Creationists frequently disagree with claims
of evolution in living organisms that are theoretically possible,
especially with the consideration that intelligently designed
is the true source of variability driving this process. The peacocks
eye, the peppered moth colors, the giraffes neck, or even
the bombardier beetles discharge could all have evolved;
and yet are argued to be created features by the majority of
the creation community. Based on classic irreducible complexity,
if an organism possesses a feature that would have required multiple
anatomical changes to evolve, it must have been created. If mutation
were driving evolution that would be true, but the evolution
of such things is not the result of random processes. God created
code-editing machinery, and the changes they make are able to
construct new features that are moderately complex.
The ability of organisms to evolve by design
may have been the very reason God was able to curse the creation
due to sin and then destroy it completely by flood, and know
that life would still survive and flourish. Evolution occurs
not through random reactions, but controlled cellular genetic
rearrangements. We are being taught an atheistic perspective
of evolution as due to mutation, but offspring variability and
all the various plant and animal breeds are the result of meiotic
recombination. The extraordinary adaptive capability designed
into all organisms via a history of naturally-based selection
and these cell-performed rearrangements is truly awesome, and
has in many cases altered organisms beyond our ability to recognize
species as related groups.
It is most important for creationists to
study evolution, while remembering their proponents are atheists
and not ID theorists. Although they teach a flawed source for
genetic variability, a great portion of their theories concerning
the potential outcome of natural selections are correct in many
cases. Nature selects however, not from population variety created
by mutation over millions of years, but from genetic recombinants.
A history of genetic recombination and natural selection has
been able to create features providing adaptive specializations
in a relatively short period of time. Recombination generally
alters the characteristics (shapes, sizes, colors) common to
any organism. They make things different by making specific genetic
adjustment, and we do not yet know what reactions are being performed
nor therefore the theoretic limits of evolution.
Generally speaking, if an organism possesses
a specific feature which it requires to survive, we are quick
to assume it must have been created. Likewise, if the feature
possesses even moderate complexity, it is also rapidly inferred
that it was of original design rather than evolved. But we are
simply quick to make these assumptions because we do not appreciate
the power behind genetic recombination. These reactions are not
being recognized for what they are by the scientific community
because they can not perceive of the intelligent design behind
their performance. The variability isolated by breeders in a
few hundred years gives us only a glimpse of the evolutionary
potential possessed by these animals. God designed machinery
which creates this variability specifically to drive the evolution
of organisms. Given that is the case, there is no reason to contest
many of the basic naturally selected evolution potentials creationists
A study of evolution can give you two things:
the ability to challenge evolutionary dogma such as
and mutations, but also a better appreciation for God's creation.
Truly the ability of organisms to change themselves into a variety
of forms may be one of God's greatest creations.
Created Kinds and Evolutionary Potential
God essentially created more kinds than was really required
from an evolutionary perspective in the sense that two unrelated
kinds can occupy the same habitat or utilize the same niche;
and even potentially grow to look alike. A study of evolution
from the creation perspective is hindered by the fact that
we can not accurately define the
kindship groups. Why? The tremendous evolutionary potential
demonstrated by breeders, in combination with the fact that God
created sets of kinds with similarities. The differences between
many of these similar kinds are not so significant
that either could not eventually look like the other. (i.e. canines/bears,
from breeders has given us only a very minimal range we must
apply to natural populations in an attempt to define
the kinds. The range demonstrated in every case was from
organisms which had already undergone a long history of recombination
and strong post flood selection, and therefore the breeds have
all been isolated from what was already a variation of a kind.
Given our minimum variability range it is quite easy to look
at group of these similar kinds and realize that all of them
could theoretically evolve from a common ancestor. The order
Rodentia for example has less natural variability within than
has been isolated by dog breeders, and could theoretically all
be one kind, and yet there are probably several kinds present
in that group. This essentially implies that there is evolutionary
overlap between some of these similar kinds. That being the case;
seeming intermediates are expected, even if a kind can probably
never truly evolve to being genetically compatible with another.
One of God's created "kind" can
probably never become genetically or reproductively compatible
with another, but they may be able to evolve physically to the
point where placing them with a created group has in many cases
become impossible. If you can not place a species with a kindship
group then it is at least a physical intermediate
between two kinds. Although organisms will never successfully
mate with a different kind, they are able to physically
change to look like another, and therefore explain why we should
expect reported intermediates.
God created groups of similar kinds with
differences that do not outweigh their evolutionary potential.
Breeders have demonstrated a tremendous variability range which
arguably exceeds the distinctions between kinds in many cases.
For example, the differences between the bear/canine/rodent may
not be as significant as those that distinguish the Chihuahua
from the Great Dane. There are many species which we can not
conclusively assign to one of these groups, and could easily
belong to either. It is possible that any one of the similar
kinds could eventually produce a species that we could
mistake for another.
Given our still limited knowledge of evolution,
it is theoretically possible that a group of these similar kinds
could all have evolved from a common ancestor even if God created
them as individual kinds. He could have just as easily created
a pair that evolved into all the rodents or alternatively many
rodent kinds, we dont know. Likewise he could have created
just one kind that evolved into all the carnivores, or many carnivore
kinds. In other words, just because God created several similar
kinds, doesn't mean they couldn't eventually evolve to produce
identical offspring. They may simply have been made to stabilize
the creation much like speciation does to a kind.
Speciation and the Created Kinds
The boundary being defined in Gen.
1 by "after their kinds" is reproducibility, but
that doesn't suggest any limits concerning the evolution of the
physical form. The Biblical kinds
are simply reproductively incompatible. Why create similar kinds;
like several incompatible kinds of rodents, carnivores, or several
birds-of-prey. Why do that? You might also ask why create the
process of speciation? The answers are the same.
Evolution is the process of specializing
through genetic modifications created by cellular recombination
and selected by nature. Following a lengthy history of recombination
and selection, organisms becomes specialized to a particular
habitat or niche, and have a greater chance of surviving the
immediate circumstances that induced the selective pressure.
God created animals which were already
specialized, but were also still very much generalists in comparison
to what they would become through evolution. God created reproductive
barriers in the beginning to prevent the created features from
being lost; such as the ability to fly if one mated with a creature
that was flightless. Likewise speciation serves the same function.
Following a lengthy history of recombination, animals become
much more specialized; such as the bear which has become the
polar, panda, etc. all much more specialized. Speciation, or
the development of a subsequent compatibility barrier, prevents
these new specializations from also being lost.
Speciation occurs by design. In a sense,
when speciation becomes permanent, the organism has been transformed
into a new kind. Speciation is initiated most frequently due
to simple geographic isolation and most modern species probably
became such during post flood migration into an unoccupied world.
Following a history of separation many animals will develop physical
differences and behaviors which are used to distinguish one another
and they will instinctively remain reproductively separate even
during co-occupation of the same region. However, independent
recombination and selection histories can alter the genomes to
the point where they become genetically incompatible because
the homologues will be unable to pair and crossover during the
first mitotic division following fertilization. In either case,
because one occurs through instinct, and the other through created
mechanisms, they must then exist by design. Speciation occurs
for the same reason God created similar reproductively distinct
kinds. He created reproductive barriers at first to protect the
created specializations from being lost through interspecies
breeding, and speciation likewise creates new barriers to protect
anything that would develop through recombination and selection.
tremendous amount of "classic evolution" has occurred,
and we have almost no theoretic basis to limit these mechanisms.
Genetic variability is selected naturally which leads to adaptive
improvement, and in cooperation with speciation can result in
the formation of multiple subpopulations all with unique specializations.
Classic evolution explains why the bears all look and live differently,
and there is no limitation we can claim to say that all the bears
could have evolved from a common ancestor, but a larger group
like the carnivore could not.
There are some big flaws in the picture
the evolutionist paints due to philosophically derived errors
in theory formation. We are being taught evolution from atheists
who are erroneously using this adaptive mechanism to support
the claim that life's origin was not of intelligent design, and
humans are just another animal. Therefore, it is difficult for
creationists to even theorize about evolution because there is
such a need within us to argue this misinformation. The creationist
will theorize about the limits, but rarely the theoretic extent
of evolution. However, it is not so difficult to recognize why
educated people believe in evolution. First, the amount of real
evolution that has been demonstrated in nature or by breeders
is truly awesome, and secondly only someone who believes the Bible can accept the
global flood interpretation of the fossil record. Either divine
intervention saved modern animals, or the geological column must
have accumulated over millions of years.
God created many different kinds of animals
and man at the same relative point in time, but the machinery
placed into organisms to drive their evolution is not yet characterized.
These reactions have demonstrated a potential that exceeds the
differences between kinds, and I'm not sure the creation of these
"similar kinds" was therefore required evolutionarily
in many cases. If we are to defend our position of evolution,
we should speculate and determine what we believe is the theoretically
extent of evolution. If the world were millions of years old,
what could such a history of recombination and selection accomplish?
Is there a limit to these reactions that is solid?
Biblical "Kinds" Synonymous
with Species ?
It is certain given the number of species
alive today that a pair of each terrestrial animals could not
fit on board the ark, and there were 7 pairs of clean animals
taken. It is thought there are between 5 and 50 million species
on earth today, with only 1.75 million characterized and named.
The relative number of terrestrial species per major taxa are
listed below, and this does not include insects and spiders which
alone exceed 1 million.
