The point of this article isn't to have you come away with your detailed concept of the specific nature of God. In-depth beliefs specific to the Bible or specific manifestations of God can be handled elsewhere -- and there will be many different conclusions drawn by different ones of you after years of experience, study, revelation and insight. The only question addressed here is "creator or not".
This is a practical man's common sense approach to thinking about this vs. a deep philosophical or theological examination of the issue. In fact, this may be one of the briefest "proofs" of a creator, intelligent design or God that you may find. Brief as it is, however, the arguments here should stand up well against the counter arguments brought by the most intellectual of intellectuals.
This subject is important to your joy and success because there are many aspects of life where the pleasure, success and power in "worldly" life are in conflict with what should be done if your character, conscience, spirit, soul, eternity and the creator are the ultimate. These decisions in your life can range from small trade-offs involving taking advantage of others to major decisions where you might actually have to sacrifice your whole life for a great cause -- as difficult as those kinds of life choices may be.
Going into this, you need to know that conclusions leaning in the direction of "there is a creator" will be challenged. To defend your conclusions effectively, you will need to make sure that you are asking the questions -- offense of question asking vs. defense of question answering. After all, the person assuming that there isn't a God or afterlife is the one taking the risks -- so shouldn't they carry the burden of proof? To defend yourself, have the critics prove that there isn't a God. They will say, "No, you need to prove that there is a God." You can simply say, "No, you are taking the the high risk position and the least rational position -- so you need to prove that there isn't. Go ahead. Explain, for example, how the human heart, eyes, DNA, etc. just happened." You will be pleased with how effective this is -- if you can stick to being the one asking the questions.
Before going any further, it needs to be noted that one key point in all of these creator/religious questions (or similar complex questions in the areas of science, politics, relationships, etc.) is that none of us can, 100%, prove anything. After anyone provides "proof" in one of these areas, a critic can always ask the follow-up question, "How can you prove that?" What we decide to believe is composed of (1) perception, facts, proof, observation, outcomes of experiments, and data and (2) faith, assumption, trust, extrapolation, and estimation. You may encounter people who trust 100% in the "scientific method" or the "science" -- but real scientists will acknowledge that they don't really know it all. Scientific models for climate change, for example, rest on a multitude of assumptions. Einstein called it the "Theory of Relativity" because he was being intellectually honest. After Einstein, it was determined that Newton's "laws" were actually special case approximations -- even if they are extremely useful for 99% of everything we do in daily life.
We don't know everything involved with designing, building and flying an airplane -- but we assume that everything is going to be "sure enough" and, frankly, bet our lives on it. You may be finding this very hard to take, but you need to think about it. At some point, you need to have faith in something -- and you are doing this every minute of you life whether you acknowledge it or not.
The point of the two paragraphs above is that your beliefs are going to involve some assumptions -- and that those who claim that they "know" aren't really being honest with you or themselves. Belief in a creator, intelligent design and.or God is going to take some faith -- but so does waking up tomorrow AM, buying a house on a mortgage, having a child, getting married, starting a business, or, even, driving across a bridge.
An honest intellectual will admit that "big bang" and "billions and billions of years" are really expressions of not knowing, uncertainty, and assumptions based on that lack of knowledge.
So, here are some simple questions that you should ask yourself (or ask an atheist or agnostic) to determine what you believe. If you can honestly answer them all with "random evolution", then feel free to continue thinking that creation was the result of a random evolution. However, one will start feeling a little foolish if one's answer is "big bang" and "billions and billions of years" for all of the first seven question sets:
- Where did light come from? How were photons created? Why? Colors? How is light converted so we can see? Where did energy come from? How did different forms of energy come into being? How did the conversion of one form of energy to another come about? How is it that hydrogen atoms can be so benign but also produce massive nuclear energy? How did gravity come into being and why, exactly, does it work?
- Where did mass and the organization of material come from? The Universe? How do the few components of atoms result in so many different atoms, elements, and molecules with such different properties?
- Assuming the universe, energy, and mass as a "given", how did simple life occur? Proteins? Look deeply into the workings of a single cell and explain how it happened with just energy and elements available.
- Given simple life forms, how did extremely complex forms of life occur?
- How does something as simple as DNA carry so much information? Where did the concept and implementation of DNA come from? Doesn't it seem a little odd that something this complex in functionality and efficient in structure would be random?
- How did the heart, eyes, skin, lungs, and the brain all come into existence?
- How is it possible that a complex life-supporting ecosystem like Earth would come into existence?
- How long would it take some random events to create all of the above, and the inter-workings of them all, into systems that support complex life?
- For all of the above, which is more likely: random or design? How could an intelligent person think this is random?
- If designed, can't we logically assume a designer?
Given the complexity, sophistication, and inter-dependencies of the world, isn't it simply more reasonable to assume (or believe in) a creator or intelligent design? You see, it isn't really that tough of a question. Either answer requires an assumption. Which is more reasonable?
You will often find that those who fight the idea of a creator usually start with a commitment to proving that there isn't a God. Maybe there are things they don't understand (like why there is evil in the world or why bad things happen to good people) and they then decide that there isn't a God. In unbelievable arrogance toward the power of the human intellect and "science", they decide that humans have the capacity to understand (and possibly create) the entire universe (on both macro and nano scales). Intellectually honest people will, however, admit that the universe is quite a remarkable thing (creation) and that "random" just doesn't do it justice.