Macroevolution vs Microevolution: Whats the difference? lol

I’ve seen Christian apologists say they believe more so in Microevolution than the other. In the simplest terms can someone give a summary of what they are and how they differ and why Christians seem to be more so leaning toward Micro?


Hi Luna. I’m no expert, so others can give a better answer, but in a nutshell, Macroevolution (also called Darwinian Evolution sometimes) talks of a common ancester. We all started off as fish which crawled out of the sea and became mammals, which evolved into differnt types - cats, dogs, monkeys and eventually humans. Many Christians reject this idea as it is seen to contradict the idea that God made each type or kind of animal on the sixth day, and the fact that humans are made in the image of God. There are some scientists who are firm Bible believing Christians who see no contradiction here. I don’t know enough to comment. Microevolution might be better termed ‘adaptation’. This is where we see changes or ‘adaptations’ within the natural world. Darwin’s finches whose beaks changed to deal with their environment, or a certain type of moth in England whose colour changed to better camoflague on trees that were getting darker due to pollution. These are changes we can see happening and so Christians can agree that this happens. Also, these changes are not proof of macroevolution. The finches were still birds, the moths were still moths - they didn’t become different types of creatures. I hope that this helps.


@Luna my definition may be over simplistic but:
Macroevolution - A lion turns into an elephant
Microevolution - An animal moves to a cold environment and its fur changes to keep it warm.


I think the article in the link below will make us appreciate this issue more. It is a topic for Biologists. :slight_smile:

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Lion turns into Elephant… Explain that one Darwin!! Thanks Brian, I really enjoyed that.

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I can’t really add to anything from above… really enjoyed that chat though.

People describe macroevolution as a change from one species to another species and microevolution as an adaption within a species to it’s environment. That is also probably simplistic but might help as a starting point.


Thanks Brian @brianlalor. Yes your explanation was simple yet it hits the core of the question. [quote=“brianlalor, post:3, topic:20431”]
Macroevolution - A lion turns into an elephant
And I really like this. :grin: it makes my day.

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I have a M.S. in biology, with a focus on evolutionary biology, so let me step in with my 2 cents:

First, these aren’t really terms the scientific community uses. That said, when they are used, they GENERALLY (and most accurately) are used as follows:

And no, a lion turning into an elephant is not a good example, that’s not evolution. lol. :slight_smile:


@EvoFaith so what are the correct terms to use?

Could you explain why some apologists think Microevolution is better?

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If you can provide a link, sure.
I can spitball though: it’s easier to observe, and difficult to argue against. In the last 30 years or so, we have seen several instances of “microevolution” in real time. (the link I provided previously being a good example)
Any argument against that would boil down to either (1) the scientists are lying, (2) the scientists had an error in data collection, or (3) “it didn’t happen.” Not a lot of meat on those bones.


Thanks EvoFaith!
In many christian discussions they talk about micro- and makroevolution.
But that a christian terms.
If you´re in a discussion with friend and students, which believe in evolution. There is only one kind of evolution so please be carefull with words like micro and makroevoltion, because in my experience they´re not helping at any point.

Greets from a chemist :wink:

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I hope this video helps a bit

Thanks for the link! I think this is a good example of another topic raised in a separate thread. That is, that Darwin described how life began. Darwin explicitly denied making such a claim, and intentionally stood FAR apart from it.

That said, this was a very useful explanation of the micro/macro construct. It is definitely not a construct scientists recognize. That’s not to say that the 5 items he describe aren’t accurate, per se. It’s just that they are not separate as he provides them. For example, I’m not sure what the difference is between speciation and macroevolution are as he presents them. Even his own presentation seems to indicate they are the same, separated only by degree.

Also, at ~3:10, he combines evolution and adaptation. A major faux pas.
His definition of speciation at 3:25 is also severely lacking. He only applies one of 5 different recognized definitions (here, the geographic definition). He ignores the others, which would be more problematic to lump together in the same way.

Finally, his characterization of microbial evolution is wrong. Literally every sentence.

But I appreciate the video simply so we can frame this conversation more accurately.