If you have a spare couple of hours, you might find this video interesting.
It's a reasonably light hearted debate between Dr. Mike Shermer (chief Editor of Skeptic magazine) and Kent Hovind, a young earth creationist of some reknown. Hovind is something of a bum, he claims to have a doctorate and insists on calling himself Dr., but his qualification is from an uncredited university that won't release his thesis for review. He also believes that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, that the grand canyon was carved in a matter of days and that the earth is 6000 years. He's a nutcase basically.
So the debate should be fairly cut and dried. In theory, anyone with even a basic grasp of scientific method or a broad knowledge of recent discoveries should be able to give this fruitloop a run for his money. But this is not how the debate plays out.
For a start, the whole event stinks of a set up. It takes place at a University, but the audience is massively weighted towards the creationist side rather than the evolutionist side. Mike Shermer's jokes and observations are met with a sometimes embarrassing silence, while Hovind's put downs and factual inaccuracies are greeted with Oprah-style whooping and hollering.
Secondly, Hovind is by far and away the better orator of the two. He comes across as friendly and likeable, not remotely raving or threatening as you might expect. He has slides and pictures to illustrate every point that he makes or respond to. He's clearly done this before. Shermer, on the other hand, while pretty good for a scientist type, comes across somewhat less convincing. He seems unprepared and a little flustered by the whole thing.
Worst of all, he fails to capitalise fully on the errors and inaccuracies Hovind makes. Hovind makes a number of claims that are just plain demonstrably false - that the eye can't work without all of its constituent parts, that stars evolve by natural selection, that speciation involves dogs suddenly giving birth to other types of animal, that thermodynamics don't allow order to form in a closed system when energy is input. All classic creationist errors that betray a basic lack of understanding of the subject. Unfortunately, Shermer does little to correct Hovind's mistakes - possibly because of the sheer number of them - but also, I believe, because he doesn't have a broad enough scientific knowledge himself.
At one point Shermer is asked to provide the best evidence science has that the Big Bang happened. Ignoring the fact that this question is not even remotely relevent to an evolution debate, it should nevertheless be quite simple to field this. We have lots of evidence, very good evidence, that the universe expanded from a single point - the recession of stars and galaxies, cosmological red shift, the microwave background. Instead, Shermer fluffs it and gives some half arsed answer about the early universe resembling an explosion. Ouch.
So we have a problem. Evolution is a theory in name only. It happens, it is true. It is as close to fact as we can possibly get. Unfortunately, while we have facts and good science on our side, the creationists have the power of good presentation - evangelists who can stir up a crowd with religious ferver and actually put on a show rather than a lecture.
Sadly, this is why they're winning.