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A Definition Question


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#1 Guest_The Beagle_*

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 03:11 AM

Hi everyone. I'm new here, so pardon me if this has been discussed.

Could you please provide your definition of

1) Microevolution
2) Macroevolution
3) Speciation

along with which of these three (if any) has been proven in the lab or field. Also, if you could, please explain why you believe the others (or all of them) are impossible.

Thanks,
TB

#2 Fred Williams

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 09:09 PM

Hi everyone. I'm new here, so pardon me if this has been discussed.

Could you please provide your definition of

1) Microevolution
2) Macroevolution
3) Speciation

along with which of these three (if any) has been proven in the lab or field. Also, if you could, please explain why you believe the others (or all of them) are impossible.

Thanks,
TB

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Please see my article on The Evolution Definition Shell Game.

In the future, I plan on adding a "definition" FAQ since we often-times seem to start a discussion by first trying to agree on a definition. Another classic example is the battle over what information, or what a code is.

Please note that I consider anyone who claims that microevolution or allopatric speciation is proof that evolution occurs is in violation of the forum rules (equivocation), and will likely be banned. The CvE forum is a place to debate whether or not "...all life originated from a common ancestor". The word "all" means we are here to debate the validity of molecules-to-man evolution, not micro-evolution, or the now muddled and watered-down definition of macro-evolution. Equivocation on this is a major pet-peeve of mine, and I will not hesitate to given anyone who equivocates like this the boot. It is the most prevalant symptom of evo-babble I have ever come across. In my mind it is willful intellectual dishonesty, no different than gimmicks lawyers use when defending a person they know is guilty.

Fred

#3 Guest_Aristarchus_*

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 07:55 AM

Fred,
Your definitions seem fair but a couple more qualifications would be helpful. The distinction you note between macro and micro evolution (or macro-evolution and allopatric speciation) seem primarily to be a distincition based on the proposed result of the process. Is one allowed to argue that the mechanism is the same for these two results?

Most biologists argue that the two results are largely due to the same mechanism, and much of the debate here focuses on whether the one mechanism can produce the two types of "modification".

Second, can you give me your ideas or point to a discussion about where we can draw a line between the two? Imagine a case where we move from a common squirrel to today's flying squirrel (a glider) to a ficticious squirrel whose bones allow some primitive flapping. In this hypothetical case, can we call that "macro-evolution"? I hope this doesn't sound argumentative. I really do want to understand.

Aristarchus

p.s. I think the forums are largely fair and it is a wonderfully designed site.

#4 Fred Williams

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 04:29 PM

The distinction you note between macro and micro evolution (or macro-evolution and allopatric speciation) seem primarily to be a distincition based on the proposed result of the process. Is one allowed to argue that the mechanism is the same for these two results?


That’s part of the problem, in some cases the mechanism is the same and why macro-evolution is no longer a suitable definition for the type of evolution creationists dispute. When speciation was included in macro-evolution, it was a de facto way of making evolution “true” by default since no creationist or evolutionist scientist disputes that speciation occurs.

But the fact that speciation occurs, does not prove that large-scale evolution occurs (it is a non-sequitur). Speciation for example can occur due to lost genetic material. By default, founder events can easily lead to a new species, often at the cost of genetic material (I think the cheetah is a good example).

Second, can you give me your ideas or point to a discussion about where we can draw a line between the two?


The type of evolution that would produce all life from a common ancestor at various points along the way would require dramatic increases in genetic information. The jump from vertebrate to invertebrate, for example, simply cannot be achieved via “a generation-to-generation change in a population's frequencies of alleles or genotypes”. Over the years I have encountered theistic evolutionists who believe the first living cell had all the information within to produce all life, which is all fine and good (at least it’s intellectually honest), but it violates a major tenet of NeoDarwinism, the current evolutionary paradigm.

Just to be clear on what I think is disingenuous equivocation that we don’t want on this forum, are those evolutionists who claim that a shift in allele frequencies is all that evolution is, and since this is proven all aspects of evolution are proven. This is willfully distorting the truth, and unfortunately many evolutionists resort to this. But many other evolutionists do not resort to this, and it is these folks that are welcome here! :)

Fred

#5 lionheart209

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 10:33 AM

Please see my article on The Evolution Definition Shell Game.

In the future, I plan on adding a "definition" FAQ since we often-times seem to start a discussion by first trying to agree on a definition. Another classic example is the battle over what information, or what a code is.

