Talk:Microevolution and macroevolution

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This Evolution related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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At the risk of being a "no no no" editor, there are several mistakes in the first section which somebody may want to correct. I don't want to monkey with anybody's baby.

The article says that 2 of each kind were taken on board, but Genesis says that 7 pairs of each clean (meaning kosher) animal, and 2 of each unclean animal were taken on board. Genesis 7:2. This directly undercuts the argument about how "only 2 of each type of cattle could lead to the diversity of today." With 7 pairs of cattle and two chromosome sets each, there would have been 28 distinct chromosome sets available for diversification after the flood.
The article says that no creationists have put forth mechanisms or datapoints to support the limits, but 4 are listed immediately below. They may be ridiculous, but they have been proposed.
The ranting on Noah's ark isn't relevant to the arguments about the limits of evolution. Somebody might actually want to refute the creationists' arguments ... Ungtss 13:46, 16 February 2008 (EST)
If they are "ridiculous", why not also write why you think so?
Oh, and "the genes involved in determining height, intelligence, build, and skin color vary a great deal between generations" seems contradictory to the evidence - for instance, I am about the same in all four traits as my father. Any obvious "variations" (eg, dark haired parents, blond kids) are usually due to recessive traits carried by heterozygous parents. humanUser talk:Human 14:05, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Would you agree that height varies more in one generation than the enzymes involved in blood clotting? As to discribing why those concepts are ridiculous, I'm afraid I'm not qualified to do that. Ungtss 14:08, 16 February 2008 (EST)
No, I wouldn't. I am slightly taller than my father, but he grew up during WW2 and post WW2 rationing. Keep in mind that some traits can vary more than others without reducing survival rates. Eye color, for instance, probably has very little bearing on survival, so can vary wildly. Blood clotting pretty much has to work within a tight range, so we see less variation on short time scales. Of course, there is the classic diagram of the inbred European royal family "tree" (more like a ladder!) showing the male hemophiliacs. humanUser talk:Human 14:23, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Hypervariable genes are observed in the scientific literature, and are just beginning to be studied.[1]. Consider a couple having 5 children, raised at the same time with comparable nutrition and lifestyle. Highly unlikely they will all be the same height, skin color, intelligence, build, etc. But they will all have the same metabolic functions. Even with the reduced survival rates, certain genes are hypervariable. Ungtss 14:40, 16 February 2008 (EST)

Let's not forget regression towards the mean, folks.--PalMD --You don't know harsh! 14:40, 16 February 2008 (EST)

And is that due simply to their being more variation in the genes in the pool? And plenty of separate alleles that can be heterozygous contributing to the variation in the offspring? Also, "metabolism" varies widely, too. Sure, Kreb's cycle is pretty much identical across a huge amount of life... humanUser talk:Human 14:53, 16 February 2008 (EST)
PalMD: Regression toward the mean is going to be mitigated by survival pressures in a particular ecological niche. You might have a pressure to regress toward the mean in equatorial regions, but darker skins are going to have an advantage is going to keep you dark. Point is, you constantly have variation from your parents on those character traits -- much moreso than other, fundamental traits, like mitochondrial DNA. Creationists see great significance in this. Ungtss 15:15, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Human: Definitely. The more homozygous a population gets (through a population bottleneck) the less variation you get. Interestingly, children tend to resemble the more inbred (homozygous) of their parents. Ungtss 15:15, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Ungst on PalMD: "you constantly have variation from your parents on those character traits" Don't be silly. There are more blood types than eye colors, right?
Not to my knowledge. Eyecolors come in a spectrum, with at least 6 distinct colors and thousands of shades and combinations. Blood types depend on the system. Under the ABO system, there are only 4. Under the rhesus system, there are only two. The two systems are often conflated, but they describe two different characteristics, and are therefore more like a combination of "hair color" and "eye color" than distinct blood types. But that's not the point. Blood type is superficial. You can pretty much mix and match. It's the COMPOSITON of blood and the function and coordination of the circulatory system that's impressive ... and that doesn't vary to any substantial degree at all ... Ungtss 19:24, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Ungst on Human: The part about children/inbred/parents is simple math (as long as the homozygous parent's gene is dominant!), and what the hell does inbreeding have to do with being homozygous? It's not the only way it happens... humanUser talk:Human 16:17, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Inbreeding directly causes homozygosity. That's why it's so dangerous -- because the descendants have less genetic diversity to compensate for disadvantageous inherited traits ... Ungtss 19:24, 16 February 2008 (EST)

blood vs eyes[edit]

