So, I recently told my dad i was an atheist. Overall it went well, he basically just said he was fine with it. But when he asked me why I didn't believe, I explained to him that there was no evidence that god existed. To which he said "The evidence is all around us."
lol. i love that response. my favored response to it is to ask which, of all the evidence around us, the person feels is the strongest. i do this because when the person replies with the strongest evidence they can muster of all the evidence around us and i show, often along multiple lines, why that evidence is not at all evidence of the existence of a god, the person can't then go on to site other evidence because this evidence is necessarily lesser in quality than the first evidence she offered putting her in an awkward position of offering inferior evidence in an attempt to shore up her just refuted primary evidence. (do this and if he responds do please tell us what he offers in response and we'll be happy to help you address said "evidence" if you need that help)
as for the evidence all around us generally, the problem of course is that a person of any faith can and does point to the evidence all around us as evidence of their respective deity. yet the person of one faith rejects the truth of another person's faith despite the supposed strength of the evidence all around us!
and even if i did for a moment grant that there was evidence all around us for the existence of a deity it wouldn't go anywhere toward establishing which deity that was. you'd still have all your work to do to demonstrate that that deity was that of Christianity or of Islam or... etc., etc., etc.
well, even if that were evidence of deity you may as well let him know organisms that we call plants, organisms that take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, were around far before we were and so why wouldn't be right to say that this deity created the Earth for the plants and that we're just opportunistic parasites!
besides, is the fact that we're assaulted by all kinds of organisms on a daily basis, causing pain, misery, and death, evidence of the non-existence of god? i'm sure he would say no but then you have him in a double standard.
I would respond that an organism evolving that can consume the waste gas of the most prominent form of life on the plant is not evidence that there is a god. You would have to believe that they came to exist at the same time. That's not 4th dimensional thinking. It doesn't take the immense amount of time between the appearance of trees and the appearance of mammals into account.
This lack of account for time was troubling me while watching the History channel this week. They were asking the question of how the Egyptions got light into the pyramids to carve the walls since there was no evidence of soot from torches. They were theorizing about copper mirrors to reflect the light down the halls etc. Instant facepalm. It seems clear as day, so to speak. If the hallways were exposed to sunlight WHILE the carving of hieroglyphs was going on, then the tunnel was completed over top of it AFTER they were done, you have no need for any external light sources. This show was acting as if the pyramids just sprang into existence one day all complete and someone had to go into the halls and start carving hieroglyphs! This is the same thinking that leads to the argument that your father made. It ignores the passage of time and sequence of events that could easily lead to the present day reality.
You might then also ask what the proper levels of oxygen are. There was a time in history when insects were scary big. This was because of the much, much higher levels of oxygen in the atmosphere and the warmer temperatures at the time.
I like Douglas Adams' sentient puddle as a great example of why our being suited to our environment is not evidence of God.
". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, `This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."