I think Dawkins’ work in The God Delusion and that of other scientists is useful in helping to clarify a lot of the historical and hysterical claims made by many mystics and religionists about the true history of the Earth.
I also think we need to move forward beyond the US vs THEM approach to this discussion.
My way of combining what I learnt as a child about the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious theory set out in the Genesis version and what I learnt as a grown-up about the current body of physical evidence in the Big Bang (or Bangs) scientific theories is this:
– Did the universe begin: YES or NO?
– But what happened before the beginning?
– Before the Genesis “beginning” there was an awesome bang.
– This bang may even have been the latest in a cycle–an endless series of bangs going backwards and forwards in endless time.
– This bang (or these bangs) encompass all of nature’s laws of physics.
– From this evolved the Grand Operating Design of the whole universe that we know of.
– We can call this grand operating design G.O.D.
– Both religion and science are different ways that human beings have devised to try to explain and to understand the G.O.D.