The difference between micro and macro-evolution is a major point of confusion between the Christian worldview and the Darwinian evolution worldview in today’s culture. Micro-evolution is the adaptations and changes within a species while macro-evolution is the addition of new traits or a transition to a new species. Micro-evolution is a fact that is plainly observable throughout nature. Macro-evolution is a theory that has never been observed in science. Evolutionist usually argue that those who believe in creation are ignoring the facts, however, there is nothing that evolutionist observe in science that creationist or Christians as a whole disagree with. The point of contention is not on what is observed, but the belief systems that interpret what is being observed. Nothing in the Bible contradicts science; it is the assumptions that evolutionists insert into their world view that contradict the Bible. Evolution is a hypothesis introduced as a possible explanation of origins. In this article, my goal is to explain the difference between micro and macro-evolution and show why micro-evolution cannot result in macro-evolution.
Micro-evolution is a fact. This has never been disputed by anyone who understands what micro-evolution is. Micro-evolution is the alteration of a specific trait due to natural response. Take a look at Darwin’s observation of the changes in finches. Isolated in the Galapagos Island, Darwin discovered finches that had much longer beaks than those found off the island. His assumption was that evolution was changing this species. However, these finches remained finches. Princeton professor Peter Grant completed an 18 year study of the finches on this island. He concluded that during drought years, the finches with shorter beaks died off because with a limited supply of seeds, only those that could reach the grubs living under tree bark could survive. With limited resources on a small island, these finches could not migrate to find food. We clearly observe natural selection, but not macro-evolution. However, it is not a permanent change. The finch offspring with shorter beaks prospered during seasons of plenty. Natural adaptation is the function of micro-evolution. There are three plainly observable principles to micro-evolution. 1. A trait will alter because of a stimulus. 2. The trait will return to the norm if left to nature or returned to its original conditions. 3. No new information is added to the DNA.
The argument for evolution is that species will change slightly over time and eventually change into something completely different and will over eons of time eventually become a new species. This theory was thought up as a hypothesis and as science advances, the facts have not been found to support it, but much has been provided to dispute it. There are no examples in nature that even remotely indicates a change of species through evolution. The fossil records have zero transitional forms. Even fossilized insects such as spiders and ants that have been dated to pre-historic times are identical to modern day spiders and ants. There are three critical flaws in the theory of evolution through gradual change: Dysfunctional change, the DNA code barrier, and natural selection removes DNA information but does not add new information.
1. Dysfunctional change or otherwise noted as irreducibly complex. When a trait is critical for the survival of the species, it must be fully functional or the species will die off and any ‘evolutionary progress’ would be lost. For example, a bat could not evolve from a rodent because it is completely dependent on its wings for survival. A half-evolved wing could not be used for walking because of its awkward length and shape and would not be functional for flying. The idea of a half-evolved bat is completely illogical. It would be easily tracked down by predators and it would be helpless to get food and survive on its own. This need for completeness can be clearly observed from the most primitive single celled animal to the most complex mammal. To contradict this idea would clearly contradict Darwin’s principle of natural selection. Many scientists are making a shift because gradual change produces dysfunction in-between species. The new emerging proposal is the quantum jump. Jay Gould proposed the idea that every living cell could possibly be encoded with the ability to change into any other living thing. He believes that an external stimulus causes this jump.
This is a bigger stretch than gradual evolution. Based on his idea, simple pond microbes would have the same DNA encoding as humans and science has proven that this is not the case. Primitive life forms have far less genetic material than more complex animals such as a mammal. Gould’s leap of faith also does not account for varieties of different species. If environment is the trigger and we all have the same DNA, the jump should be to the same creature. Plus we can plainly observe that this reaction does not occur today. Moving from a warm weather climate to a cold weather climate doesn’t trigger a different type of offspring.
