Lynn Margulis says that history will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as "a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology."
Note: At the 1981 creationism trial [McLean vs. Arkansas] Federal Judge
William Overton ruled that Arkansas' "Balanced Treatment Act"
was unconsitutional. Ruse had testified that creation-science is not science
at all. Invoking the fact/faith dichotomy, Ruse claimed that Darwinism was
scientific because establishing its validity required no philosophical assumptions.
All other views, he claimed, required such assumptions and were therefore
unscientific. His testimony became the centrepiece of Judge Overton's ruling.
"I have long felt that there was a general impression in the non-scientific world, that the scientific world believes Science has discovered ways of explaining all the facts of Nature without adopting any definite belief in a Creator. I have never doubted that that impression was utterly groundless."
“People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
"Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle."
"All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. ... the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships."
"...evolution works without either plan or purpose."
Darwin called The Origin of Species “one long argument,” and it was a theology-laden argument against creation by design. Many people have the mistaken impression that Darwin’s theory was accepted because he provided so much scientific evidence for it (he didn’t). Instead, his theory was accepted because it fit the increasingly secular spirit of the times. ...
So Darwinian evolution is not so much a scientific theory as it is a secular creation myth. According to Mr. Wilson, “Darwinism, as is shown by the current state of debate, is resistant to argument because it is resistant to fact. The worship of Darwin as a man, the attribution to him of insights and discoveries which were either part of the common scientific store of knowledge or were the discoveries of others, this is all necessary to bolster the religion of Darwinism.”
"Mr. Wilson’s book is not flawless, but on this point he’s right."
“Almighty God, Who hast created man in Thine own image, and made him a living soul that he might seek after Thee, and have dominion over Thy creatures, teach us to study the works of Thy hands, that we may subdue the earth to our use, and strengthen the reason for Thy service; And so to receive Thy blessed Word that we may believe on Him whom Thou hast sent to give us the knowledge of salvation and the remission of our sins. All which we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“The highest point we can, I think, ever reach is a law of succession of forms, each implying a harmonious reference to an archetype, and each having indications of the action of a final cause—i.e. of intelligent causation, or creation. My belief is: 1st, that Darwin has deserted utterly the inductive track—the narrow but sure track of physical truth,—and taken the broad way of hypothesis, which has led him (spite of his great knowledge) into great delusion; and made him the advocate, instead of the historian—the teacher of error instead of the apostle of truth (361).”
"The Origin of Species" supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
"It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do. ...
...with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
“Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”