The IDists are promoting a staged event at Biola—they are purporting to put their proponents “under fire”…at Biola. Right. This is the same kind of thing creationists always do, promoting their crap in venues that will guarantee a largely friendly, and largely ignorant, audience.
In this case, though, they are trying to salt the crowd with a few opponents. Most have wisely turned them down, since this is about feeding the creationist pretense rather than actually putting some pressure on the clown show. Michael Shermer reveals some of the restrictions; some of their ‘guests’ would be seated in the audience, and allowed only one question. You can guess how any critical questions would be answered, of course: with meaningless noise. Andy Groves, who sometimes comments here (Hi, Andy! Kiss, kiss) was one of the critics invited, and maybe he’ll tell us how he turned them down. Good for him on doing the right thing. I wasn’t invited, but I wouldn’t have gone even if they’d promised I could be the stock villain swinging a folding chair.
This is an escalation of the debating ploy, which was always intended to do one thing: put creationists on stage with real scientists, falsely amplifying the creationists’ credibility. Now they’re setting up a ‘debate’ with their own rules, stacking the situation until it’s as fake as pro wrestling. The event is on the 12th; I will predict that on the 13th, the Discovery Institute will be proclaiming victory by press release, and saying that they sailed through a trial by fire unscathed.