Creation by evolution? The empirical evidence is missing

In April 2024, William DeJong and Hans Degens published the peer reviewed article ‘Micro- and Macroevolution: A Continuum or Two Distinct Types of Change?’ at: Micro- and Macroevolution: A Continuum or Two Distinct Types of Change? - Article (v1) by William DeJong et al. | Qeios The article reveals the existence of two fundamentally different types of evolution, driven by specific molecular mechanisms. As a consequence the evidence for the first type of evolution (‘micro-evolution’) - for example the changing beaks of Darwin’s finches - cannot be used as evidence for the second type of evolution (‘macro-evolution’) - for example the transformation of a bacterium into a human. As a result, evidence for the theory that humans originated through evolution is missing. A podcast about the article can be found at: Spotify

Your link is for a preprint, not a peer reviewed paper. Where has this paper been published in a peer reviewed journal?

The authors (of which you appear to be one) claims there are differences, but never demonstrates what those differences are at the level of DNA sequence. I can’t see anything in the paper that would allow me to align the chimp and human genomes and determine which differences are due to microevolution and which are due to macroevolution, and why the mechanisms would be different for producing those differences.

You claim that macroevolution is the production of new gene regulation. Well, that has happened in the human genome, most notably with the lactase gene. Microevolutionary events upstream of the human lactase have produced new gene promoters that allow the carrier of the mutation to produce lactase into adulthood (i.e. lactase persistence or lactose tolerance). These mutations are well known, and can easily be produced by single substitution mutations.

In fact, there are 6 known independent mutations that confer lactase persistence in humans, and many of them show evidence of occurring recently in human evolution.

The fact that you don’t deal with ANY sequence data is a major oversight. You need to demonstrate what macroevolution looks like at the sequence level, and why known microevolutionary processes can’t produce them.


You are William DeJong. Why not write e.g. “I published with Hans Degens”? You appear to be trying to plug your own paper while avoiding responsibility for the contents.

I don’t think your mapping of microevolution vs macroevolution onto gene/regulator contents vs numbers matches reality even approximately.


From the preprint:

Hmm, lots of macroevolution happening in the corn genome:


Back when I was high school, and my trusting mind was vulnerable to this sort of evolution denial, creationists harped continuously on the distinction of micro vs macro evolution. Then, micro-evolution was presented as largely within species, such as moth colorization, or maybe Darwin’s finches. Hoofed horses did not evolve from toed horses, your pet was not related to a cheetah, and long necked giraffes did not evolve from short necked ancesters. For the most part, species were tidily created as such, and boarded the ark as such. From the beginning to the end, the sheep were separated from the goats.

The funny thing is, that as more living species have been catalogued, and immensely more extinct species have been discovered, the already bursting ark has become woefully packed past the point of staggered breathing. As well, rejection of any separate epochs in favor of a young earth meant that the entire ecologies of the Permian and onwards, and the pterosaurs and the dinosaurs, also required berths. Something had to give.

Enter creationist baraminology - micro-evolution like never before. Kitty can now turn into a saber tooth by just adaptation. Dog micro-evolution can range from a timber wolf to a fox, chromosome counts and sterility no longer pose the barrier they used to. Hyenas, well who knows if they’re micro or macro, so set them aside. Forget all that stuff creationists wrote about how giraffes could not evolve a long neck because of blood pressure yadda yadda, now giraffes certainly adapted from short necked creatures. And sheep are no longer longer on the right and goats on the left - despite genetic differences, they are one big happy kind along with a whole slew of other species. But no no no, none of this is evolution, and because it is embarrassing to refer to the obvious difference between a sheep and a goat as micro, the preferred language is now adapt or variation. In the creationist apologetic, what was once micro-evolution has now encroached well into the province of macro-evolution. Their distinction, not that of science.

So why stop there? All amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including humans, are just adapted variations of some ancestral chordate tetrapod.


Ancestral octopods?

how do you make this conclusion…AIG for example have increasinlgy demonstrated the reverse to be the case, that the stack has gotten smaller scientifically for YEC…not larger!

The YEC scientific claim is that all of the variations were created in the beginning in order to produce diversity…which is the complete opposite of Darwinian theory.

in the YEC world view, there is no new information. Mutations are not new (in that they are not self-creating as such) and we believe they are mostly negative in value. The reason why YEC take this view is because fits in with the biblical model of corruption due to sin. Thats the intrinsic biblical theology regarding all life on earth.

“No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field of study, including science, history, and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture obtained by historical-grammatical interpretation.”–Answers in Genesis

I don’t see how anyone can cite AiG as an honest broker for the evidence.

It’s just a claim since there is no science supporting it nor does it make any scientifically testable predictions.

In the YEC worldview, there is no quantifiable definition of information so no one can ever claim that information is new or old.

