For a greater context and understanding of the current discussion please be sure to read Alvin Plantinga’s most recent book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism. It was published in December of 2009 but I qualified for an early release, I don’t know how, and received my copy November 1st of that year. I finished reading it within a week.
Within the last week or so there has been a lot of discussion between Plantinga, Jay Richards, and William Lane Craig. I recently did a post sharing Plantinga’s response to Jay Richards. The heart of the conflict is defining the terms, primarily ‘Darwinism.’ I don’t really disagree with what everyone is saying on their own terms but I would agree with Jay, that Plantinga and Craig are not using Darwinism in the correct sense. Plantinga uses the randomness in Darwinism, in a theistic context, to me compatible with guidance.
Jay also sent a Question of the Week to Craig concerning the same thing. Be sure to read Jay’s full question but here’s Craig’s response:
Thanks for these trenchant comments, Jay! Lest distressed readers miss the forest for the trees, we agree on the central point: that insofar as a person claims that the evidence of evolutionary biology has shown that the evolutionary process, based as it is on genetic mutations and natural selection, is undirected, purposeless, or non-teleological, he is making a claim that hopelessly outstrips the scientific evidence and so is unjustified. The remaining question is: is this vaunted claim, as I suspect, really philosophical, though masquerading as science, or is it, as you believe, in fact part and parcel of the scientific theory itself? If I am right, we should chastise biologists who transgress the bounds of science in making such a philosophical claim; whereas if you are right, we should reject the scientific theory which makes such a claim. In either case, the claim itself is rejected as unjustified; but are we rejecting a philosophical claim or a scientific claim?
To get a real good sense of what Plantinga’s arguing without reading the book here’s a video of a presentation Plantinga delivered at Biola University.