Talk:Microevolution

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Origin of the term[edit]

The term was first used by Harvard-educated botanist Robert Greenleaf Leavitt in the journal Botanical Gazette in 1909, addressing what he called the "mystery" of how formlessness give rise to form.[ref] Leavitt, Robert Botanical Gazette 1909 vol.47 no.1 Jan. A Vegetative Mutant, and the Principle of Homoeosis in Plants http://www.jstor.org/pss/2466778 [/ref]

..The production of form from formlessness in the egg-derived individual, the multiplication of parts and the orderly creation of diversity among them, in an actual evolution, of which anyone may ascertain the facts, but of which no one has dissipated the mystery in any significant measure. This microevolution forms an integral part of the grand evolution problem and lies at the base of it, so that we shall have to understand the minor process before we can thoroughly comprehend the more general one... —Preceding unsigned comment added by TongueSpeaker (talkcontribs) 10:17, 7 November 2008 (UTC)


Origin of the term[edit]

Botanical Gazette 1909 vol.47: Robert Greenleaf Levitt "...The production of form from formlessness in the egg-derived individual, the multiplication of parts and the orderly creation of diversity among them, in an actual evolution, of which anyone may ascertain the facts, but of which no one has dissipated the mystery in any significant measure. This MICROEVOLUTION forms an integral part of the grand evolution problem and lies at the base of it, so that we shall have to understand the minor process before we can thoroughly comprehend the more general one."

pp 67-68: "Whatever be the basis assumed for an explanation of the microevolution which we call ontogenesis-- whether the existence of special form-controlling bodies, or the general properties of the organic molecules, or organ-forming stuffs capable of diffusion, or some other basis-- the abrupt diversion of formative currents and transformation of members into others of usually dissimilar origin, the frequent appearance of forms in locations not expected in the ordinary sequence of development, and the potentiality of all parts in each part, indicated by the general phenomenon which we have been calling homoeosis, will need to be provided for in our ultimate theory of development."TongueSpeaker (talk) 16:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


Genetic mutations[edit]

The article says microevolution only believes in "destructive genetic mutations, which happen to confer an advantage to individuals in a specific environment". If it confers an advantage in a specific environment, how is it a destructive mutation? Constructive vs. destructive is purely determined in relation to the environment.

The example seems to me like evidence that beneficial microevolution is possible. The fact that a person can intentionally turn it into a destructive one by altering the environment *away* *from* the microevolution doesn't change the fact that the organism originally adapted in a beneficial way. The organism developed the resistance to penicillin while in its presence -- obviously a beneficial adaptation. --Dmerrill

I think point is that the presence of the antibiotic is a rare event (for the organism), the fact is that in the most common environment, the adaptation to produce penicillinase is not beneficial. It takes resources that could be better focussed on survival. -- BenBaker

Maybe. Penicillin comes from where? Mold. Is mold common? Yup. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if penicillin-producing mold does constitute a regular environmental stressor for many bacteria, and resistance a useful trait.
That's doesn't speak to my point. My point is that at the time the adaptation happened, it was beneficial. It later became maladaptive, because the environment changed. That is *exactly* the same phenomenon believed to occur by scientists. So adaptive microevolution is possible, even if that adaptation might subsequently become maladaptive. --Dmerril

I agree. the adaptation was beneficial. and if the environment change was common, it would be appropriate to call it a beneficial adaptation. I think you are using a different criteria for naming than the one intended. I believe that the naming criteria is to describe the adaptation by its impact in the most common environment. Not in the rare situation in which the adaptation flourished. But truthfully, I didn't come up with the adjective, and encourage you to edit the original document to clarify it. -- BenBaker

I would encourage you, however, to remember the article should be describing microevolution rather than beneficial adaptation.

I would be happy to, except that I don't understand the concept of microevolution. I can only point out what appear to be inconsistencies in the article. --Dmerrill

I wish I had a link to the article I got the bacterial example from. It did a much better job than I did here. The gist of it was that these bacteria normally produce a substance which protects them against Penicillin, but they have a gene which limits the amount produced. In the resistant bacteria, this limiting gene is "damaged", so they produce much higher levels than normal, allowing them to thrive in the presence of Penicillin. But this comes at a high price, consuming much of their energy and resources, so that in a "normal" environment, they can't compete with the "normal" bacteria and quickly die out. I'll agree that calling it a destructive mutation is indeed relative. -- RussellReed

Talking about whether or not a mutation is deleterious or beneficial to an individual only makes sense in the context of environment. Thus whether or not a mutation is deleterious or beneficial to an idividual can change as the environment changes. Whether or not a mutation is deleterious or beneficial to a species depends on whether it increases the fitness of that lineage - something we cannot predict over the long term because we cannot predict how environment is going to change over the long term. - Safay 20:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


The biggest questions I have about this concept is are:

  1. Is macroevolution intended to mean a single big change that happens, or rather a series of microevolutions that when added up result in macroevolution?
  2. Why do the small changes not, over time, add up to a big one?
  3. How many microevolutions do there have to be before it becomes a macroevolution?
  4. Do creationists accept that most microevolutions are going to be harmful, but a few are beneficial?
  5. Do creationists accept that the beneficial microevolutions can replace the original organism (survival of the fittest)?
  6. How, within this theory, is a species defined? As two groups that can not breed?
  7. If so, what about organisms that do not have sexual reproduction (e.g., bacteria)?

Also, the article says macroevolution is a big change in an organism -- do you really mean by that a change in a single generation from one species to another? If so, it's a straw man since scientists don't believe in that either.

I think these issues should be addressed in the article. --Dmerrill


I'd like the concepts of microevolution and macroevolution better related to the debate over evolution. Moreover, I think they are best used as terms that define the debate, rather than concepts in themselves to be disputed.


The theory of evolution, if it is indeed scientifically sound (and almost no one here doubts that), should be able to stand on its own merits without you all feeling you must defend it at every point.

The various articles which present alternatives to evolution, however outlandish or zany they seem to you scienntists, require merely a link or two each to the accepted science.

-- Ed Poor


I didn't intend to dispute them, although I might somewhere other than Wikipedia. I only presented questions that came up naturally while reading the article. Any article on a theory should include common criticisms and the theory's answer or refutation or explanation.

