The creationist point that always struck me as the most important was the incompatibility of evolutionary origin of man and other species with the dogma that God did not create death. There has to be a causal connection between the sin of Adam and the introduction of death into the universe, as St Paul stated. Attempts to integrate evolutionism and Orthodox dogma, such as Bp Alexander Mileant's, inevitably resort to drawing a distinction between death in humans and death in other animals. The idea is that death may have occurred among our non-human ancestors, but this kind of death does not "count"; only the death following upon the first sin of the first human couple counts. However, this idea seems to be contradicted by the dogma that the universe was cursed for Adam's sake (Genesis, St Paul), which implies that death and corruption, wherever and whenever it is found in the world, is entirely a consequence of the sin of our first (human) parents.
I had a speculative thought concerning this. What if a causal connection does not entail a certain temporal sequence? What if we can say that Adam's sin caused all the death that may have preceded him in time, as well as the death that followed him? I don't know whether this idea is theologically tenable, but since I haven't seen it argued for or against anywhere, I thought I might as well just put it out there and see what others think.
My Priest and I have been discussing these matters at length. Not because they are a stumbling block or anything, but because of some of my background and some of the stuff he has read on the matter.
IMHO, the "East" just doesn't have a decent history of fundamentally examining ontology and thus falls into as many problems as the "West". Fortunately, the West produced 20th Century Continental thought which critically took back up the radical notions implied by ontology of the ancient world. And it is these thinkers that more and more academic EO theologians are looking to for help with such questions.
The question must be asked if "death" preceded man ontically (to put in your words "chronologically" or "temporally"), what do we mean by death ontologically and are beings other than humans able to die?
I do reject the notion that in His foreknowledge that God "built" into creation death knowing of Adam's sin. Then again, I am not sure any creature other than man is capable of dying. And the Church Fathers are not in agreement that man was created to be immortal as such either. Which leads to the question is man capable of being mortal but not capable of death? Personally, I do not like this "existentializing" of the Fall. That in the lost of the innocence man fell into a knowledge of Good and Evil and thus knew shame, anger, fear, anxiety, etc. toward the world including his mortality which would then be death. Following this line of thinking man being mortal yet not able to die even if the Fall had not happened then Christ still would have come to bring humanity into its full expression.
Again, I find that line of thought problematic.
We must also keep in mind that creation was "good" but not all of creation was the Garden of Eden. Adam's and Eve's vocation was to spread that garden and to procreate. And we must remember that there ain't nothing much said in Genesis between Adam's and Eve's creation and their fall. They didn't even have a single offspring within the Garden.
But I do think that for those who wish to pursue such issue academically, then one will have to deal with the ontological nature of death and to do that one is going to have to come to grips with Continental thought.
These are the real questions. The arguing over the truth of "evolution" is just silly.
Thankfully none of this matters as such.
Again, I go back to the Sermon on the Mount and the Parable of the Last Judgement.
While I believe I can give a more coherent and sophisticated exegesis of the myth of the Fall than your average EO or any Christian, I fail worse on nearly every other account that truly matters when we are called to be Christians.
But knowing that mortality preceded man, we are stuck with some difficult questions. Thankfully (or unfortunately for some of us) the answers we come up ain't what will be judge by in the fullness of the love of God.