Material atomic particles and energy could never produce this massive quantity and quality of complex, highly specified, and coordinated systems of information that creates the functionally diverse body plans and their accompanying lifestyle habits…of this vast number of distinct and discontinuous living animals and plants in the natural world today.
The sooner we accept the limitations of the purely materialistic worldview…of a ceiling beyond which naturalistic materialism cannot take us…the sooner we allow this concept to enter into our worldview…that the origin of life…and the development of complex living organisms…contain too much information to be the product of a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…then the more realistic and clear will become the picture…the more complete will become the jigsaw puzzle.
What I am saying here…in my opinion…is that 95% of what is presented in Jerry A. Coyne’s book Why Evolution Is True is spot-on correct…simply because it describes empirical facts about the physical characteristics and the lifestyle habits of living things that are irrefutable and clearly observable in the natural world…that are material aspects amenable to being observed, measured, quantified, and categorized…according to human scientific investigation.
The point here is that the compelling nature of the scientific fact-based evidence for micro evolution is sound. This is the evidence that was observable and uncontroversial long before Darwin…and is still sound evidence when skillfully presented in a 2009 book on the marvels of biological life.
The 5% part that is grossly inaccurate is the theoretical extrapolation to macro evolution…a factually unsubstantiated, hypothetical leap that was empirically unsupported in Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859…and is still unsupported and controversial today…but that must be the accepted working hypothesis as the main ingredient…for the worldview philosophy of naturalistic materialism to be valid…for atheism to have its own creation story.
Macro evolution is the lynch-pin mechanism that must be in place for a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life…and the brilliance of the natural world…to be valid in the scientific research field of biology.
Without the common descent linkage of macro evolution…enabling ancestral living forms to naturally evolve over time into future variations…then the only remaining plausible explanation for the brilliance of the natural living and non-living world is a divine, intelligent designer God…which some people vehemently reject because they think this inserts limitations around scientific investigation because we would presumably…at some point…hit the demarcation line of the natural/supernatural boundary…beyond which scientific investigation can no longer go…the line beyond which we cannot observe, measure, quantify, categorizes into groups, and systemize into physical laws.
The obvious problem for a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life…along with all of the complex relationships in the non-living phenomenon…micro and macro that support life on earth…is that it optimistically bites off more than it can chew and swallow…is that it needs to explain everything from A to Z…that it must have a consistently naturalistic explanation to cover the entire seven-course meal from soup-to-nuts.
This is a hopelessly ambitious scope, an unrealistically broad, empirically unreachable journey’s end for purely naturalistic explanations in the 21st century…applied to the physical phenomenon we investigate in the natural world…which is becoming more out of reach every day as our database of detailed knowledge about the natural world expands exponentially.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the Big Bang of 13.7 billion years ago…in which all of the material particles and energy are created in just the right quantities and proportions to form this rapidly expanding universe…along with the accompanying laws and coordinated relationships between mathematics, physics, and chemistry…many of which are balanced on a knife’s edge of precision to be able to support complex life like ourselves…coming billions of years later…13.7 billion years to be more precise…all without using the foresight of premediated, thoughtfully guided intelligent design.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the origin of the 40-plus, fine-tuned mathematical constants in what is called the Anthropic Principle…such as the force of gravity, the cosmological constant that describes the expansion speed of the universe, the relative strengths of the strong and the weak nuclear forces, and the constant speed of light c throughout the universe…in Einstein’s equation e = mc²…to name only a few…without which the universe could not support life.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the architectural design of the universe with its hundreds of billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and planets…arranged in the same orderly and intelligible way in the vast expanse of outer space…that we also detect in the microscopic world of living cells, proteins, amino acids, RNA, and DNA genetic sequences.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the 20-plus conditions in our solar system…such as the distance of the earth from the sun, the size and type of our sun, the size and effect of the moon to our earth, the make-up of our atmosphere, and the properties of liquid water…to again name only a few…that are required for complex life to exist on earth.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the inconceivably artistic imagination behind the vast diversity of life on the earth…numbering in the tens of millions of unique and discrete life-form species…each having unimaginably complex systems of information…that near-perfectly fit into living and non-living ecological niches on an equally diverse planet earth…like gears in a wrist watch.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the massive, “Grand Canyon” sized leap across the gulf from non-living matter to living organisms.
Naturalistic materialism has to explain the gargantuan-sized, innovative first-step from single-cell bacteria to multi-cellular organisms…requiring huge infusions of new genetic information combined with the creative novelty of someone or something initiating this actuality.
Naturalistic materialism must explain not only the inconceivably complex folding of amino acids into functionally shaped cells of varied types and job descriptions…but also the unimaginable placement of hundreds of trillions of individual cells in the uniquely precise xyz-coordinates that make up the African bush elephant…if placed within a three-dimensional rectangular box…with the xyz-lines identifying each individual cell…for example.
The African elephant is not the meat-eating terror of the African savanna plains…chasing down its prey of zebras, water buffalo, and wildebeest with short bursts of speed up to 50 mph…but instead feeds on tree leaves and the grasses found in the subtropical and temperate forests, the dry and seasonally flooded grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and agricultural lands…within narrowly defined ecological niches brilliantly and near-perfectly tailored to the survival of the elephant.
The African bush elephant is not only the sum of the microscopic cellular parts that are so acutely specified as to location within a three-dimensional arrangement…but also exhibits a unique lifestyle-habit program that belongs exclusively to the elephant…that defines the essence of what it means to be an elephant.
This same amazing reality of uniquely defining essence…of lifestyle habits matched with architectural body-plans precisely fitting within tight ecological niches…applies to the tens of millions of other living species on the earth…including human beings.
All of these inconceivably coordinated and integrated conditions and realities…according to a purely naturalistic materialism…must rely upon the idea that complex things can self-assemble on their own to reach their end-points of brilliant functionality…according to a model of accidental genetic occurrences having no intelligently guided design.
But the scientific fact-based evidence…obvious and observable to everyone…is that we do not see anything in the living or non-living world that can self-assemble into something that is a complex, specified, and coherently integrated system.
That the complex information of living and non-living systems would all just fall into place on their own…to self-assemble without foresight, pre-planning, and the most expert guidance to reach a functional end-point…without this self-automated assembly being the observed, recognized, and obvious reality of the phenomenon we see in the natural world today…renders the philosophy of naturalistic materialism…plausibly reasonable as a working hypothesis up until a few decades ago…to be currently inadequate as a universal, overall explanatory mechanism.
The only new things we see coming into being…for better or for worse in terms of the ecosystem of our planet…are the mechanical inventions created by human beings…who are by nature incurable intelligent designers.
The real source of this active, creative input of the information behind the origin of life and of the universe…can only be an incredibly intelligent designer like ourselves…having at His disposal a timeless reality…the sheer quantity of imaginative information exhibited overwhelming any blind, mindless, unguided, random-chance, trial-and-error alternate explanation…no matter how much time we give for its development, functional integration, and ecological balance.