"Darwin showed that material causes are a sufficient explanation not only for physical phenomena, as Descartes and Newton had shown, but also for biological phenomena with all their seeming evidence of design and purpose. By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous. Together with Marx's materialistic theory of history and society and Freud's attribution of human behavior to influences over which we have little control, Darwin's theory of evolution was a crucial plank in the platform of mechanism and materialism --- of much of science, in short --- that has since been the stage of most Western thought."

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."

Michael Ruse, professor of zoology and philosophy, University of Guelph; transcript of the speech given at the 1993 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] February 13/93 at which he assures his audience, "I'm no less an evolutionist now that I ever was." Ruse nevertheless explained that he had given fresh consideration to Phillip Johnson's thesis that Ruse himself, as "an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level just as much as ...some creationist...And to a certain extent, I must confess, in the ten years since I performed, or I appeared, in the creationism trial in Arkansas, I must say that I've been coming to this kind of position myself.....I mean I realize that when one is dealing with people, say, at the school level, or these sorts of things, certain sorts of arguments are appropriate. But those of us who are academics, or for other reasons pulling back and trying to think about these things, I think that we should recognize, both historically and perhaps philosophically, certainly that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which---it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law---but I think that in honesty that we should recognize, and that we should be thinking about some of these sorts of things."

"...And certainly, there's no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion ... And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things come what may."

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. Related article

"The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living beings created themselves, which is, in essence, a metaphysical claim.... Thus, in the final analysis, evolutionism is in truth a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb."

"Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century. Like the Genesis based cosmology which it replaced, and like the creation myths of ancient man, it satisfies the same deep psychological need for an all embracing explanation for the origin of the world which has-motivated all the cosmogenic myth makers of the past, from the shamans of primitive peoples to the ideologues of the medieval church. The truth is that despite the prestige of evolutionary theory and the tremendous intellectual effort directed towards reducing living systems to the confines of Darwinian thought, nature refuses to be imprisoned. In the final analysis we still know very little about how new forms of life arise. The "mystery of mysteries" - the origin of new beings on earth - is still largely as enigmatic as when Darwin set sail on the Beagle."

"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

"Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle."

Marx, Karl
Letters: Marx-Engels Correspondence, vol. 2, p. 126

"...evolution works without either plan or purpose."

"Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind."