"My beef with religion is almost more of a scientific one. It’s more that this is an educational nonsense, that children should be brought up with what is, well, a falsehood or something that someone certainly has no reason to think that it’s true, when there’s so much that we do know that is true. And I think it’s a sin to deprive children of a proper education and that really is what religion is doing.
When you think that more than 40% of the American people [according to Gallop] believes that the world is only 6,000 years old. There is something badly wrong about an education system that does that. There is a paradox here, which is the United States is without the leading scientific nation in the world. I can’t help thinking how much more leading you’d be if you didn’t have that 40%…and there’s no doubt the corrupting influence of education that has produced the 40% is religion, that’s absolutely certain.”
…it’s my interest in education and in my passion for the beauty of the scientific view of the world. Not only is it beautiful itself but also: the fact that we are…we’ve evolved - by an understandable process - we’ve evolved to the point where we can understand that process itself, I mean, isn’t that a wonderful thought? That here we are with inside our heads: a brain, which has evolved by the process of evolution by natural selection and it’s evolved so far that it can actually understand that process and actually know where it comes from.
(quoting from 'The Selfish Gene'): Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. Life had existed on this planet for more than 3,000 million years before the truth finally dawned on one individual; his name was Charles Darwin. I do think that’s a wonderful thought.
…I do think it is a sin to deliberately deprive children of that wonder.”
Professor Richard Dawkins, in a conversation with Michael Shermer at CalTech, "The Skeptics Society Presents: Richard Dawkins: An Appetite for Wonder—The Making of a Scientist: In Conversation with Michael Shermer"; on another related note: religious fundamentalism/creationism is child abuse.