Micro vs. Macro Evolution
The Importance of Genetic Drift

7 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10 NIV

Speciation is how a new kind of plant or animal species is created. Speciation occurs when a group within a species separates from other members of its species and develops its own unique characteristics.
National Geograohic, Resource Library. Speciation, Sept. 6, 2020

Biologic science classifies categories of organisms by common traits, defined by their DNA (information). The Taxonomic Classification Chart has nine levels of which the lower three, Family, Genus, and Species, are pertinent to our discussion.

Taxonomic Chart: Classifications of Family, Genus, and Species
(click image to enlarge)

Furthering the definition of Speciation, it is the reproductive process that forms (not creates) variation in plants and animals using sub-sets of the original DNA identified in the Family (Kind) classification. The new species separates from other members of its Family when it develops its own unique characteristics. Generally, a species is differentiated when it can no longer produce fertile offspring with other Family members.

It should also be noted that classifications above the Family level were added with a neo-Darwinian influence and are not supported by evidence.

Micro and Macro changes play a significant role in the Creation/Evolution debate and demonstrate the differences between the two belief systems. Micro changes occur within a species or family, as is readily seen in the variation within dogs or in Darwin's finches. Macro changes, according to evolutionary teaching, are those that add to or reconfigure information within the genome to form new species over billions of years. The macro changes required to change a fish to a land dwelling mammal, as an example, are attributed largely to genetic mutations (errors). The reverse process that supposedly caused land-dwelling mammals to return to the sea in the form of whales, porpoises, and other air-breathing aquatic creatures is also believed (by evolutionists) to be the result of additional mutations occurring over great ages. The amazing feat that created life forms (by naturalism), caused changes in their DNA allowing fish to become land-dwelling mammals, and mammals to return to the sea is the product of imaginative overreach.


Variation by Genetic Drift (Genesis 1 "kinds") - or- Macro-Evolution?

Perhaps clarity can be added to the discussion by placing focus on the word kind(s), repeated multiple times in Genesis 1. Whether one believes in the Biblical account or not, the very first chapter of the Bible was written to convey a literal understanding of Creation in 6 Days. It would be difficult to even suggest that, as written, there is somehow an interpretation that would allow for ever-evolving life over billions of years, per the "Darwinian Tree."

Before proceeding further, credit should be given to Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and Dr Nathaniel Jeanson. The "Garden" concept by Ken and Dr. Jeanson's article Demystifying Genetic Drift, when coupled together shed clarifying light on Genesis 1.

So, what is meant by Genetic Drift and a Garden of Life that was "planted" by God on the 3rd, 5th, and 6th days of Creation? Envision the seed being fully-formed adult creatures (male and female) with the DNA for the kinds encoded with the information necessary to produce a variation of species within a biological Family. It is reasonable to understand how, over a relatively brief period of time, the diversity of life could have been produced as observed currently and in the fossil record.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genetic Drift (Garden)                                          Felines (Cat "kind")
(click images to enlarge)

Tigon (click image to enlarge)


Micro-evolution/speciation) consists of processes identified as natural selection and adaptation which, separately or in combination, may cause changes within species through a loss of information in the genetic code.

Natural selection: The process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated.

Adaptation: An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.

Genetic drift Random fluctuations in the frequency of the appearance of a gene in a small isolated population owing to chance rather than natural selection.
The Free Dictionary, Farlex, 2013

Micro-evolution produced the variation of the finches that Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands. The finches showed variation in beak and wing size, coloration, and other traits that might benefit survival. As the finches are studied, however, it becomes obvious that they are still finches. There is no apparent sign of birds changing into another species, or another species that may be changing to a bird. The differentiation within the finches demonstrates micro-evolution, which is completely compatible with the Creation belief that each species was formed "after its kind".

Darwin's Finches on the Galapagos (click image to enlarge)

The principles of micro-evolution also guide the differentiation among large and small dogs, dogs with long and short hair, and many other examples that are apparent through observation. No matter the species, micro-evolution produces offspring that are only after their kind.

A rather primitive example of micro-evolution is given using the letters ABC to indicate genetic traits. The letters, signifying the traits for a species, can be rearranged in six combinations: ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, and CBA. The rearrangement produces variation within a kind but all would remain within the same species. Further differentiation may occur if one letter (B) was permanently dropped, reducing the number of combinations to: AC and CA. Note that there has now been a loss of information.

As an example, let the letters represent the hair of a bear with A being long and thick, B being moderate, and C being short and sparse. If the climate were to turn cold for a period of time, it might be assumed that more AB and BA bears might survive. The number of bears with the long, thick A trait might continue to reproduce while the less fit bears would be removed from the population. If the C gene was dormant, short and sparse haired bears would have a tendency to return over time if the climate returns to mild. Deepening cold, however, may also see a loss of the B gene, leaving only the A type bears. A letter (or trait) may lie dormant or may eventually be removed entirely from the gene pool. Once lost, a trait cannot be recovered (naturally) and a variant within the species has been eliminated.

As presented in the example, mutations do not produce new information but can produce variation and benefit for the species. The benefit in the bears example is the ability to survive in a climate that has become more hostile.


The concept of macro-evolution became necessary (for evolutionists) when it was determined that Darwinism alone (natural selection and adaptation) were not sufficient mechanisms to produce new species. Genetic mutation theories attempt to define how the code is modified to add information which, over time, creates a more complex species. Macro-evolution gave rise to what is presently called Neo-darwinism. Contrary to opinion, all scientists do not believe that macro-evolution occurs, particularly when the evidence is still missing.

From what I can see, microevolution is a fact; we see it all around us regarding small changes within a species, and biologists demonstrate this procedure in their labs on a daily basis. Hence, there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.
James M Tour, Ph.D., synthetic organic chemist, Evolution/Creation

If creation of a new species were to occur, and if that species were to be a higher order organism, information would have, of necessity, been added to the genome. Using a variation of the previous bear example where A, B, and C represent traits, macro-evolution would require a method to create new genetic material that is not existent in a current species. Rather than having the genetic disposition for only ABC, the traits D, E, F,..., etc. must be added. Other than in textbook descriptions and computer modeling, a natural mechanism for adding well-planned, step-by-step, and beneficially related information to the genome does not exist.

Return to: The Origin & Complexity of Life

Creation Study Guide Index

Please send comments or questions to: