The Evolution Definition Shell Game

Fred Williams
October 2000

The term evolution often takes on several meanings in today's scientific circles, often in very misleading ways. A 1999 undergraduate college textbook on Biology states: "Evolution is a generation-to-generation change in a population's frequencies of alleles or genotypes. Because such a change in a gene pool is evolution on the smallest scale, it is referred to more specifically as microevolution"1 [emphasis in original].  This type of "evolution" is widely accepted by evolutionists and creationists alike and is not in dispute. It really amounts to minor genetic variation that may result from selective breeding such as found in the different varieties of dogs, or from placing stress on a population resulting in adaptation to an environment (i.e. the peppered moth in England, or drug-resistant bacteria). Microevolution is a misnomer, since it is not evolution as most people understand the word, but instead is adaptation and variation within a kind of organism - lizards are still lizards, dogs are still dogs, and peppered moths are still peppered moths! Evolutionists invariably appeal to this kind of "evolution" as "proof" for their theory.

The same college biology book later defines macroevolution as the origin of new taxonomic groups, from species to families to kingdoms2. The problem with this definition is that it encompasses both large-scale change, such as invertebrates evolving to vertebrates (which creationists dispute), and small-scale change that results in speciation (which creationists do not dispute). Indeed a new species can easily arise by simple geographical isolation of segments of a population (called allopatric speciation). For example, there are six species of North American jackrabbits, all of which lost the ability to interbreed due to changed mating habits caused by geographic separation. Thus the term macroevolution is misleading by its inclusion of microevolution, a confusion confirmed by the very biology book that defined it, since the book later attributes speciation to microevolution on isolated populations!3

Finally, there is large-scale evolution that may be referred to as molecules-to-man evolution, a theory that organisms over a long period of time have evolved into more complex organisms through the improvement or addition of new organs and bodily structures. This is how the word evolution is generally understood by the public. In fact it was defined this way for many years until evolutionists began evolving the word!4

Molecules-to-man evolution is the type of evolution that my web site seeks to portray as a "fairy tale for grownups".  It is unobservable, untestable, and has little, if any, evidence to support it. At best it should be labeled a low-grade hypothesis. Unfortunately, evolutionists continue to invoke microevolution and speciation as "evidence" that large-scale, molecules-to-man evolution is true. This is an invalid extrapolation, and is very misleading to the public. It is apparent that due to the lack of any real, tangible evidence for large-scale evolution, evolutionists have sought to create the illusion that evolution is true by reshaping and blurring the meaning of the word evolution.


1. Campbell, Reece, Mitchell, Biology 5th Edition, 1999, p. 432
2. Ibid. p. 445
3. Ibid. p. 451
4. Evolutionist G.A. Kerkut defined the ‘General Theory of Evolution’ in his 1960 book 'Implications of  Evolution' as "the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form." Some dictionaries still define it similarly, such as the Oxford Concise Science Dictionary: "evolution: The gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believed to have been continuing for the past 3000 million years."

 

Home | The Show | Articles | Debates | Guestbook | Forum | Bio | Speaking | Links