==* MACROEVOLUTION DEFS REFS MAIER 920624 It seems that some confusion is brewing over the

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==* MACROEVOLUTION DEFS REFS MAIER 920624 It seems that some confusion is brewing over the term, "macroevolution". We all know by know (even if some wish not to admit it), that evolution is defined as "a change in allele frequency in a population over time". Since this is so simple and straightforward, SciCre'ers can't stand to come to grips with it, and insist on utilizing more obscure pieces of terminology. The general lay ignorance as to what biologists mean by "evolution" is exceeded by the ignorance of how those prefixes, "micro-" and "macro-", modify the object. This makes the use of these compound terms a favorite target of your local Keep-Our-Kids-Ignorant representative. (Can anyone come up with a good word beginning with the letter "O" to turn that into the acronym, K.O.O.K.I.?) Stephen J. Gould, in "Ontogeny and Phylogeny", has a handy glossary that includes "macroevolution", where he states it thus: MACROEVOLUTION The study of evolutionary events and processes that require long times for their occurrence or operation -- conventionally defined at taxonomic levels involving the origin and deployment of species and higher taxa, not changes of gene frequencies within local populations. Well, that was pretty clear, yes? Speciation is observed. Macroevolution is speciation OR changes at higher taxa. Thus, macroevolution is observed. Sorry, Lionel... Short digression: Homework problem 2 of Part 1 in Futuyma's "Evolutionary Biology" is: "Read 'Did Man Get Here by Evolution or Creation?' published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and refute its arguments." This is interesting in two senses: first, it certainly puts a dent in the SciCre canard that evolutionists wish to silence the SciCre'ers. Not only does Futuyma mention the SciCre'ers, he wishes the student to *read* *their* *stuff*. Second, by the end of Part 1 out of 5, Futuyma considers the student to have all the information necessary to rebut the claims of the JW's. Wouldn't it be nice for some SciCre text to be mentioned at the end of the book, to provide a _real_ challenge (that is, to be as challenging as other evolutionists are)? Needless to say, such a work does not exist, and judging by Jim Loucks' progress in this area, it appears to be a genuine "gap" in the scientific record of SciCre'ers. (Or would that be a "missing think"?) Now, back to the lexicographic legwork. Fortunately, Chuck Maier has put together several quotes that support Gould's definition. (Surprise, surprise.) Public message 3466 SCIENCE Area 18:30 Friday 27-Sep-91 From: CHUCK MAIER To: WESLEY R. ELSBERRY Re: Macroevolution >= speciation [...] But, to be fair let's here what Steven Stanley says : "... Simpson adopted the idea of Goldschmidt that evolutionary research could be divided into the study of microevolution, or changes within species, and the study of macroevolution, or evolution above the species level. Goldschmidt believed... that species and higher taxa arise only through sudden chromosomal changes ... ." [Note that speciation, while not directly addressed by Stanley, is pretty obviously part of macroevolution by Stanley's statement. -- WRE] and from Goldschmidt himself, who apparently started all this terminology: "Subspecies are actually, therefore, neither incipient species nor models for the origin of species . They are more or less diversified blind alleys within the species. The decisive step in evolution, the first step toward macroevolution, the step from one species to another, requires another evolutionary method than that of sheer accumulation of micromutations. ... At the LOWER LEVEL of macroevolution, evolution of species , genera and even families [ this is really the sci cre statement of variation within a kind , horizontal change on the same level of complexity] there is still available some information based upon collaboration of genetics and taxonomy." This statement would certainly seem to support your position, at least if you're talking about lower level macroevolution. And , as you know, Goldschmidt had no time for Darwinism, so he was looking for a different mechanism to explain higher taxa. [It certainly does support my position. Thanks, Chuck. Please shoot yourself in the foot a few more times. -- WRE] and David Raup, evolutionist geologist: "We are confident that the process of natural selection works at the population level, and there is no argument about this between the evolutionists and the creationists. But we are not sure whether we can extrapolate this process of microevolution to explain the larger events of macroevolution." [Note here that speciation is not mentioned. Speciation is a "smaller event" of macroevolution, but still macroevolution. (Kind of like all those breeds of dogs are "still dogs", and the Hawaiian wallabies are "still wallabies".) -- WRE] And Theodosius Dobzhansky, leading neo darwinian, evolutionary geneticist: "... we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of macro and micro evolution, and, proceeding on this assumption, to push .. .as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit." [I'm at a loss as to why Chuck included this quote, as it does nothing to distinguish a demarcation between macro- and micro- evolution, but does reiterate the view that the mechanisms are the same for each. -- WRE] [...] WRE@9> And biologists use macro- and micro-evolution purely as semantic WRE@9> shortcuts, _not_ as any indication of an observed dichotomy of WRE@9> mechanism. This statement is true only if you are a Neo-Darwinian micromutationist. There always have been macromutationists from the start. The fact is, no one is sure what the mechanism of speciation is, and evolutionists argue among themselves, 130 years later, on this central point. Creationists object to this terminology because the term evolution, much less macroevolution, implies the formation of a different form (dictionary defn.). And that this has happened is hardly the proven fact that evolutionists claim it to be. how bout genevol'n vs.macro? cm. [Use of non-technical sources (dictionaries, encyclopedia, etc.) and unreliable sources ("Acts & Facts", Duane Gish, Henry Morris, Steve Austin, etc.) hardly constitutes scintillating argumentative style, and certainly doesn't say much for Chuck's scholarship. Nit: Who thinks there is a "mechanism" of speciation, as in a single all-encompassing methodology? Hence, the discussion and interplay between researchers as they put forward their best work, and do their darndest [ ;-) ] to falsify the other fellow's theory. This is called "science", Chuck. Nit take 2: It's an *observed* fact, Chuck. I do hope Chuck doesn't spend the time away from his keyboard "proving" facts. -- WRE] ---------------- OK, I will now poke some holes in all the above. The macro- and micro- prefixes for evolution are _fuzzy_ in application, because not all biologists are in total agreement on the boundary. This should not give SciCre'ers any comfort, since consensus would, in my ever-so-brief survey of the literature I have on hand, come down squarely as pitching speciation into the macro-evolution bin. But I have a vanishingly small fraction of all the extant literature, and what I have is somewhat dated (my college bio courses are now over a decade behind me, alas). So, it is certainly possible that the Lotfi Zahdeh take on current application of "macroevolution" could shift speciation to the micro- side of things. SciCre'ers: this is your cue to rev up your transcription devices (scanners, secretaries, whatever you normally use ... you don't type all that in _yourself_, do you?) and demonstrate me to be wrong concerning how evolutionary biologists _define_ "macroevolution" ... if you can. Wesley R. Elsberry, Sysop Central Neural System BBS 509-627-6267 Home of the Chuck Maier Whopper Database and other ignorance reducing information ==!


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