Just read this in a devotional and found it to be relevant to the direction this thread has taken:
Case for the Creator
Along with many naturalists, Richard Dawkins believed that the origin of life is merely an impression of design and there is no need at all for a divine watchmaker. In his book, “The Blind Watchmaker” he writes, “the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics …...Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life…”
Therefore, one can argue that if everything can be accounted for by the naturalistic processes, then there is no need for a Creator. However, naturalists such as Dawkins who insist that the naturalistic evolution operates merely on the principles of time and chance forget that it also depends on the laws of a universe that is not the product of time and chance. Physicist Stephen Barr in his book, “Modern Physics and Ancient Faith” writes, “What Dawkins does not seem to appreciate is that his blind watchmaker is something even more remarkable than Paley’s watches. Paley finds a “watch” and asks how such a thing could have come to be there by chance. Dawkins finds an immense automated factory that blindly constructs watches and feels that he has completely answered Paley’s point. But that is absurd. How can a factory that makes watches be less in need of explanation than the watches themselves?”
In other words, the naturalistic point of view, far from disproving the need for a Creator, arguably does nothing more than push the argument from the primary to secondary causes.
Furthermore, the naturalists very often would claim that the reason they exclude the primary cause is because it cannot be quantified, measured, or experimented on. So a question arises. Can science detect the divine watch-maker concerning questions of origin?
The naturalist believes that just because he can understand the mechanical processes of life, he is justified in concluding that there is no God because science cannot detect God in it. This reasoning commits a logical error that confuses mechanical processes with primary causes. Let us say that a kid would like to know who designed a train engine. One way of doing it is by examining the whole train and the processes of how it works and then proclaim that there is no Mr. Train inside the engine to make it move. Besides, if the kid grows up to study train engineering, he would discover that he did not need to introduce Mr. Train as an explanation for its working. His understanding of the impersonal processes would be enough to do that. However, if he concludes that his understanding of how it works has now made it impossible to believe in the existence of a Mr. Train who made the engine in the first place, then this would be false. Had there never been a Mr. Train to design the mechanical processes, none would exist for him to understand. In the same way the creator cannot be expelled from the theory just because evolution may be a mechanism for the origin of life.
It is important to note that God is not a mechanical process but an agent who is the reason behind the processes. Now, both the agent and the mechanism are involved in the comprehensive explanation of the existence and working of the universe as a whole. In fact, Life itself warrants the existence of a personal Creator. Therefore, it makes sense when the Bible says, “In the beginning God created…”