Originally posted by @vivify
"Would you as a geologist, engage in a debate with a believer in flat earth?" I think he makes some good points.
I have read some of Dawkins' work (e.g. Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype) that substantially moved the field of evolutionary biology forward at that time. And his contention that "if you engage in a scientific debate over creationism then you inadvertently legitimize a pseudoscience that does not deserve equal treatment" is valid.
However, I followed him on twitter for awhile too and he's clearly become an extremist and a provocateur in his own right. For example, instead of saying that creationism shouldn't be taught in science class because it's pseudoscience (like a normal person would), he asserts that religion is a form of child abuse. As an extremist, he can't argue with creationists because he can't find any common ground. He isn't even looking for common ground.
In reality, it seems to me that common ground does exist. Most "creationists" are not the young earth kind, but they can still feel threatened by scientific ideas. The perceived threat of science on religious faith is a real problem that should be addressed. That's why Gould correctly argued that science and religion should be separate and non-overlapping entities. Science should not care whether God exists or not. As Gould describes it, "Religion is too important to too many people for any dismissal or denigration of the comfort still sought by many folks from theology." A soul, for example, is not scientific at all but it is a useful concept.
The official position of the Catholic Church asserts that faith does not conflict with the scientific consensus on evolution. Many creationists can engage in evolutionary debates beginning with the premise that Genesis is a purposefully-vague metaphor. Science is filling in the details with evidence-based experimentation. The search for details as to how it all works is thrilling. From this standpoint, the pious student no longer feels closed-off and threatened in biology class, and it is no longer necessary for christian advocacy groups to insist that creationism is taught as science. Creationism clearly belongs in Sunday school, but Dawkins chooses to stoke the flames of conflict between science and religion instead of recognizing the relevance of faith-based concepts outside the realm of science.