Some food for thought..
First off I would like to genuinely apologize for the rudeness, hatefulness, and general lowness of character in some of the responses via email you have been getting from my "Christian" friends. While I admittedly have sinned in my life, and am not perfect in any way, I don't believe that the cursing, hate, and most of all the (it seems) desire for any of you to burn in hell is reflective in any way of the God that I serve.
With that being said,
I have some things for you to think about and I hope that you truly mull them over and realize that it takes a lot more faith to believe in pure materialism then to believe that we were put here. I realize that quite a few of you will get angry and flame me simply because I believe in God (I have read just as many posts where the OP is considerate and genuine and you curse him/her out as there are hate mail letters from the "Christians"
A common argument from theists for the existence of God is that everything must have a first cause, and that cause is God. Of course that doesn't follow rational logic because God has not been caused by anything. What caused God? The problem is that same logic could apply to the stream of thought regarding a universe excluding a creator. Where did our universe come from, if not God? The Big Bang. Oh? What caused the big bang? Various gases combining at extreme heat to produce massive reactions that filled the universe at that time with matter, and that universe is constantly expanding. But what caused the presence of the various hydrogen (among other) atoms in the first place? And if we found a cause for that, we would look for the cause for THAT, and so on, and we would never be satisfied, because we would never get the final answer (I know now a little more why the Underground man said that excessive conscience is a curse, because some things must be grasped on faith or we will never be satisfied).
Eventually the chain of questioning will continue back until we will have to come to a point , no matter how many trillions upon trillions years back, where we will have to admit that physical matter appeared from nothing (for if it didn't than the causal chain must continue), which, if we claim to be scientists, is impossible, as proved centuries ago by Louis Pasteur. If spontaneous generation has been disproved for life forms, can we honestly expect to apply the theory for celestial bodies? (The Christian, however, already has the answer, for they know that God can create something out of nothing..) The fact is that time itself must have a beginning because our existence in time is completely relative to the other points in time (e.g., our past, and future. the only thing that makes the present present is the fact that the past existed). If time itself was infinite then it would be infinite in both directions, which means at the very least that other dimensions exist, and they exist outside of time. So, whether or not time itself is infinite we can say that this 3-dimensional (actually 4, if you include time) existence is not all there is. I myself believe that time has a beginning, and God exists outside of it, in an ever-present moment of now , (hence I AM). In this state it is no different to do something instantly or to wait 1000 years to do it, hence, as the bible says (I know you guys don't believe in scripture and this will be the last time I quote it, I'm just using it in this case because an explanation of this state has already been given) , a day is like a 1000 years to the Lord, and a 1000 years as a day. This is how God can know both the ending and beginning of something. (Why he does, or allows certain things, like the problem of evil, I cannot completely know, but my inability to explain anything's actions do not nullify its existence)
Regarding the problem of evolution, I am not arguing against abiogenesis (the supposed formation of DNA, amino acids, and eventually proteins and life structures, from simple elements. I argue, that those elements had to be there in the first place for this to occur, and we know that matter cannot appear from nothing, it is against the laws of physics. While I believe that the second law of thermodynamics is a good response to the theory of evolution, there are many people who state that the law of entropy does not apply to biological systems, so I won't go there..
What I will say is that the theory of evolution states that the origin of a new species is based upon a series of genetic mutations over an extremely large period of time to the original species, where each tiny mutation would have resulted in an adaptation that would allow the organism an increased survival probability.
The first thing we must realize is that these mutations do not need to take billions of years. We see mutations all the time, from frogs born with an extra leg to postmortem mutations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA) to the tragedy that is cancer. The second is that the chances of an adaptive mutation is much lower than a maladaptive, or even neutral one. The fact is that we see much more maladaptive mutations all the time, and even neutal ones (albinos, (which are a mutation of the gene that controls pigmentation) etc). When was the last time we saw an adaptive mutation (or mutagenesis)? In bacteria and virii, maybe, but extremely rare in human beings. And even if this were true, when have we seen mutation that would progress us toward another species?
Would such a mutation even be advantageous? How many mutations would have to occur at the same time for the 4-legged creature to walk on two? I know there must have been changes to the various parts of the skeletal and muscular system and they must work together. How many mutations would have to occur at the exact same time to form an adaptive organ (such as an eye)? These must occur at the same time because having less than the full organ (i.e. just the lens of an eye) in any place other than the perfect one (a hole in a part of the body - in the case of human beings, the head) is pointless at best, maladaptive at worst, beneficial, never. For in order for it to be an adaptive mutation it must completely in the precise place necessary. The lens of an eye would be no good on a creature's leg or back (pointless), and an extra leg in the leg or back would just be an appendage to latch on to, making the creature easier to kill (maladaptive).
The fact is a mutation that would move us toward a new species (and not just be a variation) would have to be adaptive, and therefore fully functional (or else the organism would be killed off by natural selection) and most likely active (non-passive, such as wing color or skin color)..
The chances of that combination occurring just once is so astronomically high that for all statistical purposes it is impossible. The chances of it happening over and over again are about the same (as my philosophy teacher said) as winning the lottery 150 million times in a row.
As are the chances of even harmful mutations occurring in the same species as many times as takes to move a species forward.
I ask you to please think (as I love to, and I believe most of you do) and realize that evolution is at least directed by God, if not a complete fallacy.
If either of these is true, then God must exist. If you still believe he doesn't, feel free to poke holes in my summary of evolution (as no doubt you will), but in your post I also want you to explain to me how the universe started.
Just some food for thought...