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Micro To Macro. Really?

micro-evolution macro-evolution

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#1 Salsa

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

We often hear evolutionists make the claim that evolution is something that is being observed today.

On hearing this, the creationist objects and says "Hey, that's micro-evolution!!", at which the evolutionist swings around and replies "yeah, sure, but given enough time micro-evolutionary changes accumulate into macro-evolutionary changes."

I had never really given it that much thought before, because I have always assumed that it was probably a reasonable argument, even though we know that, despite this, macro-evoltionary changes have never been observed.

When I was asked by an evolutionist some time ago to provide any limiting factor that could hinder these changes to accumulate I couldn't really come up with a good answer.

Now it just occurred to me that perhaps, given what we observe today, this argument is not as sound as it might appear. So to test this out, I have a question:

Is there any observed micro-evolutionary change (or set of changes for that matter) that IF given the time to accumulate would result in a macro-evolutionary, or morphological change?

If not, then surely this micro-to-macro argument fails. We cannot use this so-called "observed evolution" as evidence to support the evolutionists claims as far as macro-evolution is concerned.

#2 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:57 PM

We often hear evolutionists make the claim that evolution is something that is being observed today.

On hearing this, the creationist objects and says "Hey, that's micro-evolution!!", at which the evolutionist swings around and replies "yeah, sure, but given enough time micro-evolutionary changes accumulate into macro-evolutionary changes."

I had never really given it that much thought before, because I have always assumed that it was probably a reasonable argument, even though we know that, despite this, macro-evoltionary changes have never been observed.

When I was asked by an evolutionist some time ago to provide any limiting factor that could hinder these changes to accumulate I couldn't really come up with a good answer.

Now it just occurred to me that perhaps, given what we observe today, this argument is not as sound as it might appear. So to test this out, I have a question:

Is there any observed micro-evolutionary change (or set of changes for that matter) that IF given the time to accumulate would result in a macro-evolutionary, or morphological change?

If not, then surely this micro-to-macro argument fails. We cannot use this so-called "observed evolution" as evidence to support the evolutionists claims as far as macro-evolution is concerned.


It occurs in selective breeding programs, whereby a trait is exaggerated to the point that it causes health problems in the animal. See Persian cats (the ones with the squashed noses). Some can barely breathe :(

The same can be said for any animal. At the farm I used to work at, (we had pigs), more angular legs were a trait that was desired with the pigs, since it gives more spring in their jump for mating. However this trait also made leg problems more prominent as a straighter leg would be more under the bulk of the animal and thus can hold them up better.

The same can be said for attempting to increase the size of the pig. Too long, (more ribs = more meat), and there will be back problems, too large and there will be other problems with their legs due to the weight load of the animal.


EDIT: So the limits are imposed by the physical properties themselves.

#3 Without_Excuse

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:42 PM

I hate to sound like I am talking semantics, but I have to ask for clarification. What would be considered a "macro" change? How large of a change must occur before it is considered "macro" As Gilbo brought up, you can have very large changes through selective breeding, but notice the effects that Gilbo brings up. All large changes result in a loss of survivability, thus using this term "macro" in order to prove common decent is borderline absurd. Obviously because the further you get away from what we observe as the original the more *defect* the animal/organism exhibits. That is empirical science.

#4 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

I hate to sound like I am talking semantics, but I have to ask for clarification. What would be considered a "macro" change? How large of a change must occur before it is considered "macro" As Gilbo brought up, you can have very large changes through selective breeding, but notice the effects that Gilbo brings up. All large changes result in a loss of survivability, thus using this term "macro" in order to prove common decent is borderline absurd. Obviously because the further you get away from what we observe as the original the more *defect* the animal/organism exhibits. That is empirical science.


Its a good question, I like to think of it in terms of a body plan, any permanent deviations from this body plan would be considered macro, (note deviations, not variations ;) )


EDIT: for example a dog is easily recognizable as a dog no matter how tall, long or short it is. Macro changes would mean that the dog would not be recognizable as a dog as it is now something else.

#5 Gerson

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

Its a good question, I like to think of it in terms of a body plan, any permanent deviations from this body plan would be considered macro, (note deviations, not variations ;) )


EDIT: for example a dog is easily recognizable as a dog no matter how tall, long or short it is. Macro changes would mean that the dog would not be recognizable as a dog as it is now something else.


