Things that are too obvious to be denied, like the mutation of SARS-CoV-2, are explained away as “not evidence of evolution” rather than denied outright.
Exactly right. Rather than do something immediately ridiculous like deny that mutations even occur, creationists elect instead to couch it in rhetoric. It’s loss of functions or loss of information, or as he says, microevolution. Occasionally you get someone who will say that “it’s a pre-existing ability to adapt”, but will insist that adaptation has nothing to do with evolution. One has to wonder what it even is they think evolution is supposed to be if not trans-generational adaptation.
This is where we are fed the usual bovine faeces about “the primaxy axiom” which is and remains a delusional creationist fantasy with zero basis in actual evolutionary theory.
The idea with this “primary axiom” straw-man that creationists have concocted is that, if it doesn’t simultaneously result in macroevolution(increase in number of species), grandiose morphological transitions(bacteria becoming multicellular, pigs growing wings), increases in the number of protein coding genes (that have to evolve de novo, not by duplication, homologoues don’t count), new information (and it has to be more than 500 bits of FI), and completely new functions (not just “similar” ones), then it’s not evolution and “the primaxy axiom” is false.
The terms “microevolution” and “macroevolution” do not have clearly-agreed definitions within the broader scientific community
I can’t agree with this. Both terms have quite well established definitions. A common one is that macroevolution is evolution above the species level. Changes in the number of species is macroevolutionary change under that definition.
Extinction and speciation thus become macroevolutionary events. Microevolution is evolution below the species level. As in evolution that doesn’t result in changes in the number of species, so evolution that does not cause extinction or result in speciation.
Creationists love to claim that mutations “create no new information” and that “new genetic information” can only come from an intelligent designer. But speaking of “information” in these terms is nonsensical. What matters is whether new functions are able to evolve.
Exactly right. The whole “information” stuff is rhetoric. What matters is if new functions can evolve. If an organism has offspring that is different from what it was before. If it is, it’s new. The virus can infect humans, it could not do that before. That’s a new function. And it evolved.