What Is The Difference Between Macroevolution And Microevolution? | The Institute for Creation Research

What Is The Difference Between Macroevolution And Microevolution?

There is much misinformation about these two words, and yet, understanding them is perhaps the crucial prerequisite for understanding the creation/evolution issue.

Macroevolution refers to major evolutionary changes over time, the origin of new types of organisms from previously existing, but different, ancestral types. Examples of this would be fish descending from an invertebrate animal, or whales descending from a land mammal. The evolutionary concept demands these bizarre changes.

Microevolution refers to varieties within a given type. Change happens within a group, but the descendant is clearly of the same type as the ancestor. This might better be called variation, or adaptation, but the changes are "horizontal" in effect, not "vertical." Such changes might be accomplished by "natural selection," in which a trait within the present variety is selected as the best for a given set of conditions, or accomplished by "artificial selection," such as when dog breeders produce a new breed of dog.

The small or microevolutionary changes occur by recombining existing genetic material within the group. As Gregor Mendel observed with his breeding studies on peas in the mid 1800's, there are natural limits to genetic change. A population of organisms can vary only so much. What causes macroevolutionary change?

Genetic mutations produce new genetic material, but do these lead to macroevolution? No truly useful mutations have ever been observed. The one most cited is the disease sickle-cell anemia, which provides an enhanced resistance to malaria. How could the occasionally deadly disease of SSA ever produce big-scale change?

Evolutionists assume that the small, horizontal microevolutionary changes (which are observed) lead to large, vertical macroevolutionary changes (which are never observed). This philosophical leap of faith lies at the eve of evolution thinking.

A review of any biology textbook will include a discussion of microevolutionary changes. This list will include the variety of beak shape among the finches of the Galapagos Islands, Darwin's favorite example. Always mentioned is the peppered moth in England, a population of moths whose dominant color shifted during the Industrial Revolution, when soot covered the trees. Insect populations become resistant to DDT, and germs become resistant to antibiotics. While in each case, observed change was limited to microevolution, the inference is that these minor changes can be extrapolated over many generations to macroevolution.

In 1980 about 150 of the world's leading evolutionary theorists gathered at the University of Chicago for a conference entitled "Macroevolution." Their task: "to consider the mechanisms that underlie the origin of species" (Lewin, Science vol. 210, pp. 883-887). "The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution . . . the answer can be given as a clear, No."

Thus the scientific observations support the creation tenet that each basic type is separate and distinct from all others, and that while variation is inevitable, macroevolution does not and did not happen.

* Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1996. What Is The Difference Between Macroevolution And Microevolution?. Acts & Facts. 25 (10).

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Forged in Faith: The Hard Work of Making Disciples | Creation.Live...
Jesus commanded that we make disciples, but what does that mean in this modern world? Has the church gone soft?   Hosts Trey and...

NEWS
Algal Microfossils Show No Evolution
Creation scientists maintain that if something is living, then it’s automatically complex. This applies to organisms ranging from a single bacterium...

CREATION PODCAST
Rapid Erosion Devastates Deep Time! | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Erosion takes place slowly, over millions of years, right? That's what mainstream science tells us anyway. Or, does erosion happen far more...

NEWS
Flood Solves Land and Marine Mixing Near the Andes
A recent article published by Hakai Magazine claims to reveal secrets of an ancient inland sea that existed east of the Andes Mountains,1...

NEWS
T. rex Out of Nowhere
As one of the largest predators ever at 45 feet long, it’s no wonder school children are enthralled with Tyrannosaurus rex. But where did the...

NEWS
February 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11 NKJV) ICR February 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Evolutionist and ICR Research Both Attempting to Explain Fossil...
Recent evolutionary research is attempting to provide an explanation for why some animals became smaller over time. Or equivalently, it is attempting...

NEWS
Animal Features Did Not Evolve
There’s no doubt that animals in God’s creation have iconic features. The question is, did these features evolve or were they created that...

CREATION PODCAST
Taking a Closer Look at Uniquely Human Eyes | The Creation Podcast:...
While we might take them for granted, our eyes are incredibly complex organs. How do they work? Is it possible for eyes to have evolved over long...

NEWS
The Conserved Complexity of Eye Cell Types
The late leading evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, said the eye appeared at least 40 times “during the evolution of animal diversity.”1...