Please note that I consider anyone who claims that microevolution or allopatric speciation is proof that evolution occurs is in violation of the forum rules (equivocation), and will likely be banned. The CvE forum is a place to debate whether or not "...all life originated from a common ancestor". The word "all" means we are here to debate the validity of molecules-to-man evolution, not micro-evolution, or the now muddled and watered-down definition of macro-evolution. Equivocation on this is a major pet-peeve of mine, and I will not hesitate to given anyone who equivocates like this the boot. It is the most prevalant symptom of evo-babble I have ever come across. In my mind it is willful intellectual dishonesty, no different than gimmicks lawyers use when defending a person they know is guilty.

Fred

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I've read this material you wrote FRED, its great stuff;)

#6 tkster

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:15 PM

1) Microevolution


A genetic change within a species.

2) Macroevolution


A genetic change that causes a species/genus/family/etc to alter to another species/genus/family/etc

3) Speciation


A genetic change from species to species. For the most part, you would also want to define what someone means by "evolution" as well as that is always used by people in the same way. But for the most part, that is what we mean.

tk

#7 chance

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 01:36 PM

1) Microevolution - A genetic change within a species.
2) Macroevolution – Lots of Microevolution.
3) Speciation – A possible/inevitable result of Macroevolution.

#8 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:59 PM

1) Microevolution - A genetic change within a species.
2) Macroevolution – Lots of Microevolution.
3) Speciation – A possible/inevitable result of Macroevolution.

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Macroevolution is not just alot of microevolution. This is like saying that if I jump enough times on the earth that I will eventually get to the moon.


Terry

#9 chance

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:10 PM

Macroevolution is not just alot of microevolution.  This is like saying that if I jump enough times on the earth that I will eventually get to the moon.
Terry

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It would be more like saying, if I walked from New York in a SW direction I would be closer to LA.

#10 tkster

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:46 PM

Macroevolution is not just alot of microevolution.  This is like saying that if I jump enough times on the earth that I will eventually get to the moon.


Fallacy of false analogy: There is no target of evolution. Enough compositions of genetic change could alter a species to a different species or perhaps a genus to another genus.

tk

#11 Joshua

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 10:49 AM

1) Microevolution
2) Macroevolution
3) Speciation


1 - Alteration of existing DNA information.
2 - Addition of new DNA information into the genome.
3 - Magic

#12 Guest_92g_*

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 01:21 PM

Fallacy of false analogy: There is no target of evolution.


1st, you don't know at what level evolution is true. 2nd, you don't know if it has a goal or not. At best, you can give your opinion about it. IMO, evolutionists in general deny a goal because that implies a purpose, and that's not palatable to a materialist who does not like to consider such things. That doesn't mean there couldn't be one, only that some people don't like the idea.

Enough compositions of genetic change could alter a species to a different species or perhaps a genus to another genus.


It may be theoretically possible, and you can sit around and think about the 1st living cell being mutated over and over again to produce everything we see all day, but what is the situatution in practical terms? Most genetic changes are harmful or neutral, and the odds of finding functional protiens by chance are astronomical, so at best its wishfull thinking.

What I'm saying is that in practice there are limits to how far mutations can take a given species in one direction or the other, so while the illusion is promoted by evolutionists that an infinte amount of small changes can lead to the diversity of life we see, there is no observable evidence to support it, and if anything it probably argues against it.

As far as using these terms goes, Fred has some definitions that are worth keeping in mind here definition shell game.

Please also keep Fred's comments from this thread in mind when discussing this topic.

Please note that I consider anyone who claims that microevolution or allopatric speciation is proof that evolution occurs is in violation of the forum rules (equivocation), and will likely be banned. The CvE forum is a place to debate whether or not "...all life originated from a common ancestor". The word "all" means we are here to debate the validity of molecules-to-man evolution, not micro-evolution, or the now muddled and watered-down definition of macro-evolution. Equivocation on this is a major pet-peeve of mine, and I will not hesitate to given anyone who equivocates like this the boot. It is the most prevalant symptom of evo-babble I have ever come across. In my mind it is willful intellectual dishonesty, no different than gimmicks lawyers use when defending a person they know is guilty.


Terry

#13 chance

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 01:43 PM

For a good breakdown of the definitions, i.e. when and where they were used in history, and there usage this LINK seems pretty definitive.

The link covers the first usage of micro/macro and who coined the phrase, through to the present day. Apparently the first usage was by a Russian in 1937, makes for an interesting read no matter what side of the fence one sits.

#14 tkster

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 09:15 AM

1st, you don't know at what level evolution is true.

Observations at species and genus so far. Yes I do. Clicky.

2nd, you don't know if it has a goal or not.

Yeah I do. Mutations are random, and Natural Selection selects between favorable, infavorable, or neutral mutations.'

Your analogy would have implied that one would know how to jump, where to go, etc which Natural Selection does not know.

