Macroevolution vs. Microevolution

By: Jim Virkler; ©2008

Apologists for evolution frequently cite examples of microevolution to exemplify their major paradigm of “descent with modification from a common ancestor.” Microevolution involves small scale changes within a species. Let’s give two examples. Recently I read an article on “evolutionary” research by a scientist at Max Planck Institute. His research was “laboratory evolution” of M. Xanthus bacteria. Researchers provoked the bacteria into interesting behavioral changes. Later they reversed the changes. Generously salted into the report was the term evolution for the changes in both directions.

One of my former students once inquired, “What about Darwin’s finches?” He expected me to confirm an evolutionary scenario. To his surprise, I replied, “Yes, but they’re still finches!” Recently I challenged an evolutionary scientist, asking, “When has a new species actually appeared in historic time and under what circumstances has such a phenomenon been duplicated?” His answer: “There are many examples of ‘observing’ speciation, which, because of generation times, can only occur in organisms with very fast generation times.” My research revealed that he was referring to populations of organisms greater than a quadrillion and smaller in size than one centimeter. This would include microbes like M. Xanthus bacteria. In that experiment the researchers observed one thousand generations. He suggested we know speciation occurs “via inference from the fossil record,” and directed me to Richard Dawkins’ books.

Macroevolution, by contrast, is the production of a new species from previously existing species. The same scientist who recommended reading Dawkins’ books suggested I consider purported whale speciation from four-footed herbivores. This is an unproven, notoriously bad example of speciation, especially in view of his previous mention of fast generation times, a reference to tiny microbes. Real macroevolution, he said, is supported by inference. There is no solid evidence that it occurs, or ever occurred. Microevolution, however, is acknowledged to occur even by creationists. It is a type of adaptation which favors survivability but does not produce a new species. Darwin’s finches and M. Xanthus bacteria are still finches and bacteria at the end of the day. Adaptive ability can be seen as an advantage programmed by the Creator. In light of unproven and unobserved macroevolution, we may view scripture as more than mere majestic literature containing figurative language when it proclaims, “God made the wild animals according to their kinds” (Gen. 1:25 NIV).

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