The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Selected Responses to the
September 1996 Post of the Month

Response by Howard Hershey

Andrew MacRae wrote:

>In article <50u32u$> (John McCoy)
>> FAQ Archive ( wrote:

>..[Snip most of Andrew's excellent rebuttal.]

>	No.   New mutations are introduced all the time.  This can even be
>demonstrated in the lab.
>> See the works of Mendel. Mendel proved
>> evolution to be false. Mendel showed that you can cross a white flower
>> with  a red one and produce pink ones. Thus the "new" change - pink in
>> this instance - is limited to the colors in the genes. In other words,
>> if the information to produce brown flowers is not in the genes of both
>> flowers, you will never get brown offspring. Genetics, in other words,
>> is a conservative process. It works well within defined limits, and that
>> goes for the finches as well.

Mendel showed no such thing. All the traits Mendel dealt with were expressed as dominant/recessive phenotypes. He also examined purple and white and not red and white flowers (pedant points, please). In fact, his findings (cross white x purple and get purple F1 and 3 purple:1 white in F2) was the antithesis of the blending inheritance you indicate he showed. If Mendel had found blending inheritance like you imply, he never would have come up with his particulate model.

There are, nonetheless, traits like the one you describe in nature. In particular, flower color in snapdragons exhibit exactly what you describe: red x white produces pink F1 and 1 red:2 pink:1 white F2. These are called semidominant (or dosage effect) traits. I see that the rest of your post is no more scientifically literate than your genetic knowledge, so I'll let Andrew deal with the rest.

Perhaps you could describe why there was initial belief that the newly rediscovered 'genetics' would pose problems for Darwinian evolution and why Muller's discovery of mutation led to the synthesis of genetics and evolution in the 1930s. But, then, you would actually have to learn something and I'm not convinced that's possible.

J ohn McCoy wrote:


>Truth: The definition of evolution differs according who is using the
>term. The extremely broad definition of evolution simply means "change."
>Under that definition even creationists agree that evolution is true.
>However,  evolutionists often use this flexibility in the definition of
>evolution to say that "evolution is both a fact and a theory."
>Creationists agree that "genetic characteristics of a population change
>in a population over time" and this change, however, is limited. Dogs
>will always remain dogs, monkeys-monkeys, man-man. When creationists say
>that evolution is false, they mean macro-evolution. Macro-evolution means
>the change of one kind (ape-forexample) to another kind (man). Since
>there is no paleontological proof of macro-evolution, it is not a fact
>and doesn't qualify to become "theory" status, much less the "hypothesis"

So let's cut to the chase:

Exactly what differences between humans and apes would require macroevolutionary change? Which differences would require only microevolutionary change of the same sort that occurs in dogs? Which members of the genus Homo do you consider to be microevolutionarily related to sapiens? Where do you put the boundary between Homo and Australopithecus and why is that a macroevolutionary boundary?

Here we have (at last) a clear-cut statement of what, specifically, is meant by a 'kind' and what would be required for macroevolution (ape-like ancestral form to present human) rather than microevolution (changes like those in the Canis species).

You may not know enough to describe the dramatic differences that represent macroevolutionary changes rather than microevolutionary changes in the human/ape transformation (given your general knowledge, this requires no great leap of insight). But SURELY some of those creationist sources you read MUST explicitly point out the physical reasons and features that explain why ape to human would be macroevolution rather than microevolution?

After all, isn't that the reason they put apes and humans into different 'kinds' (that they are too different to arise by microevolution)? Could you at least produce one creationist reference that discusses this and present their argument?

[I hazard a guess that these points will never be explicitly answered.]

Articles originally posted September 9, 1996

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