Micro vs. Macro Evolution

I have a favorite Charles Darwin quote.   Whenever I share that quote in a PCC Update, one or two well-meaning Christians will confront me.   They will be somewhat upset that I shared a Darwin quote, and say something like, “Darwin goes against everything you and I believe in as Christians.   You should not endorse him in any way.”   Last week I shared my favorite Charles Darwin quote and received a typical response.

This is how I answered that response:

This quote is 100% correct and does not disagree with anything you and I believe.   My faith in God, the creator of the universe, is strong enough to not be affected by Darwin’s misguided theory on macro evolution.   I’m sure your faith is just as strong.

Agriculture, however, has benefited greatly by Darwin’s scientific work on micro evolution.   Never in a zillion years will a dog evolve into a cow.   It is impossible for one species to evolve into a completely different species.   There is, however, a tremendous amount of variation within the canine species and within the bovine species.   This is a result of micro evolution.

Let’s say a herd of cows is moved from northern Europe to the tropics of Africa.   That herd of cows will gradually change to fit its new environment.   Some animals will die – but those that are adaptable to change will change and survive.   That’s micro evolution.   It has been going on ever since God created the universe.   Micro evolution is a part of God’s original design.   Pharo Cattle Company has been successfully utilizing micro evolution for over 30 years.   As Darwin correctly stated, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.   It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

I really like this particular quote because it relates to man the same as it relates to all other animal species.   The world around us is constantly changing.   The present is different from the past and the future will be different from the present.   For example, horses were replaced by tractors with internal combustion engines.   Most of the farmers who were unwilling to adapt and change did not stay in business much longer.   They sold the farm.   Their descendants have jobs in the cities.   Selling the farm had absolutely nothing to do with a lack of strength or a lack of intelligence.   It had everything to do with an unwillingness to adapt and change.

As you and I know, there are some major changes taking place within the cow-calf sector of the beef industry.   The old paradigm of increasing production per animal is being replaced by the paradigm of increasing production and profit per acre.   These two paradigms are antagonistic toward one another.   As production per animal increases, production and profit per acre decreases.   With the cost of land, feed, fuel, labor and other inputs increasing, it is becoming more and more imperative that producers make a paradigm shift to continue to prosper in the cow-calf business.   Those who cannot adapt and change will not survive.   They will be forced to sell out and their children and grandchildren will be forced to get jobs in the city.

Darwin’s work on micro evolution has very few flaws.   It has been studied and utilized by Christians and non-Christians alike for well over 100 years.   We must be careful that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Quote Worth Re-Quoting –

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”   ~ George Bernard Shaw

6 responses to “Micro vs. Macro Evolution

  1. Thanks so much Kit, for reprinting this clear explanation! As a teenager, when I first began to know the Lord, it did not occur to me that I had to quit believing evolution, we all “knew” it was “true”, although it was called the “theory” of evolution! Then I thought about it, and realized I really wanted the Lord in all His fullness, and there was no evolution in the bible, so I simply dropped it. But it still nagged me that I knew full well that animal and plant breeders were improving species all the time, so… isn’t that evolution? You clarified it beautifully with your “micro and macro”!!

  2. I find it interesting that you have no problem with “micro” evolution, but are quick to dismiss “macro” evolution. It’s actually quite easy: “micro” evolution + time = “macro” evolution. Per your example, if you take a group of cows, drop them in Africa, and they survive, then leave them there for thousands / millions of years, it’s quite probable they will become a new species. It’s possible they won’t even be able to breed with a northern europe cow. Scientists look to bacteria to study “macro” evolution because of how quickly they reproduce and their propensity for genetic change. There is ample evidence here. One widely publicized example is the number of super bugs that exist, which are resistant / immune to antibiotics.

    1. I don’t use evolution at all. There is genetic variation that can be drawn out and used for the survival of the species. Best example is Noah’s ark where 2 of a “Kind” (dog, cat, camel) went in and there was enough genetic diversity for “dog” to become wolf, beagle, etc. Darwin’s theory falls apart when there is no change from one Kind of animal to another. Your mention of bacteria becoming super bugs fails in that they are still bacteria and there is selection for a genetic difference but no change in kind. There is no know example of a change in kind and I’ve looked. I have 3 college degrees, 36 years in ecology, and interacted with thousands of scientists so I’m credible. Also my brother is a physicist with multiple patents and the millions of years hypothesis is just that and there is little proof that earth could possibly be that old if we look at the science and not the urban myth.

      1. So, you’re saying there’s enough genetic diversity in 2 “dogs” that they could populate the entire canine genus? You do know the gigantic issue with the Noah Ark story, right? If you only have 2 (or small number) of animals to breed together, you lose genetic diversity. This is then amplified by mating the children and continued in-breeding ensues.

        Would an elephant change to a whale be a good example of change in kind? Maybe this illustration can help demonstrate what takes millions of years to happen:

  3. Natural Selection is a much better and more accurate term to use. The term evolution to most people means an individual animal evolves to a particular type to survive(mutation), and subsequent offspring do the same. In natural selection, which is what you described, the animals most ideally suited survive first, the ones that don’t die and fall out of the gene pool, and so on. Just drop evolution altogether, unless you like the controversy.

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