In Whole or In Part?

Evolution, in all its publicity, is rarely discussed without an almost holy reverence, and certainly never criticized by the mainstream. It is promoted as an undeniable reality, and that level of propagandization has swayed many into accepting the theory as uninhibited fact. Honestly however there is a great deal to discuss that I believe is critical to an overall understanding of what evolution is and what it isn’t. Among the most important consideration is the fact that evolution, rather than being a singular process, can neatly be divided into two separate phenomena: microevolution and macroevolution.

Microevolution is abundantly obvious to any observer. Through this process – otherwise known as “horizontal evolution” or, better yet, adaptation – we can see noticeable changes in groups of organisms precipitated by mutation, natural selection, and other contributing factors, typically in a relatively short period of time. In general, adaptation could be as simple and benign as a few minor genetic changes that accumulate generationally, leading to distinction in a population from their forebears. Through it, a population of organisms may undergo a series of changes which undeniably assist them in survival.  

Typically the process alters organisms in critical ways, yet always stopping short of transforming them beyond fundamental recognition. For instance, pressures from the arctic environment shaped a subspecies of brown bears (Ursus arctos) into polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Though dramatic shifts in physiology and behavior have occurred, the end result is still identifiable as a form of bear, and even remains classified within the same genus (Ursus) as its forebears.

Mankind has implemented his own pressures on other organisms since the beginning. Through direct breeding efforts we have produced a wide range of domesticated pets and livestock, all originating from identifiable wild forms yet now existing as distinct, more desirable, variations.

No one could rightly argue against the fact that adaptation is a natural phenomena of our world. We see it over and over, and undeniably have stimulated the force time and again through our own efforts. It is unquestionable, and without it life simply would not be as diverse as it is, and much of what we see would not exist without the inherent ability to react physiologically to diverse habitats and conditions. Life would be static, unchanging, boring by our standards.

Through adaptation we see the advent of myriad strains, breeds, tribes, races, species, and even genera of organisms, whether they be bacterial, animal, or any form of life in between. Some changes, such as those that led from brown bear to polar bear, are easy to see. Observations of similar shifts could readily be made amongst essentially any group of organisms. We can likewise note how our efforts have shaped wolves into dogs, aurochs into cattle, prehistoric horses into modern steeds, and others. There can be no doubt that genetic changes do occur, but the question however is to what extent…

That brings us to the next level of evolution: macroevolution. This process pertains to “vertical” changes in organisms, representing clear, identifiable transitions from one type of creature into another. These massive transformations typically occur at an extremely gradual pace, often requiring millions of years. Clear examples of macroevolution would include the oft-promoted shifts from:

  • fish-to-amphibian
  • dinosaurs-to-birds
  • apes-to-man

These are the kinds of leaps that are typically associated with evolution as a whole, and represent the vast majority of such cases often promoted by the entertainment industry, the media, and the education system.

When analyzed according, it is clear that evolution is not simply “just evolution,” but rather a complex interaction of two distinct – yet ultimately linked – processes; one part leading to the other, and together forming the foundation for the evolutionary process as a whole. That foundation, taken along with the interpretation of evidence and great works of artistic license, has provided the masses with what appears to be the true nature of biology on Earth, and perhaps beyond…

3.01 Macroevolution (Vertical Evolution) vs. Microevolution (Horizontal Evolution).jpg
Figure 3:01 -Macroevolution (Vertical Evolution) vs. Microevolution (Horizontal Evolution)

Before we move any further down this particular rabbit hole, let us for a moment examine how life is classified, itself a process known as taxonomy. In biology, a “species” is identified as a population of organisms that possess the ability to successfully breed and produce viable, fertile offspring. This is one of the most basic notions in that field and makes up one of the lowest positions in taxonomic classification. Beyond this are the designations of genus, family, order, class, phylum, and kingdom. Each level in the system relies on a series of criteria that are used by specialists to demarcate where forms of life begin and where they end, and to which category they should be ascribed in between.