I agree that a discussion of how these concepts relate to evolutionary theory would be a good thing. But as I said before, I don't know this theory, so I can only ask questions, which imho is an important way to make an article better. --Dmerrill


slrubenstein what was here before was more correct than what you replaced it with -- Please reintegrate the factual portion of what you placed here. In general please try to add content to an article instead of replacing it with your own views -- makes everything easier for everybody. :) --maveric149

I revised the revert in a way that I believe keeps those parts Maveric149 consider accurate. Nevertheless, the earlier version was at times redundant and inconsistent. My goal was to continue ridding the article of inaccuracies while fixing the style. SR



From primates to humans? Are humans now something besides primates?


I still don't understand what microevolution is. How about:

  1. explain what microevolution is
  2. shed some light on the evolution vs. creationism debate

In particular, I would like to understand the importance (if any) of microevolution within neo-Darwinism, i.e., standard evolutionary theory. Only after that would I even be interested in reading about what anti-evolutionists think -- despite my owen religious views. Ed Poor, Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Ed, can you explain a bit more what you do not understand? Of course this article should be clear enough for lay-people, but I thinkm the opening definition is awfully clear. What is not clear about it?

I also do not know what more you want on the evolution/creation debate -- shouldn't that be a different article?

Of course, the article itself assumes that people understand what "evolution" means but there is a separate article on that that goes into a lot of detail that I do not think needs to be included here. slrubenstein

I propose that we combine the microevolution and macroevolution articles into one article. From what I've studied, there is a theory that macroevolution occurs by different mechanisms than microevolution. These terms only make sense within that theoretical framework. If someone believes that "macroevolution" and "microevolution" occur by the same mechanisms, then they don't bother to use those two terms...it's all just evolution to them.

Further, this is a real debate among real biologists. The creationists will latch onto and distort anything that they can; their views should just be a footnote of the article and not the meat of it. I'm studying this issue right now in one of my classes and will be happy to contribute more in a month or two after I've read everything that my professor has recommended. --adam

The term evolution[edit]

I think I'm seeing the word evolution being used with two different meanings, and I think these meanings are sufficiently different that they should be highlighted rather than glossed over. They are NOT synonyms.

  1. Evolution means ANY genetic difference between an organism and its descendant.
  2. Evolution means the theory that new species can and do come into being, purely as a result of natural forces

In sense #1, Creationists would clearly be wrong if they said "no evolution ever takes place", because there are readily observable genetic differences.

In sense #2, Creationists would not necessarily be wrong if they said "no evolution ever takes place", because there is no proof that natural forces alone are sufficient to cause new species to come into being.

Indeed the idea that natural forces alone are sufficient to cause new species to come into being is arguably not even a "scientific hypothesis", because there's no way to falsify it -- unless and until somebody succeeds in creating a new species in the laboratory (shades of Frankenstein!). --Uncle Ed 14:04, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Oops! I'm wrong, of course {slaps forehead impatiently}. If someone creates a new species, that's creation by design, not naturalistic evolution. So how could we possibly ever "falsify" the theory of evolution? What kind of experiment could we perform, the results of which (if they turned out a certain way) would prove evolution false? --Uncle Ed 14:10, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If you identify a single anatomical feature, of any species, that could not have evolved gradually (that is, the entire subsystem had to have appeared all at once or not at all) that would falsify natural selection as the only evolutionary mechanism theory. Many people have looked for examples of such features but none proposed so far have been unexplainable by natural selection (ie, a fraction of an eye still sees better than no eye at all, and tiny "wings" on an insect aren't great at controlling flight but might be good radiators). Saucepan 15:33, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The theory as you stated cannot be falsified, since that's a very general statement and requires a very high burden of proof. The theory of evolution as understood by modern science can, of course, be falsified. There have been some significant challenges, for example the problem of genetic load was a major one for evolution and there is some debate as to how well-settled this question is. Graft 15:36, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Graft, if I understand you right you are saying that one theory cannot be falsified, but that a second theory can.

  1. The theory of evolution as understood by modern science can be falsified; but,
  2. the idea that natural forces alone are sufficient to cause new species to come into being cannot be falsified.

Before I go off half-cocked, please confirm whether I have restated your position correctly. And BTW is this the position of biologists generally as well? --Uncle Ed 16:50, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I wouldn't say that (2) cannot be falsified. Just that it would be enormously difficult to do so. The position of biologists and scientists in general is that there are naturalistic explanations for all phenomenon. This is a fundamental assumption of science; to assume otherwise would be to forestall the possibility of further scientific inquiry. See the long discussion on Talk:Intelligent design for more. Graft 17:45, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I agree that this discussion belongs on a page about the debate between creation and evolution. But here I am getting sucked in anyway. The confusion here stems from the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. Biologists do not need to do experiments to show that speciation is an evolutionary process, because a preponderance of evidence supports an evolutionary explaination and no other; this is called inductive reasoning and is a valid scientific process, and is used especially often in evolutionary biology, geology, planetary science, astronomy, and cosmology. All the evidence supports a hypothesis that evolution is what gave us the diversity of life on earth. None of the evidence contradicts it. Safay 18:33, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Primrose[edit]

Hi Duncharris,

Why did you delete the example of the primrose plant?

Regards, --Jason Gastrich 22:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Hello Jason. Can you offer a citation for that please? specifically we are referring to "the primrose plant spontaneously producing another species of primrose plant". Your wording doesn't make much sense to me as a biologist. — Dunc| 22:09, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Interesting choice of citation from Jason. i think we all assumed he was discussing mutations in Primula specifically the well documented allopolyploid species known as the Kew Primrose (Primula kewensis) created by Digby (The citology of Primula kewensis and of other related Primula hybrids. (1912). Ann Bot 26, 357-388) from a cross between Primula verticillata and Primula floribunda. After a rare polyploidization event the initially sterile hybrid led to a fertile allotetraploid, the new species P. kewensis. I think we agree this is an example of macroevolution. However, Jason did not cite this example. His cite is for evening primrose which is NOT a primrose it is Oenothera. Actually, that example sounds like it is a good example of microevolution, although there needs to be more clarification in the edits. From the source that Jason cites: "Hugo De Vries discovered new forms among a display of Evening Primrose Oenothera lamarcklana growing wild in a waste meadow............. The name "mutation" was given to his new method of producing new species and varieties (cultivars) which he showed to arise unexpectedly." David D. (Talk) 23:37, 23 November 2005 (UTC)


Definition of Macroevolution[edit]

I think the definition of macroevolution provided here is incorrect. We don't need the two terms macroevolution and microevolution if they do not refer to different processes. This article currently states that the processes underlying macroevo are the same, i.e., allele frequency changes. The Modern Synthesis does assert that a change in allele frequencies is the only kind of evolution that really occurs. This is what Eldridge and Gould and other supporters of the idea of macroevolutionary processes disagree with. Thus there is a disjunct in what evolutionary biologists agree upon as the scope of evolutionary process. (An aside: This disagreement is what the creationists latch on to and make wild claims about there being a crisis in evolutionary biology, that we don't understand macroevolutionary process and thus must invoke a creator.)

