c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Can you provide any evidence for your claim "Most people mean macroevolution when they say evolution, "?

I have seen no evidence that most people mean macroevolution when they say evolution. The only people who I have seen who use this have been people who believe in Special Creation, and even for them it is a recent development. For a long time Special Creationists argued against natural selection and ANY change in populations even below the species level.

It was only when there was so much evidence for evolution at those levels that they dropped those arguments and moved on to macroevolution, yet rather than acknowledging that evolution occurred (and that they had been wrong) they tried to re-define evolution.

I only recently came to realize that microevolution worked and as for evidence of vernacular: nope, can't prove it, but it's what I have heard all around me from atheists, agnostics, Christians who believe in theistic evolution (or a host of other varieties), and Christians who believe in NO natural selection.

As for the definitions themselves:

Natural Selection:
the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations.

In short, genetically heritable traits by Mendelian genetics, not Lamarkian.

1. biology See also natural selection a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive generations: accounts for the origin of existing species from ancestors unlike them

In short, becoming something noticeably different and no longer the same. (that whole "unlike them" bit)

I believe this way because of the Galapagos finches, bacteria, etc. The finches' beaks change rapidly around a median, but they never stop being obviously and genetically finches. Bacteria "evolve" rapidly, but around a median point. They never become a different family of bacteria. Punctuated evolution is a theory that tries to account for the fact that the fossil record shows a new species arriving pretty much as it's going to be, then disappearing the same way. The changes we see within the species are fairly minor.

I tried to avoid the word species because it IS scientific and means interbreedable. I don't know how finely to apply that definition, so I don't apply it unless I know it fits, so I stuck with kinds or types (not as a taxonomical evaluation, but as opting out of one).

So there you have it, I think fairly completely, why I believe the way I do based on (lack of) evidence and my own figurings, not just because of a belief system. I don't actually interpret nature in light of Scripture; I interpret in the way that looks logical to me.

And it does appear pretty logical to me that most genetic mutations go so far and no farther, unless it kills the creature. I AM looking at the evidence, but maybe I'd have to read deep, jargon-laden scientific papers that I may or may not understand. But in lay stuff, I'm not seeing it, but I don't hardline to one side or to the other, which was my only point in the beginning.

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