Macro-evolution

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Macro-evolution and micro-evolution are terms sometimes used in a scientific context, but more often thrown around by creationists to get around some of the instances in which evolution has been observed. "Macro-evolution" means evolution on a large scale, while "micro-evolution" means evolution on a small scale. A common creationist claim is that micro-evolution has been observed, but macro-evolution never has.

In science, however, there is no clear dividing line between the two. To the extent that "micro-evolution" is a recognized term at all, it generally means change within species, while macro-evolution means change between species. Unfortunately for creationists, speciation has been observed in laboratory conditions -- scientists have successfully induced the evolution of new species that cannot breed with the original strains.

Creationists weasel around this inconvenient fact by talking about "macro-evolution" not in terms of species but in terms of "kinds." But a kind is not a scientific notion, and creationists are notoriously vague when it comes to defining what it means.

  • For instance, is a chihuahua the same kind as a Saint Bernard?
  • How about a chihuahua and a dire wolf?
  • How about a wolf and a house cat? They're both mammals and both in the carnivora family.

In science, there is no clear dividing line between kinds beyond species (and even species can be a fuzzy term). So creationists cannot agree on what "kind" means -- except in the ad hoc sense that whenever it can be agreed that evolution is solidly proved between two species, they must not be the same kind.}}

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