Macroevolution refers to processes that occur above the level of species. The Neo-Darwinists will assert that no such processes exist, and thus we truly don't need the two words micro- and macroevolution. The people who do support macroevolution will assert that it involves processes that cannot be explained through population genetics. Thus, in an article about macroevolution and microevolution, we should use the definition that the macroevolutionists use, and explain the existence of the controversy over the subject.

I think this further highlights the need to combine the two articles, macro- and microevolution.

What do you all think of this? If no one responds in a week I'm just going to go ahead and do it and see if that bears out.

Safay 06:52, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

If you can give me some idea what processes you're talking about, I'd be more inclined to agree.
By analogy, consider anything at all. Take ice crystals - fabulous in form, certainly, but ultimately whatever higher-order structure we observe is dictated by simple fundamental principles. How those principles manifest in a macroscopic scale is perhaps surprising, but there's not really much else going on. (This is probably a bad analogy because I don't know any physics or structural chemistry, but just use your imagination). My point is, big, sweeping movements in history must be composed of small, incremental changes. And what's evident at that scale is, essentially, what we're calling "microevolution". What else could there be? Graft 07:16, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Obviously you cannot really have evolution above the species level, but you can study evolutionary change above the species level. At the same time, while a lot of macro is just micro over a larger time scale, speciation can be caused by nonevolutionary processes - like polyploidy, which is believed to be an important factor in plant evolution (though less well studied in animals). At the same time, I am unsure what changes you are proposing. Guettarda 07:46, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
How is polyploidy 'non-evolutionary'? It's a mutation is if not? -- Ec5618 12:48, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Does it change population gene frequencies? Guettarda 15:16, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
New mutation event, just like gene duplication. After all, any aneuploidy has to propagate in the population and fix just like any other mutational event. Graft 01:23, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose, my mistake. Talking with my brian switched off. Guettarda 02:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
A couple of quick corrections: Polyploidy is euploidy, not aneuploidy. The mutation that creates a polyploid is a somatic nondisjunction that instantly creates a new species. You don't have to have selection to get it fixed in the population. Instead, the new species now competes with the old ones. Ted 03:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Theory/Hypothesis[edit]

Why was my contribution on Micro/Macroevolution reversed? Macroevolution is a speculated hypothesis while Microevolution is a proven theory. Neither Macro nor Microevolution have enough evidence to be taken as a scientific law. And because Wikipedia allows later changes to be made to an article thne we should list micro and macroevolution as it is currently, theory and hypothesis. -Teofil Bartlomiej 20:41, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

  • "Scientific laws" are generalisations, usually from the nineteenth century, and not really part of the scientific hierarchy.
  • Microevolution and macroevolution are scales of study, not hypothesis. Calling them either theory or hypothesis is wrong. Both are observations. The mechanisms of evolution are the hypotheses and theories - some can be considered at microevolutionary or macroevolutionary scales.

Your additions were inaccurate. You should not insert factually inaccurate material into Wikipedia articles. Please don't do that. Guettarda 21:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean? By what sources can you conclude that microevolution and macroevolution are not how I listed them? I have my sources from Exploring Creation with Biology, Module 9 (just because it is a creationist book does not make it any less reliable). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Working for Him (talkcontribs)
To begin with, there is no such thing as a "proven theory". Please see the scientific method article. The scientific method does not allow for "proof". So any source which speaks of a "proven theory" is obviously unreliable. There is no hierarchy from theory to law...theory is about as good as you can get. Try reading Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations.
Broadly speaking, theories and hypotheses are mechanistic. They must be testable. The terms macroevolution and microevolution are levels of study. They are not hypotheses. Studies which look at evolutionary change within species are often described as being microevolutionary. Studies which looks at changes within larger groups (genera, families, etc.) are often described as macroevolutionary. These are not hypotheses. If you are studying changes in allele frequency within a single species, your study is microevolutionary. The fact that you are working on a single species isn't a hypothesis, it's an assumption. Similarly, if you are studying two sister species, the fact that Species A and Species B are separate species is the assumption that makes the study macroevolutionary, not a hypothesis of the study. That such a thing as species exists is an evolutionary theory, but it isn't really something you can call "macroevolutionary" or "microevolutionary". Guettarda 05:24, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

First occurance of Micro Evolution[edit]

This thread http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_thread/thread/38df9a9a127281a8/cea310284f6d201c#cea310284f6d201c states that Micro Evolution occured in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1911, citing the American Naturalist v. 45, p. 256. The first for "macro-evolution" is Dobzhansky's "Genetics & Origin of Species". Was Micro coined before Macro? TongueSpeaker 20:49, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The author of phrase "ME" had a specific concept that he used "Micro Evolution" for as a technical description. Everybody seems to have their own defenition of the word such as "small changes", "change below the species level" etc. Imagine we all just have our own defenition for the technical jargon phrase "signal-to-noise ratio". It has a specific meaning which represents a concept and thus you can't just hijack the phrase and associate it with a different concept than what Shannon had in mind. The same logic extends to "Micro Evolution", everybody seemingly knows what it means but nobody even bothers to cite the author and what concept did he wish to convey with it.TongueSpeaker 11:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Micro-Reductionist vs. Macro-Holistic[edit]

How is Marcroevolution not Reductionist in that it is mostly, if not entirely, dependent upon Mircoevolution? Why is this supposed dichotomous distinction even trying to be postulated? --Carlon 16:02, 16 August 2007 (UTC) To call Macroevolution "holistic" implies that there is some kind of "magic" not present in Microevolution that must happen for Macroevolution to be possible. In reality the difference is only one of degree: given enough time, Microevolution IS Macroevolution. There is nothing holistic going on; the whole is no more or less than the sum of its parts. It's like saying Macro-counting is holistic and Micro-counting is reductionist because we can observe the numbers between one and 10 but nobody's ever been observed to count to a trillion. 71.228.211.57 (talk) 15:03, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Creationist shibboleth, no more, no less[edit]

I am mildly astonished that Wikipedia even has this article.

"Evolution" is change in allele frequency over time in a breeding population. No more, no less. It is the unified field theory of biology, and it parsimoniously explains everything from antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the beak of the zebra finch to humanity's triumphant conquest of this planet.

