Is there hard evidence for macro-evolution?


I am sorry but when you cannot accurately describe what the theory of evolution actually says that tells me you don’t know, or care to know, what you are talking about.

Says who?

Which have been cross checked and verified to be correct.

Repeat your calculations but this time include thermal conductivity differences and the heat flows into and out of the sphere. And you do have to account for the heat generated by the known radioactive elements in the earth.

Plain old dirt actually makes a radiation barrier. Consult any of the Civil Defense manuals from the 60’s that described how to make a fall out shelter in your home. Then consider how much shielding there is between the surface and core of the earth.

(George Brooks) #62

Your thinking, @WilliamDJ, seems quite mystical. You see formal barriers of “type” and “category” where there really aren’t any.

When a squirrel develops skin between its front paws and its rear paws … we call it a flying or gliding squirrel.

Is developing a fold of skin between the limbs somehow prohibited? Do the chromosomes know these prohibitons? What stops the chromosomes from continuing on to even more extreme arrangements?

When another kind of rodent develops skin between his front and rear paws, some would describe it as a mouse with wings - - in other words, a Bat !!!

If some squirrels can have extra skin that lets them glide… why can’t smaller rodents have extra skin that lets them fly?

(Phil) #63

Bat wings are about as cool as it gets.

(Cindy) #64

Expand the legnth of DNA? What do mutations have to do with the legnth of DNA? Well OK, there are mutations that can occur from the addition of a nucleotide but there are two other ways that they can happen; by subtraction of a nucleotide and by a change of nucleotide. In other words, assuming that “2nd order change” requires a longer DNA strand is wrong. I’m fairly certain of that. If a Biologist, not still in training as I am; tells me differently-I’d like to know why.

(Marty) #65

This is kinda typical of a biologos thread. Someone expresses skepticism that microevolution can produce macroevolution, they get responses that seem to fit a few categories:

  1. They are told they are wrong and don’t understand evolution. Sometimes ad hominem attacks.
  2. They are given links. My experience with links is that they are often interesting, but assume what they are supposedly proving.
  3. Posts of skeptics are nitpicked for details or language.

As far as I am concerned, you are welcome to be convinced in your own minds. But the aggressive responses show that you don’t understand the skepticism. You cannot answer questions you don’t understand.

Granted that some people don’t understand evolution. But the central question is whether matter can and did produce this much information (DNA) and complexity in our biosphere without some kind of help. Science has shown us some processes which we accept, and some data indicating changes that have indeed happened (fossil record). I think the processes we know about are too slow to account for some of that fossil data (cambrian explosion, mammal to whale in a mere 15 million years, for example).

You believe the processes we know about are capable of all the changes we see? OK. You’re welcome to believe that. I don’t. I’m still waiting for someone to convince me. But I’m not going to lie about what I believe, nor be bludgeoned into silence. Obviously one or the other perspective is wrong. But why be dogmatic?


As a Christian I know the answer to this question, God did it. How do I know? The Bible tells me so. As a Christian why is this so hard for you to understand?

But God can do all things so how is this a problem?

You left God out. Big problem.

(Marty) #67

You consider that “hard evidence” that evolutionary processes are inadequate?


I consider evolutionary processes under the direction of God as totally adequate. There is no evidence for this hard or otherwise. Just like there is no evidence that the combination of the water cycle and God results in rain where God desires and no rain where He desires.

(Phil) #69

I agree with you there Marty. It may be an entertaining thing to argue, but hardly a hill to die on from the standpoint of your faith. I think it does get serious when false arguments are proposed that are not supported and ultimately detract from the gospel, so we need to be careful with the arguments we make in defense of our various positions.

(Randy) #70

Speaking as a non scientist, I would agree that we shouldn’t be dogmatic; but I think that the idea of a God of the gaps (where my own background in YEC kept letting me down based on trying to posit God where complexity was, but continually finding it wasn’t true) makes me somewhat cynical in the direction of ID–not just to avoid being burnt again myself, but also to avoid leading someone else into disappointment. I have not posted much, but wonder if that is where some folks come from. But I agree that we should not be dogmatic. And it would be great to see an irreducible complexity!–but I apologize if I am ever dogmatic. Thanks.

(George Brooks) #71


Like ol’ times, yes?

But haven’t you come to BioLogos to argue the obvious? That Evolution without God involved makes little sense to you, or to me, or to any devoted Christian who embraces Evolution as a thoroughly “evidenced” set of processes (fossils & fossils & fossils).

An example of what I mean is actually demonstrated by Dr. Behe on video! I don’t have the link handy at the moment, but in Behe’s own words (and mouth), he describes a hypothetical scenario which likens Creation to a fancy billiards table shot that God could be said to do with the Universe.

Behe compares the natural laws of billiard ball mechanics to the natural laws of Evolution. He says the miracle of “Intelligent Design” is not something special to be seen in the nature of the billiard balls (or in the nature of DNA)… but is the natural result of God planning every aspect of Creation before setting the Cosmos into motion!

According to this template of thinking by Behe, “macro-evolution” is obviously a result of all this creation … and it is arranged in all its specifics by God and the natural expression of what God made nature to do.

My expectation for answers you might get from your posting would be either:

[1] atheist supporters of BioLogos, and/or

[2] from a very specific sub-set of pro-Evolution Christians (who don’t like to think of God getting involved in human genetics)

    • who will try to convince you that macro-evolution has plenty of evidence. But don’t we already know that macro-evolution has plenty of evidence?

Why aren’t you talking about how much “special creation” Evolutionist models might be able to tolerate? Isn’t that the more relevant question for a person with your perspective?


I got to read this post which came after your question, but before I got to read your question. Doesn’t @Bill_II pretty much say it all?

