The Because of Us perspective that I have outlined defeats the claim that evolutionary contingency is incompatible with Christian Faith. So I now want to make it clear that this position is not a theological contrivance born out of a felt need to accommodate neo-Darwinism with Christianity. It is a position that originates from pondering my own existence.
Begin with a simple question – Did God intend me to exist? I would maintain the Christian answer is ‘yes.’ For example, when Christians have children, we view the birth as a precious gift from God. That birth, like our birth, was not only intended, but part of God’s plan.
Or put it this way. There are three possibilities.
A. There is no God, therefore my existence was not intended.
B. There is a God, yet my existence was not intended.
C. There is a God and my existence was intended.
I adopt position C and I also think this is the mainstream Christian position.
So we need only take the next step and ask a second question.
How did I come into existence? How did we come into existence? We were born. And how did that happen? On one particular day/night, our parents chose to have sexual intercourse and it happened during a time when our mothers’ ovulated one of thousands of possible eggs that, in turn, was fertilized by one of our father’s millions of sperm. We were brought into existence because one particular sperm fertilized one particular egg and it cannot be otherwise. If any other sperm or any other egg was used, we would not exist as who we are. Our existence is dependent on that one sperm and that one egg, each of which underwent its own particular pattern of chromosome recombination during the process of making that one sperm and one egg.
I’m not sure how anyone can escape the fact that chance plays a prominent role in our individual origin, as it was the chance fusion of a particular sperm and particular egg that brought us into existence (for example, we all know there is a 50/50 chance a pregnant woman will have either a boy or girl and whether we are male or female is an intrinsic part of our created identity). The existence of our brothers and sisters testifies to the importance of that particular egg and sperm that brought us into existence.
Once we recognize the central role chance plays, in accord with the divine will of God, in the origin of each and every human being born, I don’t see why suddenly the role of chance, in accord with the divine will of God, is a problem when it comes to the origin of the first humans. Why is one origin issue endlessly debated while a more important origin issue is completely ignored?
To summarize, the “Because of Us” scenario I outlined is not about accommodating neo-Darwinian evolution with Christianity. It stems from contemplating my own existence and how I came into existence. That it also happens to undercut those who insist we must choose between Christianity and neo-Darwinian evolution is a splendid bonus.
In fact, if you take away the “Because of Us” perspective that I paint, just how would you account for your own existence?