"Microevolution" and "macroevolution" are shibboleths used by religious cranks who object to the philosophical implications of certain empirically verified facts from the fields of biology and zoology. Worse, they are casuistries, created to deceive the ignorant.

Is it too late for a VFD?

Both are long-running, though not necessarily notable, terms used to refer to process of Evolution taking place over different periods of time/over different levels. The first reference in the article has some more info on how they came to be. --Draco 2k (talk) 21:57, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Quote and tonguespeaker[edit]

Dude, You are not summarizing the quote, you are in fact quoting it directly. Summary means that you give the gist of what the quote is saying. Your understanding of the quote is also a little off. Also, you keep creating a second section for "Usage in 1927" when it is completely unnecessary. Please stop. --Woland (talk) 17:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Wait, wait...[edit]

...I study medicine and like to think I know my biology. To the best of my knowledge, there is no distinction between the process of "microevolution" and "macroevolution" in modern genetics. Isn't "macroevolution" simply a non-scientific term for "a lot of" microevolution. The biological process is the same. In Microevolution vs Macroevolution, Austin Cline explains this common misconception. Now, I might be missing something, but is it possible this article was created by those American "creationists" (or whatever they call themselves) trying to account for the variety of dog breeds? :P If so, an AfD might be a good idea. I imagine anything sensible can easily be included in the main Evolution article. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 09:59, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Some evolutionary biologists do actually make a distinction between micro and macroevolution (i.e. relatively small changes verses speciation events). The terms have been co-opted and misused by creationists but the primary literature does use both terms in a scientific fashion. A quick google scolar search easily shows this.--Woland (talk) 16:32, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Right, had a look at Google... however, shouldn't it still be outlined that both terms are used to describe the same biological process but on a different scale? (Changes in allele frequencies essentially bring about large-scale changes in gene frequencies.) Just so we make it clear that it doesn't make sense to claim microevolution takes place while macroevolution doesn't. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 17:37, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I haven't been reading much on it lately, but if I recall it is a little bit more complicated than a scale issue, but I have no doubt that your understanding is better than my layman's. There is some mention of them essentially being the same process in the beginning of the article that could be expanded upon (possibly with a summary of the macro article). I understand your concerns about creationists (believe me...) but I'm not sure if we need to try and defend the concept from their attacks (especially if its unsourced). Sourced material about this could work though.--Woland (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, no sense creationist-proofing articles. Regards :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 18:01, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Creationist say they are for the evolution within a species. i.e. humans can change, but they are always humans. A dog can change, but not into a bird. Most of them consider microevolution the best description of this, but almost all of the proponents of this asterisk it with, "or small changes within a species". What would be the better scientific term for this if not "microevolution"? (I'm not trying to start a fight, I'm seriously seeking the answer. Thanks!) --Trainwrecka (talk) 21:32, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

The scientific term for that which you describe would be "Evolution that takes place normally but then stops for some unknown reason...ition" :). I can't begin to tell you how wrong that statement is... If you believe in what you describe, than you believe in the basic "mechanism" of evolution. If you believe in the basic mechanism of evolution, then you believe in evolution. What you're saying is "evolution takes place, but not too much of it". *sigh*... --DIREKTOR (TALK) 22:04, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation. It is not about "believing" in that mechanism - it happens. What takes a good amount of belief is mutating from a bird to a human, or fish to an elephant - it doesn't matter how many millions of years are thrown in. Creationist, intelligent design theorist, and anyone else who saw holes in the evolutionary theory were looking for better answers to the origin of life. These holes may not be there for you, but they are obviously there for some. I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, though I do like to have my terminology as correct as possible. Thank you again for your speedy response.--Trainwrecka (talk) 12:15, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

"Mutating from a bird to a human"? Firstly, that never actually happened. Its nonsense to even write such a thing. You could have said "mutating from an ape-like common ancestor to a human", and it wouldn't sound so silly, would it? Changes take place generation by generation, simply stating the end result of uncounted millions and millions of years of natural selection is an "argument" only in biased eyes.
The strongest arguments for evolution are genetic, and they are almost never addressed by creationists. This is so for two main reasons. 1) Because the vast majority of them are not trying to seriously disprove evolution in the scientific community (which is almost impossible given the evidence), but are trying to mislead the general public which does not really understand more than the simplest genetics. 2) Because the vast majority of creationism advocates trying to "disprove" the theory of evolution are not even scientists at all (lawyers, theologians, teachers, etc.) and don't understand the matter themselves.

The "holes" in the theory of evolution have been compared to "holes in cheese" by the American Scientist. The holes exist, but saying that the cheese doesn't exist because of them is absurd. Creationists are people who believe unconditionally in things that have no scientific evidence whatsoever, but set impossible criteria of scientific proof for anything that contradicts that which they believe unconditionally.
I also recall another frequently quoted and interesting metaphor. Evolution compared to "walking". Microevolution = a walk to the kitchen, while macroevolution would be a walk to the north pole. Its the same thing. The only difference is timescale. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 13:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

I think the position Creation Scientists (Or psudoscientists) take is that Microevolution consists of recombination of existing traits to produce new traits, while Macroevolution involves the creation of entirely new information. They would claim that this does not happen, and that the variation we see actually consists of the loss or isolation of traits that existed in the original creation. The article as written doesn't say why Creationists make a distinction between the two. --Eleazar son of Dodai (talk) 15:00, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
And there can be no evolution until life is created, and how that happens is a different subject that we call abiogenesis, not evolution. Dougweller (talk) 13:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Microevolution cannot exist without macroevolution, since the timescale in question is simply too large, and macroevolution cannot exist without microevolution, since its "made-up" of the latter. (Damn! Now a creationist could quote me saying "macroevolution is made up", double damn! ;)) Its one and the same thing. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 13:44, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

  • They are not one in the same. Micro does happen-look at sickle cell anemia a mutation in DNA that can be passed on. Natural Selection keeps any macro from happening. Because Disorder cannot produce order. Only order can. So no micro evolution can make macro. And until there is conclusive evidence suporting the macro evolution of one species to anouther, call macro what it is, an hypothisis, and until evidence of it comes forth that is concrete, leave it there. Now, direktor, we both firmly believe our points, and we can argue and neither budge. You calling me narrowminded fool and me believing you are, because you refuse to even think you may be wrong and I may be right, but not wanting to insult I wont...well technically I did, but... Oh and by the way, the two arn't mutually exclusive, if as you say, macro is made up of micro and that micro is it's building blocks(something I disagree with being true but going on your beliefs only) then just cause you got blocks don't mean you have a lego contraption. Lego contraption denotes there is pieces, pieces don't denote there was ever a design in mind. Not to mention to have a design you need a being to design it. But I'm tageting my thoughts. So the statement "Macro cannot exist without Micro" is true by your belief, but not "Micro cannot exist without Macro" It's not an if and only if statement.-Fell Skyhawk 02:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.191.35.102 (talk)

