Re: Macro- and microevolution

From: bivalve (
Date: Fri Jun 15 2001 - 15:17:56 EDT

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    >Allan Harvey, wrote:
    >> Somebody, I think on this list, once remarked that "microevolution" is usually effectively defined as "evolution I believe in" while "macroevolution" means "evolution I don't believe in." I too would like to see anti-evolutionists give the terms scientific definitions and use them consistently. I'm not holding my breath.<<
    >Paul Nelson replied
    >In short, the distinction between micro- and macroevolution was formulated by evolutionary biologists (not creationists or design theorists), and remains a topic of active research and debate within evolutionary theory.<

    As the someone on this list who made that comment, I would note that both of these statements are true. Macroevolution is indeed a term originated by evolutionary biologists and is a topic of active research. However, many young-earth or ID advocates have taken up the term with their own meaning; as far as I can tell, "evolution I do not believe in" is that definition. Some individuals do provide a more specific definition as to exactly what evolution they do or do not believe in, but this still is not the biological definition. In evolutionary biology, macroevolution is evolutionary processes acting at or above the species level other than the everyday population-level processes, which are microevolution. Note that a biologist who thinks that the everyday processes of mutation and selection can adequately account for the full range of evolution, from the first cell to all modern life, would thus not believe in macroevolution in the biological sense, yet clearly believe!
    s in macroevolution as used by YECs et al.

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