In the beginning…
Everything you’ve ever seen has a cause. Your kitchen appliances were made by someone–likely from China. That smell by your back door is caused by the substance stuck on the bottom of your shoes. Trees grow from seed, water, soil and sunlight. In the search for food, the bee propagates the flower. Everything has a cause.
Let’s consider briefly what this world would be like without this causal relationship. What would happen if things just happened un-caused? Your car is gone from the parking lot. Was it stolen or did it just disappear? Or better yet, there is a fully restored 1968 Ford F100 with a 3-speed column shift in its place! Money appears and disappears from your purse or wallet. You wake up to random 3-headed animals in your bedroom. Your next child could be born as a chimp in an bow tie, having just finished typing hamlet on a typewriter by randomly punching letters, why not? It would be a crazy, crazy world.
Everything is caused by something–nothing is caused by nothing.
With that in mind, it seems to me that when considering the First Cause of the universe and the mind of man, naturalism utterly fails. Naturalism can say nothing about a First Cause of the universe because naturalism is dependent on the (natural) universe if it is to be coherent. As for the first cause of the mind of man, naturalism is self-refuting. If the mind has only natural causes, then our perception of truth is a chemical illusion and therefore, any truth in naturalism is also a chemical illusion.
The alternative view is Intelligent Design (ID). This view keeps the door open to transcendent causes while studying the natural ones. With this presupposition, a universal First Cause has meaning, and the mind of man is able to accurately perceive it. It isn’t a religious position in itself, but its appeal to the religious community should be obvious (besides the fact that it coheres better with what we observe in the world).
Therefore, when faced with these two options, how would you finish the statement, “In the beginning…”? My answer? It begins with “God…”, naturally.