We think of science as providing modern conveniences, but in actuality scientists provide less of the things that make our lives more enjoyable than we realize. Instead, engineers take the things of science and make them work in practical ways. Newton may have demonstrated laws of motion and friction, but it was an engineer who took Newton’s laws and made practical machines that will do work for people. Engineers are responsible for cell phones, automobiles, air conditioners, space ships, and potato chips. A chemist may have figured out the periodic chart of elements, but chemical engineers figured out how to make the chemical compounds that are in so many of the products we use every day.
As any engineer will attest, getting a system to work is quite difficult. Getting a system to work correctly for a long time takes an extreme amount of effort, and even then the systems break down at some point and need maintenance. If we look at the development of things such as electric motors, which are a type of system, we see a long, difficult journey to create an efficient motor that could be depended upon to do useful work. To keep motors running requires periodic maintenance, including complex troubleshooting to find the root cause of breakdowns.
Further, the more complex the system, the more difficult it is to get it to work. Machines as routine as automobiles have taken armies of engineers many decades to make systems which work as well as they do today. Even today, after over a century of work by many thousands of engineers, our cars take regular maintenance or they would quit running rather quickly. Consider a system as complex as a space station and how many orders of magnitude it takes to keep such a system running.
Any engineer will tell you that to get a system to work as intended takes time and effort, and is a major achievement when it does.
In our natural universe, we also find systems. Our bodies, for example, have many systems: a circulatory system, a nervous system, a muscle system, a skeletal system. When we examine these systems, we find complexity. The nervous system is both electrical and chemical; the circulatory system has several major components, such as the shape of the veins and the nature of the blood components.
Further, the more we look, the more systems we find. Our bodies are composed of systems of systems. The several systems in the body have to work together to maintain life. The circulatory system has the heart, which is a pumping system. The heart valves are another system, the lungs yet another system, and blood cells are still another system. The more we dig, the more systems we find. As modern microbiology has well proven, living cells are extremely complex, and have major systems of their own, most of which have subsystems within subsystems.
So in many parts of nature, we see systems of systems of systems, many levels deep. We have yet to even discover all the systems, let alone determine exactly how they all function. Interlocking and interwoven systems that depend on each other.
While they do indeed break down, as arthritis and death are a reminder, the systems seem to work rather well overall. They have been repairing and reproducing themselves for quite a long while. We marvel at the human heart, which beats an average of 70 to 80 years. Systems of systems, keeping life going for millennia, reproducing themselves, functioning quite well.
Which brings us to our problem: If God does not exist, then these systems are natural to the world, and the world naturally produces systems of systems of systems that work quite well for a very long time. They come together through natural processes, which hone out the poor systems and leave the good ones, naturally and inevitably. However, this is not what we encounter when we try to make a system. In fact, it takes teams of the brightest human minds to make one system that works. To get systems of systems, several layers deep, to work at all would be an engineers dream. Usually they find themselves trying to keep the old simple systems running at all, and have no time to try to design complex new systems. No engineer intentionally makes Rube Goldberg machines, for systems of systems do not work.
If nature has no design and no purpose, as Richard Dawkins has claimed, yet produced complex systems of systems, then it would seem that a guided effort by the brightest minds would be able to put complex systems together rather easily. Yet what we see is exactly the opposite. To get simple systems to work is difficult, and getting systems of systems of systems to come together and function well over a long time without intervention is not what human efforts produce.
It would seem that what we see in nature is a strong evidence for a master engineer beyond our wildest dreams. The fact that our brightest engineers fail more than they succeed should be strong evidence that anything that runs as well as the universe does not come together without intervention. The skeptic and atheist must answer the problem of why the universe runs so well all by itself, with no intelligence behind it, while our best intelligent efforts have so much difficulty. If the natural order was that systems come together and work well without an intelligent intervention, then our human engineers would have an easier time of their work. The fact that they do not demonstrates that the universe is not an accident but very well designed. Good designs require a designer. This we call God.