In the end you have to have something with aseity when it comes to an ontological argument, lest you fall into infinite regression, which is a largely disproven doctrine throughout physics and cosmology, especially given the second law of thermodynamics for example, which I can simplify with an analogy: Imagine the universe is a car and that car has a finite amount of gas (useable energy) if the car itself was eternal (timeless) the car would be out of gas already an eon ago! This is just one common sense argument against this, now for some observational evidence.
I don't think the laws of thermodynamics apply to the origin of the universe. They are rules that are derived from observation of a universe that already exists. We don't exactly have observational data about the origin of the universe, so the rules say nothing about it.
So far the eternality of the universe alone has been confirmed as non-credible. It is a common scientific knowledge that Edwin Hubble discovered the universe had an origin in the early 1900's by observing the expansion of the universe and discovering Hubble's Law and Constant. This verified The Catholic priest Georges-Henri Lemaitre's theories on a cosmic genesis (a.k.a to many this is called the Big Bang). Einstein later helped verify this, though he at first disagreed with him as did many others (http://www.astronomy...cosmolgy/s2.htm). Given this general revelation there has to have been something before there was an universe and by proxy time itself. Seeing how time is the progression of events within the universe, there has to be something that has eternality (something that is above the influences of the progression of events) there in order to create the universe.
Well, I'm certainly not disputing that there was a Big Bang. I'm only disputing the implications. I mean, is it even meaningful to ask what existed "before" the Big Bang, or what exists "outside" the universe? Stephen Hawking once said it's like asking, "What lies north of the north pole?"
Anyway, you seem to be making a variation of the "first cause" argument: Every event has a cause. The creation of the universe is an event. Therefore the creation of the universe has a cause. Let us call this first cause "God". Therefore, God exists.
The problem with the above argument is that it proves nothing; it merely gives the first cause a name, which was arbitrarily decided to be "God". It might as well have been "Alex", or "Joe", or "Foobity", or "Satan", or "Xyzzy". It certainly doesn't say anything about whether this "first cause" was sentient.
Therefore, since the universe is proven finite, and the laws of physics and mere probability cannot create the information and order necessary for life, we must scientifically deduce it was from an intelligent source
Hold your horses there! "Scientifically"? I think that's a misuse of the word "science". I'd accept "logically", though (not that I agree with your conclusion
The laws of thermodynamics do not state that order cannot come from chaos. On a global
scale (i.e., across the entire universe and across time), it's true: entropy can only increase. But locally
it's a different matter. Consider the sun and the earth. Locally, it is currently an ordered system: the sun provides energy, and the various processes on the earth take that energy and use it to produce and sustain life. But remember that the sun is not an infinite source of energy; one day it will go out and any life remaining in the solar system will die. In the long term, the entropy only increases; there will be more entropy then than there was before the sun existed.
Abiogenesis remains speculatory in nature, and its impossible probabilities are more than absurd.
You seem to forget that the earth is billions of years old, and that there is an incomprehensibly large number of star systems in the universe. Improbability is no obstacle. If there is a one in a quadrillion chance (an astronomically tiny number) for life to form by random chance in a particular star system, the probability that there is at least one star system in the universe where this has happened is still virtually 100%.
As for your comment about The Blindwatch Maker how can one say they have not truly studied a certain series of arguments properly then claim to say they have never been refuted? How do you know, if you don't – well - know?
Well, I didn't say they have never been refuted, only that as far as I know
they haven't been. Of course, telling me that some refutation might exist somewhere is going to be far less effective than actually showing me one.
This is an argument from authority
I actually predicted that someone would make this argument -- but it's a misuse of "argument from authority". An argument from authority would be, "This argument is correct because Richard Dawkins made it", which is not what I'm saying. The term could also be applied more loosely to mean something like, "This argument has more weight because Richard Dawkins made it", which is sometimes valid (if a random person on the street says "a giant space monster is going to eat us all" and a renowned astronomer says "no it isn't", who are you going to believe?) -- but I'm not saying that here either. What I am
saying is merely, "Here is what I consider a solid argument that happened to be presented by Richard Dawkins."
As for what those arguments actually are, here
is one that I could recall off the top of my head. The "criticism" section of that article shows that, yes, some issue can be taken with the argument, but if you read it carefully you'll notice that none of the criticism actually disproves Dawkins's central point, namely that cumulative random selection is far, far more effective at producing a usable result than purely random selection. Surely the origin of life and the subsequent evolution thereof is much closer to cumulative random selection than purely random selection, yet time and again I hear cries from the creationist camp that the idea that life evolved from "random chance" is laughably "improbable" with little to back this up.