The diversity of views concerning the relation of science and religion today can be grouped under four basic headings. The first heading is Conflict and includes proponents of a philosophy of materialism, on the one hand, and advocates of biblical literalism or creationism, on the other. The second view I call Independence because it avoids conflict by assigning science and religion to completely separate domains that do not interact with each other. The third is Dialogue in which scientific concepts provide analogues or parallels with traditional theological concepts. The fourth view, Integration, seeks a closer connection between science and religion, usually by the reformulation of classical religious doctrines. I will give examples of each of these approaches in recent writings about evolution by biologists and Christian theologians in the English-speaking world. .
I. CONFLICT .
One version of the Conflict thesis is presented by evolutionary materialists such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. A very different kind of conflict is articulated by theistic critics of neo-Darwinism such as Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe. But the two versions agree that there is a conflict; they both assert that one cannot with intellectual integrity be both a theist and a neo-Darwinist. .
1. Evolutionary Materialism .
The Blind Watchmaker, by the biologist Richard Dawkins, carries the subtitle Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design. Much of the book is a clear and forceful presentation of current evolutionary theory and a defense of orthodox neo-Darwinism against its religious critics. For example, some critics have said that the various parts of the eye (retina, diaphragm, lens, etc.) could not be products of separate chance mutations because one part would be useless without all the other coordinated parts. But Dawkins shows that the eye could have arisen from many small improvements.