Maybe, but it’s fair to note that it has been a way out of serious religious commitment for many people. WK offers one example:
Biologist Stephen Matheson is a longtime critic of the theory of intelligent design. His extensive attacks on Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell, for one, ranged from the substantive to the trivial and personal. The tone was frequently…abrasive, and we responded at the time. With Arthur Hunt, Dr. Matheson has debated Dr. Meyer in a forum at Biola University. Formerly a professor at an Evangelical Christian school, Calvin College, Matheson is still listed as a Blog Author at the theistic evolutionary website BioLogos, where it notes that he enjoys “explor[ing] issues of science and Christian faith.”
Well, his theistic evolutionary explorations have now terminated. As he reports on his personal blog page, where he took a hiatus of more than five years along with a break from his teaching, he is “happily” no longer a Christian.Wintery Knight, “Can A Person Believe in Both God and Darwinian Evolution?” at Wintery Knight
WK goes on to talk about Howard Van Till, also a Darwin defender, once at Calvin College and now an adherent of Freethought (?).
One of the outcomes of the huge backlist of stories here at UD (over 24,000) is that interesting stuff turns up in searches. We ran a search on Matheson and this stuff came up from 2011 about why he is no longer at Calvin College: “Calvin College leaders sent a letter to students, parents, faculty and staff Friday saying a professor resigned after a student claimed she had a ‘multi-year sexual relationship’ with him, a college spokesman confirmed.”
Note: The original link out from UD to Fox News at that time is dead. But a search on expected terms turned up the page linked at this post from mlive in Grand Rapids.
Again, a link from UD to a remarkable statement by Matheson at his blog a decade ago went dead. But we found it at ScienceBlogs, courtesy tfk on April 12, 2012: “Your Discovery Institute is a horrific mistake, an epic intellectual tragedy that is degrading the minds of those who consume its products and bringing dishonor to you and to the church. It is for good reason that Casey Luskin is held in such extreme contempt by your movement’s critics, and there’s something truly sick about the pattern of attacks that your operatives launched in the weeks after the Biola event. It’s clear that you have a cadre of attack dogs that do this work for you, and some of them seem unconstrained by standards of integrity. I can’t state this strongly enough: the Discovery Institute is a dangerous cancer on the Christian intellect, both because of its unyielding commitment to dishonesty and because of its creepy mission to undermine science itself. I’d like to see you do better, but I have no such hope for your institute. It needs to be destroyed, and I will do what I can to bring that about.”
Matheson now blogs at (but, of course) Peaceful Science where he describes himself as a “secular humanist” (August 3, 2020).
All of which raises a question: Do people embrace Darwinism and then lose their faith? Or is it more like this: Darwinism is a convenient and socially acceptable explanation for loss of faith, which may also have other roots?