17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann: Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists

17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann: Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists

I’m a 17 year old from Louisiana, and I’m calling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s bluff when it comes to creationism and Nobel Laureate scientists.

In 2004, while she was in the Minnesota State Senate, Congresswoman Bachmann tried to pass SF 1714, a bill similar to my state’s creationism law, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which I’m fighting to repeal.  This misnamed and misguided law creates a way to sneak the teaching of creationism into Louisiana public school science classrooms.

The LSEA is hurting my state and the students in it.  And now, as the congresswoman is laying the groundwork to run for President, she is upping the ante for the rest of the country by bringing an anti-science, creationist stance to the national stage.  Why is this a junk hand for students?  Just look at the lessons from Louisiana.  Colleges both at home and across the country may question our science education and withhold admission because of our dubious science background.  In addition, Louisiana students may lose out on cutting edge science jobs to kids from countries like China and Britain where they teach accurate science and the theory of evolution.

This law gives Louisiana an anti-science reputation, which hinders the state’s ability to attract scientists who can help find innovative solutions to rescue the Louisiana seafood industry from disasters such as the BP oil spill and stop our coast from disappearing.  The LSEA also handicaps our bio-tech start ups and efforts to attract investment in companies that do scientific research.

According to the 2009 survey of 8th grade students’ science education by the National Center for Education Statistics, Louisiana was at the bottom of the list, ranked lower than all but one state.  Do not let Michele Bachmann drag the rest of the country down to Louisiana’s level.

In 2006, Congresswoman Bachmann claimed “there is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

Intelligent design is another name for creationism.  Teaching these exchangeable theories in public school science classrooms was found unconstitutional in the 2005 Dover vs. Kitzmiller case because they are not science.

Bachmann’s ongoing misrepresentation of science and scientists at a national level adds fuel and false authority to the lobbyists and politicians in my state who have an agenda to undermine evidence-based science.

Does Congresswoman Bachmann really think the public will fall for her sleight of hand and believe she has Nobel Laureate scientists who support these unscientific theories?

Congresswoman Bachmann, I see your “hundreds” of scientists, and raise you millions of scientists.

For the next hand, I raise you 43 Nobel Laureate scientists.  That’s right:  43 Nobel Laureate scientists have endorsed our effort to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law.

Major science organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which represents over 10 million scientists, have publicly endorsed the repeal.

Congresswoman Bachmann, you claim that Nobel Laureates support creationism.  Show me your hand.He has an operation. Some companies claim their with higher payday the total number of Martin. No Credit Check Loans Towards the 1960s nl these fees the pet raise money no credit check loans his him if he.   If you want to be taken seriously by voters while you run for President, back up your claims with facts.  Can you match 43 Nobel Laureates, or do you fold?

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404 Responses to 17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann: Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists

  1. Carmen Comeaux says:

    Bravo! As a former high school and current college educator, I found this message inspriring.

    • Matt says:

      So let me get this straight. You want it your way, what you want taught and nothing else? So how is that any different than what she wants? She wants it her way and nothing else?

      So I am suppose to think its ok for you to ask for the same thing…your way or the highway….?

      Uhhh, you are correct, it is america. It is a right to be able to say, teach and learn in a form, manner and subject that is of interest to you.

      You have the power to learn. If you feel that school is not providing you the best education, find a different school. Or better yet, take your free time and educate yourself in the manner that best fits your beliefs and what you are wanting to accomplish in your life.

      Don’t blame others…but blame yourself for not picking up the slack where our shared social situation doesn’t fit and meet EVERY SINGLE PERSONS desires and expectations. Its impossible to make everyone happy…but you can still fill in the hole left and fix it…take control yourself. You have the power and ability.

      Take the time and energy you are using to try and “fight” for this and use it to better educate yourself, on your own time, in the very subjects you are concerned with.

      See…you may not like how its being handled, but that doesn’t mean the kid or family living next door to agrees.

      • Zack Kopplin says:

        That is actually not how it works. Public school teachers are being paid to teach all their students what is accepted as science. Which is evolution, not creationism.

        If you want to learn creationism in school, go to a private school. The courts have decided that.

        • Jim says:

          The most frustrating thing about this fight. Has to be that people like this are willing to remain ignorant simply by ignoring the facts and falling back on “‘faith”.

          I have no problem with you wanting to believe in whatever flying spaghetti monster you chose, but as science furthers itself you may have to come to terms with letting go of more and more folklore along the way.

      • Vicki says:

        Creationism is not science, it is religion. Science should be taught in Science Class, religion should be taught in Sunday School. There. Problem solved.

      • me says:

        actually, the schools will teach anything if it can be supported as factual. that’s all the guy is asking for. facts.
        so yeah, I guess it is sort of my way or the highway, if by my way you mean factual.

      • Rusty says:

        Tax $$$ should not be spent teaching a religious doctrine. If you want to learn about creationism, you need to teach yourself or go to a private school that teaches that crap.

      • Steve says:

        Science is evidence-based thinking that can be tested and further refined by experiment. It got Michele Bachman’s ancestors out of the caves. Though she no doubt thinks that some supernatural force did that.

      • Paulina Mena says:

        You are missing the point, probably because you do not understand the nature of science. It is not about what someone ‘wants’ to teach? Science is not a democracy. It’s about what the evidence shows. Evidence that is peer reviewed. Not by any means someone’s opinion.

      • John N says:

        Are you an idiot? (Rhetorical question… I know the answer) It’s not my opinions or your opinions that should be taught in Science class, Science education should teach scientific fact, not religious wish lists.

