Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Macro and Micro Evolution

This post is a direct response to the challenge and lies presented by Colleen @ ID .  As far as Blogspot has granted me the tools, I have strived to produce an APA-formatted research paper.  Obviously I have left out the double-spacing, running head and title page, but the references are sound.  So, let's begin.

Colleen @ ID 's comment was that there is no correlation between micro-evolution and macro-evolution.  Her argument is that micro-evolution does not lead to macro-evolution, so my point regarding Darwin and the human eye was moot.

I am fairly certain that Colleen @ ID  will be happy when I admit that she is abosolutely correct.  However, it is likely that Colleen @ ID  will be dismayed when I explain why she is correct.

First I have to explain what the difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution.

Micro-evolution involves the gradual evolution of and between species of animals.  For those who don't understand, an example of animals who are of different species but are still the same animal type are parrots and parakeets.  They are both birds, but they are different species of birds.  Micro-evolution is the process by which a new species develops within the animal type.

For instance, scientists have studied the evolution of the sea urchin, Micraster, where they have successfully demonstrated micro-evolution (Arora, & Kania, 2009, p. 202).  The scientists were able to track the genetic changes of the mouthparts and other skeletal openings of the species until the original became so different from the later fossils that they could be identified as a new species.  Scientists have also been able to use micro-evolution to explain the intermediate forms between two different species (Arora, & Kania, 2009, pp. 202, 203).

Micro-evolution, as described in the book by Arora and Kania (2009, p. 203) is, "a continuous and gradual change in an inter-breeding population.  These small variations gradually accumulate to form large differences in structure."

Until some time after the 1970's macro-evolution was known as gradualism (O'Neil, 2011).  Macro-evolution has to do with the changing of one animal type into a completely different animal type and does not occur on a regular, systematic basis like micro-evolution.  Instead, macro-evolution occurs in irregular fits and bursts and is likely the result of major changes in the environment.

While the exact changes are unknown, likely suspects are predator pressure, meteorite impacts or disease (O'Neil, 2011).  The exact cause of the periodic increase is not important for this blog entry, but it would still be fascinating to find out.

Macro-evolution accepts that the only changes that are observed, sometimes for millions of years, only occur within species.  Remember that intra- and inter-species evolution is micro-evolution, and not the focus of macro-evolutionists.

Macro-evolutionists have discovered that differences in specific genes, called "regulator genes" produce very dramatic, new variations in body types and are responsible for allowing a drastic enough change in the body type and other characteristics of the animal to allow its offspring to survive in the new environment.

Macro-evolution is not a steady process where evolutionary traits are intereted and an entire line of species continues to improve.  The process works more like a saw blade where there are improvements, then mass extinction, then improvements and mass extenction again (O'Neil, 2011).

Why Colleen @ ID  is categorically wrong is very simple.  Micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two completely different processes.  One does not lead to the other because, although similar mechanics are causing both, they are completely different.  It is as though Colleen @ ID Colleen @ ID  was saying that no one could possibly get to the store because some people walked and others used a pogo stick.  Sorry, Colleen @ ID , but both micro-evolution and macro-evolution are both evolution, but of course one does not cause the other.  Both happen, sometimes at the same time, but they are different.

Colleen @ ID  should learn about evolution before making public statements about it.

Arora, Mohan P., & Kania, Chander (2009). Organic evolution. Mumbai, India: Himalaya Publishing House.

O'Neil, Dennis (2011). Micro and Macro Evolution.  Retrieved 14 September, 2011, from


  1. It is obvious through your writing that you don't clearly understand the subject matter. Nor do you understand how to present a research paper. For one, two resources do not make a research paper or any kind of crediable paper, opinionated or factual. Secondly I can tell you heard the words micro and macro evolution googled them took a few sentences and formed an opinion on them on what you thought they ment. I can tell you right now that you have defined micro incorrectly or perhaps you don't understand it's concept. Your quote on micro is correct but the description in your own words is incorrect, and clearly shows your lack of actual knowledge on the subject. That leads to my third point, which also circles back to my first point, do your research. Like I've said, two references do not make a research paper, nor does it allow the writer to become knowledgeable on the subject or crediable to their audience. It seems rather foolish to try and discredit someone else by presenting a "research paper" in which you can only back yourself up with two sources.

  2. The whole point of a blog is not to make it 10 pages long. Blog entries are to be short and to the point.

    I have included two credible resources, one for each point to demonstrate that they are different - micro and macro. I have demonstrated this, using credible sources.

    I invite you to prove me wrong with credible sources. That's why I have left the blogs open for comments. However, you will need to prove my sources wrong as well.

  3. I was hoping to post sooner with more but alas I have a life and you beat me to posting, but it has given me a chance to flip through my old textbooks and search online sources. 

    I'm going to post what I was going to before your comment And then I will answer your comment. 

    QUOTE: " Sorry, Colleen @ ID , but both micro-evolution and macro-evolution are both evolution, but of course one does not cause the other.  Both happen, sometimes at the same time, but they are different."

    I literally laughed out loud at this. The whole premis of macroevolution is based upon Darwins observations of microevolution. Without micro the theory of macro wouldn't even exist. If neither have anything to do with each other except for the fact they are both umbrellaed under the term evolution, then what is the theory of macroevolution based upon? All "evidence" of macro ever occurring has been in evidence of the micro evolutionary process. 