2. The DNA code barrier. A fact of genetics is that trait changes have a ceiling. This perhaps is the biggest obstacle to gradual change through micro-evolution. Each rung of DNA is made up of four chemicals called nucleotides, designated by the symbols: A (adenine), G (guanine), C (cytosine), and T (thymine). These rungs of DNA are combined to provide a blueprint of the traits that organism will have. If you took all the DNA in the human body and put it in written format, it would fill up one million volumes the size of a 500 page encyclopedia. With all this genetic data, if two people could have as many children as there are atoms in the universe, no two children would be identical. Though there are a limitless combinations of traits that we possess, there is a limit to how far each trait can change. There is a limit to the number of combinations of these chemicals; therefore there are a limited number of trait variations. No new genetic material can be added. Trait changes result in re-arranging the genetic code that is already present. Mixing the available genetic code will produce variations in the trait but will not change into a completely different feature. For example, your parents genes are combined to produce your various traits. People have several different colors of hair, eyes, and skin, but without a mutation, these traits will remain within its boundaries. There are mutations that can occur and mutations almost always cause diseases or defects. However, even under mutation, skin will still be skin and eyes will still be eyes. Because of the code barrier, there are a limited number of variations in eye color. Different genes can create distinct variations but there is a limit. There can be rapid changes but inevitably, there is a return to the norm.
Charles Colson made mention of a few good examples of this principle. Darwin used breeding of the rock pigeon as a basis for his theory that gradual changes in species will evolve into new species. All pigeons are descendants of the rock pigeon. This pigeon is the same pigeon that can be found in most city parks. Through selective breeding, Darwin was able to produce many drastic variations of pigeons. He observed very rapid changes in traits that he could alter by this selective breeding and concluded that if he could make these changes within a few generations of pigeons, in time a new species of bird would develop. There are several flaws with this theory. 1. His intervention was the trigger for these various breeds. It did not occur naturally. 2. When left alone, his pigeons returned back to the ancestral rock pigeon within a few generations. If his theory were valid, they should have continued their ascent. 3. Darwin never lived to see that there was a natural barrier that slowed changes after a few generations and eventually reached a stopping point.
Change can be rapid when leaving the ‘norm’, but slows and eventually stops as the ‘ceiling’ is reached. There is a limit to the number of combinations a specific trait can have. Another good example of this comes from the book, ‘How Now Shall We Live’. 150 years ago, sugar cane farmers committed to increasing the sugar content in their sugar beets. At the time the project began, sugar content was at 6%. Through selective cross-pollination, within a few generations of beets the sugar content soared to 13%. Over the next 75 years these growers were able to inch the sugar content up to 17%. Now, 75 years after they were able to achieve the 17% barrier, the sugar beet remains at 17%. This is a clear example of the DNA code barrier that limits the variation of a specific trait. This example shows the same principle that Darwin unknowingly discovered. Rapid change, then slow change followed by no change.
Another conflict with the evolutionary theory is that when the DNA ceiling is reached, the species becomes weak. When a trait is exaggerated beyond its natural limits, the species weakens and suffers from genetically induced diseases or vulnerability to disease. The farther from the ‘norm’ the more disease prone the plant or animal becomes. So even with selective breeding and exploited traits, the species becomes vulnerable and at risk of extinction. Animals that are bred to bring out their desired features often become sterile or diseased. We can look around today and see examples of this problem. Anyone involved with farming is aware of the sterility problem associated with over-breeding. Dogs are very defect prone when they are bred to show quality. However, when left alone, species will soon return to the norm.
Natural selection thins the gene pool, but evolution demands that information be added. No evolutionary change (i.e. micro evolution) ever adds information to the genetic material. The only way evolution (i.e. Macro evolution) could be possible is if new information were to be added to the DNA.