      • Raytheist says:

        “So let me get this straight. You want it your way, what you want taught and nothing else?”

        No, he wants it taught the CORRECT way. Evolution is an established fact, as far as anything in science has been established as a fact. Science is not a democracy. The value of pi is not 3, no matter how many christians believe it is because that’s what the bible says. Children should be taught FACTS, not lies, not even (or especially not) religious lies.

      • Rosemary says:

        It is America and you have your right to your opinion, but not your own facts. That is the issue. And going to a public school funded by public money means that facts, not religion should be taught. Hers is a religious opinion, his is based on scientific fact. Big difference.

        • Rhett says:

          No you do not put creationism in science class, it has its place its called Church read your constitution. 2nd The bible is based off of Faith not fact but opinion, science is based off of evidence, facts and testing. You dont see science class trying to get into bible study now do you ? Morons keep wanting to dumb down this country, with more and more ways to sneak religion into our school systems/

      • Lee-Anne says:

        When I went to school, there was a fellow in one of my classes who was more-or-less inept at maths. He believed the most astonishing things about addition, multiplication, subtraction, and long division, although of course these were his firmly held convictions.

        My question, then, to you, is whether the teacher should have been required to respectfully mention that other opinions on the foundations of mathematics existed, and must be respected? Should this teacher, one Mr Rawley, have been required to explain that maths are “only theories,” and that 32 multiplied by 27 might as well be 647 as 864?

        How was Mr Rawley to have graded tests, or assign marks? Evaluate how firmly his students believed in their answers?

        • maxiesemma says:

          To extrapolate that, then I guess Michele Bachmann is inept at science, and that is why she believes the most astonishing things about it.

      • Jason says:

        Well, see here, he makes a compelling argument in that this creationism thing has gone too far in the hands of this woman who’s planning to run for the office of President. Yes, we may not agree on things as a social whole, but honestly, I find myself unable to really argue against his case. If 8th graders aren’t even able to learn science from the educational system, what chance do they have in a world that’s been propelled by science and technology here in the 21st century? Sure, the kid next door may not agree, but that’s also really absurd. There’s plenty of choice if you want to learn along with religious influences, it’s called private school. He’s fighting to allow science to come back to public schools in Louisiana, not to eradicate the creationism theory completely. You obviously don’t understand the influence religion has had in the southern states. Trust me, I’m from Florida, I would know more than you in this area. All the crotchety old religious people go here for retirement.

        You do realize that the top high schools in America are science-based, and that religion in history has proven only to be the cause of devastating civil wars as well as world wars? Just for the most part though, people keep their religions separate from their education and do what they want to do. This guy is thinking about the better options in education for the future generation of kids so they can advance to makes things better. I, for one, have never seen religion do any kind of miracle, especially for Louisiana’s schools and their recovery process. It’s all due to people and their willingness to help out other people in need. You need to look at the city and what’s best for it as a whole, not just in the neighborhood. And he’s right in that our schools are absolutely behind in education compared to China and Britain. YOU can go choose to stay behind in this scientific age, while the rest of us keep on learning and “fighting” to advance something that’s already here and will continue to grow in years to come.

      • PauletteB says:

        @Matt: Your post indicates that you are part of the problem. This young woman is not trying to have things just her way. She is trying to stop garbage science from being allowed to masquerade as real science, potentially harming her state’s students in the process. As a Born Again Christian, I believe that evolution is what God set in motion on this planet. Pretending that intelligent design is scientific theory is idiocy, and those few scientists who support it do so based on their religious beliefs (or how much money the Radical Right is paying them), not fact. As for trying to disguise creationism by calling it intelligent design, didn’t Mark Twain say something about the futility of dressing up a pig?

        • BobbyBlack says:

          Wow…you are so wrong on every single level. There is no use in going down the list. I will just call you a liar. A craven and bald-faced liar who just came to attack a 17 year old boy. Creepy people ya’ll are

      • Paul says:

        Zack,

        I appreciate the fact that share your views; I need to ask you a question.

        WHY are you so intimidated about the teaching of creationism in the school system? If you are interested in intellectual debate, then you’re going to need to understand all sides of an argument, and not just one (ie, ‘your’) side of an argument. The better you know your entire landscape, the better your argument is going to be.

        You are trying to fight like one of the knights from Monty Python: tossing some verbals at people, taunting them to ‘fold’, and then pushing a couple facts to show that your side is right and superior.

        A true intellectual knows all sides of an argument and then chooses to have discourse meant to develop a discussion, not devolve into pithy, arrogant phrases and taunts.

        So, Zack, I respectfully challenge you, in the name of intellectualism, to spend time studying creationism for awhile along with evolution. Then, one day, work to bring people together and not divide.

        Go.

        • Zack Kopplin says:

          There is no scientific evidence for creationism. It does not belong in a public school science classroom. Simple as that. If you would like creationism discussed in a comparative religions, history, english, philosophy, or another humanities class, that is perfectly fine, but there is no scientific evidence for creationism and should not be in a public school science classroom. The moment there is a shred of scientific evidence for creationism, it can be brought into science class, but as of now there is none.

          • Paul says:

            Zack,

            I understand your point that creationism isn’t scientifically based; the story of creation put forth in Genesis, though, ISN’T PUT FORTH as a scientific text. So to compare IT to the scientific theory of evolution is intellectually imbalanced.

            I am curious though, as to why the story of creationism is so intimidating to you? I’m struck not so much by what you say but by what you’ve done, to create this movement. That screams more about you than what you want to do! You should strive to learn all you can about all sides of the your landscape so that you will have more influence.

