Sorry, Christians: Macro-Evolution Does Exist
by Roger Browning
The first step in any debate must be defining the terms. It’s paramount to the success of carrying the message. To draw from a recent example, I wrote a post once expressing my view of atheism from the classic definition: atheism is to believe in no god or gods. I even highlighted the root origins of the word ‘A-’, meaning ‘no’ or ‘negative’, and ‘theo’, meaning ‘god’ or ‘gods’. A few atheists took issue with my post because they defined atheism differently. They made the point, and one I try to better incorporate, that language is fluid; different words mean different things for different people, often at different times.
The best examples I’ve come across to highlight the significance of word meaning is usually stemmed from visual depictions of word imagery. For example, “The car went flying by”, has significant differences in meanings at different times. To you and me, living in the early 21st century, we can understand the statement to mean, an automobile driving really fast past a fixed point. However, a resident of the 17th century would have to speculate new/unknown words with how they view the rest of the sentence. In this case, they certainly would understand ‘flying’ and then make some assumption that a car was probably a winged bird. Further, that same sentence to someone a few hundred years into the future would have significant differences as flying becomes (probably) more normal. The heart of this matter rests on contextual and literary criticism. And it is where we begin understanding the necessity of defining the terms.
Macro-evolution, to a Christian (and more than likely also not a scientist), is a large scale evolutionary change. It describes a process Frank Turek and Norman Geisler write so eloquently,
“From goo to you via the zoo.”
The Christian view of macro-evolution attempts to argue that the common ancestor of ape and man absolutely did not give birth to an ape and/or a man and therefore did not create two branches of a family tree. This is a faulty view of evolution. The term ‘macro-’ here means large in a singular sense. It is most often used in contrast to micro-evolution. Mirco-evolution describes how eyelashes get longer (or shorter), skin pigment darkens (or lightens), and children get taller (or shorter) because of small (micro-) changes over a short time. To a Christian, macro-evolution is the opposite. Macro-evolution describes how species change and micro-evolutions describes changes in a species. To a Christian, micro- and macro-evolution are significantly different—which is why Christians typically do not have a problem with micro-, but do have a problem with marco-evolution.
Most (if not all) evolutionists do not have the same definition of macro-evolution…
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