First, a short preface note. For those of you that might not know, I was trained, and worked as, a biologist for almost 20 years (if you count graduate school.) I know evolutionary theory, and I know science.
So, will science and religion find common ground, or at least agree to divide the fundamentals into mutually exclusive domains? A great many well-meaning scholars believe that such rapprochement is both possible and desirable. A few disagree, and I am one of them. I think Darwin would have held to the same position. The battle line is, as it has ever been, in biology. The inexorable growth of this science continues to widen, not to close, the tectonic gap between science and faith-based religion.
This "tectonic gap" between science and faith-based religion is in his imagination, and, unfortunately, in the imagination of many scientists, and religious leaders. It is unfortunate that most people in the United States don't "believe" in the theory of evolution, and think, for some reason, that one can't "believe" in the theory of evolution and be a Christian, or believe in God at the same time. Nothing could be further than the truth.
He states, and I completely agree, that evolution is a fact. It's as real as the theory of gravity. Just because people don't believe it, doesn't make it not so. I could believe I could defy the theory of gravity all I wanted, but I would still die if I fell off a 20 story building.
Western Science is based on things that observe the laws of nature, things that are observable and repeatable. Futher, the results of scientific inquiry are dependent on the social location, world view, and assumptions of those doing the science. But there is no question that the current life present on this planet was a result of a very long, and very interesting process, taking millions of years.
He, and many scientists like him (for example, Richard Dawkins) think that science can tell you more than it really can. He says:
... all biological processes arose through evolution of these physicochemical systems through natural selection. The first principle is concerned with the how of biology. The second is concerned with the ways the systems adapted to the environment over periods of time long enough for evolution to occur — in other words the why of biology.
No, that is not the why of biology, that's just more how. The why of biology, why is it that this process started in the first place, cannot be answered by science, as much as he'd like to think it can.
Fully half of this brou-ha-ha about evolution and intelligent design I blame on scientists like him. The theory of evolution does not suggest that there is no God. It has nothing to say on the matter, no matter how much they would like it to. And the other half of the brou-ha-ha goes to people who want to put God in a box, and decide how exactly it was she went about putting this whole universe together. And, further, to impose that belief system on everyone else, in the guise of being science.
Neither camp is talking about science, and I wipe my hands of both of them. Athiests are completely free to believe what ever they'd like, and I am not one to impose my faith on them or anyone else, thus my adamant stance that intelligent design should not be taught in science classrooms. But athiests do have to, at some point, agree that theirs is as much a faith statement as mine is. There is no scientific evidence either way, and there likely will never be, given the nature of science.
God is huge, mysterious, ineffable, and extraordinarily interesting. Whenever we think we know what or who God is, we are wrong, because we, as humans, can't know, we can only see small parts of what God is. Christians would never think of denegrating the wonder of God's creation. Well, I have news for you: evolution is part of it. Get used to it.