Debating Creationists: Some Pointers
Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, argues that public debates with creationists do little to further the cause of quality science education. Among her reasons are that (1) creationists usually fill the audience with their supporters, who are unlikely to have the educational grounding necessary to understand the arguments presented in favor of evolution, (2) evolution is a complex set of ideas that are not amenable to simple explanation in a short debate format, and (3) creationists make many simplistic but convincing-sounding arguments against evolution that take a significant amount of time to refute.
Richard Trott gives some advice to people who are considering debating the Institute for Creation Research's most prominent debator, Dr. Duane Gish. Among Trott's recommendations are that you know your audience, know Gish's standard presentation, be prepared for his charisma and standard evasions, and avoid being a dull or arrogant lecturer.
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