Ugh. Steve Austin, creationist geologist, is coming to Roseville to debate the age of the Grand Canyon on 13 May. He’s going to be engaging a local “evolutionist” who I don’t know — Steve Johnson — who I will trust to have the facts, but still — more geologists need to show up in the audience, because Austin is an ignorant clown who will put on a show to pander to a crowd that will mostly be even more ignorant than he is.
Debates are bad idea because they tend to put ludicrous claims on an equal footing with solid science. Sometimes we have to do them, because you’ve got to bring the argument home to the enemy, but when we do, we must get a supportive crowd in attendance, too. Otherwise, they’ll lose on the evidence but play games with the perception.