Microevolution, broadly defined, is the inevitable small-scale changes in allele frequencies in a population within the same species. Under this broad definition, this change in overall allele frequencies occurs with every birth or death of a member of the species. In other words, some generations of people might be taller than the last or shorter than the last based on the number of individuals who happen to have the "tall" gene. Microevolution does not involve changing from one kind to another, and it does not create new kinds.
Many evolutionists, although not all, claim that the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution is arbitrary because they indicate that microevolution leads to macroevolutionary changes. In other words, as microevolutionary changes accumulate it leads to macroevolution. However, there have been prominent evolutionists who dispute this matter and argue that the mechanisms underlying microevolution cannot be extrapolated to support the general theory of evolution (macroevolution). Creationists argue that microevolution/adaptation/variation within a kind of animal occurs, but macroevolution does not occur.
Specifically, the website Darwinism Refuted indicates:
|“||In the same way, the different finches that Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands are another example of variation that is no evidence for "evolution." Recent observations have revealed that the finches did not undergo an unlimited variation as Darwin's theory presupposed. Moreover, most of the different types of finches which Darwin thought represented 14 distinct species actually mated with one another, which means that they were variations that belonged to the same species. Scientific observation shows that the finch beaks, which have been mythicized in almost all evolutionist sources, are in fact an example of "variation"; therefore, they do not constitute evidence for the theory of evolution. For example, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who spent years observing the finch varieties in the Galapagos Islands looking for evidence for Darwinistic evolution, were forced to conclude that "the population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth," a fact which implied that no "evolution" that leads to the emergence of new traits ever takes place there.||”|
- 1 Dr. Grady McMurtry on microevolution vs. macroevolution
- 2 Microevolution in Creation Science
- 3 Intelligent design theorist on microevolution vs. macroevolution
- 4 Microevolution in Bacteria
- 5 Rapid Rates
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Dr. Grady McMurtry on microevolution vs. macroevolution
|“|| It is a commonly held belief of evolutionists that small changes in genetic materials (mutations) will ultimately produce the presumed large changes necessary for one biological organism to change into a different kind of biological organism which is commonly called macroevolution. This belief is not valid. Scientifically, a mutation is a copying error of previously existing information contained in the DNA: a mutation is a structural change in the hereditary material which makes the offspring different from its parents.
It is acknowledged that the Laws of Genetics are conservative, they are not “creative.” Genetics only copies or rearranges the previously existing information and passes it on to the next generation. When copying information, you have only two choices; you can only copy it perfectly or imperfectly, you cannot copy something “more perfectly.” Mutations do not build one upon another beneficially. Mutations do not create new organs; they only modify existing organs and structures. Mutations overwhelmingly lose information; they do not gain it; therefore, mutations cause changes which are contrary of evolutionary philosophy.
As a follow on, the addition of excess undirected energy will destroy the previously existing system. Indeed, you will never get an increase in the specifications on the DNA to create new organs without the input from a greater intelligence.
Mutations affect and are affected by many genes and other intergenic information acting in combination with one another. The addition of the accidental duplication of previously existing information is detrimental to any organism.
Mutations do produce “microevolution,” however, this term is far better understood as merely “lateral adaptation,” which is only variation within a kind, a mathematical shifting of gene frequency within a gene pool. The shifting of gene frequencies and a loss of information cannot produce macroevolution.
As Dr. Roger Lewin commented after the 1980 University of Chicago conference entitled “Macroevolution”:
“The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. … At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.” [Emphasis added]
Dr. Roger Lewin, “Evolution Theory under Fire,” Science. Vol. 210, 21 November 1980. p. 883-887.
|“|| Among all the claims made during the evolutionary synthesis, perhaps the one that found least acceptance was the assertion that all phenomena of macroevolution can be ‘reduced to,' that is, explained by, microevolutionary genetic processes. Not surprisingly, this claim was usually supported by geneticists but was widely rejected by the very biologists who dealt with macroevolution, the morphologists and paleontologists. Many of them insisted that there is more or less complete discontinuity between the processes at the two levels—that what happens at the species level is entirely different from what happens at the level of the higher categories. Now, 50 years later the controversy remains undecided.
...In this respect, indeed, macroevolution as a field of study is completely decoupled from microevolution.