So the question is how big is big

#6 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:33 PM

So the question is how big is big


Honestly I'm not exactly sure.

Lets try something

1. Change to dogs height
2. Change to dogs nose
3. Change to dogs leg length
4. Change to dogs legs to work a different way
5. Change to dogs ear size
6. Change to dogs posture / stance
7. Change to dogs paw size
8. Change to dogs paw shape
9. Change to dogs paw function


Which of these would you consider "macro" or just variation?

My vote is 4 and 9

#7 Salsa

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:14 PM

I hate to sound like I am talking semantics, but I have to ask for clarification. What would be considered a "macro" change?


That's the question that occured to me too. A finch with a longer beak is a finch with a longer beak, and so on...

And what I think is obvious is that it would not be enough for one micro-evolutionary change, but a whole set of them working together, for example to enable an organism living in one kind of environment to live in another.

The question is whether we observe multiple changes that indicate this kind of orchestration.

#8 Salsa

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

It occurs in selective breeding programs, whereby a trait is exaggerated to the point that it causes health problems in the animal. See Persian cats (the ones with the squashed noses). Some can barely breathe :(

The same can be said for any animal. At the farm I used to work at, (we had pigs), more angular legs were a trait that was desired with the pigs, since it gives more spring in their jump for mating. However this trait also made leg problems more prominent as a straighter leg would be more under the bulk of the animal and thus can hold them up better.

The same can be said for attempting to increase the size of the pig. Too long, (more ribs = more meat), and there will be back problems, too large and there will be other problems with their legs due to the weight load of the animal.


EDIT: So the limits are imposed by the physical properties themselves.


In other words, accumulation of micro-evolutionary changes does does not solve anything. It actually seems to cause problems.

Of course, the evolutionist will obviously counter with the claim that evolution will come in and save the day by weeding out these problems.

But still, that does not support the idea that merely by accumulating observed changes we will eventually reach macro-evolution.

Macro-evolution cannot be supported on the basis of simply magnifying small changes. The changes must be co-ordinated somehow in a way to create a new kind of animal.

This is conceptually possible, but is it something we can observe today?

#9 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:58 PM

In other words, accumulation of micro-evolutionary changes does does not solve anything. It actually seems to cause problems.

Of course, the evolutionist will obviously counter with the claim that evolution will come in and save the day by weeding out these problems.

But still, that does not support the idea that merely by accumulating observed changes we will eventually reach macro-evolution.

Macro-evolution cannot be supported on the basis of simply magnifying small changes. The changes must be co-ordinated somehow in a way to create a new kind of animal.

This is conceptually possible, but is it something we can observe today?


No it isn't

An analogy I have heard of is this, (this is how I remember it)

Imagine micro variations as you jumping a small crack in the ground... Now imagine a macro change as a canyon, how can you cross the canyon with only small jumps. You need multiple "jumps" to cross it, but the concept of one at a time will never work since the person would fall.

That is how it works in nature, unless the trait works first time everytime it will be selected against hence you'd need all the "jumps" at once (like in the canyon analogy)

#10 Portillo

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

Variation and change occurs within fundamentally stable species. What doesnt happen is animals turning into different species. The evolutionist then says what do you mean by species and kinds etc.

#11 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:39 PM

Variation and change occurs within fundamentally stable species. What doesnt happen is animals turning into different species. The evolutionist then says what do you mean by species and kinds etc.


To which I would discuss that a "kind" could be an animal (or group of animals) with the same basic body plan.

A fish is a kind of animal- (whilst there are many kinds of fish)

#12 Salsa

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:09 AM

Now imagine a macro change as a canyon, how can you cross the canyon with only small jumps. You need multiple "jumps" to cross it, but the concept of one at a time will never work since the person would fall.


Interesting, although I think this needs to be tested. I would do it myself, but, well.. let's just say I'm a bit busy. Any volunteers? B)

To which I would discuss that a "kind" could be an animal (or group of animals) with the same basic body plan.


The concept of kind/species is obviously difficult to define. However, anyone can look at the animal and plant kingdoms and without much difficulty recognize that "kinds" do exist.

Perhaps we have to accept the idea that some things refuse to fit neatly into definitions.