Ok, first of all, did you just say drepanocytosis is evolution? :) Or, for that matter, did you just say that genetically transmitted diseases are proof of the non-existence of speciation? This borders among the most incredible things I've ever heard... :D It would appear that the fundamental fallacy in your logic is that you believe all mutations are harmful? They are absolutely not. For example: if it weren't for beneficial mutations, Europe would not've survived the black plague. There are also very many modern-day observed cases of beneficial mutations that, if natural selection still took place in human society, would have allowed for significant beneficial changes to the human genome. However, most mutations are neither harmful or beneficial.
Now, let me explain what you're saying: what you're saying (basically) is that changes do take place, but that it is impossible for so many changes to take place that procreation can't occur between the ancestor species and the new species (sex :). That's speciation (a product of "macroevolution"). This makes no sense, whatsoever, since enough "changes" to organisms ("microevolution") invariably bring about the inability of procreation between them and the ancestor (Chihuahua and a Great Dane? :). At that point, genetic material between them can no longer be exchanged.

I'm not going to "argue" with you, there's nothing to argue about. Speciation has, in fact, been observed in empirical conditions and fully documented. There are quite a few observed instances of speciation, or evolution beyond the level of species, which takes place rather often in plants and lower lifeforms (bacteria especially). Now I know you probably believe "all points of view are equally valid" or whatnot ("we both firmly believe our points, and we can argue and neither budge..."), which is ok in politics, but in scientific discussions they are absolutely not. In scientific discussions, two views are almost never equal, the weight of actual evidence (amost) always supports one side or the other more predominantly. There are exceptions, but the very thought that this is one is laughable. There's nothing for it, this may seem "blunt" but the I am right (i.e. the scientific community is right), and you are blatantly wrong (i.e. fringe movements and christian fundamentalists are blatantly wrong). Also, only creationists "never budge" - because the bible never gets updated :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 10:06, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

"Also, only creationists "never budge" - because the bible never gets updated" - In very much the same way that the current scientific orthodoxy never budge from an increasingly troubled theory of Darwinian evolution because the doctrine of naturalism never gets reviewed. What is the evidence base for a mandate of naturalism? Absolutely none. It is utilised as a primary principle and thus determines the very paradigms and standards for evidential assessment, such that, were you to use "evidence" to try and prove it, you'd be arguing in a circle. When primary principles are expressed and utilised overtly, it is religion. If primary principles are mandated or imposed unknowingly upon a subject, such as a scientific orthodoxy that blatantly denies any absolutistic or religious root to their consensi, it is indoctrination.109.156.110.166 (talk) 21:48, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Guys, this isn't the place to discuss the topic. Please see WP:NOTFORUM. If you'd like to propose improvements to the article, please be specific about what you'd like to change and provide reliable sources. Jesstalk|edits 01:43, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Semi-protection?[edit]

Looks like this article is about to become a a battleground for Truth peddlers. Semi-protection may be required. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 12:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I'd rather not do that if is remains only one IP. Terper (talk) 13:01, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Just being prophetic, I guess... ok. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 14:49, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

POV Misuse[edit]

Thank you DIREKTOR for using the talk page that is mannerly of you.

The way the paragraph read (not read) :-) earlier is clearly a point of view. I have contributed scientific peer reviewed articles to show that this is still debated. Yes evolutionist claim this, but there are hundreds of Scientists that indicate this is not accurate. To have a NPOV this par. should either be deleted or have both sides of an issue. In addition there are scientific organizations that do not accept the statement below, as I mentioned it is still debated. Old Statement in quote, "The attempt to differentiate between microevolution and macroevolution is considered to have no scientific basis by any mainstream scientific organization, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science." Not all scientific organizations accept that sweeping generalization. [1][2][3] [4] [5] Berkely teaches there is a difference between micro and macro too. [6] Here one can find the other side of the coin. [7] Swiping dirt under the rug is not the way to get rid of it. Deal with it rather than delete it. Let the reader decide if it is valid or not. Our job is not to do the thinking for the person. 75.133.36.15 (talk) 13:24, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Hello, user 75.*** I think it is not exactly for me to say, but if you look at the rest of this talk page you see how user Direktor's arguments are already laid out for you. If you had checked beforehand you would have seen that, which would have prevented a revert by you.
The statements in this article are well referenced. The use of the term "micro-evolution" is indeed misused if it is not explained that it's difference from "macro-evolution" is anything more than a quantitative one.
As this article is about a scientific concept it should not have to include unfalsifiable theories on the matter. "Our job" is not to push aside what is scientific fact for manufactured controversy.
Articles concerning the theory of gravity don't have to include alternate theories where everything is pushed towards the ground by invisible angels, although that theory can also not be disproved.
PS. Note that Evolutionists is a term loaded with POV in itself, think about that before inserting it into articles.
Some references that deal with your sources are at the bottom of this article: Teach_the_controversy
Terper (talk) 13:59, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Terper. If terminology is loaded then go ahead and change that specific term. However, gravity (factual) can not be compared to that which is not proved (spiritual realm). This has to do with evidence as Antony Flew came to recognize. I might say the same about my addition, that it was well reference with peer review articles. But some would rather hide the dirt than deal with the reality of it. Name calling, "Pseudoscience" does not deal with the issue either. One might read the articles here that highlight the "evolution proof" of "junk DNA" [8] and the "proof" of Neanderthals [9] in the NewScientist. Was this proof or not for evolution? True Scientific proof does not change. Microevolution is based on observation; macroevolution is an assumption. Michael J. Behe in 'The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism' Helps to draw the line between Macro and microevolution scientifically. You may read it here: [10] There is no reason to be afraid of the facts. If the evidence is so overwhelming to support Macro and Micro then state that an minority of Scientist and others feel that Macro is based on assumption. Then let the reader decide. The reader should be presented with this information that is supported by many scientist. The way the article reads is a clear POV and not even close to a NPOV 75.133.36.15 (talk) 14:59, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Is this going to turn into an American-style creationism/evolution "debate"? Oooh I've heard of those, one of my biochemistry docents told me they're supposed to be hilarious beyond measure... :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 15:08, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
It isn't a proper "American-style" debate if there isn't some nice quote-mining about Darwin's mention of the human eye. Terper (talk) 15:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I think you gave the answer yourself. "Gravity(/Evolution, me) (factual) can not be compared to that which is not proved.(spiritual realm)" Yes, evolution is considered scientific fact. The Discovery institutes attempts at peer review do not fool anyone by the way. Terper (talk) 15:17, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
No theory is perfect, but few are so well grounded in evidence as evolution. The theory of gravity is actually quite imperfect itself, less perfect than evolution, in fact. Atomic theory is on shakier legs than evolution, I'd venture.--DIREKTOR (TALK) 15:20, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
There's a nice article on this. Terper (talk) 15:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