Microevolution in Creation Science
Whilst many creation scientists agree with the concept of microevolution, but call it adaptation, they argue that there is a large difference between microevolution and macroevolution. However, as indicated above, most evolutionary scientists do not make any real distinction between the two, and leading creationists argue that using the terms "microevolution" and "macroevolution" obscures the real distinction, that being between the unobserved information-generating mutations that evolution requires and information-destroying mutations that are observed.
Intelligent design theorist on microevolution vs. macroevolution
Intelligent design (ID) is the empirically testable theory that the natural world shows signs of having been designed by a purposeful, intelligent cause. As Jonathan Wells wrote, "ID ... asserts only that some features of living things are better explained by an intelligent cause than by unguided processes."  Wells, among others, uses ID to rebut the Darwinian assertion that the features of living things are "inexplicable on the theory of creation" but fully explicable as products of unguided natural forces.
The central idea of Intelligent Design theory is that design is empirically detectable, just as the detectability of design in man-made objects is straightforward, non-controversial, and often intuitive (see: design detection).
Intelligent design theorist on macroevoolution vs. microevolution:
- Microevolution versus Macroevolution: Two Mistakes by Kirk Durston
Microevolution in Bacteria
Microevolution is the process by which bacteria may develop resistance to antibiotics. We regularly use antibiotics to stop bacterial infections. When a colony of bacteria is exposed to an antibiotic that matches the colony's gram type, the bacteria are likely to die if they do not have genes that produce molecules to inhibit the action of the antibiotic. If the survivors reproduce, the colony will contain only bacteria that have inherited resistance genes. A second application of the same antibiotic will not affect them.
Genes to resist various antibiotics are natural for bacteria to produce because the many species of bacteria war with each other for more space using these chemicals on each other. In order to protect itself, a given species of bacteria would at least have genes for resistance to the particular antibiotic it produces. Resistance genes can also be produced by random mutation, usually through mistakes in copying the DNA during cell division. Furthermore, bacteria can pass genes for antibiotic resistance between strains and even between species through plasmids containing the gene for resistance.
Because antibiotics have been used so widely in medicine, there is increasing concern about developing strains of bacteria that can acquire multiple resistances to most of the antibiotics we use (such as MRSA). High compliance with infection control measures and a prudent and more restrictive use of antibiotics are the key measures to prevent epidemics based on bacteria with multiresistance.
If the world is as old as is commonly claimed, we should see animals today evolving at a rate consistent with this, over thousands and millions of years. That is why it is shocking for the scientific community that the accumulating evidence shows instead that microevolution occurs over decades, rather than thousands and millions of years. David Skelly of Yale University has observed that the evolutionary rates are far faster than those presumed by evolutionary theory:
|“||Ecology is being transformed by the recognition that ecological and evolutionary timescales are not easily differentiated. A 1999 review of evolutionary rates by Andrew Hendry and Mike Kinnison (The pace of modern life: measuring rates of contemporary microevolution. Evolution 53:1637-1653) provided the striking conclusion that rates of contemporary evolution are much faster than generally appreciated... Our work reveals that a number of traits including critical thermal maximum, embryonic development rate, and thermal preference behavior all show variation consistent with local adaptation that occurs on the scale of decades and tens of meters. These findings offer a startlingly different picture of interactions between organisms and their environment prompting us to rethink, in larger sense, how we should conceive of ecological assemblages.||”|
Australia's 'Toxic Toad'
In one of the most widely publicized cases of unexpected rapid microevolution, Australian Cane Toads defied predictions based on evolutionary theory by experts about how they would react after being introduced to Australia. Within decades they evolved longer legs and heat tolerance, running amok and causing havoc for the wildlife; and instituting a national catastrophe for the continent.
|“||The evolutionary processes spawned by the cane toad invasion have occurred in a span of just 70 years. This adds to evidence from the past two decades that populations can adapt quickly when selection pressure is strong. 'We're taught evolution occurs over these very, very long time frames. But in systems like these, it's incredibly fast,' Shine, the study co-author, said.||”|
|“||'All of a sudden in the last 10 years it changes,' said Skelly. 'They're moving into areas where the physical environment is not like anything in their native range.' That implies that the cane toads have evolved more tolerance for the hotter climates they are now encountering. This is on top of the discovery last year that the toads at the forefront of the invasion had evolved longer legs than those in the interior of their range. The ability of animals to evolve so quickly needs to be factored into invasions, or the dangers of invasive species will likely be underestimated, argue Skelly and his colleagues Mark Urban, Ben Phillips and Richard Shine in an article in the March 28 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society-B.||”|
According to the assumptions of evolutionary theory, if evolution always went at the rate that we see today, there should be 160 times more differences between humans and apes. So rather than assume 'the present is the key to the past', scientists then decided that evolutionary rates today have accelerated for some reason.
