Over at Rationally Speaking there is a healthy debate between Massimo Pigliucci and Ken Miller.
Orignial post here titled "Why I disagree with Ken Miller"
Rebuttal from Miller here titled "Ken Miller responds to Massimo."
They're too professional and polite. I want some profanity thrown around! Come on, one of you needs to drop an F bomb! haha, j/k.
I found Miller's explanation of why evolution requires suffering very interesting:
What you suggest is that a gracious God would have design a world in which there was no death, no pain, no suffering, no “waste,” and no extinction. Fair enough. But in that world, there would also be no room for a new species (since nothing would die to make room for it), no reason for evolutionary novelty (none of the competition that leads to natural selection), and no beauty (why produce beautiful flowers, plumage, or natural ornaments if survival is assured for every individual?). Furthermore, in the world you envision as ideal, there is no place for human courage, since there is nothing to fear, no place for virtue, since good is universal, and no reason to invent, discover, and create. Why bother to heal when there is no sickness, why help the poor and sick and disabled when they do not exist, and why face difficulties with courage when there are no such difficulties?
From a purely philosophical point of view, if I were working from the premise that there IS a God then I tend to agree with what he is saying as long as God is not very personal. It would have to be an impersonal God and not gentle Jesus meek and mild.
Looks like I will have to read more on the anthropic principle to better understand Massimo's response.