If I needed an eye transplant, I wouldn't care about the "color". But, the blood type (ABO = x4, Rh = x2 , gee = "eight") would matter. I am O neg. A small percentage of the population. The "universal donor", in fact. But I can only get transfusions from other O-negs. (like 1-2% of the human race). Which matters more to me? humanUser talk:Human 21:04, 16 February 2008 (EST)

blood type of course. Not sure how that's relevant ... Ungtss 23:54, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Depends. Are you David Bowie? --e|m|c [TALK] 23:59, 16 February 2008 (EST)


OK first off let me say that I am a trained evolutionary biologist, not a creationist or their ilk. However, I don't quite agree with the idea that micro- and macroevolution are the same thing. They both operate the same way, and one is an extension of the other (i.e. you can't have one without the other), but they require different conditions to operate. More specifically, micro leads to macro only if there is some reproductive barrier; it is not a matter of time, as the articles seem to suggest, but one of conditions.

Granted, this doesn't change the fact that macroevolution and microevolution are inseparable (they are...sorry "buffet evolutionists"), but I think it's important to be as accurate as possible in making that argument.

I posted this here because I hesitate to make such a radical change to the articles without floating the idea first.

PS. one major reason I think this should be changed is that it ignores [reported] cases where speciation has occured within the space of one or two generations, in addition to just trying for more accuracy. — Unsigned, by: Thinker / talk / contribs

