For you, the word “evolution” may stir emotions of anger, for others, it may stir emotions of excitement. Either way, evolution is a matter that has been and continues to be hotly debated.
In recent years, there were discoveries of what certain scientists would state to be various stages of evolutionary development. A Neanderthal being one of these discoveries, is claimed to not have been human, but have had similar DNA. Neanderthals and humans are claimed to have up to a 99.5% DNA similarity. However, did you know how similar your human DNA is to other things in the world? Consider the following:
- 84% similar to a dog
- 50% similar to a banana
- 65% similar to a chicken
- 90% similar to mice
We tend to miss how similar our DNA is to other things in the world. However, this is not my aim in this blog post; my aim is to distinguish between macro-evolution (speciation) and micro-evolution (adaptation) while presenting a view favorable to that of adaptation/micro-evolution.
There have been entire volumes dedicated to that of evolution by various atheists over recent years. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a prominent atheist cosmologist, has written a book entitled “Origins,” which may as well be his version of Genesis 1.
All this boils down to what these atheistic cosmologists believe. They believe that evolution may be defined not as adaptation, but complete speciation. This means that as animals evolve, new species are created. Eventually, over millions of years, all life that we currently know has developed from common ancestry. This is the succinct summary of macro-evolution/speciation.
On the other end of the spectrum, those holding to intelligent design believe in a universe that does not operate on the level of macro-evolution, but holds to micro-evolution/adaptation.
As Darwin may have noted changes in the beaks of finches on the Gallapagos Islands depending on their surroundings, they were still finches. They had succumbed to their surroundings and adapted (adaptation), yet they did not transform into a new species.
Some years ago, some intelligent design scientists came to an incredible epiphany of the issue with macro-evolution. They developed the theory of irreducible complexity. Michael Behe states, “Irreducible complexity is just a fancy phrase I use to mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to cease functioning.” Though this statement may seem a little out of reach at first, I encourage you to read over it a few times and consider this next example.
Take a gun. There are many pieces that must work together for the gun to function. You have the handle, the barrel, the firing pin, the trigger, and many other pieces. These pieces, taken individually, are essentially useless. A firing pin can’t be used anywhere except for that which it was designed, along with all of the other pieces.
Likewise, parts of the human body or any other species are useless without a function within the whole. If we looked at the wing of a bird, considering the atheists view of speciation, then what was previously not a wing would have taken generations upon generations to “evolve” into a wing. We must ask ourselves if this evolved from what was previously not a wing, what parts of the wing, individually, were beneficial to the incomplete wing as compared to the whole wing? The wing is not functional until it can bring loft to the bird for flight. Until the bones, muscles, feathers, and more developed to work together, then the parts were useless on their own. Wayne Grudem says of this, “The individual parts of the organ are useless (and give no “advantage”) unless the entire organ is functioning.” You see–in the view of macro-evolution–each part of the wing that would have progressively developed had to be not only beneficial to the final wing we have today, but at each stage in the development process. However, that simply cannot be the case. A wing only operates as a complete system, not broken down into various parts.
As we come to a close, consider Behe’s words, “An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly by numerous, successive, slight modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional.” Our bodies are irreducibly complex. All of life is irreducibly complex. A finches beak length may adjust to his climate, but he remains a finch. Thus, we hold to adaptation over speciation. We hold to micro-evolution over macro-evolution.