Right. It is because of theology, not evidence.


The genetic distance between many felids is greater than the genetic distance between humans and chimps. Strange that.


I was checking up on this, trying to compare the differences you mention with the error bars for these calculations. I would suggest that the best you can say with confidence is that the differences are at least fairly close and there is little justification for making one micro-evolution and the other macro-evolution. What can you say about this?


I would say they are in the same ball park.

For the scientific community, no one really seems to care about the distinction between micro and macroevolution. It’s understood to be an arbitrary distinction, so it will have different definitions in different papers and in different contexts. There is every expectation that the variation we see being created within a species is also seen between species.

This is why people who claim there is a difference between micro and macroevolution are met with skepticism. This skepticism only deepens when they write papers like the one in the opening post which makes no attempt to engage with the genetic data, or really any data at all. It also doesn’t help that such papers are misrepresented as being peer reviewed when they have only been submitted to a preprint website (i.e. not peer reviewed), which appears to be the case with the paper in the OP.


And why did they cook that up? It is not there in scripture. Adam named the animals in Eden, and throughout the Old Testament they are always called by their names.

So there is no valid YEC theological claim, nor is there any scientific claim. Nothing in genetics tells us that cats wander around with little saber tooths, cheetahs, and lions tucked away in their genes. The ancient Egyptians were depicting house cats, cheetahs, leopards, and lions before the flood date, so the idea is not supported by Biblical theology, science, or history. Zip all. It is one big delusion.

So why did the idea arise? As I said, as a maneuver to get around the inadequate carrying capacity of the ark.

Most qualified scientists couldn’t be bothered to reply to creationist apologetics, but here is population geneticist Zach B. Hancock on Created Heterozygosity.


Which is demonstrably false.

Which is also demonstrably false.

No, that’s a perversion of biblical theology because biblical theology has no relation to science.
Stop insisting that the Bible is something it is not.


The assertion that they apply historical-grammatical interpretation is a lie; they only apply what suits them. This means they can’t be trusted to be honest about scripture’s evidence!

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oh bulldust…of course there is plenty of science to support the AIG view. The fact is YOU REFUSE TO BELIEVE THEIR SCIENCE!

This is a thing that really (bothers) me about TEists…they refuse to allow any other view into peer review, they cite peer review as the only means of demonstrating adequate science…despite agreeing that the scientists from AIG are all highly educated PHD’s many of whom are educated and or have worked in State run universities!

If a state run university sets out guidelines for a PHD level of achievement, and an individual meets that criteria, your claim of pseudoscience is ridiculous.

Of course the main thrust that i put forward is not the science…Christianity even by Biologos standards, is not a science…and therein lieth the entire problem with TEism. You cannot follow a philosophical base and attempt to steer that base with a non philosophical view. The bible is very specific on this point.

Given that the founding father of the entire Christian church (the apostle Peter in both of his Epistles) references the historical reading of

  1. Casting satan and his angels out of heaven to this earth
  2. Noah being saved from a flood that wiped out all life on earth
  3. Lot saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorah

It is untenable for individuals to claim they are Christian and yet call the founding father a liar on his belief in the literal reading of Genesis! Essentiallly what TEism does is bring Christianity into disrepute…a hybrid of completely messed up contradictory theology.

“In 2000, for example, the PCA issued a lengthy report on the subject. This was followed by a similar report from the OPC in 2004. Both reports concluded that several views of the nature and length of the days of creation are within the bounds of biblical and confessional orthodoxy.”


Hah… I had to look up whether they are hardcore young earthers… they are. I had them mixed up with the Discovery Institute for some reason.

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Science is about data, not belief.

If you think there is data supporting their claims, then present it.

Science is about data, not views. We cite scientific papers because they present data. We cite scientific papers because their conclusions are supported by data.

For whatever reason, there seem to be some creationists who think science is just stating your beliefs. That isn’t how it works. Until you understand the difference between data and beliefs you won’t understand where the TE’s are coming from.

I think most people would agree that if a belief is contradicted by mountains of evidence from reality that the belief is probably false. This is why Geocentrism is no longer popular within Christianity.


They state from the outset that they’re not doing science; it’s a bit harder to show that they aren’t doing theology – but they aren’t. A scriptural/biblical approach to science would start by examining whether there is any indication that the scriptures suggest that they intend to speak scientifically. That’s a question I keep asking YECists yet have never gotten anything but silence.

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They allow anything that is scientifically reasoned.

Only the third is something Peter actually references is a way that can be defended as meaning the event in question is historical – in fact he doesn’t write about the first one at all.

Odd, then, that in my university days the ratio of people becoming Christians from listening to YEC believers vs. TE believers was on the order of less than one to a hundred.

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