Press Release: The Repeal is Public!

High School Student Launches Campaign to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law

Building upon a grassroots effort last winter that was successful in fighting off efforts to insert creationism into Louisiana science textbooks, Baton Rouge Magnet High School Senior Zack Kopplin is helping lead an effort to have the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) repealed during the Louisiana Legislature’s 2011 Regular Session. State Senator Karen Carter Peterson (New Orleans) has announced that she will sponsor the repeal legislation.

The misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act, which was passed and signed into law in 2008, is stealth legislation to encourage Louisiana public school science teachers to include creationist materials in their curriculum. In Livingston Parish Louisiana, school board members explicitly cited this law last summer in their push to mandate that creationism be made part of the science curriculum for the 2011-12 school year.

“State of Belief,” a radio program sponsored by Interfaith Alliance, recently featured a dialogue about the repeal effort between Kopplin and Welton Gaddy who is the President of Interfaith Alliance and a Baptist minister from Monroe, Louisiana. Dr. Barbara Forrest, co-founder of the Louisiana Coalition for Science also was featured on the show. The interview aired Feb, 13, and can be listened to here.   Gaddy said of Kopplin’s repeal effort,

It represents the the best thinking in American science, the best thinking in American religion, and it also reflects the United States constitution.

Kopplin’s role in this campaign was recently featured in an Op-Ed titled “Student takes role of David to creationists’ legislative Goliath” in The Lens, which wrote

Kopplin rightly views the legislation as costumed creationism – ridiculous Trojan horse legislation that lets instructors teach scientific “controversies” where none exist. He understands that when pseudo-scientific “supplemental” materials are used to critique scientific theories (such as evolution or gravity), a false balance results: ungrounded speculations are placed on par with the overwhelming scientific consensus.

For more information, please visit www.repealcreationism.com and see our fact sheet.

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20 Responses to Press Release: The Repeal is Public!

  1. Dez Crawford says:

    Be loud. Be proud. keep up the good fight for REASON.

    America is creeping, inch by inch, toward a “Christian” Taliban. This must be stopped. I placed “Christian” in quotes to exclude literate, non-delusional Christians and other people of faith who are capable of separating worship from science.

    The yardstick of freedom is the distance between church and state. Go, Zack, go!!!

  2. Pingback: Repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act – Creationism in Disguise – Zack Kopplin – repealcreationism.com | Hating God - With due respect and all

  3. Art Rigsby says:

    Whack’em Zack!!

  4. Sheila says:

    Go Zack!

    It’s a pity you can’t give the creationists their own country, so they leave the rest of you in peace while they suffer the inevitable effects of their anti-science world view. But they’d still find a way to blame the rest of us, and I really, really wouldn’t trust them with nuclear weapons.

  5. Brad says:

    There is a reason why the collective IQ South of the Mason-Dixon line is on the borderline of mental retardation. I would say more about how idiotic the repeal of state science policy based upon scientific fact is – except I’m currently dodging banjos and bibles. Who knows… In 6000 years, the “true” age of this Earth, this kid might grow up to be the Governor of Texas or Alaska one day.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      I’m trying to repeal this law because it is not based on scientific fact. It may be named the “science” education act, but it is really creationism in disguise.

  6. Ken Forest says:

    Decision makers who subscribe to supernatural thinking will lead the world into continued overpopulation, increased global warming, species extinction, acidified oceans, increased human migration, wars over scarce resources, unfettered growth on a finite planet and ultimately a real version of their imagined hell. Preventing this starts will realistic evidence based education. We need more young people like Z. Kopplin to stand up for their own future. Too many of his senors are afraid to give up their good life of “entitlements” and are quite willing to spend their children’s inheritance.

  7. Arthur says:

    Good Luck Zack!

    Lots of people are supporting your cause, even here in England.

    Thanks

  8. Milton says:

    As someone that graduated from high school in Louisiana the same year of the Edwards v. Aguillard case was made, I appreciate Zack’s fight. I was a victim of the last idiotic unconstitutional law that went through the Louisiana legislature. Remarkably, it had the opposite effect of what was intended. In my high school biology class they carefully avoided the specific chapters on evolution in the textbook. I found this very curious–so curious that I went to the library to find origin of species and then other books on evolution. Twenty years later, I’m a biology professor that spends most of my time measuring evolution directly and testing adaptive hypotheses of animal traits. In fact I teach a couple of courses on evolution regularly. One of them is specifically geared toward non-scientists. Thank you Louisiana for piquing my interest in evolution. Nothing interests a teenager more than telling them a topic is forbidden. Sometimes dogma doesn’t stick no matter how hard it is legislated–especially when the argument being made is empty of evidence.

  9. Ryan says:

    Zack Kopplin, I just wanted to tell you that I find your fight against this perversion of science deeply inspiring. I find it very despicable that the politicians that we have elected to serve us would have the temerity to pass such legislation. It should never have been passed in the first place. I congratulate you in your efforts to fight this law and preserve the integrity of both science and reason. I hope to see the day where this law goes down in flames. You have my 100% support.

