Posted by John S. Wilkins on September 16, 2006 09:20 PM
The Macroevolution FAQ is now in version 2. The original FAQ was a bit light on for discussion, and I wanted to deal with some technical issues. It is not a comprehensive review of the concept, but of the meaning of the concept and a couple of philosophical issues it raises.
I originally did this because people were saying that “macroevolution” and “microevolution” were terms invented by creationists. This might have surprised the leading figures of 20thC evolutionary biology like Dobzhansky and Simpson, who used the terms all the time.
Then I got interested in the “macroevolution = microevolution” debate, which is both a scientific claim and a philosophical one. So now there’s philosophy in that FAQ, about reduction and where to draw the line.
My friend and occasional sparring partner Larry Moran thinks I am misrepresenting some aspects of the debate, so I encourage you to go to his essay on Macroevolution here for a corrective. It’s rather nice - I think he’s wrong and he thinks I’m wrong and we both think we can rationally convince the other. Academic optimism…