  4. Okay now that I got that out of the way...

    I don't know if you expected me to not look at your sources (although I only have access to the online source). While it has good information, there is nothing in it to suggest the point of your paper. In fact I'm going use it as well. 
    Here's a quote from one of my sources:
    "Microevolution refers to small-scale changes in population allele frequencies that arise from mutations, natural selection, gene flow and genetic drift" (Starr, 2006, pg. 247). 
    Now in your source when talking of evolution at an accelerated rate it uses genetic drift as a trigger for rapid evolution. 
    "Genetic drift would then potentially speed up the rate of evolution. If by chain nature favored successful adaptations, the population would again increase in numbers as a radically changed species" (O'Neil, 2011). 
    So from these two sources we can gather that they are related, however, they are defined by what they affect. 

    Now on to quoting sources that show the the lack of difference of the two:
    "Because for biologists, there is no relevant difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Both happen in the same way and for the same reasons, so there is no real reason to differentiate them. When biologists do use different terms it is simply for descriptive reasons" (Cline, n.d.). {now this is not a site I would normally go to for info but being written by an atheist, and the fact it is what I've experienced In all my biology work I'll use it here}
    While I don't believe there is no reason to differentiate (I say this because I don't believe macro can happen and until it is proven I believe there should be separate terms) there is no distinction between the two except one is proven to occur and is small scale while the other is a theory based upon the latter. 
    And then there's this one:
    "Microevolution happens on a small scale (within a single population), while macroevolution happens on a scale that transcends the boundaries of a single species. Despite their differences, evolution at both of these levels relies on the same, established mechanisms of evolutionary change:

    genetic drift
    natural selection" (Evolution, n.d.).

    "Micro does not lead to macro"

    This comment stands, not because they are unrelated (they are in fact one in the same at different scales, one more progressive than the other) but because macro is just a theory based upon micro yet to be proven. 

    Cline, Austin. (n.d.). Microevolution vs Macroevolution: Is There A Difference Between Microevolution & Macroevolution?. Agnosticism / Atheism - Skepticism & Atheism for Atheists & Agnostics. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from

    Evolution at different scales: micro to macro. (n.d.). Understanding Evolution. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from

    O'Neil, D. (2011). Micro and Macro Evolution.  Retrieved September 15, 2011, from

    Starr, C. (2006). Biology Concepts and Applications. (sixth ed.). New York: Brooks/Cole Pub Co.

  5. I also wanted to add that your definition of microevolution is incorrect. Microevolution does not have to do with one species turning into another but rather the variations within a species. Parrots and parakeets are two different species of birds (same genus different species). A parrot may evolve (different color, size beak ect.) but it will always be a parrot. This is like humans and monkeys. Both of are the Homo genus but are different species. Humans have micro evolved within their species-such as different ethnicities-however even though there is a variation in humans they are still of one species.
    Another thing, I have never heard this term ever, what is an animal type? You talk about it as if it is a classification-which it is not- are you referring to the genus category?

  6. Micro-evolution has to do with one species turning into another, eventually, but still remaining the same animal.

    Micro-evolution has to do with inbreeding populations and the changes that occur within those populations over time. I didn't define it - I'm pulling the definition from an expert.

    Macro-evolution has to do with changing one type of animal into another over time.

    I don't know how to make it any more plain, so I'm just going to leave it here. Any reader, besides you I guess, will be able to read my post, read our responses and make up their own mind.

    As for animal type, I was referring to Phylum (mainly), for the more dramatic changes of macro-evolution, but macro-evolution also includes everything down to, but not including genus (keep in mind, however, that taxonomists make this stuff up as they go along, and the rules for what qualifies each category are fuzzy). I try to keep it simple for my readers - as simple as possible.

    Saying that micro- and macro-evolution have to be one single process for evolution to work or not work flies in the face of all of the experts who says it does work. Not only that, but the technique you are using to try to prove your point is called "blinding with science". You are trying to confuse readers into thinking that you must be right. My final statement on this topic will be this:

    The processes of micro- and macro-evoltion are related only in that they involve the same kind of change. One is more drastic than the other. Micro-evolution can be compared to a burning candle. Yes, it is fire. Yes, it shows a visible flame. Yes, the fire is consuming the wick and the candle. However, macro-evolution can be compared to a barn fire. Yes, it's fire... but a lot more fire. Yes, it's consuming something, but what it is consuming is not the same (candle/barn).

    Before you try to argue the comparison as being one in your favor with something like, "a candle could fall down and start a barn fire", that's not how barn fires generally start unless the farmer does it on purpose to collect the insurance money, and so I'm not suggesting that the candle started the barn fire.

    Natasha - you are trying to compare two different things. I am saying that one has not been proven to lead to the other, and you are saying the same thing. On this we agree - but then you go on to try to disprove my definition of what micro- and macro-evolution are... to confuse the readers.

    I will post on the development of morality tomorrow.

  7. "Microevolution happens on a small scale (within a single population), while macroevolution happens on a scale that transcends the boundaries of a single species."

    This is the only thing I'm going to say about your comment. You are right that i am trying to disprove your definition. You are still wrong about the definition of micro-it does not transcend species-it does not change one species into another. That is macro. I have quoted sources on this. You on the other hand have only said different in your own words. Not a single one of your sources (a whole two) states that micro involves change from one species to another.
    Also your reason for using "animal type" does not fly as you didn't use it for macro, you used it to describe micro. Get your argument together.
    I am not the one trying to confuse readers. I am only here to correct your incorrectness and inconstancies. I am not confusing readers with terms that don't exist and only using parts of quotes to suit my fancy.

    You called me to prove you wrong with crediable sources. I did that and then you state I'm am "blinding with science". What a bunch of bologna. If I wasn't suppose to use scientific facts to argue my point what was I suppose to do? Use my own words like yourself? You've been discredited and that's all you can say to try and get some of it back.

    This very well may be my last post as it's pointless to argue with someone who makes things up. Even other atheists (as I have quoted) don't agree with you.