No one is doubting evolution. What I am doubting is the ability of this page to present accurate balanced info. It contains a POV which is not a neutral point. Macro and Micro is still debated. The truth is not afraid of a little contra argument.75.133.36.15 (talk) 18:10, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Oh yeah, there is no evolution beyond the level of species, archeopteryx is someone's sick chicken, we're still looking for a crockaduck, and the earth is a 6,000 year-old flat disk. The debates are raging all over the world... --DIREKTOR (TALK) 18:41, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not a point of view kind of debate. The references in this article show that speciation has been observed. As this is the (rather arbitrary) border between micro/macro evolution there is no problem with how it is written in the article. Changing the article to say that it has NOT been observed is false and should not be in an entry, no matter what point of view you take. There is however, ample evidence that this way of thinking is prevalent in the ID movement(your refs). This use of the term micro-evolution is indeed misuse (as in the verb meaning "use wrongly") so it is rightly labeled as such in the article.
The truth can't be afraid, by the way, nor can it be happy, sad or have any other emotion.
Terper (talk) 18:55, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I suppose experience can't be a teacher. I am sure you can't be hungry either but can only have hungry. Why the nit-picking? is there a word called personification? This just proves my point. How can one see beyond a wall when all they want to look at are the bricks, yet the window is right there! Is that my tail I am chasing? I am getting dizzy. The way the paragraph is stated is a POV. I am not saying that there is no evidence, I am saying that there is a growing scientific community that doubts that evidence. As such the article can/should mention that not all in the scientific community except what the article leads a person to believe that Micro and Macro are really the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.133.36.15 (talk) 23:33, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Don't think Archaeopteryx was a sick bird since it would have died out. If your interested in the truth then you will have no problem reading this in the New York Times on this sick chicken.[11]75.133.36.15 (talk) 05:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC) CAUTION: Reading the above article might just help you understand that scientists debate the issues that this wiki article says are fact. I guess I will believe wiki over the scientists since only balanced NPOV pages are allow. And regardless of the facts, we will stick with our one sided opinion since...just the thought of...75.133.36.15 (talk) 05:52, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Wait it is not a sick bird but a dinosaur. This in itself proes my point this all is debatable.[12] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.133.36.15 (talk) 06:01, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Neither of those links are about micro or macro evolution, they just show how science works. Dougweller (talk) 11:27, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, its a "dinosaur" is it? I seem to recall other creationists claiming its a bird? To stop you guys arguing, lets just say its both... --DIREKTOR (TALK) 11:33, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
You seem to misunderstand how science works. Look up the scientific method somewhere. This will also help you figure out why Intelligent Design is not science, and that the "growing scientific community" you talk about is not a scientific community, just a community. Terper (talk) 11:38, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Science too can be divided into operational science and historical science which like marco and micro can be confusing. Historical science has hypotheses the other is reliable and we use it in physics to eg. send men to the Moon. Once again to use one aspect and claim it is another is at the heart of this all.75.133.36.15 (talk) 12:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
So there's two kinds of science? One ("historical science")is unreliable(because it uses hypotheses?) and then there's the reliable one ("operational science") we use to send people to the moon? Don't want to create a straw man out of you but are you really saying this? Terper (talk) 15:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
The guy was right, this is interesting. :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 15:37, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
If one does not understand basic Math how can he or she understand algebra? That science has many different groups is elementary Watson. This "encyclopedia" states this under [science]. "In general, mathematics is classified as FORMAL science, while natural and social sciences are classified as EMPIRICAL sciences." These sciences themselves can be divided further. Historical science can hypothesis about the past. While operational science can observe the facts and doesn't have to try to fill in the pieces since they are present(observable). That there is a difference between these two sciences is clearly shown here [[13]] Thus one day Archaeopteryx is a missing link, the next day it is a bird, then no I guess we were wrong it is a dinosaur. Coelacanth is a intermediate between fish and amphibia. No wait I guess it is a fish. Reality doesn't change like that. When one uses assumptions on the past then one is liable for mistakes. Here is a nice balanced article [[14]] that shows the abuse of the term microevolution by creationist but still presents a balanced/two sided view something sorely lacking in this article.75.133.36.15 (talk) 13:16, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll be blunt: there is no way creationist nonsense will be included in this article, and you can stop trying right now. I suggest you get a formal education in biology before you start trying to debate biology. I also strongly advise against reading fringe nonsense as an introduction into the extremely, unbelievably complex world you're getting into.
To briefly address your "arguments" I'll just say that everything you mentioned above can be dismissed by the most ignorant of biology/medicine students. Calculating probability is the greatest joke imaginable, as every geological or biological phenomenon has an almost infinite number of alternatives, but somehow still exists in one of them. in fact, it has to exist in one of the millions upon millions of possibilities. I'm sorry to have to degrade your position thus, but that argument is on the level of a joke/trick, a play on words for the ignorant. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 13:34, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
First off: The things you (IP) keep bringing to the table don't seem to be relevant to the article of which this is the talk page. This is about the term micro-evolution. For discussing the rest you'd be wiser to take it to a broader article, but be advised to read the talk-pages first as you're arguments are not new and you can find most of it already discussed there.
Now I'd like to object to one element of Direktor's answer, a formal education in (a field of) biology is not a requirement to edit this page. This would qualify as an appeal to authority, and I think that is antithetical to WP. But, and this is a big but, ignorance is a severely limiting factor. Now to hopefully tie this up and bring it back to the subject of this article, this is what would be needed to really make you're suggestions viable for inclusion.
You need to provide sources that answer these questions:


What mechanism creates the boundaries to evolution that you describe. (Supported with evidence.)