Although it does make debating a little tricky. :)

#13 gilbo12345

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:27 AM

Interesting, although I think this needs to be tested. I would do it myself, but, well.. let's just say I'm a bit busy. Any volunteers? B)



The concept of kind/species is obviously difficult to define. However, anyone can look at the animal and plant kingdoms and without much difficulty recognize that "kinds" do exist.

Perhaps we have to accept the idea that some things refuse to fit neatly into definitions.

Although it does make debating a little tricky. :)


Yes I agree

The canyon analogy was a hypothetical look at an irreducibly complex system, whereby you'd need multiple evolutionary advances "jumps" in order to have a working system that would be selected for. (I know I didn't explain it very well, my bad lol)

Yes even the scientific definitions of species doesn't fit the facts.

At university I was taught 2 definitions of species.

1. The simplest was- if it looks the same. However this doesn't take into account breeds of the same species that are different or that in some species females look totally different to the males

2. The 2nd was that if the species can breed to give a fertile offspring then they are the same species if not then they are different. This is defied by the insect infection Wolbachia which causes infected insects to become all female and only mate with females. Hence under the definiton above they would technically be a "new" species since they can no longer mate with the original population of insects.


My definition of kind, (which has no verification :D ), is like number 1 but is so in a broader sense. Whereby the specific physical characteristics are not recognised and a more general overview of the organism is used instead. Just the basic body plan.

Therefore fish would be all grouped together, all turtles, all mudskippers, birds all grouped together, Canines, Felines, Porcines, etc

I know that I could be totally wrong in this, but I think its the simplest way to go about it without the endless exceptions.

#14 Salsa

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:36 AM

The canyon analogy was a hypothetical look at an irreducibly complex system, whereby you'd need multiple evolutionary advances "jumps" in order to have a working system that would be selected for. (I know I didn't explain it very well, my bad lol)


No, that's OK, I figured out that that is what you were referring to, and you are absolutely right.

Changes in irreducibly complex systems are easier to imagine once the system is already in place. But standing on one side of a canyon, without even knowing there is another side, and somehow building a bridge that you don't know how to build... I mean... how much are we supposed to swallow before realizing that it just ain't gonna happen??

#15 gilbo12345

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:27 AM

No, that's OK, I figured out that that is what you were referring to, and you are absolutely right.

Changes in irreducibly complex systems are easier to imagine once the system is already in place. But standing on one side of a canyon, without even knowing there is another side, and somehow building a bridge that you don't know how to build... I mean... how much are we supposed to swallow before realizing that it just ain't gonna happen??

No, that's OK, I figured out that that is what you were referring to, and you are absolutely right.

Changes in irreducibly complex systems are easier to imagine once the system is already in place. But standing on one side of a canyon, without even knowing there is another side, and somehow building a bridge that you don't know how to build... I mean... how much are we supposed to swallow before realizing that it just ain't gonna happen??


Exactly, that is where, (the aptly named), leap of (evolutionary) faith comes in :P

#16 jason

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:46 AM

stop denying it happens.lol

#17 Salsa

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:53 AM

stop denying it happens.lol

:Just_Cuz:

Yeah... I keep forgetting that golden rule

It's just that there's all this other stuff that keeps on popping up and clouding my vision... you know, gaps in the fossil record.... soft tissue and blood cells in dinosaure bones... irreducible complexity and so on..

It's just so hard to keep the faith! :dono:

#18 gilbo12345

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:20 AM

stop denying it happens.lol



:gigglesmile:

Are you going to pose as a mock-up-evolutionist?

#19 Ron

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:59 AM


So the question is how big is big

Honestly I'm not exactly sure.

Lets try something

1. Change to dogs height
2. Change to dogs nose
3. Change to dogs leg length
4. Change to dogs legs to work a different way
5. Change to dogs ear size
6. Change to dogs posture / stance
7. Change to dogs paw size
8. Change to dogs paw shape
9. Change to dogs paw function


Which of these would you consider "macro" or just variation?

My vote is 4 and 9


Absolutely none, as the common denominater is still "DOG"... It is ALL still nothing more than adaptation "within" a kind/species.
The evolutionists will attempt this "conversion by definition" every time... Why? Simply because there is absolutley NO empirical evidence to support their faith-filled assertions.

#20 jason

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:24 PM

i can if you want to gilbo,. perhaps some ad hominims and also logical fallacies.

maybe even some mention of its rational to believe in evolution.
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