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Micro vs Macro Evolution
Objections Against Creation
By Josef T. Long
©TrueAuthority.com - 10/04
Proponents of evolution often attempt to discredit creation by pointing to occurrences of microevolution, such as speciation, adaptation, etc. To the evolutionist, microevolution is vindication for their belief in the much larger macroevolution. Their belief is that if these microevolutionary changes have enough time to accumulate, then eventually this will lead to a macroevolutionary change. And therefore, in their way of thinking, if microevolution is a well established fact, macroevolution must logically be an established fact as well.
All too often, creationists are (falsely) charged with believing in the “fixity of species”. *
This claim basically accuses creationists of believing speciation (or even very simple variations) cannot occur, and that all the species we have today are exactly the same ones God created as described in the opening chapters of Genesis. This is a gross misrepresentation of what creationists actually teach and believe. The very fact that evolutionists use microevolutionary changes to “discredit” creation shows how misinformed they (and probably the majority of the public) really are about creationists’ beliefs. And because they are ignorant of what creationists teach, they eagerly jump to these straw man arguments in an attempt to baffle their creationist opponents. Unfortunately, to the uninformed creationist, these examples of microevolution are devastating. But as creation becomes better known, it will reveal how silly these “challenges” that evolutionists use really are.
With this said, I think now is a good time to set the record straight: creationists do not believe in the fixity of species. Furthermore, creationists do believe microevolution is an observable fact, and they do believe speciation can and does occur. (In fact, speciation plays an important role in the creationist’s model.) Creationists have no qualms with believing animals of different species such as the wolf, coyote, and fox all had a common canine ancestor (microevolution), but the line gets drawn when evolutionists insist that these species also share a common ancestor with dolphins (macroevolution).
At this point, one might wonder exactly why creationists aren’t willing to accept macro as a scientific fact if they will accept micro. I believe part of the problem is with the term “microevolution” itself. This term sounds like small changes are occurring that will lead to macroevolution provided there is enough time. However, when creationists say they believe microevolution occurs, what they really mean is that they believe variations within a kind of animal or plant occurs. Sometimes these variations can lead to a new species, and in some cases, even a new genus. But the variations have limitations. That limitation is within the genetic information of the organism. For instance, dogs can produce numerous varieties of dogs, but they will never produce a fundamentally different kind of animal, such as a cat (similar perhaps in shape and form, but an entirely different kind of animal). It’s just not within their genetic content. In my experience, evolutionists will quickly question exactly what a "kind" is. I’ll admit that it is partially true that creationists don’t have a definite definition of what a kind is, but this shouldn’t be cause for concern. Evolutionists don’t have a definite definition on what a species is either, as Scientific American admits:
“recognizing a new species during a formative stage can be difficult, because biologists sometimes disagree about how best to define a species”. (John Rennie, Scientific American, “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense”. June 2002)
This is an important point for evolutionists to keep in mind when creationists don't have a perfect definition of what a kind is. Creationists, however, do have a good idea of what a kind is. The Bible makes it clear that if two different organisms can bring forth offspring, then they are the same "kind" of creature. The break down happens because today some animals that are of the same "kind" may no longer be able to reproduce with the parent populations because of loss of information or ability.
So exactly why can’t microevolution lead to macroevolution? In order for this to happen, something very fundamental must occur: new genetic information must arise in an organism. The organism must then pass on its genes on to its descendents, and with later accumulations of changes over several generations, eventually macroevolution will occur. This theory actually seems pretty logical, yet as logical as it may seem, it is not what we observe when microevolution occurs. In fact, we observe exactly the opposite of what must happen if microbe-to-man evolution is true. And that is, we see organisms become more specialized as they adapt to their environment, or when speciation occurs. Sometimes these changes might even be beneficial despite being an overall loss of information. For example, beetles on a windy island will sometimes lose their wings due to a degenerative mutation. This mutation is actually beneficial in this circumstance because the beetles aren’t able to fly and be blown off into the ocean. But even though this mutation is beneficial, it still resulted in a net loss of information.
Information is the key factor if microevolution is going to eventually extrapolate into macroevolution. The evolutionists might try to counter this by pointing out that the reason we may not see new information arise is because it is extremely rare. So rare, in fact, that it might not ever happen in our lifetime or even in several generations. Admittedly, this might actually be true when it comes to multi-cellular life forms; however, if this type of evolution is true or is at least even possible, then one might not have to look much further than microscopic single-cellular life forms such as bacteria to observe the changes. Under the right conditions, a bacterium can divide every 20 minutes. This means if the conditions are right, one bacterium can multiply into billions of bacteria within 24 hours. As any biologist can testify, the numbers at which bacteria can populate is staggering, and because bacteria can multiply so quickly, this can be used to simulate eons of time. If macroevolution is true, it shouldn’t be that inconceivable to see bacteria gain new genetic information. It also shouldn’t be too unreasonable to expect to see a single-cellular bacterium evolve into a multi-cellular bacterium. Why then has this never been observed to occur even in bacteria? Perhaps it’s because the types of changes that are needed to lead microevolution to macroevolution simply do not happen.
If the definition of microevolution is limited to what has been observed, then it is a powerful testimony that life has not evolved. It is no surprise to creationists that animals become more specialized and often lose information when they ‘microevolve’. This should be expected since our Creator created everything perfectly and now things are winding down.
What counts as information increase?
In this article, I’ve tried to stress new information. Why? In order to get the point across that new information must be information that the life form did not originally possess. Sometimes evolutionists like to give examples of mutations that do technically increase information in an organism. They are, however, the wrong types of information increase needed as evidence for molecules-to-man evolution. Such an example would be certain humans who possess an extra chromosome at position 21. I want to first point out that this is a harmful mutation which results in Down’s syndrome,  so it hardly counts as evidence for evolution. Also, while this might technically be an increase, it is not the type of increase we are looking for in order for macroevolution to be true. The human already had the information, it just was duplicated. This is not new information. It leads to a harmful mutation, and it certainly tells us nothing about the origin of the information.
* It is rather unfortunate that some “progressive creationists” (or old Earth creationists) like Hugh Ross do believe in the fixity of species. However, this is not the view of young earth creationists. The book of Genesis teaches us that animals of the same "kind" can produce offspring. This certainly puts the "kind" in a higher taxonomy then the "species" level. In fact, some animals of a different genus can also produce offspring. The Biblical kind doesn’t perfectly fit in with any of the classification levels, partly because of the diversity of life that has ensued since the creatures were created 6,000 years ago, and simply because the Bible’s criteria for being the same "kind" is different than the classification levels we have today.
1. Because of the confusion between the terms micro and macro, some major creationist organizations such as Answers In Genesis have opted to avoid using these terms all together. See AiG’s article on “Arguments we think creationists should NOT use”: <http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp> In my opinion as long as the terms are properly and clearly defined, then they are still useful.
2. Carl Wieland, Creation Ex Nihilo, “Beetle bloopers”, Volume 19 Issue 3 June 1997 <http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/beetle.asp>
3. Howard and Margery Facklam, Bacteria, Twenty-First Century Books, p. 10, 1994
4. George B. Johnson, The Living World Second Edition, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, p. 176, 2000
Available online at www.trueauthority.com/cvse/micromacro.htm