Well, the thing is that the phrases are used by cretinists so they can "agree" with one and "disagree" with the other, by "accepting" the "micro" we have obviously observed, while denying that it ever leads to "macro", or that "macro" ever happened. That said... if you like, how about writing what you would like it to say here in the talk page (along with what you'd replace) so we can discuss it? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:32, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
OK here's the basic gist of what I would write...
I would keep the opening basically the same, though I would add a technical definition of the term (because, contrary to what the article says, biologists do use "microevolution" and "macroevolution," albeit in a way very different from creationists [or cretinists...I like that, if that was on purpose:)]): "adaptive change within a species which does not lead to speciation"
I would then re-label what is currently "Description" and call it "Microevolution, according to the creationists", or something like that.
Then I would follow it like this:
Can I accept microevolution without accepting macroevolution?
Sure, why not. No one's telling you what you can and cannot accept...that would be wrong. But...
You'd be mistaken.
Macroevolution vs. Microevolution
Put simply, macroevolution is what you get when microevolution occurs in two or more populations within a species. Or maybe you might think of macroevolution as the net sum of all the microevolution that occurs within a species. Either way, the unavoidable conclusion is that you can't have one without the other!!!!
Perhaps an example would help clear things up. Suppose you have a large population of Species A (let's just suppose, for fun, that they're salamanders) that lives in a hilly terrain. Everything's fine and dandy until some event (ice age) comes along and isolated different groups on the mountaintops. Follow so far?
It shouldn't be much of a jump to assume that those different populations, no matter how similar, still have slightly different mutations and develop under slightly different conditions. Given enough time (or enough of a difference) these two groups will develop into very different populations, and when they come back together, they may not be able to inter-breed. And voila! New species.
So there you have it: microevolution is what happened to each individual group. Macroevolution is the result when the two groups develop under different conditions. And it may sound like an escoteric example, but guess what?! It's actually happened!!!! The "theoretical" situation accounts for the diversity of salamanders in Appalachia.
Can you have microevolution without macroevolution occuring? Sure...if there's no reproductive isolation, the species will keep micro-evolving quite merrily, no matter how long it has. But as soon as you isolate two groups, you sow the seeds for new species via macroevolution. And can you have macro without the micro? You betcha, and there are documented cases.
In conclusion, macroevolution and microevolution are two different phenomena that are inextricably linked. You can accept one but not the other just as easily as you can accept the existence of rivers but not the oceans.
It's rough, but it's a start.
I would also probably end up linking to a separate page on speciation. I know we're not trying to compete with Wikipedia, but I think a little more explanation would help even more to counter anti-science arguments. Plus, it's my field, so I just need half a reason to go off on clarification:) Thinker 21:13, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
Hey, thanks for all that work! It looks goodish to me, might we want a similar but shorter thing over at macroevolution? And as far as competing with WP, sure, we'll never explain some things as in-depth as them - but we are free to have a POV, and a more amusing writing style (you could never write "But... You'd be mistaken" there!), and some topics we really do need to write about here (to show we understand them - as if). One question - if enough "microE" occurs across an entire species (no "speciaction"?), eventually wouldn't biologists give it a new name? Or do they tend not to do that if there is no "branching"? I guess I know the answer, actually. I have a Gingko (sp.?) in the back yard, and a Metasequoia glyptostoboides - both trees that have been "one line" for many millions of years. They are not identical to their ancient forebears, and might even be "reproductively isolated" from them (old pollen wouldn't work on current version of species), but they still carry the same binomial. Interesting. Same with coelecanth, etc., I guess. You might want to describe how we can have macro without micro, too. And if it makes it to the article, I'll probably delete "betcha" ;). One last tiresome copyediting comment - can you remove most of the second person stuff, if not all of it? But other than that whining, please, feel free to paste that in.
PS, "cretinist" is not a typo ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 21:36, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
Glad it was helpful and made sense, and the changes have been made (we'll see what the community has to say). In reference to your question, eventually biologists would designate a new species, once it has changed enough. We especially do this retroactively, e.g. the naming of the human ancestors. The tricky part is designating when Species A evolved into Species B (it's usually a gradual process). Oftentimes, it's not possible, which is one side-effect of trying to organize a very chaotic and sloppy natural system (or perhaps one subject to Drunken Design?:D) Thinker 22:08, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
Hehe, "drunken design" - well, "nature" does just randomly, sloppily, unguidedly careen about and then repeat whatever works! Anyway, I (for one) appreciate your "Wikiquette" of not only asking first, but then presenting and discussing, a change you want to make. We try to be footloose and fancy-free here on RW, but of course we also have our own endemic attitude issues, etc., etc. .... so it's nice when someone who wants to help asks if it's OK first. Shame we have come to this :( Hehe, it's the reality of small interactive groups as they grow, eh? Anyway, I really appreciate your improovmints (although I haven't checked them out yet!). I do like the idea of "drunken design" though... maybe we need an article on it... ħumanUser talk:Human 22:54, 3 August 2008 (EDT)

Microevolution vs baraminology[edit]

According to baraminologists, wolves, foxes, and dogs all descended from a member of the "dog kind" 4,000 years ago. As wolves (including dogs) and foxes are completely different animals, this still would have been macroevolution, not microevolution. Baraminology seems to (deliberately?) ignore this. —ShapeshiftingLizard ~▲~ hear me roar ~▲~ 00:58, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Merge with Macroevolution?[edit]

The two concepts, in both their real and creationist-designed definitions, are generally discussed together; perhaps merge to an article called Microevolution and macroevolution or something similar? RWNoob (talk) 19:05, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Modern Genetic definition of Evolution, a response to Micro and Macro Evolution[edit]

Holy shit, this is one of the largest dumps of moronic gibberish I've ever seen. Spriggina (razgovor) (doprinosi) @ 00:16, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
What is your reasoning to call this Gibberish? Do you program Code? — Unsigned, by: Mr Mark / talk / contribs
You're not conveying anything clear or useful. I've been a programmer and I've ready Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker , which covers cellular automata and evolution in in a comprehensible way. Bongolian (talk) 03:55, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
Incidentally, yes I do. Spriggina (razgovor) (doprinosi) @ 17:31, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Please study wiki formatting before claiming to be a programmer, K? — Unsigned, by: Bongolian / talk / contribs
Creationist dipshit, Time + Micro-evolution = Macro-evolution. Just because you're too stupid to understand it doesn't mean it isn't real. A fucking 10-12 year can understand this, so it is quite telling if you, someone who claims to be an adult, cannot understand such a simple concept. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:56, 3 February 2019 (UTC)