Re: Acceptance of macroevolution

Garry DeWeese (
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:00:29 -0700

At 06:52 PM 12/11/1997 -0800, Arthur V. Chadwick wrote:
>At 06:44 PM 12/11/97 -0600, Wesley wrote:
>>Macroevolution is defined by most biologists as evolution which
>>results in species-level change or higher. Because speciation
>>has been observed to happen, it is almost universally the case
>>that denial of observed phenomena doesn't happen.
>That is a new use of the term "macroevolution". I have seen it used to
>refer to everything except speciation. This perversion of the usual use of
>the word is designed to attempt to force every change into macroevolution
>and thus remove one of the strongest objections to biological
>macroevolution: it has never been observed.

As someone on this listserve observed a few months ago (unfortunately I
forget who, and don't have time to search the archives now), in the
creation/evolution debate, "microevolution" often means "the kinds of
changes we agree can happen over time," and "macroevolution" means "the
kinds of changes which we don't agree can happen ever." Hence,
microevolution is possible and observable, and macroevolution is impossible
by definition. But settling arguments by stipulating definitions won't
work, of course.

There is a challenge here, I think, to the biologists (both YEC and
evolutionary) to formulate these concepts with much greater clarity, so
both sides can agree on what it is that we are discussing!

Garry DeWeese