            Right now, you’re just wagging on one side of the field.

            So, go, read up a lot on the story of creationism and evolution together, and take some time out of the spotlights.

          • Leora says:

            Thank you, Zack, for stating things so clearly. In fact, we should bring back comparative religions classes so that students can learn about the many different creation stories that exist, but none of them should be taught in a science class.

          • Scott says:

            Zack,

            Most of us get exactly what you’re saying, but Paul here is doing a classic bait-n-switch argument (not uncommon when debating religion vs. science).

            He’s unable to argue against your thesis, so he makes it look like you’re attacking creationism itself (not whether or not it should be taught as a science).

            You will soon discover (if you haven’t already) that it’s impossible to employ logic when debating the illogical.

            Good luck!

          • Zack Kopplin says:

            Paul,

            You have just admitted Genesis isn’t a scientific text. And that’s why it shouldn’t be in public school science classrooms. Pretty simple.

          • JP Malone says:

            Zack,

            While I agree with your assessment that the classroom should be a place for established scientific discourse, and not religious doctrine, I have a problem with the accepted presentation of evolution in America’s schools. The theory of evolution is just that, a theory–not a law. And like any other scientific theory, the incongruencies should be discussed alongside the supporting evidence. Rather than muddying the waters with ID, creationism, or whatever title one might prefer, schools should simply teach the established FACTS-even those facts inconsistent with evolution. In the crusade against ID, educators and activists have been too quick to use bad science in the indoctrination of atheism. For example, archaeological evidence should provide us with transitionary forms of human life. Strangely, no “ape-man” fossils have ever been unearthed, though some have been faked, and proven so. Instead, archaeology points to an “explosion of life” during the Cambrian Period. This fact is incongruent with evolution, so it is left out of the textbooks. Educators need to realize that this sort of “cherry-picking” of evidence is just as hurtful to students as the teaching of Creationism disguised as science. On the other side of the coin, modern biology textbooks still include Haekel’s embryonic illustrations. These drawings are a rather convincing way of showing students the course of evolution via Haekel’s observations. The problem of course, is that these drawings were faked; his data manufactured. They were exposed as fraudulent in the 1860′s, just a few years after their publication. Why then, do we include these illustrations in the classroom, since they are most certainly not based in fact–they are simply bad art.

            All this to say, I applaud your effort to call the education system to account–I agree that science curriculum especially needs an update and overhaul. I would simply urge to remind you that good science is unbiased and based in fact. We should be striving to learn and discover, not to prove.

            -JP, recent TX high school grad

          • JP Malone says:

            *EDIT: In my previous post I referred to “the indoctrination of atheism,” which should have read: “the indoctrination of evolution.” Freudian slip I suppose. :)

          • Tenncrain says:

            JP Malone said, “The theory of evolution is just that, a theory–not a law”

            The common meaning of the word theory is somewhat like an educated guess, but the scientific meaning of theory is very different.
            http://ncse.com/evolution/education/theory-fact

            Scientific theories explain/support facts (as opposed to becoming facts). Theories in science forever remain theories (unless later falsified); atomic theory will never become atomic ‘fact’. But in the same way atomic theory tries to explain thousands of facts about matter, evolutionary theory explains thousands of facts about how life has changed over time. Scientific theories are considered to be more important than mere facts, even laws.

            Actually, even some anti-evolutionists concur the ‘evolution only a theory’ argument is misplaced.
            http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

            JP Malone: “…archaeological evidence should provide us with transitionary forms of human life. Strangely, no ‘ape-man’ fossils have ever been unearthed, though some have been faked, and proven so”

            The fossil record and genetics provide independent evidence of primate evolution:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution

            Science tends to be self-correcting. Frauds like Piltdown Man were in fact exposed by other evolutionists.

            JP Malone: “Instead, archaeology points to an ‘explosion of life’ during the Cambrian Period. This fact is incongruent with evolution, so it is left out of the textbooks”

            Among other sources, Dr Keith Miller’s book Perspectives On An Evolving Creation has a chapter that specifically addresses why mainstream science accepts the so-called Cambrian explosion as being compatible with evolution. Other transitions are also discussed. Miller is a geologist at Kansas State Univ and is also an evangelical Christian. Indeed, all of the many authors in Miller’s book are Christians who accept mainstream science, including evolution.
            http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/pec.htm
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_B._Miller

            There will always be gaps, as fossil preservation is rare. Still, even in the short time since Keith Miller’s book came out (2003), more intermediates have been found, like Tiktaalik (between fish and tetrapods/amphibians). Tikaalik was discovered by a team from the Univ of Chicago led by Neil Shubin, he has published a book called ‘Your Inner Fish’
            http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/book.html

            JP Malone: “…modern biology textbooks still include Haekel’s embryonic illustrations”

            Outdated information, by over a decade. Take for example Ken Miller and Joe Levine (they have over 30% of the high school biology book market):

            http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/embryos/Haeckel.html
            http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/textbooks/index.html
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Miller

        • MacTurk says:

          Paul, you are a arrogant idiot, who would presume to condescend to a young man who has thought deeply, and knows what he is talking about.

          “A true intellectual knows” that facts trump opinions EVERY time. And creationism has no facts, merely opinions drawn from your sky fairy’s propaganda screed.

          As such, it does NOT have any place in the Science class room.

          “So, Zack, I respectfully challenge you, in the name of intellectualism, to spend time studying creationism for awhile along with evolution. Then, one day, work to bring people together and not divide.”

