One of the stated proofs for the existence of a God was the watchmaker analogy. Simply put, the concept was that an intricate item, with an ordered structure, like a watch which had no duplicate in the natural world, implied there had to be a creative force i.e. a watchmaker.
Further, such a complex item could not be the result of a random coming together of its various parts though "a whirlwind" or through some "evolutionary" process, nor could a collection of e.g. monkeys in possession of all the parts of a watch put one together given an unlimited number of years to do so (which is of course impossible).
Thus the watchmaker, a human, infinitely more complicated than the most complex watch, must also have
himself been the product of a creator.
The analogy came to an end with the discovery of evolution, both of the universe and of humankind. In the case of the watchmaker, yes, through millions of years of evolution the various complex components evolved though various stages until modern humans appeared and created the watch. The old argument that no whirlwind could create a person was seen to be an erroneous, pre-scientific, logical path.
But all that has happened is that the argument for a "created" watchmaker has been pushed back a stage.
To argue for a watchmaker as the product of an impartial evolutionary process in no way negates the concept of a creative force having created the evolutionary process itself. Why a watchmaker as the result of billions of years of cosmic evolution, rather than the result of being created ex nihilo as set out in the bible, is a matter of religious conjecture, but it has no effect on the over arching question.
Cosmologists have no answer to the question "what preceded the "big bang" i.e. the moment the universe came into existence. Some conjecture that matter can come into existence Ex nihilo and give (unproven) examples, but none that posit one "thing" coming into existence containing such force and power that the entire universe with everything in it resulted.
The basic question "why there is something instead of nothing" and why there is human consciousness ( which some consider causes the existence of the universe) also eludes them.
Others think there are 'multiverses' i.e. any number of parallel universes which, given their number (presuming to infinity) would mean that by sheer chance a planet such as ours, in a universe having laws exactly like ours
would be possible. Still others see a "budding off" inflation i.e. a universe like ours inflating from a pre-existing universe in an endless series of such budding off universes (of which there is no proof whatsoever).
Those who see no indication of these parallel or budding of universes, and agree there is only our universe, and who are atheists point to "gravity and evolution" as "explaining everything" don't advise where gravity came from in the first place.
They also can't explain how there is just enough 'dark matter/energy to keep the universe from contracting by overcoming the pull of gravity, but not so much that all matter breaks apart and nothing could exist. Neither can they explain why, at the commencement of the "big bang" there was fractionally more matter than anti-matter which allowed for the creation of the cosmos instead of the matter/anti-matter cancelling each other out and there being nothing.
There are indeed a number of other finely balanced aspects to the universe, the slightest change to which would have made the earth/life impossible and for which the odds, unless one accepts the endless parallel universes theory, are stupendously against.
Since atheists are unable to provide an answer to these basic questions regarding the creation of the universe, they are unable to deny there could be a creator. If there is a creator, then it follows that "the watchmaker' must be part of the creators creative process, just as the watch is a product of both the watchmaker and the watchmaker's creator.
For those who hold to the parallel or multiverse theories (which if held by deists would be ridiculed as Alice In Wonderland "believing 12 impossible things before breakfast" frankly) neither precludes both being the product of a creative force.
Thus the concept of intelligent design is still valid. Until proven otherwise, it follows logically that if there is indeed a creator then such a power, which can bring an entire universe into existence, is also capable of anything, including a personal relationship with any created (no matter how so e.g. directly, or via evolution) sentient being.
Such an omnipotent creator, which doesn't preclude the Deist standpoint that there is a creative force which does not interact i.e. a watchmaker that winds up the watch and then leaves it to run by itself, could of course direct history or appear in it for an unknown and unknowable ("the mind of God") or "God's purpose and plan".