What is microevolution?
So here’s how the common argument goes…
“Sure, I believe in microevolution, but not macroevolution.”
Within the context of this discourse, the point being made is the person believes in small changes here and there, but not the big changes in which one type of animal turns into a different type (some will specifically say from one species into another).
The implied definition here would be “microevolution” equals small changes within a species, and “macroevolution” equates to large-scale changes that transform one type into another, presumably accounting for single-celled organisms eventually turning into human beings.
I hear these discussions wherever I travel and I completely understand why they are so common. However, I also have a concern, because this argument can be unintentionally misleading. Here’s why…
If small amounts of evolution happen from time-to-time, then maybe they could account for large-scale changes, given enough time. Secular scientists rely very heavily on millions and billions of years and use it to grant plausibility to an otherwise seemingly implausible concept (molecules-to-man evolution). So the counter argument to this statement (believing in microevolution, but not macroevolution) is that given enough time, virtually anything is possible, including the larger changes that are part of the macroevolutionary scenario.
Here’s the problem, however, with this logic. These small changes (which we truly do observe) are the wrong kinds of changes and are headed in the wrong direction.
Let’s take a look at a somewhat humorous story to illustrate this further.
A man is standing in the lobby of a unique bank that does nothing but give change to its members. He is surprised to observe that each person is actually given a bit too much change in return. The man walks over to the bank manager and asks, “How in the world do you stay in business when for each transaction you are actually losing money?” to which the manager replies, “Well, if we can do enough volume, we’ll make a profit.”
It is somewhat similar with our molecules-to-man evolution scenario. These “micro” changes do occur, but are causing a loss of information (in the DNA) in most cases. (Some cases might be considered neutral – no loss, no gain, but we don’t see these changes actually gaining information, which is what “macro” evolution would require.) The longer this trend occurs, the worse it gets!
Even in the case where theoretically you might envision some random change inferring an initial isolated small increase in information, it is virtually useless by itself. It would take many related, coordinated changes to make the type of cumulative changes necessary for molecules-to-man evolution. There are two major problems with this, however.
- Radom copying errors (i.e. mutations) will not produce the multiple needed changes.
- Even if you were successful in getting the first small change, it would take too long to get the next appropriate related change in the series (even given the assumed millions of years evolutionists heavily rely upon). Also, during this extended time, the first change might itself mutate again, destroying your initial “gain”.
For anyone wishing some technical background on this second point (which is huge), a landmark paper was just published (Sep 2015) in the online journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling. (I’m sure most of you subscribe to this journal already… or maybe not!) The title of the paper is “The waiting time problem in a model hominin population”. You can read the article here.
You can also view a video that discusses how our DNA is slowly degrading, getting worse and worse (i.e. more and more copying errors – mutations – are accumulating). It is an interview with Dr. John Sanford (Cornell University). He is a co-author of the paper previously mentioned. He also founded “Logos Research Associates” for which I am a board member.
Wrapping things up and getting back to the practical nature of things, here’s my advice regarding the use of the terms “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. I think it would be better to simply use the term “variation” instead of “microevolution”, because it is accurate and doesn’t give credence to the concept of “macroevolution” which is the “molecules-to-man” concept being taught in our public schools, universities and in all of the secular academic publications (and for which there is no real scientific evidence).
One other important point before I close. The variation we do observe, can account for the production of a variety of animals within the same general kind. For example, scientists (both creationists and evolutionists) believe that all domesticated dogs in existence today, originally came from something more like a wolf. However, they were produced not through the addition of genetic information to the wolf, but through the loss of genetic information over time (sometimes directed by intentional breeding to preserve certain traits and remove others). We may like the looks of a purebred dog, but they are not typically as healthy as a “mutt” because they do not possess the variety of genetic information allowing them to handle changes in their environment. Today, dogs, dingoes, coyotes and wolves can all breed together, because they are all the same “kind” of animal. This is exactly what Scripture teaches in Genesis 1, that God created creatures to reproduce “after their kind”, and this is exactly what we actually observe. No surprise!
As with all of our other articles, much more could be said about this, but if you have any questions related to this month’s article or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!