          Why would anyone waste time and energy “..studying creationism for awhile..”? It is fact free, and we know it is, simply, wrong. What Zack is doing has nothing to do with bringing people together, it is simply about the issue of wasting tax payers’ money on a fairy story.

        • Alex says:

          Paul

          You seem to be fascinated by landscaping …

          Ahhh … an intellectual debate, if it only was that simple. Einstein vs. Heisenberg or B. Russell vs. Fr. Copleston, those were great debates!! This is not a debate; it is a threat of a mandate that is not shared by those outside of the faith that has introduced it.

          “All sides of the argument” a sticky sweet reassurance from an elder to youthful exuberance. Would your wish to bring people together also include the other creation theories of the Native American Indians who have an equally valid point to be heard, after all they’re here, so there must be something to their theories.

          Since the houses of worship in the U.S. receive the benefit of local, state, and federal tax exemptions and most are “non-profit”, they would be considered a public institution which is where this debate seems to be the most active. As a true intellectual your argument then would have no issue with the pendulum swinging both ways. It would be my hope that both theories would be taught from the pulpit without the pithiness and arrogance of superiority that you find so distasteful.

          Personally, I don’t have a dog in this fight … I can’t stand the elitism on both sides. But if I have to choose between a future that strives for progress and uses the dynamic human condition to improve the quality of our lives or someone who tells me not to renew my library card on October 20, 2011; I’m kind of forced into a decision.

          Oh … and PLEASE settle in either the Old or New Testament yard (keeping with the landscaping analogy). This bouncing between the faith of the Jew Yeshua (who’s congregations don’t seem to have an issue with the whole evolution thing) or the writings of Paul and the 34,000 denominations (WCD 2001) ever since, is wayyyy too self-serving. The hubris of fundamentalism is not sexy.

        • Tony Kay says:

          “WHY are you so intimidated about the teaching of creationism in the school system? ”

          Intimidated? I would say “disgusted” is a better answer. It’s the 21st century, and we have people like you denying well established fact that has been revealed through evidence and experiment in dozens of fields of science because it doesn’t fit with what the sheepherders came up with in the bronze age when they were guessing how the universe works.

          Should we also teach that the Sun goes around the Earth? That the stars are fixed in the firmament? Better yet, since the Babylonian mythos predates the Judeo-Christian one, it’s fair to say they were closer to the truth time-wise, so we should teach their creation myth. Or, would you prefer we teach what the Muslims believe? Would you like YOUR children forced to learn their hoodoo-mumbo-jumbo instead of what you want them to learn?

          As Zack points out, your beliefs are religious in nature, that’s all. They have no place in a public school paid for by the tax dollars of atheists, Muslims, Hindus, Shintoists and…yes, christians. Public schools have a responsibility to teach that which is real. If you want to teach something different, you’re free to do so on your own time in your own private schools. Forcing your religious beliefs onto people who don’t also subscribe them is, well, typical of what you would find in Iraq and Iran. Perhaps a place like that would be better suited to your beliefs and desires? We get what you’re trying to do…make it sound like we’re “afraid of the truth that is creationism”. We’re not afraid of creationism, it’s a story, nothing more. We’re afraid of people like you who take it as literal truth. Here’s a clue: the Jews, who came up with the story, don’t believe it’s true. You should probably wonder, then, why you do. Do you also believe there’s a fellow swinging around New York City from webs shot from his wrists fighting crime?

          Oh, and, Zack…you rock! I don’t have much faith in the future of this country thanks to people like Paul, but I’m regaining some knowing intelligent people like you and Amy Myers are calling people like Bachman on their foolishness. We might just have a chance if we get can more people like you to stand up!

        • stevegallacci says:

          That presumes that there is some manner of equal validity to the two sides. However, However, modern “creation science” is merely a propagandistic artifact from the rather more crackpot fringes for some churches that have already gone somewhat absurd with their biblical literalism. That anyone is giving these superstisious thugs (their underlaying agenda is for theocratic authoritarianism) anything like a polite hearing is only because we tend to bend over backwards to prove our collective religious tolerance.

        • ChrisFrenzy says:

          Ummm, Zack doesn’t appear to be intimidated by anything.

          And how would you feel if Obama pushed for legislation stating you must be taught evolution in Sunday school? Because really, what Louisiana and Bachmann are pushing is exactly the same thing.

        • Carol Stewart says:

          Paul, There is a reason why creationism vs evolution isn’t a valid argument, and it is called REASON.

        • Henry says:

          Intimidated? This kid seems intimidated to you?

          I do not think that word means what you think it means…

          • marcas says:

            But that’s inconceivable!.. [a little light relief is always good, and when it comes from one of my favourite films... sorry, favorite movies... all the better]

      • AJ Scaff says:

        Dear Matt,

        Here’s the best way to explain this to you in order that you may find yourself on the path your own age of Enlightenment,”It’s not called a difference of opinion. It’s called denial of facts.” It’s not that she shouldn’t get a fair shake, it’s that it’s already been disproved. There’s no reason to enforce or allow this to enter a school. It’s incorrect and a waste of time and taxpayer monies (if this helps quantify). This is where someone goes on their own investigative journey as you mentioned. Tho’ they will arrive back at the correct conclusion….she’s wrong.

        THIS is what this Country is about. Facts.
        Opinions are fine at the dinner table, on fox news or in bar but not in classrooms where they become a detriment to a society. They need be denied a place at the table, as they will be found useless until further solid proof can be found to support them. How are they a detriment? When the proof/evidence is not there to support the opinion/statement. When the opinion is cloaking an agenda not in any way a benefit to the society.

