Chuckling behind their hands....
I found this very revealing quotation in David Samuel’s book “Without Excuse.” It was from a Letter of J.D. Hooker to Charles Darwin following Hooker’s address at a meeting of the British Association in 1866. In that address he had declared that he saw evidence for design in variation itself:
“By a wise ordinance it is ruled, that amongst living beings like shall never produce its exact like…. A wise ordinance it is, that ensures the succession of being, not by multiplying absolutely identical forms, but by varying these.”
He soon afterwards wrote to Darwin to assure him he was only talking like this to make the religious freaks feel comfortable with evolution!
He writes to Darwin:
The only thing I do not like…. Was the passage about a wise Providence ordering &c, &c or something of that sort (I forget the words, it matters little). It is bosh and unscientific, but I could not resist the opportunity of turning the tables of Providence over those who will have a Providence in the affair, that yours is the God one and theirs the Devil’s.
(Life and Letters of J.D. Hooker Vol 2 p106)
The clergy who suck up to Darwinists and say that there is no conflict at all between theism and atheism are rather like those who clapped Hooker’s address while he was chuckling behind his hand to his friend Charles.