He writes, and I reply in red:
A moment’s reflection reveals multiple ways in which these two great products of the human spirit can be distinguished: religion asks about the why, science explains the how [Why what? It's not religion that asks, it's people. And religion has no answers that the non-believers can use for anything]; science researches matters of empirical fact, while religion is concerned with matters of ultimate values [don't need religion for that]; scientists use empirical techniques and theories to account for the physical and natural world, whereas religionists are concerned with the metaphysical and the supernatural [which they believe exists, but that's where it ends - such belief can be used for naught]; science studies how the heavens go, religion how to go to heaven.I implore you, Clayton or anyone else, please tell me what it is that religionists can bring to the table that people who aren't religious can benefit from in any way. In this article he says nothing in answer to this. It really is only huff and puff on his side.
One does not need to find all these formulations adequate (I, for one, do not) in order to doubt that science demands the death of religion or religion the death of science. Here’s the point: only when one affirms some sort of “live and let live” policy is it possible even to begin a serious discussion about evolutionary biology and (say) belief in God. [Or (say) belief in Xenu, or (say) in astrology, or (say) crystal healing, or (say) Allah, etc. etc. etc.]
When evolutionary and religious explanations are construed as fighting for the same territory, they will unleash their weapons upon each other—as today’s religion wars show. When we recognize and acknowledge their different strengths, a far more interesting discussion emerges. [All we are asking is that religionists get off our freakin' turf. You can go ahead and discuss what the two can do in symbiosis, and we'll be watching from the sidelines, during our lunch break, to see what progress you make. I trust it will be nothing tangible, as is always the case when religion is involved.]
This new debate is challenging because it requires both sides to give up certain hegemonic claims: scientists, the claim that science provides the answer to all metaphysical questions [No, that there is no metaphysics, or, equally good, that we cannot know anything about it]; and religionists, the claim that they know better than science how nature works. Yet a whole series of fascinating questions arises when hegemony is off the table: is there a directionality to evolution or is it, as Stephen Jay Gould thought, a “drunkard's walk”? [That's a question ssquarely within science, and one religionists can add nothing to.] Do the emergent worlds of culture, ideas, philosophy, art, and even religion make any irreducible contributions to explaining what it is to be human? [Is 'What it is to be human' a scientific question? If yes, then the answer is no. If no, then whatever.] How (if at all) could a divine influence on cosmic history be compatible with the scientific study of the cosmos? [Science can say nothing here. Religionists can say whatever they want, for it can never be refuted, nor will it make any difference whatsoever, unless people start banging each other on the head with it.] What kind of influence would it have it be? [sic] Will humans respond more appropriately to the global climate crisis when scientific data are combined with religious values and motivations for action? [Possibly, but only because they are already thoroughly entrenched in religion, and for no other reason.]
If you think that I don't think that "Christian theology" deserves a department devoted to it, and if you suspect that I think philosophizing about imaginary entities does not belong among academic endeavors at all, then you would have hit the nail on the head.