If there is a God, does this God choose life?
Not really. For example, God is the world’s greatest abortionist, and God evidently hates babies.
How many embryos and fetuses never make it to birth? How many babies die in natural childbirth? How many infants die before reaching age five? The statistics are not good. The most hazardous journey of life is the first few months. According to the calculations of Gregory Paul (see his published articles here), who used the best figures from embryology and neonatal doctors, as few as one-quarter of all conceptions avoid reabsorption or miscarriage, and of those fetuses that do make it to full-term, another large percentage die during natural childbirth. It’s obvious that embryos are not well-designed for making it to infancy.
The female body was not well-designed for childbirth, either, since the ratio of fetal skull size to female hip size doesn’t make for great odds for the mother. Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth. Natural evolution, not religion, explains the tough compromises forced on the human body, and why few embryos make it to infancy and so many mothers die in the process.
Although the odds of a fertilized egg making it to a live birth are less than 1 in 5, another hazardous journey through infancy lies ahead. Before modern medicine, around 20% of children in England and the United States died before the age of five, and that number was much higher in pre-industrial societies. For most of the existence of our human species, over the past one hundred thousand years or so, probably only around half of all born babies reached the age of five.
All these poor odds add up to the fact that for most of human existence there had to be 10 pregnancies or more to guarantee the life of a single five year old child. But that’s because humanity came into existence through natural evolution. And for those who think that God used natural evolution to create us, they need to wake up to the way that God could not be anything like the loving person who believers want to worship.
And worship and prayer does nothing to help these terrible odds against life. Only in modern industrialized countries using secular scientific medicine do we see infant mortality rates dramatically reduced. However, it remains generally true that countries with higher rates of religious faith have higher rates of infant mortality. Is that part of God’s plan too?