What is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution?From an evolutionist's perspective the difference between microevolution and macroevolution is simply a matter of scale and time. The general understanding among evolutionists is that macroevolution is the culmination of microevolutionary events over a long period of time, applied at or above the species level. On the other hand, a creationist views microevolution as observable and consistent with biblical truth while macroevolution is theoretical, contradictory to what has been observed in nature, and contradictory to the biblical account of creation.
Microevolution involves the alteration of genetic information in a species over a short period of time, sometimes within a human lifespan. Since it happens over the course of a few generations it is easily observable and there is ample evidence to prove its occurrence in nature. The alteration of genetic material can happen in a variety of ways resulting in either a rearrangement, corruption, or loss of a trait.
First, microevolution occurs through typical reproduction. All organisms have heritable variety which means that their DNA, while consistent across the species, may be expressed in different ways based on the combination of dominant and recessive traits in offspring. Next, it happens through natural selection in which individuals with traits better suited to survive in an environment are more likely to reproduce and pass those traits down to the next generation. Also, it takes place through gene flow or migration in which a genetic variation is transferred when an individual moves from one population to another. In addition, it can occur through genetic drift in which the frequency of an allele changes due to a random selection of certain genes. Finally, mutations change the DNA in an individual through removing something, thus leading to a different variation of a trait.
An example of microevolution through the process of natural selection is the peppered moth in England. The majority of the moths were white with speckled black dots allowing them to camouflage into the white trees where they lived. Some of the moths were black and more likely to be eaten by predators. However, during the Industrial Revolution the trees became covered in soot, turning them black. Birds were able to easily prey upon the white colored moths. The rarer black moths ended up surviving better and reproduced more often until the majority of the population became black.
Macroevolution purportedly involves the alteration of genetic material over a long period of time leading to the creation of new species. Evolutionists believe that the first single-celled organism appeared on Earth around 3.8 billion years ago. Universal Common Descent is the commonly accepted theory that all life forms share this organism as a common ancestor. The theory goes that through the accumulation of microchanges over time it developed into the first fish, which in turn led to the development of amphibians, then reptiles, and eventually mammals. The process of macroevolution occurs at or above a species level rather than within a species. It is said to be the result of the compounded alterations produced by reproduction, natural selection, gene flow/migration, genetic drift, and mutation. The shared ancestor did not contain all the DNA present in living creatures today, so genetic material was added as one species transitioned into a new one. An example of macroevolution would be the transition from an ape-like ancestor into both the apes and humans of today.
Evolutionists link microevolution and macroevolution, suggesting the latter is a byproduct of the first. They claim that macroevolution is the result of the same processes as those we observe in microevolution. However, macroevolution is all theoretical as there is no observable evidence of it in nature. The family trees explaining the evolution of a single-celled organism into the various species alive today are based on commonalities in DNA and behaviors across species. However, there are no fossil records of the organisms meant to represent the transitional stages between species. These are only represented through hypothetical drawings. Evolutionists claim mutations are the key to the creation of new genetic material. Yet, despite numerous studies, the genetic mutations observed in nature have only deleted rather than added to the genetic makeup of an organism.
Christians can accept microevolution as true. It has been proven through observable examples in nature and it supports the Genesis 1 account of animals multiplying according to their kind. It does not call for the creation of new genetic material, but works within the existing genetics to allow species to adapt as environments and circumstances change. Macroevolution, however, is not supported by evidence and goes against the Genesis account of creation.
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