While you're at it, where are those boundaries? (Evidence is needed again)


Questioning certain aspects and perceived flaws isn't the way to do this. You need to support the alternate hypothesis with evidence.
It is one thing to say "so and so could also be happening because of B instead of A" but another to put that hypothesis to the test and say "so and so could only be happening because of B: that's why I predict (insert prediction from B instead of A here) when I compare it to empirical evidence" this would then be followed by the possibility of third parties concluding the same.
The burden of proof is heavily upon hypotheses that radically differ from current evolutionary biology because all evidence up to this point supports it. Because of this the "POV"(as you describe it) of ID does not have the same merit as what is in this article. Putting it here would be about as warranted as putting the possibility of the earth being flat and at the center of the universe in the earth article. Terper (talk) 15:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Ok firstly, my point was that to question a theory as fundamental as evolution, one should get properly acquainted with it first, instead of reading about it in pseudo-scientific or fringe literature. Explore, among other things, the amazing scientific achievements that have become possible ultimately due to the simple genius of that theory. Note how science with its rigorous standards of evidence has tested that theory at every step again, and again, and again, and then another dozen times at the insistence of religious fanatics who refuse to come to terms with reality.
Evolution is so unacceptable to some people that, even with all the obvious evidence around them, some people are still refusing to "believe it". Even a layman can conclude that it would've been kicked out of the mainstream via political pressure a long, long time ago if it wasn't so absolutely ironclad and undeniably correct. Speaking of political pressure on science, what really frightens me is the mediocre or failed scientists getting money from neo-cons in America to talk nonsense on TV for the "peasant masses" and make a name for themselves. Politics and money influencing scientists is frightening, I'm sure you'll agree.
We're still waiting for the IP user to present evidence disproving speciation here on this talkpage? :) --DIREKTOR (TALK) 00:19, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I notice the citation for no difference between micro and macro is talk origins. since when is this site regarded as 'scientific'?Ref ward (talk) 21:43, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Its not. Are there any "scientific websites"? Its merely a place where you can find a full referenced list of all documented empirical observations of macroevolution. I believe that's clarified in the ref? Feel free to follow the link... --DIREKTOR (TALK) 22:40, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

then could we consider just saying "talk origins says this is misuse"? otherwise it could be seen as misleadingRef ward (talk) 21:57, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

It's a reliable source for this article. No need to put in an in-line attribution. Auntie E. (talk) 00:24, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to propose a rewrite of this paragraph on the basis that the description of the creationist definition of "microevolution" is considerably off the mark. Though admittedly, there is no clear consensus regarding these alternate definitions among creationists, I think what I propose is generally more representative. I would also like to highlight some of the miscommunication and confusion that has arisen from these alternate definitions, a problem which the current version not only fails to recognise, but is also directly subject to. 109.156.110.166 (talk) 21:17, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposed changes:
"The term 'microevolution' has recently been adopted by creationists and other proponents of intelligent design to define all directly observable evolutionary changes, such as natural selection, random mutation and the observed instances of speciation; and to differentiate these demonstrable mechanisms from the phenomenon of common descent, which is contrary to most creationist doctrines. The term macroevolution in this context is usually seen to be synonymous with common descent."
"This discrepancy in terminology has been a source of considerable misunderstanding and straw man argumentation between creationists and naturalists. Many naturalists have failed to acknowledge that creationists are seeking evidence for common ancestry rather than for speciation when creationists assert the implausibility of "macroevolution". In such an instance, any direct evidence of speciation, or demonstration of the qualitative similarity between microevolution and macroevolution, would present the illusion of an absolute refutation of creationist claims.[ref]Evolution Press Release American Association for the Advancement of Science[/ref][ref]Complete sourced list of observed instances of speciation, TalkOrigins Archive[/ref][ref]Claim CB902: "Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution", TalkOrigins Archive"[/ref]

reference link needs an update[edit]

The one about the American Association for the Advancement of Science - it just links to their press release page, which no longer references what the article says. I briefly looked for a direct link but was unsuccessful Fcrick (talk) 01:00, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Referencing[edit]

Why is the validly referenced definition for Microevolution that I sourced from Webster's New World College Dictionary being removed? I think you guys need to look at WP:VERIFY and WP:V before you remove a reference....--Gniniv (talk) 01:39, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Are these good faith edits, or are you trying to suppress a neutral definition?--Gniniv (talk) 02:10, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

A lay definition is less useful than the expert subject matter definition already provided. Since you seem to be misinterpreting that lay interpretation, your pushing for it is hardly neutral. . dave souza, talk 08:54, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
As I've written elsewhere today, dictionaries are bad sources sometimes, particularly with technical/scientific issues. We clearly have better sources and should not be using Webster's. And this section heading is a personal attack on other editors. Dougweller (talk) 10:56, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Gotcha! I realize that the other editors were acting in good faith, and I apologise, my comments were out of line....--Gniniv (talk) 02:35, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I am fine if we include the "expert definition" mentioned above, the only reason I inserted one from Websters is there was either no reference on the claimed definitions (in the article) or the reference was to a talk website, not a peer reviewed publication...--Gniniv (talk) 02:38, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I have changed the title of this discussion from Reference Vandal? to Referencing to remove the negative connation (I realize that editors were acting in good faith in removing my reference)..--Gniniv (talk) 02:49, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that Talk Origins constitutes an "expert" source, isn't it a talk/discussion website? Considering that I am referencing from a established dictionary and am waiting until a better "peer reviewed source" can be found, I think my reference can stay (especially since I am not removing the talk origins reference to begin with...--Gniniv (talk) 02:49, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Are you sure you are ready to be commenting so frequently? You can visit WP:RSN and put "talkorigins" in the search archives box at the top to see some of the many previous discussions that have established the reliability of the source. You should not attempt to simultaneously discuss the same topic (whether a general purpose dictionary has information that is helpful for a scientific article) at more than one page. Please see Talk:Macroevolution#Webster's New College Dictionary. Johnuniq (talk) 04:27, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

