Morris Students put Intelligent Design Creationist in his place
Pharyngula describes this here.
The best part of the evening, though, was when Nelson opened up the floor to questions. He was kept hopping for the next hour and a half; a few of us faculty spoke up, but mainly it was our students who hammered him with awkward questions. You know, simple stuff like asking him for evidence for ID. A few mentioned the negative nature of his argument, and reminded him that "having open questions is not a shortcoming". I was impressed and proud, although I can't take credit for it: we don't have any classes where we specifically coach our students in critiquing creationists, although they do get a grounding in what to expect of a good scientific theory. Nelson kept up a cheerful front, but I don't think the Q&A was going in exactly the direction he expected.
In fact, in that 90 minutes of grilling, he only got one comment from a pro-creationist attendee, and it was basically, "it's all a matter of opinion; there aren't any transitional fossils; and evolution is all based on faith, anyway." To Nelson's credit, he looked more uncomfortable with that ill-informed point than all the criticisms he was getting. It must be hard to live with the fact that all of your friends are morons.
Man, though, but our students are good. I left that talk feeling very optimistic, that there is hope for the future of science in this country when our students can be that strong and informed and critical.
I hope Nelson can now convince his pals at the Discovery Institute to send a few more sacrificial lambs out to friendly UMM. The students would have a grand time eating Dembski and Behe and Meyer and Richards and whoever alive. Hey, maybe we could agree to send just the freshman class up against them. Not that it would change the outcome, but it would prolong the sport a bit more.