In 1880 Charles Darwin wrote:
Though I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follows from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science.
Unfortunately advocates of fettered thought have not returned the favor, and insist upon slaying, wherever it rears its head, the serpent of knowledge. It is poorly understood that the snake in the Garden of Eden was the good guy.