In the dust storm kicked up by proponents of “Intelligent Design” over what should be taught in the public schools, the science of evolutionary biology—the Darwinian model of evolution—is dubbed as materialistic, reductionistic, and atheistic. The Intelligent Design advocates suggest that to be a Christian one must take a stand against Darwinism. According to them, to pursue scientific research under the principles of random variation and natural selection is un-Christian. So-called “theistic evolutionists” (a phrase actually coined by the creationists as a term of derision) are accused of selling out to the enemy.
In turn the scientific establishment tries to assert that to be religious is like having a disease that quarantines a person against participation in science. To accuse someone of holding a religious view about evolution helps to defend the hegemony of the Darwinian model in the public schools. Why? Because science is not subject to First Amendment proscriptions, while religion is. So, if you label your opponents “religious,” you get the courts on your side.
The implication is that those who continue to believe in religious things are simply not smart enough to advance. When they become smart, they’ll drop their religion and join the scientific community.