Relative species number by major taxa
- Amphibia (Amphibians)
4,184 described species
- Mammalia (Mammals)
4,000 described species
- Reptilia (Reptiles)
6,300 described species
- Aves (Birds)
9,040 described species
Related populations instinctively remain
reproductively separate following a period of isolation, and
eventually will become genetically incompatible and unable to
mate. Speciation does seem to occur on a fairly regular basis,
and along with independent selective pressure has caused the
Biblical kinds to become a plethora
of uniquely specialized communities.
Macroevolution and the Creation Perspective
Evolution is a biological process well
substantiated by living organisms, but is being used to explain
a common ancestry for all life on earth. Classic evolution occurs
regardless of the age of the earth or the exact historical perspective
involved. What is evolution? Evolution is more than just variations
within a species, or the formation of new species. Macro-evolution
must also occur for "evolution" to be true generally
speaking, or the term to be usable when referring to the history
of a kind.
Most all creationists argue against macro-evolution
or reject the use of the term, because they believe only micro-evolution
occurs. Micro-evolution is the production of variation within
a population and the formation of new species. There is a great
misunderstanding between the creation and evolution camps due
to the rejection of macroevolution by creationists. This confusion is
largely due to the use of the geological column as evidence for
macro-evolution, and therefore the synonymous use of the term
to describe a common ancestry of all organisms on earth.
However, when a young earth creationist is talking about the
evolution of a Biblical kind, they are
speaking strictly about population biology, and from that perspective
macroevolution does also occur. What is macro-evolution? Macroevolution is
most commonly used to refer to the development of taxonomic groups above
the species level (genus, family, order etc.) or a branching history
as is illustrated below. These higher taxa develop through a repetition of
speciation events and microevolution usually separated by long periods of
It is a foregone conclusion among most
creationists that the mammalian Families are most closely synonymous
with the Biblical kind, and yet the evolution of a pair of animals
into an entire Family of genera is macroevolution. Within the
mammalian families, such as the canine, you have sub-groups of
species called genus. There are many species of fox, many species
of wolves, and many of coyotes. Microevolution is the small changes
which occur within a fox population, and even fox speciation.
However, it is macroevolution which is used to define the long
term development that eventually produces groups of uniquely
canine species. For our purposes; macroevolution is the
entire evolutionary history of any kind.
can not deny macro-evolution outright. We only reject the use
of that term in reference to the geological column as a history
of the world, or a common ancestry for all organisms. If you
were to describe the evolution of any Biblical kind specifically
to an evolutionary biologist; they would define that history
as macro-evolution. To say without explanation that macro-evolution
does not occur is causing us to reject the process that produces
taxonomic groups and not the extent to which it occurs due to
a misunderstanding of the use of the term. Our argument is principally
concerning the extent of evolution, and the universal denial
of macroevolution by creationists is casings us to unwittingly
reject an established and otherwise acceptable process.
Simpson (below) called the evolutionary
inference we would tend to reject as, quantum- or mega-evolution,
and in fact many creationists have likewise proposed the use
of Mega-evolution when describing the theoretic development of
major features or the common ancestry of all organisms.
"Nevertheless there is
a difference and many of the major changes cannot be considered
as simply caused by longer continuation of the more usual sorts
of minor changes. For one thing, there is excellent evidence
that evolution involving major changes often occurs with unusual
rapidity, although, as we have seen, there is no good evidence
that it ever occurs instantaneously. The rate of evolution of
the insectivore forelimb into the bat wing, to give just one
striking example, must have been many times more rapid than any
evolution of the bat wing after it had arisen. The whole record
attests that the origin of a distinctly new adaptive type normally
occurs at a much higher rate than subsequent progressive adaptation
and diversification within that type. The rapidity of such shifts
from one adaptive level or equilibrium to another has suggested
the name 'quantum evolution," under which I have elsewhere
discussed this phenomenon at greater length" (Simpson G.G.,
"The Meaning of Evolution", 1949, p235)
Is the Creation Evolving or De-Evolving?
If an organism is alive and reproducing,
it is evolving. With each generation, genetic modifications are
made, and they are not degradations of the genome. These reactions
are performed by machinery which requires energy input, and was
designed for that purpose.
The creation is not de-evolving. You can
not compare our world today against that following the flood
as anything but an improvement. The recovery of our ecosystem
was largely driven by evolution. Pairs of organisms like butterflies
now exist as hundreds or event thousands of species, all with
new unique specializations. The design to evolve into these countless
varieties may have been one of God's greatest creations.
Man is evolving also. Humans exist as many
races today because these groups were speciated for a time (reproductively
isolated) and evolved into several physically distinct forms
due to regionally-specific natural selection. These speciation
events were likely driven and solidified by divine intervention
at the tower of Babel. Humans, like all organisms, can naturally
speciate through migration and geographic isolation, but the
language barriers God created certainly had a great affect.
