Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.
. . . Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.
Michael Ruse was professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada (recently moved to Florida), He was the leading anti-creationist philosopher whose (flawed) arguments seemed to convince the biased judge to rule against the Arkansas “balanced treatment” (of creation and evolution in schools) bill in 1981/2. At the trial, he and the other the anti-creationists loftily dismissed the claim that evolution was an anti-god religion.
Ruse, M., “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct?” National Post, pp. B1,B3,B7 May 13, 2000.