You wrote, "I'm sure that many have come to the gospel in part by
Ross's work, but will those people who were attracted by all those clear
proofs, be discouraged (like Glenn was) when they face a much more muddy
I think you are being too charitable here in the first part of the
sentence. Let me give you a very brief example of the impact YECs can have.
I live in a rather small company town (~1800 people) with a high percentage
of PhDs. Some years ago, my neighbour, a fundamentalist, invited his father
( who ran a "Bible College") and two of his associates to give a series of
presentations on creationism. These lectures (which were billed as
"discussions" although no discussion was allowed until the final lecture!)
included such nonsense as linking an artist's impression of a ziggurat with
a SEM image of a crystal which was then linked to crystal radios and then to
crystal balls and telling of the future (no, I'm not making this up!). A
good friend of mine, a German-born agnostic, came to these meetings and I
still have a vivid image of him walking out after the second lecture
muttering, "I can't take any more of this." The upshot of these meetings
was that the converted remained converted, the agnostics became antagonistic
towards Biblicism and creationism, and the small minority of Christians who
are scientists were thoroughly embarrassed.
Even if somebody were to "come to the gospel" through dishonest
representations, I cannot wonder if God would be pleased by dishonesty.