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  11. Disciple says:

    Couple of things to comment here, first of all ide like to say i do not mean what i say in a confrontational way only to point out a few facts here one of which being America this wonderful land we live in was started and ran by creationist people who believed God created all things and had blessed them with a chance to start a country founded on these facts. Number two is creatonist are absolutely not anti-science we are anti evolution because it is a THEORY now a theory as defined by Websters dictionary is : an unproved assumption, abstract thought, an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances. Now that being said as i understand it creationism is also considered a theory so as i see it the people of America should absolutely be able to see both sides and decide what they believe i feel that most people here have either never heard a logical explanation of a real creationist view or dont care to which is absolutely your decision i just wish people would take the time to at least listen to a real creationist and compare what they heard in the classroom to what I and other creationist believe

    • Tenncrain says:

      “evolution… is a THEORY”

      There are different vernaculars of the word theory. The way scientists use ‘theory’ is very different from that of the average person.

      While general use of ‘theory’ is more like a hunch, a scientific theory EXPLAINS/SUPPORTS scientific facts. A science hypothesis could become a fact, but science theories forever remain theories (in other words, science theories don’t become facts); the germ theory of disease will never become ‘germ fact’, plate tectonics theory will never become ‘plate tectonics fact’. However, in the same way atomic theory tries to explain thousands of facts about matter, modern evolutionary theory tries to explain thousands of facts about how life on Earth has changed over time. Scientific theories are actually held in higher regard than facts, even science laws.

      “creationism is also considered a theory”

      Creationism is inherently religious as it inserts supernatural causations. Therefore, it’s not a science theory. Many scientists who study evolution happen to be theists, so it’s not that there’s a lack of belief in supernaturalism. It’s just that supernaturalism is not part of science. Science is limited to using natural methods to study natural phenomena; science has no say one way or the other about anything beyond the material world.

      But you don’t have to ask a scientist his/her feelings if creationism is religious. During the 2005 Dover PA trial, advocates of ID type creationism themselves admitted under oath that ID is grounded in supernaturalism. At both Dover and the 1981 Arkansas ‘creation science’ trial, creationist/ID advocates demonstrated that they did virtually no research, virtually never published papers in mainstream peer reviewed science journals. Perhaps little wonder why both ‘creation science’ and ID were ruled as religion and not science at their respective court cases (and Dover trial judge John Jones is a Christian and conservative Republican, and most of the Dover plaintiffs (trying to stop ID) were Christians, and several of the expert witnesses for the plaintiffs were Christians like biologist Dr Ken Miller and theologian Dr John Haught).

      Indeed, in recent years several ID/creationist advocates have openly admitted there isn’t a creationist/ID ‘scientific’ model available to counter evolution. This includes young-earther Paul Nelson, even ID Godfather Phillip Johnson.

      And yet despite this, and despite not having earned some form of consensus from the general scientific community, anti-evolutionists want to ram their views into science classroom anyway (via the political process in effort to short-circuit the science peer review process); how fair is this when other science paradigms have to fight and claw and earn their way towards scientific acceptance?

      “people of America should absolutely be able to see both sides”

      Putting aside the matter that supernatural causations are not science, what do you mean by ‘both sides’? Would you include Hindu creationism? What about Cherokee Indian creationism, or Maori creationism? There are perhaps hundreds of types of creationism.

      Unless the consensus of the general scientific community changes in light of any new findings, science teachers need to reflect the scientific community at large, not pressure from nonscience political groups. At present, the vast majority of biologists, geologists, paleontologists accept that there is strong evidence for evolution via multiple lines of independent evidence (genetics, biogeography, the fossil record, the ‘Nested Hierarchy’ or common decent patterns, directly observed acts of speciation both in the lab and in the wild, and so on). While there is of course scientific debate on side issues in evolution, evolution itself is not a controversy within the scientific community.

      • John E. D. P. Malin says:

        Tenncrain:

        You can write and talk until you are blue in the face; however, your inattentiveness to the intellectual achievements of the human mind for the last one-hundred years will not be gainsay by a vague use of language.

        There has been extraordinary achievements in logic [language logic & mathematical logic] and propositional calculi. You are abusing words. It is the purpose of language to communicate clarity and precision in our ideas—not muddled states of babbling confusions. Your use of language was employed by the Neo-Platonists in the 5th century A.D. in Athens, Greece, more specifically, the scholarch Proclus! Read his Commentary on Plato’s dialogue on Parmenides [his masterpiece]!

        You do not understand the actual Age you live in! You have not read competently the formidable knowledge-base of the scientific tradition of the last four centuries!

        Your mental nonsense that “evolution” is a “theory” confirms for one, that you understand neither notions well!

        Cheers!

        • Menemy says:

          John E. D. P. Malin:
          After reading your intelligent reply I’ve concluded that your comment was directed at “Disciple” not “Tenncrain.” Just stating that for clarity. Good points on all counts! :)

          -Menemy

        • Tenncrain says:

          John, I put Disciple’s statements in quotation marks as I made my (admittedly lengthy) reply. Granted, I could have been more clear.

          Still, I was supporting mainstream science. Perhaps your browser missed this, but my post even has an NCSE link (via HTML tag) that explains science terms as defined by the National Academy of Sciences.
          http://ncse.com/evolution/education/theory-fact

          As a somewhat surprising sidenote, even some creationist groups like CMI feel anti-evolutionists should stop using the ‘evolution just a theory’ argument.
          http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use
          Evidently, many creationists have not gotten this message.

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