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    Hyper45dude's Avatar
    Hyper45dude Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 24, 2007, 08:13 PM
    Micro vs Macro evolution
    What is the difference between Micro evolution and Macro evolution?
    DUKE-OF-URL's Avatar
    DUKE-OF-URL Posts: 23, Reputation: 6
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    #2

    Jun 23, 2007, 05:19 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyper45dude
    What is the difference between Micro evolution and Macro evolution?
    Macro evolution is one producing a different kind (eg. A horse having a baby cat) never been seen anywere including the fossil record

    Micro evolution is a variation of a kind like you see in specilized breeding you breed 2 different dogs you will get a different dog. Dogs that are moved to a colder climate will develop thicker fur this is seen in all species of animals
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #3

    Jun 23, 2007, 05:29 PM
    While Duke is correct in answering your question about the differences between the 2, he's omitted important evidence about macro-evolution.

    On the contrary, we have enough evidence for macro-evolution from the fossil record to show intermidiate evolutionary steps between:

    Fish and Amphibians
    Amphibians and early Reptiles
    Reptiles and Mammals
    Diapsids and Birds
    Land mammals and Whales
    Early horses and modern Horses
    Non-human apes and modern Humans
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
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    #4

    Jun 24, 2007, 11:51 AM
    Macroevolution is the formation of new species. A horse giving birth to a cat is not macroevolution. The formal definition of macroevolution is "the evolutionary process by which species and higher groupings (taxa, like genera or families) originate, change, and go extinct." So the evolution of horses from much smaller animals, which is well documented in the fossil record, is one example of macroevolution. Capuchin gives some other examples. There are thousands of examples like this in the fossil record. Of course, a lot of them are little known species of marine snails and things like that. Not very glamorous. But they are there.

    Microevolution is simply changes in gene frequencies within a population. So if a population of fruit flies goes from 20% white eyes to 80% white eyes, that would be microevolution. Or if a new mutation arose in a population of humans that gave them speckeled eyes (say) and gradually increased so that 22% of people carried the new mutation, that would be microevolution.

    Microevolution is little changes. Macroevolution is big changes, new species or new genera or families of organisms.
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #5

    Jun 24, 2007, 12:10 PM
    Something I forgot to mention.

    Scientists don't normally use the terms macro and micro evolution, evolution is evolution in our eyes.
    Religions have split up evolution into macro and micro, because macro goes against their teachings, whereas micro does not.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,277, Reputation: 7690
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    #6

    Jun 24, 2007, 12:36 PM
    Yes macro goes against religion and actual logic, I just don't understand how anyone can accept it. And of course the real problem with macro is where did the stuff come from that was not alive and then became alive.
    That into itself is the falacy of the macro evolution ideas is that something not alive could become alive and then form into cats and dogs, and fish and man,
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
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    #7

    Jun 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Capuchin
    Scientists don't normally use the terms macro and micro evolution, evolution is evolution in our eyes. Religions have split up evolution into macro and micro, because macro goes against their teachings, whereas micro does not.
    Capuchin, with all respect and I very much like all your answers, generally, I have to disagree with this one. I have several college level textbooks on evolution on my shelves and some have whole chapters on "Macroevolution." They all at least have a definition in the glossary and equate it with speciation. The distinction between macro and micro evolutuion comes from evolutionary biologists, not from outsided the field. The anti-evolutionists frequently misdefine the words or use the distinction for their own purposes, but the distinction is real, not imaginary. The definition of macroevolution I posted earlier comes from a college biology textbook. Scientists do use the terms macroevolution and microevolution.

    HOWEVER, it may be that scientists are beginning to avoid the terms, since creationists accept genetics and microevolution generally, but not speciation or other kinds of macroevolution. Accepting microevolution is a concession by creationists. In my opinion it is something to be celebrated. :)
    Cheers,
    Just Asking
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #8

    Jun 25, 2007, 04:42 AM
    Asking thanks for clearing that up, I clearly was mistaken :)
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #9

    Jun 25, 2007, 04:52 AM
    Hey, I learned something new today! Good thread, some good respectful back and forth.
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #10

    Jun 25, 2007, 04:56 AM
    I'm wondering what the difference between the logic that I use that says that evolution is plausible and observable, and this "actual logic" that Fr_Chuck possesses.

    Can you clarify, Fr_Chuck?
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
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    #11

    Jun 25, 2007, 08:36 AM
    Fr_Chuck]yes macro goes against religion and actual logic, I just don't understand how anyone can accept it.
    Fr Chuck, It's understandable that the evolution of one species into another one would seem illogical and hard to accept. The idea of evolution is thousands of years old, but most people did not accept it until Darwin assembled all the evidence for the idea in one place and ALSO explained how it could happen. That is, he provided a persuasive mechanism, so that it did seem logical. It takes some time to lay out all the evidence and to understand the mechanism (which is natural selection).

