This comes from the new book Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? (Oxford University Press, 2011), a 77-page series of exchanges between philosopher Dan Dennett and philosopher/theologian Alvin Plantinga. It’s a short read, but there are some good bits, especially when Dennett asks Plantinga to justify why the supernatural being who created and drove the process of evolution couldn’t have been Superman instead of God. You can also see how Plantinga claims that the conflict is not between science and religion, but between science and naturalism (don’t get me started on that).
At any rate, here’s Dan’s take on accommodationism from page 50. Needless to say, I agree with him:
When [Steve] Gould, or more recently Michael Ruse, and Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education, insist that there really is no necessary conflict between evolutionary biology and religion (properly understood), they persuade few devout Christians and Muslims. Plantinga speaks for the unpersuaded who know full well there is a conflict. In fact, my disapproval of the NOMA gambit [Gould’s idea of “nonoverlapping magisteria”] grows out of the worry that these attempts by well-meaning scientific diplomats do more harm than good, unwittingly convincing many laypeople that scientists will lie through their teeth to get evolution taught in the schools. Much better, in my opinion, is to say yes, there is a conflict, and once again, science wins (contra Plantinga).
Ponder how many accommodationists say that there is no conflict when they believe otherwise in their hearts. After all, many of them (including the three named by Dan) are atheists. The NOMA/compatibility position is not something that many accommodationists believe fervently, but simply a political tactic. And religious people, though often deluded, are not stupid.