The teaching of evolution

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Sat Oct 9 16:12:13 CDT 1999

Susan Farmer wrote:

>To play devils advocate here, some creationists might argue that this
>is not an example of macro-evolution because the resultant species
>is still a lizard.  (or a fish, or a tree-fern to use your other
>examples.)  It is definately an example of speciation; but not
>the evolution of a new species (aka macro-evolution).  How do you
>counter that argument?

It's a straw man (based on redefining macroevolution in a way that is
patently unacceptable), and thus doesn't require countering. Establishing
the reality of macroevolution only requires that new species can arise in
nature; since higher taxa are artificial, arbitrary constructs, they do not
need to be accounted for. If creationists claim that only the visible and
sudden origin of a new class, order, or phylum will satisfy them, then they
are simply redrawing their proverbial line in the sand after it has been
crossed, like a dimwitted child in a schoolyard whose bluff has been


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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