Hybrids are often used as examples of how simple it is for evolution to change the DNA of plants or animals. You can cross pollinate two types of tomato plants to produce a new tomato plant that produces larger fruit. There are three problems with how evolutionists interpret this observation. The first problem is the most obvious; nature is not making a change, human intelligence is forcing the change and must prevent nature from reverting back. Second, the next generation of seeds is both sterile and unable to reproduce, or it reverts back to an inferior fruit. The third problem is that you are not taking on new information; you are combining two plants that already possess the necessary information and have compatible DNA structures. For evolution to be possible, there must be new information added that did not previously exist. In other words, information must come into the existing genetic material without any pre-arranged order, combine with the DNA that is already present and create a new or better code than that which already existed. If newly added information is garbled, the DNA that existed would be useless. If it was inserted in the wrong place or in the wrong order, the plant or animal produced would die or be completely dysfunctional. For example, a microbe would need to somehow acquire enough information through millions of errorless mutations that added to its DNA, which would enable it to become a fish. A fish would have to get the new information that did not previously exist to form a lung, then feet, feathers and so on. The problem is that science does not observe mutations that add to the information, but rather just the opposite. It is a loss of information that occurs when mutations occur. Natural selection is a good example of this.
Survival of the fittest is what thins out the gene pool; it does not increase or add to the genetic data. Natural selection does open the door for adaptation and changes within a species, but it accomplishes just the opposite of what is necessary for evolution. When natural selection occurs, the species that have certain traits are often weeded out. If Darwin had been correct in his observation and the Galapagos Island finches permanently weeded out the shorter beaked finches, they have not added to the gene pool, but they have subtracted genetic code and would no longer have the information necessary to produce offspring that has a shorter beak. Natural selection and evolution work against each other. Natural selection does sometimes make changes within a species, but the progression is downward and not upward – and the species does not become a new species, but rather a variation of the old. A permanent change is a loss of information, but evolution requires the addition of new information. In science we can clearly observe that when a species has a trait that the environment challenges, those who have this trait are weeded out. What has never been observed in science is the addition of new information. Even if an example should be found to have happened by chance, it doesn’t help the evolution cause. There must be millions of changes that add to the DNA information, without harming the species. We don’t observe this happening. We do observe mutations, but they are a loss of information or a defective copy of information that damages the species.
Richard Dawkins is arguably the most influential proponent of evolution today. In a debate, he was asked to provide one example where new information was added to DNA as observed by science. After a long silence, he passed by the question. He later rebutted the question with a three page argument but never addressed this original question and he did not provide one example. Even environmental adaptations harm the evolution belief system. When the environment changes and those animals that have traits that prevent them from surviving, there is not an increase of information, but a loss of genetic code.
Even microscopic evolution shows this problem. We have all heard about the ‘super germs’ that have grown resistant to antibiotics. In reality, they are weak germs. Bacteria that is resistant to drugs are usually destroyed by other organisms. For example, bacterium that has mutated so that it no longer pipes in the toxins that would normally destroy it are weaker than other bacteria because they also cannot pipe in the nutrients that are needed to flourish. It may fail to produce enzymes that enable it to resist the drugs, but this also becomes a crippling factor that limits its survival. The very mutations that make it resistant also make it vulnerable and weak.
These issues render change by micro-evolution impossible thus leaving macro-evolution as the only stand that evolutionists can take, and all the evidence clearly disputes the concept of macro-evolution. The fossil records show zero gradual change. Species in existence today show no change from the fossils that supposedly date back hundreds of millions of years. Interdependency also renders evolution an impossibility. Nature is filled with species that are completely dependent on other species. If one species cannot survive without another, evolution becomes an illogical deduction. There are also interdependencies between plants and animals. If a plant is dependent on an animal and an animal is dependent on that specific plant, the two would have to emerge from the evolutionary change at the exact same time and place. One generation later is too late.
Don’t mistake micro-evolution for Darwinian evolution. They are not related. When a Christian says they do not believe in evolution, it is not a reference to changes in specific traits. It is a reference to changes that require crossing the DNA limitations. When the facts stare evolutionists in the face, they are reduced to either insulting those who present the evidence or they must admit their world view doesn’t hold water. Evolutionists always call Christians and creationists non-thinkers because we question their illogical theories. Critical analysis is not un-intellectual, but it is unreasonable to refuse to honestly look at the whole picture painted when all the facts are presented. When someone builds their belief system around a godless world view, it leaves the realm of science and becomes a religious defense. Anyone who gets angry at the facts is not defending science, but is defending their hope that God does not exist and their hope that there is no God in which we are accountable.