(George Brooks) #72


The ramifications of Behe’s hypothetical Billiards Shot Scenario:

Please note that there is a category of Evolutionary steps that are not prohibited by Behe’s model. Let me list what I think is the total list of categories:

A) Evolutionary steps that seem likely or even inevitable given rudimentary cosmology and biology.

B) Evolutionary steps that are possible, but are extremely unlikely, or require extremely long wait times to expect their appearance.

C) Evolutionary steps that are just not possible because they violate the norms of natural law. For example, one cannot expect humans will eventually evolve into angels, if one thinks only God can make angels by super-natural means.

If we divide all of Evolutionary speculation into these three categories, Behe’s model provides only for (A) and (B). At no time in his discussion (before his video or after his video) has he ever suggested that God made Adam and Eve by means of super-natural special creation.

In contrast, even the most unlikely natural evolution can be sped up by God’s working out the details… removing the randomness from the process.


Obviously, if we wanted to accommodate the miraculous (which is not really spelled out in the title “Is There Hard Evidence for Macro-Evolution?”, God could miraculously insert flagella into tiny creatures, instead of waiting for them to evolve naturally.

But he has always felt they could evolve naturally if God arranges the details.

So this raises a big question for those attached to the paradigm that Intelligent Design casts the whole Universe into:

If Behe is right, and God arranged for all the details so that even the most unlikely (but still not IMPOSSIBLE) evolutionary event happened because God arranged the details, how would one ever be able to prove that?

How do you prove that God arranged details:

"because if God waited for un-assisted Evolution to do it, it would take
[a] an Eon too long, or
[b] a Century too long,
[c] or even just 5 minutes too long?"

@Marty, if you could express an answer to the question above, it would cut to the very heart of the problem for Creationists who see things in very black-and-white terms!

(Matthew Pevarnik) #73

You mean evidence?

Many times the questions are reasonable questions within the knowledge that a person presently has, but can often be arguing against strawman versions of what goes into the theory of evolution.

Hopefully we can avoid that.

15 millions years is too little time? Can you actually show an example of the types of changes needed to the genome and calculate that 15 million years is too little time only accounting for the genomic changes we are aware of at present (random mutations, exon shuffling, alu insertions, gene/genome duplication, etc.).

Here’s a paper that aims to look at the changes but it is a link so I apologize for that:

(Marty) #74

Comments like this are triumphalism and discourage further engagement because they may show that you are too ideologically committed to have a thoughtful conversation.

As you know, evidence must be interpreted. What convinces you may not convince someone else. Should skeptics be dishonest about that? Why assume skeptics are scoundrels? Name one person you have agreed with about everything.

And sometimes because the skeptic has not spelled out their understanding in textbook length detail, people here take short phrases that are poorly worded and assume the worst. Then the discussion gets side tracked down rabbit holes.

This just chases people away.

Better to ask more questions than to assume the worst.

We’re on the right track here cuz we’re talking about the data, but this is a subtle turn-around. This thread is about proving micro-evolution alone produced macro-evolution and the lack of proof. But this feels like I’m being asked to disprove it. The thread title: “Is there hard evidence…?” Show me the hard evidence that micro and the mutation rates are adequate to produce macro. I’m truly not closed to this, but at this time I’m a skeptic.

Your link is to a summary of a paper, but the paper is not accessible for free to most people (including me). Summaries are notorious for over-promoting their work. I’ll take a look at your best shot link, but I want everyone to be able to access it. And I recommend that you review it carefully yourself to be sure you think it really does prove that processes alone (no outside help) produced macroevolutionary changes.

(Cindy) #75

That’s the second time that you have mention “no outside help”. As a Theist Evolutionist, “no outside help” is a false requirement. I’m completely open to outside (God’s) help.


@Marty Paper is available here.

Easily found on Many papers that initially look to be behind a paywall can be found there. Sometimes it does take a little digging around.

And as any good science paper does this one makes a prediction.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #77

Hi Cindy,

You’re a little newer, but Marty comes around every once in a while and people always tend to misunderstand his position. As I understand it, by some definitions he might actually be a theistic evolutionist! He doesn’t necessarily deny common ancestry on principle. The big question for him is indeed whether God helped or not. And within this position, there are two subtle variations:

  • those who believe that God might have helped but don’t particularly care and are generally willing to trust the scientific consensus and suspend judgment until they understand better (me), and
  • those who believe that God did help and generally aren’t willing to trust the scientific consensus until they see receipts (Marty).

Hope this helps!


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #78

P.S. And by “God helped” I mean “God helped in a more interventionist sort of fashion” and not “God helped in the same way that he upholds weather patterns and keeps my heart beating every moment.”

[added to avoid semantic games]

(Cindy) #79

OK, thanks. It seems pointless to argue whether or not God intervened; let alone how.

God is ultimately in control. That is all that really matters.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #80

Well, imho, it is worth discussing whether a Christian can believe that God has planned and executed evolution in a manner that is undetectable.

For folks on the ID side, this is a bridge too far. For them, it takes away God’s glory in creation, and takes away a powerful motivator for God-belief at all. For them, it is worth the effort to argue that the rational evidence for the sufficiency of naturalistic mechanisms is actually weaker than people think, and that God’s creative action is detectable.

For folks on the non-ID side (including me), God is always working towards the outcomes he has planned whether he shows his cards via obvious intervention or not. For us, the real barrier to belief is God-of-the-gaps thinking, where God seems to shrink with every discovery of nature doing something that could previously only be explained with “God did it.” We see bigger problems in the Church’s anti-science stance, the general anti-intellectual flavor of American Evangelicalism, and its mistrust of the scientific community, than in the assertion that God created in a way that is not detectable through science.

Anyway, it remains to be seen if the conversation can go anywhere this time around…