A huge obstacle in reconciling Darwinian evolution and orthodox Christianity is as follows:
Darwinian evolution entails that chance plays a central part of our history, as random variations provide the material for selection to cull. So deeply ingrained is the role of chance that the late Stephen Jay Gould was fond of saying that if the tape of life was replayed from the beginning, an entirely different reality would exist, a reality that would not include us. This is simply because we could not count on all the various coincidences and accidents to play out again exactly as they played out in our history.
Yet orthodox Christianity views human life as an inevitable part of Creation .
How shall we reconcile these?
God could have created any one of an infinite number of creations yet He chose to create our reality. Why did He create this one? Because of us. That is, this is the creation, the only creation, in which we exist. We cannot exist in any other creation. Other humans, humanoids, or sentient beings might exist in other creations, but they would not be us.
This creation exists because it is our home, that is, where we were born and where we live.
So what makes us us? Our genetic identities. Our experiences. Our memories. Our choices. Since all of these things are necessary for our identity and are what make us us, and since these things are part of this creation, this creation must exist if we are to exist.
So how did we come into existence? Was it the miracle of Creationism? Was it the natural law and evolutionary convergence of Conway Morris or Denton? Was it by front-loading evolution? Or was it the mixture of natural selection and contingency as outlined by Dawkins and Gould?
Answer – it doesn’t matter. However we came into existence had to be because that was the way we came into existence. It’s a package deal.
So it would not matter if Dawkins/Gould was correct. Because even if chance and natural selection brought us into existence, well, then that’s what would be needed to bring us into existence. God is still in control because this very reality where chance and natural selection brought us into existence would not exist and be sustained if God had not wanted to commune with us. God choose to create this reality whereby chance and natural selection brought us into existence because that is our reality and our history. From God’s perspective, beyond our space-time reality, our emergence was inevitable and foreknown because the very reason this reality was chosen into existence is precisely because God knew it would spawn us, regardless of the mechanism. Creation runs through us and exists because of us.
Once this is realized, the obstacle of chance evaporates. God does not need to tinker with this creation to get us to appear. He created this universe, among an infinite other possible universes, precisely because it was the one that would spawn us.
If this reality exists because of us, why did God choose us? It’s the most mysterious and humbling revelation – God loves us.