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Microevolution verus Macroevolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Microevolution verus Macroevolution

Postby jimslady » Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:28 am

How does micoevolution differ from macroevolution?
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Postby biostudent84 » Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:52 am

Microevolution is the change in gene frequencies for one or two traits. Macroevolution is when MANY gene frequencies change, resulting in new species being "created"
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Postby ERS » Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:41 am

frequency is appearance of a gene, not necessarily change in genetic information. Can you tie together your frequency of a gene and macroevolution bit a little more?
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Postby biostudent84 » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:36 pm

I'm going to get into trouble here for saying this...but I don't care. I've already been told that I'm going to hell for being in the same school of thought as the evolutionists.

As a whole, the human evolved alongside all other primates (Yes! Humans are primates! My opposable thumb is hitting the spacebar as I type!). As our [humaniod] ancestors became more and more of a grassland animal, we began to lack the need for a tail. Therefore, after many generations of reproduction, the tails became shorter and shorter. As we developed the use of tools, our hands became more and more articulate.

Genes for the tails became expressing themselves less and less, and eventually the frequency bottomed out. Genes for articulate hands (as opposed to less-than-articulate hands of our cousins) became more and more prominent.

While these two genes are both representative of microevolution, when one steps back and views the entire picture...ALL gene frequencies changing to best fill the ecological niche...macroevolution is extrapolated.
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Postby RobJim » Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:41 pm

I think this is something that Biblical literalists - creationists - came up with. As far as I understand it, "microevolution" is the easily demonstrated process by which organisms evolve in the short term. It's something that's observable on a human time scale. Organisms supposedly do not change species during this process. An example would be how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.

"Macroevolution" is an extrapolation of this process that such Biblical literalists have a problem with. If it is a real process, it takes so long to observe that scientists haven't been able to observe it yet - since science is still young relative to the time scales needed. "Macroevolution" is the idea that way back when, humans had a single celled ancestor. The process that slowly changed the organism as it kept reproducing through the generations, becoming more and more complex, until humans came to exist, is "macroevolution".

Please note that as far as I know, this is a distinction that religious people use so that they can believe in a literal Creation 5000 years ago and still accept the clearly demonstrated process of evolution that takes place when HIV becomes resistant to the drugs used to treat the person infected with it. These people accept "microevolution" but challenge any attempt to extrapolate from this to a non Biblical theory that explains the diversity of life.
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Postby mith » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:48 pm

It's hard for fundamentalists to accept macroevolution because of what it boils down to but it's pretty hard to not accept microevolution which is why (I think) they changed their theories to match it somewhat(Intelligent Design etc...) The problem is until scientist invent some type of time accelerated chamber to show evolution at X9000yrs speed, they will not accept any proof. Any attempt to prove it any other way is pointless because evolution is a theory.
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Postby RobJim » Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:26 pm

In reality, the Theory of Evolution is illustrated well as a treelike diagram. The "trunk" was the single ancestor of all "animals". As that "first animal" experienced "microevolution" species of animals came into being. Eventually a few of those lines were separated from one another for breeding purposes for extended periods of time until they became very different, with a number of different characteristics and no possibility of interbreeding. This happened for a really long time over and over until we got the current "tree".

Where "microevolution" stops but "macroevolution" begins is hard to pin down, as these aren't really scientific terms. I guess [EDIT]"microevolution"[/EDIT] is what is believed to take place very near the species differentiation level. I think people who make these distinctions claim that the different species of finches that Darwin observed were the result of "microevolution" - so in this case, it allows for speciation - but the idea that humans evolved from the same ancestor as homo erectus is considered "macroevolution". Therefore, speciation can be considered "microevolution" or "macroevolution" depending on how comfortable the person judging the event is with it. It often has to do with how long ago the speciation was believed to have taken place. If it took place within the last 5000 years, people often like to call it "microevolution" because it could have taken place since God created the universe, while it's "macroevolution" if it took place before that.

Also, such people often believe that genes are never created, so evolution is actually a degrading process, with the organisms getting weaker and weaker over the long term as genes get destroyed (when the ancestor animals with that gene all die out). So it's "microevolution" if genes are destroyed or transformed, but any idea that the number of genes can increase is part of the realm of "macroevolution".
Last edited by RobJim on Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DevGrp » Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:58 pm

So really macroevolution is just a whole series of microevolution events strung together?



I've been reading the Evolution / creation threads on this forum for the last few weeks and find it fascinating.
Coming from a European perspective I'm amazed at how contraversial evolution appears to be in the US. I had thought this battle had been won 100+ years ago.
Even the Catholic Christian Brothers who taught me biology years ago excepted Darwins version and that the bible was just a metaphor.
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Postby biostudent84 » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:17 pm

DevGrp wrote:So really macroevolution is just a whole series of microevolution events strung together?



I've been reading the Evolution / creation threads on this forum for the last few weeks and find it fascinating.
Coming from a European perspective I'm amazed at how contraversial evolution appears to be in the US. I had thought this battle had been won 100+ years ago.
Even the Catholic Christian Brothers who taught me biology years ago excepted Darwins version and that the bible was just a metaphor.


Exactly, DevGrp. Macroevolution is an extrapolation. In the US, the only non-third-world country where religion is on the rise, a great number of fundamentalists are found. While Americans believe in Separation of Church and State, we still tend to ignore it whenever we can get away with it. Many religious fundamentalists fight the teaching of Evolution in public schools...in the Catholic School I went to, it was never even mentioned...even in biology.
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Postby mith » Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:27 pm

Did they teach creationism with all the doodads?
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Postby RobJim » Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:00 pm

The problem is until scientist invent some type of time accelerated chamber to show evolution at X9000yrs speed, they will not accept any proof.

Many people who don't believe in evolution already have an argument against this proof set in place. If humans are involved, then it's "design" since an intelligence changed circumstances to make it happen when it otherwise wouldn't.

So really macroevolution is just a whole series of microevolution events strung together?

Yep.

Many religious fundamentalists fight the teaching of Evolution in public schools...in the Catholic School I went to, it was never even mentioned...even in biology.

That's interesting. The Catholic church officially accepted the TOE a while ago. This is one reason the US fundamentalist Protestants think their religion is better than that of the Catholics. They call themselves Christians as though this were something different than Catholic. Here's a typical encounter I have with these guys once in a while:

RJ: Are you religious? What religion do you follow?
Fundamentalist Christian: I'm a Christian.
RJ: What kind of Christian?
Fundamentalist Christian: I don't understand.
RJ: Well, Christianity has many branches. There are Catholics, and many different branches of Protestantism.
Fundamentalist Christian: I told you, I'm Christian, not Catholic or Protestant.
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Postby ERS » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:38 am

RobJim,
There are plenty of non-denominational christians out there. Not all should be lumped in with Catholicism or Protestantism, or any other 'mainstream' religions yet they do profess the basic tenet of christianity--obviously belief in Christ-- even though historically they all have the exact same roots....

just a little food for thought, even though this is a biology site and not a religion site, it is still interesting to think about these things.

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