At best, you can give your opinion about it.

Assertions in science are true based on the evidence behind them and I have already established exactly what it is limited for Natural Selection. It can only select, and mutations are random. It can't have a goal.

IMO, evolutionists in general deny a goal because that implies a purpose, and that's not palatable to a materialist who does not like to consider such things.

Strawman: I'm not a materialist.

That doesn't mean there couldn't be one, only that some people don't like the idea.

If you are inferring I am one of those, you're simply wrong.

It may be theoretically possible, and you can sit around and think about the 1st living cell being mutated over and over again to produce everything we see all day, but what is the situatution in practical terms? Most genetic changes are harmful or neutral, and the odds of finding functional protiens by chance are astronomical, so at best its wishfull thinking.

Newsflash: Your organs are neutral. Although they do useful things for you, they can turn around and kill you just as quickly. Most mutations are neutral, they do not have to be beneficial mutations in order for evolution to work. And beneficial mutations like HIV superbug, mutated Hepetitis C, the mutated CD4 T-Receptor cell gene in humans, E.Coli, and the Nylon bug are common examples of positive mutations right off the top of my head.

What I'm saying is that in practice there are limits to how far mutations can take a given species in one direction or the other, so while the illusion is promoted by evolutionists that an infinte amount of small changes can lead to the diversity of life we see, there is no observable evidence to support it, and if anything it probably argues against it.

Oh no. Nobody is pretending.

As far as using these terms goes, Fred has some definitions that are worth keeping in mind here definition shell game.

Well good for Fred, but then again, he and I would differ in a lot of areas. And for the record, Creationists do the same supposed "game" with the Bible's interpretation. Where's the irony meter when you need one?

As for Fred's comments, he's wrong anyway. Micro-evolution is not "proof" of anything because "proof" is mathematical basis, so it's somewhat ridiculous to say that in the first place. Since proof is an absolute system, by saying evidence instead, we can theorize on the postulate.

tk

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 01:20 PM

Yeah I do.  Mutations are random, and Natural Selection selects between favorable, infavorable, or neutral mutations.'


You don't know that. Everything that we see could be designed to function as it is. I.e. God created life to adapt to the changes he knew would come. That absolutely is a goal, for the life that we see.

Assertions in science are true based on the evidence behind them and I have already established exactly what it is limited for Natural Selection.  It can only select, and mutations are random.  It can't have a goal.


From your perspective that may be true, but from my perspective, its not true. Its entirely possible that life was designed to adapt to the conditions found on earth.

IMO, evolutionists in general deny a goal because that implies a purpose, and that's not palatable to a materialist who does not like to consider such things.

Strawman: I'm not a materialist.


When I say "in general" that means that I expect exceptions. I think most evolutionists are materialists. If your not a materialist, then exactly what is your worldview?

Newsflash: Your organs are neutral.  Although they do useful things for you, they can turn around and kill you just as quickly.


Really...., just cut your heart out, and see how neutral it is.....

Most mutations are neutral, they do not have to be beneficial mutations in order for evolution to work.  And beneficial mutations like HIV superbug, mutated Hepetitis C, the mutated CD4 T-Receptor cell gene in humans, E.Coli, and the Nylon bug are common examples of positive mutations right off the top of my head.


In order for goo-to-you evolution to work, mutations have to produce " new information" . E.g. the information that it takes to produce a leg, or an eye.

I think the examples you posted involve losses of information, and while they may benefit an organism under certain conditions, they cannot produce goo-to-you evolution, and that is what the debate is about.

Terry

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 04:24 PM

Well good for Fred, but then again, he and I would differ in a lot of areas.  And for the record, Creationists do the same supposed "game" with the Bible's interpretation.  Where's the irony meter when you need one?

As for Fred's comments, he's wrong anyway.  Micro-evolution is not "proof" of anything because "proof" is mathematical basis, so it's somewhat ridiculous to say that in the first place.  Since proof is an absolute system, by saying evidence instead, we can theorize on the postulate.


Since goo-to-you evolution has never been observed, its a best a forensic case. We use forensic evidence to "prove" if someone is guilty of murder, rape, etc....

So proving something is not necessarily a mathematical problem. Are you suggesting that microevolution is "evidence" that can be used as a "forensic proof" that goo-to-you evolution took place? Are you denying it?

Terry

#17 Fred Williams

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 07:10 PM

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Tkster 's latest post was the confirmation we needed, and he is hereby issued an Evo-babble Percher Alert and has been flicked off the board.

I actually tried to restore the post after deleting it since it served as a prime example of evo-babble, but I had trouble restoring it for some reason (It's still in the 'trash can' but it won't let me move it).

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