I don't claim to know either, but the religious claim to know, yet have zero evidence.<quoted text> that was to one of the more allegedly sophisticated fundies, I'd guess. first cause uncaused sounds more educated than the Bible thumpers. but not much more rational. People do not seem to see that both the Bible God and any alleged creator god of our universe are both horrid creatures unworthy of respect or worship - and would be even if they existed. as it is, it is more the believers in them who are unworthy of any respect.
your quick summary was a sufficient answer to all the first cause type assertions. but for the philosophical and the scientific, the whole notions of time and causation are involved also, as well as the question of multiverses. as an agnostic I do not even have to put a toe into those deep waters - I am content not to know and to suspect we cannot know.
I just want to know about what we can do to prevent disasters of global warming and nuclear waste and nuclear bombs in the hands of terrorists and irresponsible heads of state or military leaders. And how to get idiot people in democracies to not elect irresponsible leaders, including members of Congress who head key committees. I am no fan of Menendez, even, or even of Levin, but they are better than the Republicans.
I see nothing we can do regarding the big bang, and do not even approve of wasting money on research that is too full of hubris and curiosity, and is not valuable for the preservation of the planet and life* on it, in relatively tolerable circumstances.*Including polar bears and inhabitants of rain forests, also honey bees and song birds, and pandas.
Part of a full life is to enjoy life. If that includes putting some money and effort into understanding non critical studies in science, so be it.
The main thing slowing progress in the global warming issue is the right wingers who are in denial about many sciences. You know, the kind that deny homosexuality is natural.