Redefining Yet Again

In response to my last post, R P writes:

For those who have been following, there is another reply in my debate with Wombatty, author of the Creationist Meditations blog. The short version is that he is still at pains to distinguish between macro- and micro-evolution, and he thinks it is fallacious not to make the distinction. I think he thinks I am arguing that there can’t be a distinction, which I’m not – I am arguing that is the whole debate – but judge for yourself.

How did I get the impression that R P is ‘arguing that there can’t be a distinction?’ In his previous post, R P repsonded to this statement of mine:

…while there is no conflict between the ‘minimal definition’ and macroevolution, the former does not necessarily entail the latter. You can have ‘change in the distribution of alleles in a population over time’ without macroevolution.

…by saying:

Agreed. There is no conflict. In fact, the argument from biology is that, not only is there no conflict, there is no distinction. In other words, the concepts are nested rather than distinct. (ephases added)

So which is it? Is there a distinction between microevolution and macroevolution or not? I interpret R P’s assertion that ‘the concepts are nested rather than distinct’ to mean that while they are not ‘exactly the same thing,’ they are necessarily related, one inevitably leading to or building on the other. If I’m right, what of his claim that he is not arguing that their can’t be a distinction?

Last, if micro and macro evolution are distinct, then I maintain that it is important to make that distinction clear in both public discourse and in the schoolroom. To gloss over that distinction would be to misrepresent – or, in Scott’s words, to disguise – macroevolution. Evolutionists claims of, for instance, pesticide resistance as ‘evolution in action’ – the clear implication being macroevolution in action- are inexcusable. There is no reason to suppose that  a simplified version of macroevolution would be any more difficult for students or citizens to understand than the notion of ‘changes in the distribution of alleles in a population over time.’ In fact, I would suggest that a 10-year old or a scientifically ignorant citizen would grasp the former much easier as it doesn’t require even a rudimentary understanding of inheritance, genes or alleles.

I was ‘at pains’ in my last post to demonstrate that [ed. – an increasing number of] evolutionists themselves acknowledge a qualitative distinction between micro and macro evolution and that the latter is not simply an accumulation over geological time of the former*. That is, they are two entirely different and separate modes of biological change. I would urge those interested to read Gilbert et al’s paper Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology as it provides a very informative historical and scientific overview of the subject.



*[ed. – Not all evolutionists agree. Gradualists, like Dawkins, continue to insist that macroevolution is precisely microevolution extrapolated over geoloigical time. The point is that many staunch evolutionists acknowledge serious problems with this hypothesis. Both views fall within current evolutionary orthodoxy.] 

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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