"As a legal strategy intelligent design is dead. It will be very difficult for any school district in the future to successfully survive a legal challenge . . . That doesn't mean intelligent design is dead as a very popular social movement. This is an idea that has got legs."
But pastors are speaking out against it. Warren Eschbach, a retired Church of the Brethren pastor and professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania helped sponsor a letter signed by more than 10,000 other clergy.
"We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests," they wrote.
Catholic experts have also joined the movement.
"The intelligent design movement belittles God. It makes God a designer, an engineer," said Vatican Observatory Director George Coyne, an astrophysicist who is also ordained. "The God of religious faith is a god of love. He did not design me."
Opposition to evolution is not a case of religion v. science. It is a case of religious extremists v. science.