Let us consider the taxonomy of a domesticated dog:

(1) The “kingdom” of an organism is extremely broad, and in this case covers all known animal life, the kingdom Animalia

(2) Stepping down a degree, we come to “phylum,” here noted as Chordata, the classification of animal life that possesses a backbone

(3) Next, we have the class Mammalia, specifying that this animal, possessing fur and mammary glands, belongs amongst the mammals

(4) Within the mammalian class, the animal belongs to the Carnivora order, a broad group of mammals that possess strong claws and sharp teeth

(5) Beneath that, we see that it belongs to the Canidae family, and within that, the “Canis” genus, both representative of the animal belonging amongst the wolves and other dog-like beasts

(6) Finally, dogs belong to the lupus species; While species is typically fine enough a designation to make a point, the classification system often goes further, incorporating subspecies, in this case being familiaris

While the terminology can get thick to one not accustomed to it, one can easily enough imagine how life can been arranged through a series of ever-more specific degrees of classification, more often than not assisted through the application of phylogenetics (cladistics), which examines the evolutionary relationships amongst groups of organisms.

3.02 The Taxonomy of a Domestic Dog.jpg
Figure 3:02 – The Taxonomy of a Domestic Dog

As fine-tuned as the process seems however the truth is that much of categorization is subjective, with few rules being firmly and continuously followed, the guidelines themselves being quite loose and ultimately at the discretion of the authorities. Additionally, as the mainstream efforts are built upon an exclusively naturalistic worldview, it is no rare event for whole ranks to shift from time to time, with established taxa (populations of life that form a classification unit, such as an individual species amongst other related forms) and clades (a complete branch in evolutionary biology, representing an ancestral group and all of its subsequent descendants) shifting to incorporate other established groups, or otherwise being renamed or omitted from the system. It is a dynamic field, to say the least, permeated with no small amount of controversy.

Returning now to the distinction between adaptation and macroevolution, we must investigate deeper, pushing beyond the official story to ask critical – often ignored questions – and therein we shall find glimpses of what lay suppressed and ridiculed. Do you accept evolution in its entirety, as I once did? Do you trust the authorities, the media, and their official story? Whatever you think you know, whatever you believe to be true, there is much left to consider…

You see, while adaptation is seen regularly in life, macroevolution seems to be conspicuously absent, and for the mainstream idea of evolution to be viable, macroevolution must itself be present. Abundantly so, in fact. I am well aware that at this point many may balk, declaring defensively that we have heaps of evidence supporting macroevolution, from transitional fossils to observable changes in contemporary life. I however question the integrity and implication of such evidences, and, as will be demonstrated, the reasons for my doubt are as abundantly clear and undeniable to those who are willing to see as those evidences are to them who unyieldingly believe in the mainstream myth of evolution.

Earlier I noted three of the clearest examples of evolution hailed by the mainstream: the changes in the finches’ beaks, the pigmentation shifting of the peppered moth, and the utilization of citrate as a source of nutrition in one strain of E. coli. A careful reader, having understood the distinction between adaptation and macroevolution, will agree that these three examples of change, clear as they are, represent only the adapting of species to new conditions, not a fundamental shift from one kind of organism to another.

The finches, moths, and E. coli are still undeniably finches, moths, and E. coli. The changes wrought in them represent a physiological reflex, a transition precipitated only by environmental and dietary pressures. Though the mainstream may raise them up as clear candidates of evolution, in fact they, at best, represent adaptation alone.

Again, adaptation – even when referred to as microevolution – is not the same as macroevolution, and without that critical second step, the official version of naturalism fails. Beyond these three examples, when we consider life as we see it today, can anyone admit that they have witnessed an animal produce offspring that are of a different form altogether than the parent? Are there accounts of bulls or lions or eagles or any other such creature giving birth to a new generation in the form of the next evolutionary iteration? What of plants or fungi or any other form of life? Have they themselves produced progeny of a wholly different form? Time and again the answer is no, with those variations that we have seen representing – at best – adaptation or chance mutation.