No matter how many times a reference has been used, if it is from a non-accredited source (a talk/discussion/opinion blog) than it doesn't belong in Wikipedia as a reference for the official definition of a term (Maybe as a reference on the opinions about the term but not the "expert" definition)....--Gniniv (talk) 00:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Please read my previous comment and if you want, respond to what was said – repetition does not win on Wikipedia. Johnuniq (talk) 01:16, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why the ref. to Webster's is needed. Neither can I see that it causes any harm. Please note that we are not discussing the material content of the article here. So my suggestion is that we accept this superfluous ref. so that all of us can spend our time on more fruitful endeavours than this discussion. --Ettrig (talk) 07:52, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
IF by your own words it is unnecessary, and by the count, against consensus, then why should we put it in? We don't add stuff against consensus just to stifle complaints. Auntie E. (talk) 19:08, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I assume some value in other's opinions. Gniniv sees a value in the reference. I see no cost. --Ettrig (talk) 19:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you have seen the histories of this article and Macroevolution in the last few days. There may be an attempt to reach a scientific conclusion based on what a dictionary said. This conversation is also at Talk:Macroevolution. Johnuniq (talk) 02:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I have come to the conclusion through the efforts of a neutral third-party editor that dictionaries are not valid reference sources in this situation. However, I remain unconvinced that a "Talk Origins" blog is a valid source for a definition either. Any thoughts?--Gniniv (talk) 02:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I have twice explained how to find the previous discussions that established the reliability of the source. I'm sorry that I haven't packaged the reply into a simple link but there is benefit to seeing how the WP:RSN archives can be searched. Further, there is no policy page saying that X is or is not a reliable source; what we have is discussion/explanation that in this case has led to a firm consensus. Johnuniq (talk) 03:41, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I am going to replace the current link with the Webster's definition until Talk Origins is replaced with a peer reviewed publication. It's a blog for crying out loud!--Gniniv (talk) 05:45, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Please read my previous comment and if you want, respond to what was said – repetition does not win on Wikipedia. Johnuniq (talk) 06:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Found good references and am replacing both with them....--Gniniv (talk) 08:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Small Change[edit]

I have never edited a page before or anything, but the very first line on the page says microevolution is "a change in gene frequency within a population over time." I am familiar with the citation associated with the quote, and I use the Berkeley page in my classroom. However, this is a misuse of the term and should be "a change in allele frequency within a population over time." It could also read "allele frequencies within a gene" or something like that, but gene frequency is technically incorrect. It may seem nit-picky, but the term gene gets misused often enough as it is. If someone that is a frequent editor agrees with me, please make the change. Thanks mralph — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.247.172.137 (talk) 22:30, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I've just spent some time fixing this talk page so your comment appears, and don't have time to look at the article now, but what you say sounds correct and you should just do the edit! See WP:TP for information on signing comments (put a space then four tildes after your comment, with nothing else after the tildes). Johnuniq (talk) 08:48, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

"Misuse" Section and creationist understanding of the terms and related concepts[edit]

Greetings Mann Jess, I am following up on the last reverts on this section. You said you wanted to discuss the information. So what's on your mind? This section did not reflect the reference adequately on the American Association for the Advancement of Science since it did not talk about "no scientific basis for distinction" at all. It merely noted that microevolution eventually makes macroevolution. This is interpreting more into the citation than the citation allows. Furthermore, the whole first paragraph was erroneous. No citations were provided for those claims which make this paragraph too apologetic, not neutral enough, and not well supported. Also, it does not reflect adequately the views of creationists. For example,the AIG citation (which is a very popular creationist institution) flat out contradicts the claim that creationists even endorse the micro/macrevlution words in the first place. They clearly do believe in natural selection, speciation, and microevolution, however they interpret the macroevolution differently. Its a subtle difference, not a massive one that many actually imagine. They are also not "anti-evolution", they are, if anything, "non-macroevolutionists via purely natural processes". I think my edit was well sourced and that I balanced some of the claims. What can we do about this? I hope to hear from you soon. Ramos1990 (talk) 07:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

The AiG citation is one specific primary source promoting pseudoscience, and a such verification from a much better third party source is needed. The AiG source is clearly opposed to evolution in its normal scientific sense, holding to the old creationist claim that "species may undergo minor changes, but the range of variation is limited to variation within kinds". They apparently don't accept the terminology, but explicitly accept "microevolution" while claiming that there is some (supernatural?) barrier to macroevolution. Otherwise the ideas seem a bit bonkers, like the claim that a chihuahua has "less information" than a grey wolf! The wording of our section needs improvement, but it also needs a better source for such improvement. . . dave souza, talk 17:24, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Hey Dave Souza, good edit on the AAAS point. Yes I agree that the section needs more improvement since much of it has no citations. I will add a citation from NSCE on how microevolution is normally accepted creationists later today [[15]]. It even notes the piece of information that a creationists have argued that a creationist came up with the concept of natural selection first (implying that natural selection is not mutually exclusive to "evolution" nor is it equivalent to it necessarily). What do you think? Obviously there is lots of overlap in terms of microevolution in all sides since creationists, just like anyone else, accepts processes and phenomena which are directly observable today. Interpretations and extrapolations of concepts (which are diverse) is what they seem to disagree with. If they are perceived as psudoscientific by some is irrelevant in this section since the section is about microevolution, which everyone accepts, and how it is perceived or used, not the likelihood of correctness of their other models, theories, or claims. I will see on how to make this section more neutral and more focused on the issue later on.Ramos1990 (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Straying off-topic there a bit, I've tightened up the section with additional sources. Note the source you added was from 1989 and isn't necessarily still current. The claim that Edward Blyth discovered natural selection is inaccurate as others, including Paley, had long formulated the idea of the struggle for existence eliminating the unfit, as an argument for species being fixed. Darwin acknowledged that others before himself (and before Blyth) had put forward evolutionary ideas similar to natural selection, but they did not develop them into a coherent theory as he did. . . dave souza, talk 08:01, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

I saw your edits. They are good. The sources I was able to find were from the 80's, but 1 book citation I added was from 2009. I am not sure why this was not taken into account. In terms of the 80's citations, they are still relevant. If you have kept up with creationist literature, you will notice that not much has changed at the base (as is common in the history of many ideas). This could be seen in the AIG citation (which is a very big organization on this), which was much more recent. Furthermore, some of the references in the rest of the article are from the 80s. I don't think it would be much of an issue. The section looks much better and more reasonable with the recent additions and wording than it did a few days ago. On the side matter, in terms of: Blyth, you also mentioned Paley etc, and natural selection; this was merely to point out that creationists are not against these ideas in and of themselves nor were they against them from the very beginning. Many today seem to miss this and they do not make much of an effort to emphasize this point. A common misconception today is that many assume that creationists have ignored these or have disagreed with these ideas completely from the very beginning - which is absurd. Part of this is fueled by the popular belief in the "conflict thesis" which was debunked by historians of science the last century. Creationists obviously used these ideas for diverse conclusions in the past (including as a balance of lifeforms from too much deviation). As you noted, there is a very long history of conceptions on the diversification and limitations of creatures and there are deviants by degree to the Wallace-Darwinian theory (i.e Lamarck, Blyth, Lyell, St. Augustine, Aristotle, etc.). I agree with you that Darwin was the best at synthesizing the idea of natural selection (he coined the term) and made it into an abstract construct. Ramos1990 (talk) 17:29, 18 May 2012 (UTC)