How much evolution is too much evolution?

Parents, talk with your kids about evolution. Before it's too late. (photo by Karin Vlietstra, via Flickr)

Today’s post is a public service announcement, brought to you by the good folks at The Center on Reproduction and Sexuality division over at the Institute for Creation Research. We thank you for your undivided attention to this important message, which is definitely not a parody.

Because we are a very trusted and popular international organization, we frequently get questions from the general public (we call them “gen-pubs”), seeking to mine our vast stores of wisdom. And one of the questions we often receive from parents is this one: “How much evolution is too much evolution?”

Parents ask us this because they hear it from their own children. And before we answer it, we want to express that this is normal. Though we recognize it might be unwelcome news for some parents, the fact remains that all kids grow up. And when they reach a certain age, they will begin to realize that their bodies are changing and become curious about evolution. It’s only natural, and it’s good that they would come to you for help and insight, rather than relying on their friends and secular culture.

First, we must stress that evolution is part of life. It’s part of how God designed us. Incremental changes within populations, adaptation, mutation, inherited traits — heck, even speciation. We see it constantly, in the world around us, in the fossil record and in science laboratories everywhere. Your son or daughter needs to understand that when the time comes for them to contribute to the evolution of our species, their offspring will look and act slightly different than they do. Again, this is normal and natural.

Now, at this point, we imagine you might be saying to yourselves, “Hey, wait a minute! I thought you guys didn’t believe in evolution!” Of course we do! But here, we must make an important distinction, one that gets to the heart of the question asked at the beginning of this post (“How much evolution is too much evolution?”).

You see, not all evolution is created equal. There is a difference between evolution that is good and natural, and honoring to the inspired word of God, and evolution that is unnatural and goes against the plain teachings of scripture. Evolution as we’ve described it so far (minor changes in the heritable traits within a population) is the good kind of evolution. Sometimes, we call this type of evolution “microevolution.”

However, there is another kind of evolution that is decidedly not good. This is known as “macroevolution,” which means a bear giving birth to a whale, or a sea urchin giving birth to a pterodactyl. We trust that you can see the obvious problems this type of evolution presents. Hence, this would be an example of “too much evolution.”

I hear some of you are asking, “Why is this so wrong?” And the answer is simple. The Bible teaches that God created all living things — even us! — according to their “kind” (we bolded and italicized that last word to show that it’s important). Now, we don’t actually have any idea what that really means, or what a “kind” even is, (not that we let that stop us from forming a whole field of “science” dedicated to “studying” it!) but we know this: Evolving outside of your kind is bad. Very bad.

Very, very, very bad.

Parents, your kids must know how wrong it would be for them to even experiment with macroevolution. They need to know that while microevolution is good and healthy, under no circumstances should they ever isolate themselves and a breeding population within a competitive environment for a few million years or so. Such behavior would be incredibly dangerous, and could very well lead to macroevolution.

OK, so are we being clear enough? Here, we’ll just come right out and say it: If you don’t scare the living daylights out of your kids about macroevolution, we think you’re a bad parent.

Now, we’re not trying to frighten you here. We’re creationists! We would never use scare tactics to make you believe what we believe or give us money. But we’re passionate about this issue because we think it is so very important.

Thank you for asking and reading about the clear distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. And remember, parents: Talk with your kids about evolution. Before it’s too late.

OK, we lied, and we’re sorry. This was a parody after all, and it was based on posts like this and this.

People like the folks at the ICR claim that there is a fundamental difference microevolution and macroevolution; that, even given billions of years, large-scale changes in a population’s gene frequencies would never occur. Essentially, this distinction involves fully accepting the mechanisms that drive evolution, but then kinking up the whole beautiful process by asserting there is some kind of magical, invisible barrier that stops these changes from accumulating and prevents one “kind” of animal from changing into another, regardless of time or environmental changes.

It is the logical equivalent of saying you could walk from your front door to your driveway, but it would be literally impossible to walk from your driveway to your friend’s house five blocks over.

Tyler Francke

  • Will

    I love the sarcasm of this post! Not to mention: The Synthesis of Evolution has been established for decades. Microevolution simply becomes macroevolution on a large enough time scale.

    In addition, I can’t believe that this is the 1st comment on this article. It grabs attention very well.