I just got done going through some student homework responses on the argument from design. I posed the following: "True or False: Evolution is inconsistent with the existence of an intelligent designer of the universe." Mainly, I did this as a way of seeing what people know about evolution and where they are coming from.
Of note is that a considerable number of students conflate evolution with the theory of spontaneous generation (and so, as it were, run together cosmological and teleological issues). Keep that in mind (if you didn't already) the next time you discuss this.
I don't have any particular axe to grind on these issues, except that I am, as its called, an accomodationist. That is, it seems silly to me to think that evolution necessarily (logically) crowds out any sort of divine hand. Whether there is a divine hand (or whatever) is a different issue. I personally think it's silly to pit one's religions against science, and to be a strict literalist about creation. So here's a new sort of response I've hit upon, to challenge those caught up in literalism to re-think what they're doing: I ask, "In saying that evolution and intelligent design are incompatible, are you saying that there's something God can't do, namely, create things through a process of evolution?" I think this is a useful Socratic move because it uses their assumption that God can do anything to reconsider their resistance. Whether it works, we'll have to wait and see.
No doubt, Dawkins wouldn't like this kind of thing, since he would say that there's no need to posit the divine hand if random mutations can fully explain the origin of various species (etc.). But again, that's a separate issue. I just want them to think about the logical compatibility issue. Thoughts about the strategy above?
Certainly, one could say: but that isn't how God did it; haven't you read your Genesis? (And of course, there's not enough time to talk about that theological issue in the philosophy classroom, in all its various permutations. I do point out that, whatever the motivation for literalism, there were plenty of saints who weren't literalists, like Augustine.)