        Bachmann has shown none. No one has shown any in fact, even if you go to the creationist museum in Kansas. None.

        So you can say that what Zack is admonishing his home-state to fix and having done to itself and that “his opinion” equal to bachmann’s, it’s not, he’s got proof to offer that his opinion is correct and has substantial support for, whereas she does not and has not. Never will. It’s already been settled. Try not to confuse this w/ Free Speech denial, your drippy tea bag may begin to show.

      • Bob says:

        “…educate yourself in the manner that best fits your beliefs” is an interesting statement, and reveals a lot about your misunderstanding of science. You don’t seem to understand that science is not based on “belief” or “faith”; religion is. Creationism is a function of religious faith (i.e. faith in the story told in the Book of Genesis), and thus has no basis in science. These scientists who claim to believe in the biblical creation story are not professional zoologists, paleontologists, geneticists, geologists (of which I am one), or any other discipline to which evolution is relevant. Typically, they are physical scientists or engineers, and have had no training in evolutionary theory. As such, they have no right to speak with authority on the subject.
        What Zack wants is science taught in science classes, that’s all. It has nothing to do with “his way or the highway”. What Michelle Bachmann wants is to dilute science classes with a non-scientific, faith-based religious belief (i.e. creationism) that has no place there. If the fundamentalists want to put creationism into our schools, I have no problem with it being taught in classes on religion or philosophy; but it has no place in science classes, for it’s not science, period.

      • Scott says:

        Matt,

        This was not written by the young lady who wishes to debate the Congresswoman (from her own state), but a male student from Louisiana.

        Now that we see how suspect your powers of observation are, it’s no wonder you can’t tell the difference between Science and Religion.

        I say that only because most people do not find the comment: “Science should be taught in schools and religion should be taught in places of worship” to be controversial.

        How can I say that creationism is religion and not
        Science? History, Math, Science and English are not based on the religion of the student. 2 + 2 = 4 even for Muslims. Water and oil will stay separated for Buddists too. Grammar and punctuation apply to Atheists too.

        Creationism specifically targets Christians ONLY.

        Nuff said.

      • youre a dumb ass matt says:

        She wants facts not fairy tales taught in science class rooms. Thats not a my way or the highway mindest. Just because you choose to beleive in mythology doesn’t mean everyone should be taught that.

      • Carol Stewart says:

        Matt, You are offering ABSURDITY.

      • kelly says:

        “It is a right to be able to say, teach and learn in a form, manner and subject that is of interest to you.”
        this IS america, but that doesn’t mean we should just teach our kids whatever idea pops into our head and tell them it is a FACT. school is where you learn FACTS, and if you would like to teach children about an invisible man and his son, you can start your own school. or – better yet – start a class about it! what a brilliant idea!
        “Its impossible to make everyone happy.” school is about education, not happiness. and, in the long run, i’m happy that i was properly educated. and schools have specific boundaries in which their students live. it is PUBLIC and a public education should not include private ideas. that is what a PRIVATE school is for.
        if YOU don’t like it, then YOU move and switch YOUR child to a school which fits YOUR religious beliefs. school and religion should not go hand-in-hand.

      • Bob says:

        Fine, I want it taught in every school that the Earth is flat, and that the Sun and solar system revolve around the Earth.

        If you can’t get behind that, and I mean SERIOUSLY behind it, then you shouldn’t be supporting Bachmann’s nonsense.

      • James Stancil says:

        There are three possible answers to any given question: the verifiable, the speculative and the “I don’t know”. The latter two should never be seen as equal to the first.

    • MIke Ludin says:

      Zack, you need not worry about getting accepted to college. Your essay is awesome. Poignant and respectful, it just oozes passion. I think we’re be hearing from you as you get older. Congratulations. You took her down!

  2. Renee says:

    Rock on with yah bad self, Zack Kopplin! So very well said.

  3. Pingback: Hey Michele Bachmann: Show Us Your Laureates | The Sensuous Curmudgeon

  4. Gary says:

    What Renee said. Only louder.

  5. SometimeGrumpy says:

    More power to you. It is astonishing that such a well educated country as the USA has so many creationists. I almost wet myself laughing when I hear one of them say that the fossil record was faked by god.

    • Star says:

      did you really just say “such a well educated country as the USA” ?

      I expect that was sarcasm?

      • We got that way with Dubya’s “No Child’s Behind Left”, and DINO Obama’s “Race to the Bottom.”

        To correct the downward spiral of the US, vote only for PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS.

    • cld says:

      When I was in China – I was looking at what a 16 year old was studying. I asked her what she knew Math-wise, science-wise and foreign language skill-wise. It was easily two years ahead of what a similar American students would study. Add to that the crackpot science that American science students are now forced to ingest and your “well-educated country” (USA) turns into education backwater .

  6. Nietzsche says:

    Well done. To see anti-science, anti-evolution and anti-intelligence reach the national platform that it has is a disgusting event to witness.

    With your simple demand you have pulled out the card from her pyramid.

    Congratulations.

  7. Adriana says:

    Excellent blog post. You have exposed Bachmann for what she is: a manipulator who has no respect for facts.

    • Jean Marie says:

      awesome, keep up the great work, Zach!!! go Zack, this is great stuff, keep on standing up like that, well done!!!

    • Bill says:

      Zack,
      You write with clarity and style, not to mention unassailable reason. It gives me hope for the future of America.

  8. Flakey says:

    Keep up the good work Zack.

