This is precisely what atheistic, naturalistic evolution maintains -- that mindless natural selection produced a thinking mind with billions of neurons and trillions of neuronal connections.
Atheist turned Christian, C.S. Lewis, doubted that this was possible. He compared mindless evolution to someone with a damaged brain:
· "Whenever you know what the other man is saying is wholly due to his complexes or to a bit of bone pressing on his brain, you cease to attach importance to it. But if naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes. Therefore, all thoughts would be completely worthless. Therefore, naturalism is completely worthless. If this is true, then we can know no truths. It cuts its own throat."
Although I sympathize with his reasoning, I think that it will leave the naturalist undaunted. Why? Because he already believes that our eyes are able to perfectly mirror the physical world because of a mindless process. If our eyes can picture this world, why cannot our thinking also capture this world?
However, our thinking seems to transcend what our eyes can do. While our eyes can see, possibly because of deterministic and invariable laws of biochemistry, which do not require freewill, it is much harder to conceive of our thinking in this way.
Thinking can only be of a very rudimentary nature if it is entirely determined by unvarying biochemical forces. This would mean that our thinking is determined by laws locked into predictable patterns.
However, this is precisely what human thought is not! Rather, for thought to discover truth, it needs freedom and flexibility that deterministic laws do not allow. These forces simply repeat the same patterns. Instead, thought has to be able to take wings and break out of its social, biological, and psychological bonds.
I had this experience as I began to grow into Christ. As a new Christian, I had the strange realization that there were thoughts I wanted to think, but could not, places I wanted to take my mind, where it refused to go.
Over the years I have experienced a greater mental freedom to explore and to discover. I think that this is the same freedom an artist experiences.
However, if all thinking is predetermined, then it would have been impossible for me to experience in such a tangible way the liberation from my mental prison.