The New York Times recently profiled Alvin Plantinga, one of the great Christian philosophers of the last half century. It was a very good article, and this passage sums Plantinga's point of view very nicely:
Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’ ”
Mr. Plantinga readily admits that he has no proof that God exists. But he also thinks that doesn’t matter. Belief in God, he argues, is what philosophers call a basic belief: It is no more in need of proof than the belief that the past exists, or that other people have minds, or that one plus one equals two.
“You really can’t sensibly claim theistic belief is irrational without showing it isn’t true,” Mr. Plantinga said. And that, he argues, is simply beyond what science can do.
While I've made my position that belief in God is both rational and worthwhile on a number of occasions, and thus agree in substance with the argument Plantinga is making, I always get just a bit nervous at the kinds of philosophical line drawing that gets done on these issues. So, for Plantinga religion "is more hospitable" to science than atheism is" and deserves to be labeled as "the scientific worldview."
But this is just stating a different starting point for the discussion than the atheists prefer. Better to say: Science qua science doesn't give you enough information of the right kind to infer either the existence or non-existence of God because, as Plantinga rightly notes, that's "beyond what science can do." Why get into the game of oneupsmanship over who "owns" science.
That said, what Plantinga has done for philosophy of religion has been of immense value. While I'm not with him all the way through his arguments, and I can't quite get behind what he seems to mean by belief in God as "properly basic," I do agree with him that it is possible to sustain a rational belief in the existence of the God of theism, and more particularly the God of Christian faith, despite the claims made by the militants of the neo-atheist camp. But I don't believe that belief in God is in any regard uniquely religious. And on the basis of reason alone, one wouldn't be able to reach a conclusion either way.