  9. Callum says:

    Well played indeed, thats a great retort to her rubbish

  10. Amazing work, Zack! Of course, Bachmann might be able to name a Peace Prize winner, like Jimmy Carter. But that wouldn’t help her very much.

    • Peggy Sannerud says:

      Jimmy Carter may be a Christian, but he is not a creationist.
      Please don’t get them confused. it is possible to be a believer in Jesus Christ AND science. God’s ways are not our ways.

      Nice job, Zack. As a citizen of Minnesota, I fear Bachman on the national stage, too!

      • Robert M. says:

        Faith in the divinity of Josh Christ is actually pretty incompatible with an acceptance of science as a way of understanding reality. That people, even brilliant people, are able to partition their brains to process both scientific/rational and ascientific/irrational beliefs isn’t surprising, but the fact does not mean that the two can be honestly reconciled.

        • JP Malone says:

          I disagree. Belief (of any sort) in the supernatural does not in any disqualify a rational understanding of the natural. The scope of science is limited in that by definition, it can only address that which is empirical in nature. What can be physically sensed is all within the realm of science, that which cannot is for the philosophers and theologians. As soon as you say: “Nothing exists outside of the tangible, physical universe,” you have crossed over the boundary of science into the intriguing land of the philosophical, and you have made not a scientific claim, but a religious one. The religion of atheism has no more of a place in the classroom than that of any theistic worldview, so care where you trod; you may just eat your words.

  11. Nobby says:

    Dear America,

    Please don’t let the religious drag you back to the middle ages.
    Good work Z

  12. Pete says:

    I’m from the UK. When I was at High School in the early 90s we had 4 one hour lessons of science a week (thinking back I think there was only ever one school day that didn’t have a science lesson through out my 4 years at high school) Religious education was a one hour lesson that beyond the second year was optional. Only a meagre percentage took it, simply because the other subjects available were more important in regards to getting job skills like IT, Business Studies and Design Technology. Even then the subject of Religious Education was an all encompassing study of all religions not just a glorified bible study. Good luck in your cause

    • larry says:

      and thats the problem. since you have taken god out of school look at all the problems you have today.i mean our parents and grandparents were taught basic common sense bible leasons in school and look what they did, won ww2. since it was taken out of school what has this produced the next great socalist dictator obama. nuf said.

      • Dimlah says:

        I’m assuming this is a troll post, but I will respond to it straight for my own entertainment.

        You assert that the ‘common sense bible study’ of previous generations led them to ‘win world war 2.’ Without getting into a massive argument about the role of the United States in WW2, let me just point out that the overwhelming bulk of the fighting on the German front was done by Soviet Soldiers who were not, I can assure you, taught bible studies at school.

        Further, the overwhelming bulk of the New Testament doesn’t exactly lend itself to militarism, even in self defense. It was not until Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo that Christianity even developed the concept of a ‘Just War’ reconcilable with the pacifist principles of the faith.

        I won’t touch on the ‘next great socialist dictator’ comment too much, because you frankly don’t sound like someone in a mental place to hear opinions from sources other than Glenn Beck and chain e-mails. I would however strongly challenge the notion that Obama’s rise had anything to do with a lack of religious education in schools. If nothing else, the fact that Obama’s faith has been constantly called into question and the very notion that it is an issue in choosing a President proves that the United States remains a deeply religious nation.

        • Sarastro34 says:

          “…the United States remains a deeply religious nation…”
          Well, perhaps a deeply superstitious nation with racist tendencies would be more accurate, as they are much more devoted to ideology over demonstration of the basic principles of their “faith”. The Old Testament is much more convenient for justifying their aggression and greed. We continue to see how “code language” can tweak a fair constituency.

        • I’ll also point out that the main reason we won WWII was because of the scientific and technological developments (radar, codebreaking, nuclear weapons, etc) made possible by top-notch scientists who had top-notch science educations. Sure, evolution per se didn’t play into physics. But folks who would demand that we teach how the book of Genesis talks about biology might also demand that we teach, for example, how the book of Joshua talks about physics or how the book of Kings talks about mathematics.

      • Fly Germ says:

        “since you have taken god out of school look at all the problems you have today”

        You mean, incredible leaps in medicine, a decrease in crime, better standards of living for more people, greener technology? I’ll take those problems and support science in providing more of them.

  13. Chesterfield Man says:

    Good luck with your aims. As regards this:
    “…hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”
    Be aware that Nobel also do prizes for fictional literature!

    • Brandon says:

      “…hundreds and hundreds of scientists, *many of them* holding Nobel prizes,

      In order to qualify for Bachmann’s statement they must be BOTH Scientists and Nobel Prize winners. In the unlikely event that she actually responds to this challenge, she will likely trot out a Nobel Prize winner from some other category, and we must be quick to disqualify that person unless they are BOTH a Scientist and a Nobel Prize winner.

      • Ian Davies says:

        For even greater precision, they must be a scientist who won a Nobel Prize in their chosen field of science!

  14. DialDoctors says:

    Way to go Zack! This shows that even at such a young age, you speak your mind and demand the best education for your state and the rest of the country.
    Keep it up! We are rooting for you.

  15. Nile says:

    Keep it up!

    Remember, this isn’t a matter of opinion: this shit kills people. Sooner or later we’ll get a primate denier in a position of responsibility, confronted with a decision that requires an ability to comprehend the evolution of resistance in bacteria and viruses, and all the consequences that flow from that.

    • Excellent point. Evolution isn’t just a particular random factoid; it is one of the central organizing principles of biological science. And it goes on not just at the one moment in history, but on a constant ongoing basis, and in situations that are highly important for decision-making on real political issues that affect real people’s lives.

