Atheists think that those who believe in a creator strictly operate on faith. They think we don’t care about science or evidence. They say we use the concept of God to explain things that we don’t understand. They’ll accuse us of inserting “God in the gaps” to give us answers for things we don’t yet know. Actually, I think it’s the atheists that require more faith, and they insert science in the gaps all the time.
Let’s look at the facts from cosmology. First, we now know there was a beginning. That wasn’t always the case. At one time scientists just assumed that the universe was eternal. It was always here, so there was no need for a creator. It’s now pretty much incontrovertible that the observable universe came into existence about 13.5 billion years ago. Prior to that there was nothing. By nothing I mean not anything. People visualize the big bang sometimes as a bunch of matter exploding into space, but that’s not what it was. There was no matter. No energy. No space. There wasn’t even time. That’s right. It all started with the big bang. At that point matter, space and time all came into being out of nothing.
Second, scientists can now see that the initial conditions at the time of the big bang are incredibly tuned to support life. If the conditions and constants were just the tiniest bit off in any direction, the universe would have expanded into a lifeless, barren space, with no stars of planets forming, or it would have collapsed back in on itself.
These two things are a problem for naturalists, who are people who believe nature is all there is. An article in Discover Magazine points out the problem, and the way that naturalists try to get around it.
Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life.
The idea is controversial. Critics say it doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory because the existence of other universes cannot be proved or disproved. Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable nonreligious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.
That is a perfect example of “science of the gaps”. The evidence of a beginning and fine-tuning points to an intelligent designer, but that does not fit a naturalistic worldview. The only reason to postulate an infinite number of universes is to avoid the conclusion of a creator–to avoid the idea of God.
So, if you look at it this way, atheists need to have as much faith in their multiverse theory than theists do in an intelligent designer–if not more. They are both metaphysical ideas that are based on something outside the physical universe. Plus, the evidence points towards that something being an intelligent agent, and away from blind chance. Yes, it takes quite a bit of faith to be an atheist.