Both theists and evolutionary theorists have much at stake in these questions.
Interestingly, though, in this inquiry they're not necessarily opponents. What emerges from the ashes, then, after the New Atheists and the intelligent design theorists have employed their weapons of mass destruction? The deeper questions still call for attention. We still ask what it means to be human, who we are, and how we should act in the world. What stories will we tell about ourselves and the universe? Which of those stories are true and which are false? How should we tell them differently in light of the best empirical data and theories?
This new discussion does not entail a different kind of science, though it does call for science without ideology. It does, however, call for a broader view of religion. John Haught puts it brilliantly in his forthcoming book, Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life: "If we measure the movement of life in terms of a narrow human preoccupation with design, evolution seems blind and aimless." Haught offers a vision of what this religion might look like in his own (Christian) context:
A properly biblical theology of nature will view divine wisdom, providence and compassion less as a guarantee of the world's safety -- as the idea of design encourages -- than as an unbounded self-emptying graciousness that grants the world an open space and generous amount of time to become more, and in doing so ample opportunity to participate in its own creative self-transformation.
Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology, is primarily known for his work in constructive theology and the religion-science debate. He is the author or editor of 18 books and over 100 articles, most recently The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, Adventures in the Spirit, In Quest of Freedom, and Transforming Christian Theology. His blog is Clayton's Emergings.