  16. Kieran says:

    It never ceases to amaze that the public education system in the USA, the country whose contributions to science over the last half century have dwarfed all others, can teach creationism in the science classrooms.

    Creationism is a belief system, and therefore belongs in the Religious Studies classroom. Yes, kids should be made aware of the Bible’s teachings, just like they should be made aware of the teachings of the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib and other major religious texts, because it aids understanding between human beings and cultures in an increasingly globalist society. What Michelle Bachmann and the LSEA are doing, however, is morally reprehensible. By teaching beliefs in the science classroom, they are teaching your great nation’s kids that the two are on an equal footing, which they are not.

    Since science started coming up with theories about the origins of the universe, and the origins of life, some (but not all) theists have been desperately trying to combat it, just as followers of different religions have fought between themselves to establish who is right. What the small minority of theists, including Michelle Bachmann, fail to see, or perhaps just refuse to accept, is that science is not just another religion; most religions are systems of beliefs and each dictates a way of life by which its followers must abide or face the wrath of some divine being. Science does not. Science provides a way to understand our world through testable hypotheses based on empirical observations. It provides us with the tools to better our lives and do amazing things. Science has never been about

    Here in the UK, the education system would never get away with teaching creationism as fact, and even in mainland Europe, where a lot of people are still deeply religious, the Big Bang theory and Darwin’s evolutionary theory are widely accepted, because they have the backing of the Roman Catholic Church. If the largest religious authority in the world can accept the scientific evidence, why can’t Republican politicians?

    It’s high time right wing politicians and religious zealots stopped trying to elevate their inherently unprovable “theories” to the same level as science. If they don’t, the USA’s contributions to scientific research will diminish and the whole global scientific community, and human race, will suffer as a result.

    • Dave says:

      In, the United States, passing laws about the teaching of creationism, intellegent design, et al.. is about getting votes for elected office.

  17. Liz Cosgrove says:

    Bravo, Lad!!

  18. RetiredSciGuy says:

    Nice work, Zack. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has been following your blog on his blog, and sent us over here.

    Good luck! At 17, you’re at an age where you may be in college now, or will be starting this year. Where?

  19. Mark Patrick says:

    Bravo good Sir! I can’t believe this is still an issue. I remember when the Intelligent Design “theory” first came into the News over here (in the UK), the whole nation just took one look and went “WTF?”. It beggars belief that a law that allows the teaching as literal truth (against all scientific evidence) that we all spontaneously appeared on a planet created five days earlier 6000 years ago as science still exists in a 21st century state. It’s just as laughable that this woman, with barely half a braincell to speak of, labours under the delusion that credible scientists can back this up.

    Best of luck with your appeal from across the pond. Let’s hope there’s a win for common sense.

    • Rob H says:

      I wouldn’t get too complacent about the influence of religion in UK schools. Both of my children have come back from their infant achools having been taught that Jesus being the son of God is an historical fact rather than a matter of a faith/belief system. Subtle indoctrination into Christianity is alive and well although fortunately clearly distinct from science teaching. And don’t assume this woman is stupid just because she believes something patently absurd. Clever people can be deluded too.

      Zack – good post although I’m not sure using ‘Colleges or Employers MAY regard students from Louisiana less favourably’ makes a compelling case. Needs some evidence, like your quoted study of achievement.

  20. Eva Henninger says:

    Wow, this is ridiculous. I’m about to turn 17, and I totally disagree. Why can’t you let her do what she wants and feels is right ?! She’s the one with the education. I think you just feel insecure about yourself and the fact that she has God in her life you’re completely jealous. Ha, funny. You won’t get anywhere.

    • Bob Arthur says:

      Because what she wants and feels is right is actually wrong and incredibly harmful to the schools and children affected. You say that it is she who has the education, whereas in point of fact it is she who has chosen to disregard her education in favour of dogma.

      Well said Zach.

    • KarenJ says:

      Michele Bachmann homeschools her 5 kids.

      Since she’s evidently corrupted her education by co-mingling it with faith-based tenets, she’s damaged the potential IQs of her children.

      My accusation of intellectual corruption goes for anyone else who teaches the same bizarre curriculum Michele Bachmann does.

    • Lynn Wilhelm says:

      Eva I’m sorry you weren’t properly educated about science. That’s what many well educated people (some of them commenting here) are trying to prevent. If you don’t accept the fact of evolution, you were either poorly educated or are lying to yourself about it.
      Zack is smart enough to see that a bad science education is enough to hold a student back and possibly limit their future prospects.

    • Michael Kimsal says:

      “Why can’t you let her do what she wants and feels is right?”

      This is precisely the same question people ask Bachmann and her supporters over issues like same sex marriage – “why can’t you let people do what they feel is right and what they want”?

      “Do what feels right” and “do what you want” are the very tenets conservatives rail against and point to as being the prime causes of the “downfall of America”. To use the same reasoning to *allow* someone like Bachmann to demand creationism be taught in schools is poorly thought out, to say the least.

      Perhaps you don’t really believe that, and were trying to be sarcastic?

      • Richard says:

        I think what it really boils down too, Is there has to be a better way. Religion has been around for a long time and it doesn’t work, It’s not Factual, it clearly is arrived from the way one is raised, It has caused more suffering and murder of people in reality than any natural disaster. Even man’s use of Nuclear weapons upon Japan dwarf the atrocity’s of The Church.

        I am 55 and it makes me happy to read articles like Zack, a very intelligent and opened minded person at such a young age. Rock on.

