… “religious issues will arise” if negative evaluations of Darwin’s theory of evolution are presented.
If so, that would make clear that the theory itself is a religious one. A fact that has never been seriously doubted by its more knowledgeable proponents, whatever its flacks and shills may say.
For example, as the friend reminds me,
In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science, and atheist) wrote:
“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. 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.”– Ruse, M., “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics”, National Post,pp. B1, B3, B7 (May 13, 2000)
Ruse is actually the best known Darwinian philosopher, and much appreciated for his honest and cynical admission of the facts in these matters.
Also, from Ruse’s The Evolution Wars:
Evolution after Darwin had set itself up to be something more than science. It was a popular science, the science of the marketplace and the museum, and it was a religion—whether this be purely secular or blended in with a form of liberal Christianity . . . When believers in other religions turned around and scratched, you may regret the action but you can understand it—and your sympathy for the victim is attenuated. —Michael Ruse, The Evolution Wars: A Guide to the Debates (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000), p. 114.
So, in response to my friend’s question why a pro-Darwinism group can hold an event at a publicly funded institution but his group can’t, the answer is:
Because Darwin is the college Jesus and to worship skeptically is not to worship at all.
It is hard to imagine an administrator at a publicly funded institution today even doubting that it is her duty to suppress insults to her institution’s Jesus.
She may, of course, holler for some other Jesus at a tabernacle somewhere on weekends, but that has zero to do with her job, one minor function of which is to suppress questions about the One Who Really Matters, for whom taxes are paid. About that, there is no reason whatever for the system to be fair or reasonable, or entertain any doubts.
Darwin isn’t even a fair or reasonable or particularly moral Jesus, as recent events abundantly demonstrate. 😉