insects, fish, birds, microbes, dinosaurs, humans - all from a single common ancestor. The scope of micro-evolution is much more modest: minor changes within a species.
A Visual of Microevolution
In the recent reboot of Cosmos, atheist astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gives a good demonstration of variation, a.k.a. microevolution (though he never mentions the term) in an illustration of a single small mutation in a brown bear. One of the devices used in the series is a special "ship of the imagination" used to take viewers anywhere the series wants them to go. Whether outer space or inside the body, or even inside molecules - all locations are possible - with the ship changing size as necessary. Tyson explains to see what's going on with the mutation, we first have to shrink down to the cellular level, then even smaller than that - to the molecular level. So at this point we are not dealing with large macro changes, we are dealing with sub-microscopic ones.
He goes on to describe how the information in the DNA molecular is read, and checked. But sometimes there are errors that are not corrected:
In this scenario, this one small change affects an attribute of the bear's hair, changing the color from brown to white. This change in hair color is a variation within bears leading to a type of bear known as "polar" bears. That is variation within a kind. That is microevolution, which is most commonly known as variation. And everyone accepts this type of variation within a kind.
However, once you return to normal size and return focus to the entire organism and the supposed large scale changes of things like fins to feet and gills to lungs - that's where opposition to Darwin's theory (macroevolution) arises.
So to be clear:
Now that we understand the terms, lets move on to the myths.
Myth #1: Evolutionists make no distinction between microevolution and macroevolution because they're both the same thing. Only creationists make that distinction.
They are wrong on both accounts. Biologists do make a distinction and they do not happen the same way - which is actually the basis of Myth #4 which we'll cover later. The Discovery Institute, an ID think tank and advocate, recently published a paper (which is still available at this writing) which lists some of the scientific papers submitted by evolution believing scientists over whether microevolutionary processes can accomplish macroevolutionary changes. The fact that scientists are arguing about it demonstrates:
a. They are not the same thing and
Thus the distinction is real, and is used not just by creationists.
Myth #2 Creationists made up the
terms, and only they use them
Later in 1937, his student acclaimed neo-Darwinist Theodosius Dobzhansky carried on the use of the terms.
To be clear, both the originator Filipchenko and Dobzhansky his student were Neo-Darwinists, not Creationists. The terms were necessitated by the addition of mutations to the theory - which meant very small changes like what deGrasse Tyson described above were now part of the theory. What wasn't known was if these tiny changes could bring about the large scale changes Darwin predicted. (They can't as we'll see in Myth #4.)
Myth #3 Macroevolution is just the logical extension of microevolution
Reality: False. It can only be considered a logical extension of microevolution if you think that logical fallacies should be included in your scientific arguments as evidence.
After the small scale changes were recognized, Dobzhansky immediately realized that posed a problem for Darwinism: Jonathan Wells relates the story:
So Dobzhansky recognized there was no evidence to equate microevolution with macroevolution. So what does he do? He invokes the fallacy of appealing to ignorance, and says in effect, "since we don't know it's false to make such an equivalence, we must assume it's true," a textbook example for an illustration of the fallacy.
Dobzhansky recognized there was a) no evidence to equate the mechanisms and b) no logical reason for them to be the same. But in order to keep Darwinism alive, he fallaciously said the the mechanisms are equivalent so let's move on. Hardly scientific.
Myth #4 The debate over whether
microevolutionary processes can produce macroevolution level changes
is over and settled.
On top of that, there is much new evidence that suggests that variation (microevolution) cannot accomplish what Darwinists need it to in order to create large scale changes. Let me give you one example: Body plans. Body plans involves the overall design of a creature - 2 legs, 4 legs, no legs? Arms, fins, wings, etc. All evidence points to the fact that body plans are not contained in DNA - where microevolution operates. Consider:
In order to make changes to the body plan, mutations would have to occur in areas of DNA that controls body plans. The problem with that is, as near as scientists can figure, body plans are not controlled by DNA.
Further, even if the information were in the DNA, Nelson concludes variation (microevolution) could not make the numerous beneficial heritable changes necessary for a new body plan to be selected, and thus the emergence of a new body change via variation (microevolution) is impossible.
Myth #5 It's okay for
Christians to believe in microevolution, but not macroevolution
The other problem with the use of this term is that it masks the real problem with evolution: Evolution has no answer to the information contained in DNA, the information needed to make new traits, new creatures and new species. Well known creation advocate and author Jonathan Sarfati puts it this way:
The reason: there is no natural process that produces information, and evolution requires only natural processes.
As I've pointed out before, this is the modern challenge to Darwinian theory. Evolution has no answer to explain either the origin of the most efficient information storage and retrieval system known to man (DNA), or the origin of the coded information within it. Thus speaking of "micro" and "macro" evolution misses the point entirely.
So as the teacher said, "now all
has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:"
Microevolution is nothing more than variation, and neither the terms
micro nor macroevolution should be used. Variation alone cannot generate
the changes needed to create the large scale changes needed for
evolution to be true, so an examination of variation yields yet further
evidence that evolution is not, and cannot be true.
Duane Caldwell | posted 8/4/2016
1. According to respected evolutionist Ersnt Mayr, The
theory of evolution is not a single theory. It is comprised of 5
separate components of which the commonly known one: "Common Descent" is
just one component.
5. "Kinds" refers to the Biblical kinds as recorded in
Gen 1.21, 24 et. al.
6. Kirk Durston, Microevolution verses Macroevolution:
Two Mistakes, Evolution News and Views,
7. Microevolution vs. Macroevolution: What's the Difference?
8. Center for Science and Culture/Discovery Institute, The Scientific
Controversy Over Whether