Richard Dawkins, posing here for the Atheist Bus Campaign, is one of many aggressive evolution activists using promotion methods that can be viewed as fundamentalist.
Science Or Stonewalling?
One of the most striking aspects of the evolution-creation debate for me, when I look at the way evolution is promoted, is the aggressiveness of its proponents. It seems almost impossible to be able to have a civilized discussion with most evolutionists, unless you are willing to fully embrace their ideas. As soon as they smell you are a creationist of some sort of another, they suddenly put up a superior, academic cloak, take the scientific method hostage and make it clear you have no business in using it, or, worse, they go almost into a rage and start throwing your way a wide assortment of negative compliments that often cross well into bullying territory. It almost seems like you have trespassed on holy ground, and they feel called to exterminate you. I have personally experienced this, and I know of other Christians who did, when they expressed their belief in a special creation by God in evolutionary circles.
This is such a prevalent practice, that even some evolutionists admit it. See, for example, Suzan Mazur's statement that "evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory".
Many evolutionists display an unusual amount of anxiety when their theories are questioned, and this is unprecedented in the realm of modern science. Question the theory of relativity, and most people would not care, except for a few who may try to help you understand it. I may be biased by my medical background, but this anxiety is very suspicious, and in my opinion is an expression of vulnerability, caused by a (sub)conscious awareness that evolution is based much more on speculation than real, demonstrable facts. It is just plain suspicious for a scientific discipline to depend so much on eliminating alternate views.
Zeal For Keeping God Out Of The Picture
The other remarkable thing about promoters of evolution is the almost fundamentalist zeal they exhibit in their efforts to keep God out of the picture. This is usually seen in the context of religious or ideological movements, but not in science. Sure, we all know a few people fascinated by a branch of science or another, but usually these people are gracious, and they are not devoting important chunks of their day trying to convert others to become like them. Obviously, not all evolutionists act like this, but what I see is a much larger number of dogmatic, fundamentalist activists in the field of evolution than in any other segment of science. If you think I am exaggerating, read what Peter Higgs, the celebrated scientist who discovered the so-called "God particle", and who is not a creationist, had to say about Richard Dawkins' fundamentalism.
I remember a lecture during the early years of medical school in Romania. Our histology professor was talking about living cell membranes, and their incredible complexity, and how, far from being inert bi-lipid layers, they are in constant motion, and even individual lipid units do all kinds of movements, from rotations to occasional flip-flops. And then there are the sugar molecules on the surface, and protein receptors, and so on. So, when he was done explaining all these wonderful functions of the plasma membrane, he said it is very easy, when looking at something as complex and beautiful and functional, to infer that it was put together by an intelligent being. But, he added quickly, WE (he meant by that scientists) cannot accept such a premise. We HAVE to start from the assumption that this, as well as all living structures, are the result of evolutionary processes, no matter how implausible that may seem. I remember asking him why he thinks we have to avoid the idea of a Creator, and his answer was: "We just can't accept such a premise".
Up to that moment, I thought scientists were open-minded people, who were willing to go where the evidence took them. And I do think there are many scientists that are like that. But when it comes to evolution, I find it suspicious that a lot of it's most fervent proponents make eliminating the possibility of an active Creator, or Designer, the foundation of their knowledge seeking efforts. Most of them would not admit this openly, but their actions say it equally loud.
I have included below a YouTube video of the cell membrane below for your viewing pleasure.
I am aware, of course, that the stakes, being very high, can fan the flames of passion in the debate on origins. What I don't get is why somebody who is willing to embrace the notion that evolution brought us where we are today, over billions of years, is not patient enough to wait a few more billions until everybody gets it. Why the rush to make as many "converts" as possible? After all, evolution takes its time :-). Or am I missing something?