So I have started down the path of trying to understand evolution, and to get the linear lies that the JWs planted in my head out of it. I bought an audiobook called "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" by Donald Prothero. I heard it recommended on an atheist podcast that I listened to. Unfortunately the book spent more time destroying creationists (and very thoroughly I might add), of which I'm not, than it did really explaining evolution. I was sorely disappointed. However, I do feel like I pieced together some things between his rants against creationists and want to see how close I am to understanding. I thought he was supposed to go into the primordial soup but he never even mentioned it.
What I gather is that there are two types of evolution, micro and macro. Micro involves small changes in species like a certain type of sparrow (I think) that developed the ability to crack nuts for food as the food supply changed on an island. Macro would occur when new species evolve. Such evolution occurs due to environmental pressures or maybe some part of dna changing through reproduction. It is more likely to occur somewhere like on an island that is more isolated and where a change in one progeny is less likely to breed out due to a large population.
Fossilization doesn't happen often and needs specific circumstances to do so that aren't often found. So it isn't really fair to assume that we'd have fossils of all of the different changes throughout time. I get that.
Unlike the linear way that evolution was presented to us where an amphibian turns into a mammal that turns into a monkey and eventually a human (I butchered that), there were slight changes over time in chimps over time that led to us. There is only a small difference in dna between us and a chimp.
Now I may have the above wrong. Feel free to correct me. I'm trying to grasp the concept.
From what I do understand above I feel confused in one degree. I get micro evolution. It is easy to see. What I can't quite grasp is macro evolution. I get that there are fossils or whatever of different primates and changes where they begin to look more human over time. I get that such macro evolution takes place over looooooong periods of time. I get that a bird's wings or dolphin's flippers or human's hands have similarities to one another. I just can't seem to grasp how those different species evolved in the first place. I see that birds can evolve to have different characteristics, but are birds still evolving in a macro way into something as different as a dolphin is from a bird? Or if such a small genetic change as there is between a chip and a human creates such different creatures (we are quite different than a chimp even with 99% similarity in DNA), then why don't we see other large changes like that more? I hope I'm explaining my questions well. I'm not asking the old "if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys" question. I just want to understand why there aren't new species entirely being developed that we can see. Are we humans evolving into something else? Is there something else evolving that isn't a bird or fish or mammal or that has such large differences as between those three types of critters?
Feel free to set me straight. I'm open to watching a video or reading another book (if in audio form) but think that some of you that are more knowledgeable can set me straight more directly. I've tried researching some things and feel like I'm jumping in the middle of a deep pool and that I'm probably not ready for that yet.
I know that Cofty knows his stuff, and so do others on here. I respect your minds on this subject immensely. I'm finding myself more stuck in black and white linear thinking than I expected while trying to grasp this.