If we explain the origin of what is by postulating a creator, where did the creator come from? If we can say the creator just was forever into the past, we could also say what is just was forever into the past. Inventing a creator doesn't really explain anything, it just pushes the mystery back a step.
As far as I know, protons are considered identical to other protons, electrons are considered identical to other electrons, neutrons are considered identical to other neutrons. At least, I can't tell them apart. But then, I can't see them at all!
For all I know, atomic theory could be another made up story. I don't have the time or equipment I would need to verify it for myself, any more than I can verify sacred creation stories from the various religious traditions.
Amazingly, the stuff that this universe is made of seems to be self-organizing. We can assume that means that an intelligence designed it, but other than the self-organization that seems to be going on all the time everywhere, I can't find anything that looks to me like conclusive evidence one way or the other with regard to the existence of such a creator. I can assume the creator exists, I can assume the creator doesn't exist. Either way, it's an assumption I have no way of proving conclusively.
It seems at least possible that such a universe might be without a creator, especially in light of recent (within the last 20 years) theorizing by physicists suggesting that there is a huge number of universes and we live in this one because it just happens to be the one with conditions conducive to matter self-organizing into stars and planets and bacteria and trees and people and computers and the Internet.
It does seem like if there is a creator and the creator liked the content of the creation, the creation as a whole would be friendlier and kinder than it appears to be. Why would a benevolent creator produce a creation so full of suffering and anguish? We can say the suffering and anguish is due to human depravity, but it looks to me like nature all by itself without the influence of human behavior is already pretty competitive and dangerous for most of its denizens. A huge percentage of all the species of creatures that have ever lived have gone extinct for one reason or another.
OTOH, there's a lot of cooperation and mutualism in nature as well. Cleaner fish that remove parasites and irritants from the mouths and skins of larger, carnivorous fish that don't try to eat the cleaner fish. Birds that ride around on the backs of cattle, eating the flies that "bug" the cattle (pardon the pun). Amazingly coordinated colonies of social animals -- ants, termites, human cities. The bacteria that live in the human gut and aid our digestion.
Why doesn't all of nature exhibit this kind of mutualism? Why is so much of it bloody and violent if the postulated creator is benevolent? Why is it that well-intentioned actions can lead to such dreadful consequences? Is it possible that the assumed creator's actions were well-intentioned but poorly considered and thus produced the mess we see?
So the paradox I see is that the universe could be way more horrible than it is, so maybe it was created by a well-intended intelligence. But if it were created by a well-intended intelligence, it seems like it would be way nicer than it is.
Of course, there's the idea Scott Adams (the guy who draws the cartoon Dilbert) proposed in his book God's Debris
, which is that an immortal, all-powerful being who had experienced everything might be bored and long to experience non-being. So she disintegrated herself and what we see is the debris left behind, which is gradually working at re-integrating itself back into the immortal, all-powerful being.