"When militant Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins claims, "The theory is about as much in doubt as the earth goes round the sun" [The Selfish Gene, 1], he does not state a fact but merely aims to discredit a priori anyone who dares to express reservations about evolution. Indeed, Dawkins has written, "It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane" [Review of Blueprints, 34].
Eric Hoffer would have treasured these statements had they been available when he wrote The True Believer (1951). Worse yet, Dawkins knows the many serious problems that beset a purely materialistic evolutionary theory, but asserts that no one except true believers in evolution can be allowed into the discussion, which must be held in secret. Thus he chastises Niles Eldredge and Stephen J. Gould, two distinguished fellow Darwinians, for giving "spurious aid and comfort to modern creationists" [The Blind Watchmaker, 241, 251]. Dawkins believes that, regardless of his or her good intentions, "if a reputable scholar breathes so much as a hint of criticism of some detail of Darwinian theory, that fact is seized upon and blown up out of proportion." Dawkins views have been widely shared.
Consequently, while acknowledging that "the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record" is a major embarrassment for Darwinianism, Gould confided that this has been held as a "trade secret of paleontology," and acknowledged that the evolutionary diagrams "that adorn our textbooks" are bases on "inference, ...not the evidence of fossils" [The Panda's Thumb, 181]. Indeed, according to Steven Stanley, another distinguished evolutionist, doubts raised by this problem with the fossil record were "surpressed" for years [The New Evolutionary Timetable, 104]. Stanely noted that this, too, was a tactic begun by Huxley, who was always careful not to reveal his own serious misgiving in public. As Eldridge summed up, "We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the principle of gradual transformation of species], all the while really knowing that it does not [Time Frames, 145]. This is not how science is conducted; it is how ideological crusades are run." Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts, and the End of Slavery (pgs. 177, 178)