[My] inquiry led not to a prior history of free thought ... but to the orthodox culture of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in France. It was, above all, within the deeply Christian learned culture of those years that there occurred inquiries and debates that generated the components of atheistic thought. It was, to say the least, not what I had expected; it indeed was what I found. … Before one can understand the heterodoxy of early-modern atheism, one first must understand the orthodox sources of disbelief.
Likewise the eighteenth century Scottish philosopher David Hume buttressed his religious skepticism and nascent evolutionary ideas by relentlessly pounding home his religious themes. The complexity of the world was a tremendous problem for Hume, but it was trumped by the world's evil. "Here I triumph," proclaimed his character Philo.
Not surprisingly evolution and atheism today continue to entail such claims. Atheists argue that the world is not as we would expect if God had created it. Therefore the world must have evolved and God is superfluous. Notice that this makes evolution a fact, not merely a theory. Sound familiar?
And notice that this is a religious argument. It depends on assumptions about what God would and would not create. It doesn't matter whether the science supports evolution (it doesn't), one way or another evolution must be true. Here is an example from PZ Myers, writing in the LA Times about how he analyzes religion:
We go right to the central issue of whether there is a god or not. We're pretty certain that if there were an all-powerful being pulling the strings and shaping history for the benefit of human beings, the universe would look rather different than it does.
That is a religious argument. Myers, who comes from a Lutheran background, draws a conclusion that depends on what he believes about God. God wouldn't create patterns in the fossil species. God wouldn't create similarities between species. It makes no difference that evolution does not explain how life, in all its incredible forms, actually arose. It does not matter that evolution is consistently wrong--it must be right. Our religion depends on it.
Evolutionists such as Myers have been duped by religion. They use it and they depend on it, but they imagine they are free of it. Those who are most in debt to their religious commitments are also the most deceived.