Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution in Biological Science

Constantly I hear people talking about Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution. Creationists often say that they believe in micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution. I explain that they are exactly the same thing, a change in allele frequency in a population and that the difference between micro and macro is the time scale. Micro-evolution and macro-evolution are not an actual thing in biology and are not talked about in biology text books because they are the same thing. This should be obvious if someone simply used Wikipedia…

“Macroevolution is evolution on a scale of separated gene pools.[1] Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species, in contrast with microevolution,[2] which refers to smaller evolutionary changes (typically described as changes in allele frequencies) within a species or population.[3] Contrary to claims by creationists, macro and microevolution describe fundamentally identical processes on different time scales.[1][4]”

“Microevolution is the change in allele frequencies that occur over time within a population.[1] This change is due to four different processes: mutation, selection (natural and artificial), gene flow, and genetic drift.

Microevolution over time may lead to speciation or the appearance of novel structure, sometimes classified as macroevolution.[2] Contrary to claims by creationists however, macro and microevolution describe fundamentally identical processes on different time scales.[2][3]”

Instead of making people rely on Wikipedia (even though it provides the sources) I thought I would demonstrate my point with an intro to biology text book. Here is the book…


It is a slightly older edition (2005), but it what I had laying around. The book is Biological Science by Scott Freeman. This book is used at many universities and colleges in intro to biology and genetics courses.

I first wanted to show you what the intro page on evolution says…


Let’s zoom in on the Key Concepts…

key concepts

There is my definition for evolution almost word for word.

But what does the book say about micro and macro evolution? Let’s look the terms up in our index…


The term Macroevolution or Macro Evolution should be found at the beginning, and Microevolution or Micro Evolution should be found towards the end…but neither word is in there…

Maybe it is under “evolution…”


Not there either. The terms micro-evolution and macro-evolution are not found in the entire biology book. That is because it is not an actual thing. It is a time scale that shows changes in a short period of time or over millions of years, but they are exactly the same thing. When I claim that people do not have a basic understanding of biology, this is why, this is an intro level book…but Wikipedia could have told you this…


2 thoughts on “Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution in Biological Science

  1. And people who say they “believe in micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution” never actually suggest what it is that they think might prevent small changes from accumulating in a way that would count as ‘macro’.

    • I apologize for not seeing your response. Exactly. Their typical argument is “time,” that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. I have heard the argument made by creationists that are not Young Earth Creationists, so time is not their friend, so they clearly have not thought that argument through…

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