Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Are the Terms "Micro-Evolution" and "Macro-Evolution" a Creationist Fabrication?
A common claim repeated by Darwinists is that the terms- 1) micro-evolution- the genetic changes within and among populations 2) macro-evolution- the evolution of biological categories above the level of species- were simply created by creationists and have no meaning outside of creationism.
As Jonathan Wells, in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design explains:
In 2005, Darwinist Gary Hurd claimed that the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution was just a creationist fabrication. Asked to review proposed science standards requiring students to study evidence both for and against Darwinism, Hurd wrote to the Kansas State Board of Education: “I am confident that there are qualified commentators who will have pointed out the absurdity of differentiating ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ evolution-terms which have no meaning outside of creationist polemics.”
However, is it indeed true that the terms ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ evolution originated with the creationist camp? Wells continues:
“Hurd represented himself as an expert on evolutionary biology, but the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution was first made by evolutionary biologists. In 1937, Theodosius Dobzhansky noted that there was no hard evidence to connect small-scale changes within existing species (“microevolution”) to the origin of new species and the large-scale changes we see in the fossil record (“macroevolution”). Since “there is no way toward an understanding of the mechanisms of macro evolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the micro evolutionary processes observable within the span of a human lifetime,” Dobzhansky concluded: “For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of macro- and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigation as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit.”
Further, in 1940, Berkeley geneticist Richard Goldschmidt published a book arguing that “the facts of microevolution do not suffice for an understanding of macroevolution.” 
So, we can safely conclude that the terms ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ evolution were not made up by creationists.
Admittedly, the terms have been used and abused by those on both sides of the debate; however, this only serves to remind one that in any discussion regarding the term evolution, it is imperative that one clarifies his or her terms.
Courage and Godspeed,
1. Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, p. 55-56.