Your attempt at writing an essay on this subject failed because it is nothing new. Ian Barbour was credited for igniting the field of science and religion when he wrote his book “Issues in Science and Religion.” I’m assuming that since you are a professor that you are aware of the institutes that focus on this issue. THE INSTITUTE ON RELIGION IN AN AGE OF SCIENCEThe Faraday Institute for Science and ReligionGraduate Theological Union
In my humble opinion, the scientists who attempt to mix science with theology are ill-informed on theology. The theologians who attempt to mix theology with science are ill-informed on science. Religion and science are immiscible. Those who think it is compatible are ill-informed and of course, the main concern should be the demarcation problem
."It is completely unrealistic to claim, as Gould and many others do, that religion keeps itself away from science's turf, restricting itself to morals and values. A universe with a supernatural presence would be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one without. The difference is, inescapably, a scientific difference. Religions make existence claims, and this means scientific claims."
As far as a peaceful coexistence is concerned, we do have a peaceful coexistence, at least in the United States. Atheists do not start violent conflicts or wars in the name of atheism. It is simply a lack of belief. People have the right to believe what they want, no matter how naïve. Atheists permit and defend this right. It is religious people who are less tolerant of other religions that disagree with their own.
If you are referring to living in harmony, free from disputes, or controversy, it is simply impossible. I think the bigger issue here is respect, which religion demands. Atheists respect a person’s right to believe. However, we do not respect the belief itself. All religions want to be viewed as different, esteemed, and held in high or special regard. You can disagree with something and still tolerate it but you cannot respect it. Tolerance is required, and not unreasonable, but to respect the belief is asking too much. They want us to view their beliefs in a positive light and they want privileges that they are not entitled to.
If someone makes a claim, and wishes others to believe it and respect it, then they deserve a response, critical or not. Atheists should accept a person’s right to believe but should not be required to accept the belief itself. Tolerance does not mean that they will not be subjected to ridicule. If ridicule is warranted then so be it.“I am pleased, but not surprised, that the new survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that atheists know just as much -- if not quite a bit more – about religion than do religious people in general. The simple truth is this; the more someone knows about religion, the more likely they will reject it as mythology.”US Religious Knowledge Survey If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.” ~Author Unknown
Thank you for very informative reply, and for links. No I was not aware of these institutes. My specialty is science; in the field of theology I am an amateur.
Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)