Re: Debate over evolution

From: David C Campbell <amblema@bama.ua.edu>
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 14:57:26 EDT

> Yes, there is some sloppiness.
> But a micro-macro continuum doesn't require "slippery slope" denials
about the utility of a micro-macro distinction.<

I agree that there is theoretical usefulness in such a distinction,
though micro/macroevolution are not the best terms in light of their
existing biological definitions. I also agree that demonstrating some
examples of evolutionary continuity does not prove that it can be
extrapolated across the board.

However, in practice, the distinction between "macroevolution" and
"microevolution" being "what I don't believe" and "what I do believe"
makes the difference entirely arbitrary and meaningless. Any evolution
can be dismissed as microevolution.

Those who do make some sort of explicit definition of their difference
between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" are generally endorsing
the delusion that species (occasionally a slightly higher taxonomic
level) cannot evolve into other species.

>it's useful to know that 0 celsius is cold and 100 celsius is hot, even
though "drawing THE line" isn't an exact process<

Yes, but in my experience with claims about the falsehood of
"macroevolution", one can't know that 0 is cold and 100 is hot-it
depends on what one wants it to be.

----------------------------------------
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487
"James gave the huffle of a snail in
danger But no one heard him at all" A.
A. Milne
Received on Mon Aug 1 14:59:21 2005

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