Daniel Loxton does the yeoman work of unearthing much of the history of Skepticism’s Oldest Debate: A Prehistory of “DBAD” (1838-2010). It’s too good throughout to even try pulling out a summarizing quote, so seriously, read the whole thing, and see how skeptics have been telling one another not to be so dickish since around the time Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle was published.
That year, 1838, David Meredith Reese published his Humbugs of New-York: being a remonstrance against popular delusion, whether in science, philosophy, or religion, and wrote:
Unhappily, however, those who have buckled on the armour against the follies of the times, have been often unwise and indiscreet in the character and spirit of their measures. Disgusted by the stupidity of the victims of delusion, and provoked by their obstinate adhesion to error, they have assailed them personally, instead of attacking the false philosophy and pseudo-philanthropy by which they have been imposed upon; and thus they have made a show of intolerance which has been fatal to their success.
There’s truly nothing new under the sun. Read the whole thing.