The Importance of Speciation
recognizing the variability that has been recently demonstrated
by intentional breeding is not a tremendous step toward admitting
evolutionary potential. If you can not accept the occurrence
of speciation you will not be able to also recognize where that
variability has been at work in nature.
We are just now really beginning to appreciate
evolutionary possibilities. The variability expressed during
breeding allows these organisms to adapt to specific circumstances
in nature, and it is these specializations that are often mistakenly
claimed as created features. The variations isolated by breeders
could only develop in nature if speciation occurs. If reproductively
isolated groups are not formed, the Biblical
kinds can only exist naturally in one physical form. Selective
pressure from all over the earth would mix together, and every
kind would only exist as an unspecialized environmental generalist.
The range demonstrated by breeders must
be applied to organisms in nature across species barriers. The
domestic dog breeds were all bred
out of wolves and progeny. If you assume a strict species
barrier, then wolves are only related to other wolves, and therefore
none of the variability produced during artificial breeding was
ever expressed in nature. Speciation does occur, and much of
the variability expressed during breeding is also evident in
nature, but only through interspecies examination. The fox, the
jackal, hyena, and coyote are all likely related to the wolf
and domestic dogs; and there are almost certainly others.
By artificially speciating (inbreeding)
the domestic dogs, the breeders have produced countless varieties.
A variation which surfaces through recombination is maintained
by inbreeding or artificial selection. Without intentionally
isolating and inbreeding specific traits, the dogs would also
all look the same. Speciation produces the same effect in nature
as inbreeding has in domestic animals. Speciation is a regular
part of adaptation, and its purpose is to allow independent recombination/selection
histories to remains pure and uncontaminated by selection from
Organisms can only specialize to a habitat
of niche if they speciate. Speciation allows the history of selection
to be remains regionally specific, and uncontaminated by genes
selected in other conditions. Speciation occurs and is a part
of the design. Since their creation, the Biblical
kinds have undergone macroevolution into many genera of related
species, and we should be prepared to readily admit this quantity
Macroevolution is an evolutionary biology
term which is being misused by creationists broadly. Part of
the confusion is related to the fact the macro-evolution is frequently
claimed as being responsible for a common ancestry for all organisms,
and the fossil record is also frequently used as evidence for
macroevolution. However, if classic evolution has
occurred, although only from created kinds onward, then macroevolution
is an appropriate term for the creationists to use also when
describing creationary evolution. The evolution of a kind is
more complex than can be described in the context of microevolution
alone, and macroevolution describes a process, not an extent.
Why has the process of evolution
been given credit to explain a common ancestry of all organisms?
Simple: there is a similarity between the nature of the creation
and the process of evolution. God created groups of similar organisms
(many birds, many bugs, many microbes, many plants, etc, etc,
which is exactly what evolution produces. It has produced groups
of similar organisms such as a group of fox species, genera of
wolves, jackals, and all came from a single pair of canine. Although
we know many kinds were created, we still can not define the
created kinds because the ability of an organism to evolve into
similar groups is tremendous.
Following their release from
the ark, there were some early speciation events and adaptations
which gave rise to animals like the original wolf, fox, hyena,
etc. After a period of time these new canines further speciated
into several new species of wolves, foxes, etc which are more
similar to each other than their distant canine relatives. Following
more time these species of foxes will speciate again and again,.
The differences that develop between speciation events can be
so great that these groups of species will not appear related.
That is how natural groupings develop. A speciation event followed
by time and further speciation creates groups of similar organisms
which are still related to a larger group.
Evolution has two primary outcomes depending
on how broad your perspective lies (short term or long term).
Those two perspectives are defined by the terms micro and macro
evolution. One describes the changes within a population; the
other describes the general outcome which develops over the entire
history of the organism. Originally the canine only existed as
a single species. Microevolution describes the adaptive change
that occurs in that one little population. Microevolution examines
the short-term picture such as why a wolf population becomes
a little darker or larger; including speciation events. Macroevolution
describes the process which has changed a single species into
a higher taxonomic group comprised of many genera of related
species. Each pair of animals that was introduced following the
flood evolved in this way. Species have evolved through microevolution
by adapting specifically to various regions. Also these kinds
have macro evolved and now exist as an entire Family with groups
of species so different we find it difficult to determine to
whom they are related.
Macroevolution describes the development
of taxonomic groups above the species level which are created
through a series of microevolution events. Evolutionists know
macroevolution happens primarily due to the evolution of the
Biblical kinds into all these
new genera of new species we find today. However, God also created
groups of similar organisms at the beginning. He created a group
of birds, mammals, reptiles, etc which are more similar to each
other than the other groups. Because God and evolution both create
groupings, it is difficult to determine which groups are original
and which are new. The evolutionary process which creates these
natural groupings is being credited for higher taxonomic levels
than is appropriate, but macroevolution does occur none the less.
by Chris Ashcraft