Editor’s note: Micro/macroevolution is the creationist’s favorite smokescreen. You walk them through sticklebacks, the hawthorn fly, the ever-changing flu virus and pesticide resistance, and begin to think — at last! — you are getting through to them. That is, until they unleash the ultimate facepalm: “Not so fast. That’s microevolution, not macroevolution. They’re two different things.”
It happens all the time. As such, it’s a topic that comes up around here pretty frequently. To be honest, we’re getting a little tired of it. So, one of our guest contributors, Race Hochdorf, has graciously agreed to spark a new debate: microgeography vs. macrogeography. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Imagine the following scenario.
You sit a friend down in front of your computer and take him to Google Maps, zooming in on your location until he can see your street and your neighborhood.
“Do you believe that is real?” you ask.
“Of course that’s real!” he would respond — likely with laughter.
Now, imagine that you zoom out of your street and neighborhood, until the image before you is that of the shape of the United States.
“Oh I don’t believe in that,” he says.
I’m guessing your response would go something like this:
“I don’t believe in countries and states,” he says. “Just streets and neighborhoods.”
“But…streets and neighborhoods over time and distance comprise states and nations,” you sputter out.
But he quickly dismisses you.
“That’s only your opinion,” he says. “You see, I believe in microgeography, but not macrogeography.”
With this illustration, we realize the absurdity of Christians who say they believe in microevolution but not macroevolution. It’s absurd, because microevolution is simply macroevolution “zoomed in.”
By observing microevolution (small changes within species), in conjunction with discovering numerous transitional fossils (small changes occurring within one species so much that it morphs into another) we can know that macroevolution is virtually undeniable. (Not that that which is undeniable has ever stopped fundamentalists from denial before.)
Viewing time like Google Maps is logical. “Zoomed in,” many individual Germans in the 20s and 30s were antisemitic. “Zoomed out,” these many antisemitic Germans combined to make a collective national sentiment that resulted, ultimately, in Nazism. “Zoomed in,” we see the planting and birth of trees. “Zoomed out,” we see a thick forest. “Zoomed in,” we see an old man dabbing paint on a canvas. “Zoomed out,” we see the Mona Lisa.
This is because none of these details stand alone. They combine to make a greater picture. Time is no exception to this. To accept the details of evolution (micro), without accepting the sum total of what these details, over time, combine to produce (macro), simply doesn’t make any sense.
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