Even in all our own efforts to domesticate nature, successfully shaping life well beyond its original forms, have we breed dogs into anything but dogs, or sheep into something likewise new? Have we produced new kinds of stock through the natural mingling of various breeds of swine or steed? Quite simply, no. None have witnessed, or even seen evidence supporting, the transition of one form into an entirely new one! Adaptation, in all its ability to shape and modify life into more compatible forms, appears inherently limited in its capacity to drive evolution beyond a certain tangible point.

Some will suggest a series of cultivated plant lines that may represent observable cases of macroevolution. Examples include:

  • the Evening Primrose variant Oenothera gigas, which possessed a different number of chromosomes than its parent plant (Oenothera lamarckiana)
  • the hybrid Tragopogon miscellus, derived from crossing Tragopogon dubius & Tragopogon protensis, and…
  • the Raphanobrassica plant, an initially sterile hybrid of radish and cabbage that was only fertile when bred back to its parent plants.

These three examples are but a cross-section of a number of proposed macroevolutionary advancements. Yet even here, do these actually represent change sufficient enough to merit the designation of “macroevolution?” The primrose, despite a variant chromosome number, was still a primrose, and likewise the same could be said of the Tragopogon miscellus, itself the hybrid of two other tragopogon breeds. A variant chromosome could more readily be classified as a mutation, and perhaps a detrimental one as time may yet tell. In fact, when human offspring possess extra chromosomes the result is hardly considered macroevolution, but rather a genetic defect, resulting in a range of congenital malformations and disabilities.

Additionally, are we to likewise take hybridization itself as true evolution? Considering that the parent organisms must be adequately close in genetic structure to successfully produce offspring – thereby providing only a limited volume of change – can we here justify the term “macroevolution?” After all, in the case of the tragopogons, no change in native form was expressed, as the product of two parents yielded nothing more than a variant of the same kind of plant. Interestingly, it’s worth noting that both the tragopogon and primrose appear many times amongst so-called examples of macroevolution, yet ultimately all new variations are nothing more than a fresh form of each. Could there be some underlying hereditary component that makes these plants more apt to mutation, a weakness perhaps in their genetic integrity? Whatever the case, no matter how many times each produce new variations of themselves, they have in no instance yet transcended their native forms into something undeniably new.

Turning to the Raphanobrassica plant, though the hybridization of its cabbage and radish may at first seen more extreme than that of the Tragopogons, both cabbage and radish belong to the family Brassicaceae. As such, there was no great leap forward in evolution in this case, but simply the limited crossing of two related forms. Other examples of this can be seen to this end:

  • the mule (horse x donkey)
  • the liger (lion x tiger)
  • the wolphin (bottlenose dolphin x false killer whale)

Here again, though changes may seem drastic between the parents and offspring, genetically the two parents in each case are closely related, oftentimes of the same genus or, more rarely, the same family. Still, do such hybridizations mark cases of macroevolution? I firmly believe that such crosses – themselves rare and often unsuccessful in nature – only at best represent alterations within given populations, yet even to describe such phenomena as adaptation would be a stretch.

Back to taxonomy, who decides what would comprise a distinct evolutionary shift from one species to another, and furthermore, does such a shift itself even merit designation as macroevolution? Just because a new species arises does not mean it represent macroevolution, rather only diversification and that is necessary for life to adapt. All considered, just because an authority claims that evolution is occurring does not make it so. The best examples of contemporary macroevolution, time and again, come up short when analyzed openly and critically, themselves thoroughly demonstrated as adaptation or mutation only. The matter is far from complete however.

– This was an excerpt fromRemnants of Eden: Evolution, Deep-Time, & the Antediluvian World.” Get your copy here today. God bless! –

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