|“||If humans had always evolved at this rate, the difference between modern humans and chimps should be 160 times greater than it really is. 'We realized we must be in a transient [phase], that evolution hasn't been going this fast for long in our species,' Harpending said. 'And so we wondered why.'||”|
|“||'I was raised with the belief that modern humans showed up 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and haven't changed,' explained Henry C. Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. 'The opposite seems to be true.'... If evolution had been proceeding steadily at the current rate since humans and chimps separated 6 million years ago there should be 160 times more differences than the researchers found. That indicates that human evolution had been slower in the distant past, Harpending explained.||”|
Italian Wall Lizards
In 1971, scientists introduced 5 pairs of Italian Wall Lizards to a small island off the coast of Croatia. However, the Croatian War of Independence prevented the scientists from returning to the island for more than 30 years. When the war ended, tourism finally began again in 2004, allowing them to return. The researchers were unsure if the lizards would still be alive. Instead, they found the island swarming with lizards, which genetic testing showed to be descendants of their original 5. The new lizards had wiped out native lizard populations by evolving cecal valves, muscles between the large and small intestines, with which to digest native vegetation, an expanded gut structure, as well as a harder bite.
|“||Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows. In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say... Such physical transformation in just 30 lizard generations takes evolution to a whole new level, Irschick said. It would be akin to humans evolving and growing a new appendix in several hundred years, he said. 'That's unparalleled. What's most important is how fast this is,' he said.||”|
Contrary to theoretical predictions based on evolutionary theory, genomes for the Angiosperm Silene (a flowering plant) evolved far more rapidly than was expected, as reported in the January 2012 issue of PLoS Biology. Researchers are now trying to find an explanation for why such rapid microevolution is occurring, and a new model that will avoid such surprises in the future.
|“||Contrary to theoretical predictions, these genomes have experienced a massive proliferation of noncoding content... The evolution of mutation rate, genome size, and chromosome structure can therefore be extremely rapid and interrelated in ways not predicted by current evolutionary theories... We discuss the implications of the unprecedented mitochondrial genome diversity found within Silene and possible alternative explanations for the rapid genome evolution in this genus.||”|
A 2009 study observed that rodents evolve at "unprecedented rates" given climate change and population growth, and that rapid evolutionary change in rodents has been occurring for over a century. The article also notes research on rapid Micrevolution has previously been "infrequently documented", but that despite this, more and more evidence is cropping up for it.
|“||Our results indicate that over the last 100+ years, rapid morphological change in rodents has occurred quite frequently, and that these changes have taken place on the mainland as well as on islands. Our results also suggest that these changes may be driven, at least in part, by human population growth and climate change.||”|
- Darwinism Refuted
- Darwinism Refuted
- Adaptation. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- AAAS press release
- Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (Creation Ministries International).
- "Dembski and Wells argue calmly and convincingly that intelligent design theory is empirically testable (in spite of Darwinists' shrill protests to the contrary) by indicating precisely what it would take to refute the theory, namely a clear demonstration that systems exhibiting irreducible complexity with specified complexity can in fact arise spontaneously by purely material processes" source: The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems - Amazon page
- An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences. ID Defined
- Skelly, David K. "Rapid Evolution." Yale University. School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
- Roach, John (2006, February 15). "Toxic Toads Evolve Longer Legs, Study Says." National Geographic.
- O'Hanlon, Larry (2007, April 2). "Toxic Toads Evolving Quickly." DiscoveryNews.
- Roach, John (2007, December 11). "Human Evolution Speeding Up." National Geographic.
- Schmid, Randolph E. (2007, December 10). "Researchers: Human Evolution Speeding Up." The Washington Post.
- Johnson, Kimberly (2008, April 21). "Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island." National Geographic.
- Sloan, D.B., Alverson, A.J., Chuckalovcak, J.P., et. al. (2012, January). "Rapid Evolution of Enormous, Multichromosomal Genomes in Flowering Plant Mitochondria with Exceptionally High Mutation Rates." In PLoS Biology. Public Library of Science.
- Pergams ORW, Lawler JJ (2009, April 21). "Recent and Widespread Rapid Morphological Change in Rodents." PLoS ONE 4(7): e6452. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006452.