    One kind of evidence for evolution is the story laid out in the fossil record. If you are willing to accept that the fossils are real remains of ancient organisms, and not put there to trick us or something like that, the fossils do tell an amazing story. In the oldest layers of rock are very simple organisms, single cells and then later jellyfish and things. As time goes by, more and more kinds of organisms appear that are more and more complicated. The simple organisms don't die out, they continue to live along side the new ones. That's why we have so many species (millions of kinds). They just keep multiplying.

    There are patterns that show how it happened. For example, horse fossils start small and get bigger. They also start with five toes (like us) and gradually lose the side toes so they end up with just one big toe (the hoof of modern horses). As they changed what they ate, their teeth changed, too.

    In the fossil record, animals that go extinct, stay that way. They don't suddenly reappear later on. You don't find complex organisms like horses in the early layers of rock from 2 billion years ago. Amphibians (frogs and salamanders) only appear AFTER the fishes appear. And reptiles only appear AFTER the amphibians. That's becaused fish gave rise to both more fish and also amphibians, and the amphibians gave rise to both more amphibians and also reptiles. The reptiles in turn gave rise to birds and mammals. In other words, the order of the fossils tells a story we can understand. It's truly an amazing story of genesis, as wonderful as that in the Bible and the evidence laid down all around us in the rocks we walk on every day.

    Cheers,
    Just Asking
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #12

    Jun 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
    Well written, JustAsking. Clearly if anyone ever finds a fossil of a pre-cambrian cat it would cause a real stir!

    However, in fairness to Fr_Chuck, he asked:
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck
    And of course the real problem with macro is where did the stuff come from that was not alive and then became alive.
    The fossil record is excellent evidence for evolution starting all the way back with single-celled organisms. But it's not much help in explaining the initial origin of life on earth. I know there has been a lot of work around devising theories of how the organic "soup" of early earth, combined with energy from lightning or volcanic action, could have led to formation of amino acids, but the jump from amino acids to full-fledged proteins, and ultimately RNA (not to mention DNA) is still a big jump. I guess until someone is able to mix up a vat of chemicals and see bacteria (or better yet an amoeba) suddenly come to life out of the mix there will always be doubters.
    asking's Avatar
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    #13

    Jun 25, 2007, 12:36 PM
    Ebaines, Thanks! I agree about the other question. I was trying to just answer one question at a time because I've had people complain because I write long answers. Plus I talked about the origin of life in another thread.

    I agree with you and Fr Chuck that the beginning of life/cells is a much tougher question and while there are some interesting and even likely theories about how it could have happened, the evidence is pretty circumstantial. Personally, I feel totally comfortable saying that all species on Earth evolved here from a few cells. But I don't feel so confident about saying that cells developed from nothing here on Earth. I think they probably did, but I don't think anybody really knows (biologists included). I agree that it's important to be honest about that. Evolution is one thing. The origin of the first cells and of life itself is a separate thing.

    Still, it's fun for biologists to try to figure out how it could have happened, and they have put a lot of time into working out some complicated scenarios that make sense. If they can use them to make predictions that can be tested (which can be done with evolution), then we'll see if the origin-of-life ideas are good hypotheses or not.
    Jiser's Avatar
    Jiser Posts: 1,266, Reputation: 281
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    #14

    Jun 26, 2007, 08:35 AM
    Going off topic a bit but: I have this debate all the time with one of my 'god squad' friends. Not that I have anything against it but what I am against is the beliefs held by him. Evolution does not exist, carbon dating is fake!

    These people are lost in their own world, clearly wanting to believe in things to make their life somewhat easier to accept? There is no evidence for their beliefs. Evolution clearly exists and facts are the Earth has been around for millions of years.

    However no one on this earth can say how we came about from a few cells to what we are today!
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
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    #15

    Jun 26, 2007, 09:09 AM
    Actually Jiser, evolution describes exactly that, how we got from a few cells to what we are today. And you seem to agree with it?!

    What is puzzling is how we get from nothing to a few cells.
    asking's Avatar
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    #16

    Jun 27, 2007, 03:21 PM
    Here is Richard Dawkins' review of Michael Behe's new book, The Edge of Evolution, which is a retreat from the position he took in his earlier book, Darwin's Black Box.

    <http://select.nytimes.com/preview/2007/07/01/books/1154680128921.html?8tpw=&emc=tpw&pagewanted=print>

    Behe apparently now accepts the idea that all of the world's mllions of species could have evolved by means of natural selection. He argues only with the idea of mutations providing sufficient variability for that to happen though.

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