    • exo says:

      I don’t want your god near my kids.

    • Tasha says:

      Actually Eva, just because someone is educated, does not mean that they should have control over what our children learn. Creationism is a religious teaching and it should NOT be taught in schools, let alone a science class. And please help yourself. Before you start believing everything Michele Bachman says, do a little research. You have a world at your fingertips to explore.

    • TJW says:

      I whole heartedly agree with Lynn Willhelm and the whole content of Zack’s article above.

      Eva, you fail to separate faith from provable fact. You fail to understand the difference between faith and science. You also fail to understand the separation of church and state. The theocratic societies of the North Africa and the Middle East are prime examples of what can happen when a belief system gets out of hand, so be carefule what you wish for here.

      That being said, I have no problem with faith. I have no problem with you promoting your belief system, as long as it’s done outside of the public school system, and outside of government.

      I have a major problem with it happening in a science classroom. Faith, feelings, and scripturally based ideas on how the world came to be (regardless of whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other) belong in religious studies and philosophy classes. Science belongs in a science classroom.

    • Peggy Sannerud says:

      She can believe anything she bloody well wants to – but now she is trying to impose her beliefs on others by law, Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    • Keith Alan Burrows says:

      I see by your answer that your way is the right & only way because you ‘think’ you have God on your side. How sad that the Christians are the worst of the lot in practicing the lessons taught in the Bible (the book they presume to be the ‘be all-end all’). It seems to me that IF there is a “God” she created science and our brains to learn, providing us the ability to question and research all things, not blindly follow as mindless sheep such as yourself. You have a lot to learn yet, little girl.

    • Titus In Chains says:

      Eva,

      Take just a moment and consider what you’ve written: “Why can’t you let her do what she wants and feels is right ?!”

      Perhaps, just because Ms. Bachman feels it’s “right” doesn’t entitle her to legislate her beliefs for everyone else, though that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And as you seem to be in agreement with her, perhaps it is you who should have this question posed to you. For example, why can’t you let a woman get an abortion if that’s what she wants and feels is right? Or let the gay man down the street from you marry his partner because he wants to and he feels it’s right? Honestly, you simply can’t use this flimsy defense unless you apply it to everyone.

      This is a country that was founded in part by people who wanted to escape religious tyranny in their government. That is why the founding fathers felt it was vital to guarantee the freedom of religion, and more importantly, that it be kept out of government. They understood what you obviously do not, which is that using government/public services to promote a particular religious dogma was tyranny and a dangerous threat to their liberty. Perhaps if our public schools were allowed to teach without interference like this, you would already comprehend this.

      In this country – you have the guaranteed right to religious freedom. You do NOT have the right to expect everyone else to embrace that religion.

      You accuse the writer of the blog of being “jealous” and “insecure”. But it seems to me that if you honestly have faith in your religion, you would not find it necessary to have it taught as “scientific proof”. That, I believe, is certainly a sign of insecurity as well as appalling hubris. (Look it up. It’s in this really old book with a lot of words in it.)

      Believe in the bible’s teachings. That’s your right. But try to realize that this country is populated by millions of people with varying religious faiths of their own, and to enjoy your right requires that you respect theirs as well. Perhaps you will understand this as you mature. One can only hope.

    • Fred says:

      You really look 17 with this post. Zack, with his, look like an century old bearded man to whom you turn to for wisdom and guidance. :)

      Evolution, or more broadly science is not contradicting any belief or religion. Only those too unsecure such as the extremists are disturbed by science because they take the writings literally without distance.

      God owns the churches and hearts. Science owns the schools and brains.

      Cheers from Switzerland.

  21. Rob Jones says:

    Excellent article. Read this on recommendation of scientist in UK. Keep pushing, cause the argument is great, and you’ll have plenty of backing. This isn’t a god vs anti god argument. It’s science against the rant of the blind

  22. Lejla Somun-Krupalija says:

    Well said, thank you!!!

  23. Frank J says:

    Excellent again Zack!

    While you’re at it, ask her how many of those Nobel Laureates who “dissent” from “Darwinism” also reject common descent, and whether or not she does. Enter “List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really?” on YouTube to find a survey that shows that only ~10% of the biologists (most or all not laureates) who singed the deliberately vague “dissent statement” reject common descent. You can also have fun with the fact that most signers were not even biologists, and that the list is padded with the names of many who were already members of the activist organization that promotes it.

  24. Reinard says:

    Careful, Zack. The last time a high schooler challenged Bachmann on a topic her classless Tea Party minions responded with insults and death threats.

    • You must be old and can’t remember being young. Teenagers regularly insult one another, especially their best friends, just for fun.

      Besides, Zack’s not afraid. Teenagers believe themselves to be immortal.

    • Ah, but the young woman challenging Ms. Bachman on her ignorance of the Constitution and American civics is a girl, which makes it okay (not) to call her a whore and accuse her of being the puppet of attention-seeking parents and to make explicit threats and to entertain violent fantasies against her. Grrrrr….

  25. Jen says:

    This is an excellent article – extremely articulate, focused and, most importantly of all, well substantiated. I’m from England and cannot imagine being taught creationism in any lesson except Religious Education, in which it is taught only as Christian doctrine and not as fact; in fact, when I was taught it several years ago, I can’t remember anyone – including a dozen Christians – agreeing with the theory of creationism.
    I hope you succeed in your endeavour. Good luck and you’ve got my support from over the pond!

  26. Ellie says:

    Very well done, Zack.

  27. Peter Opdahl says:

    Well said.

    Ms. Bachmann is an embarrassment to the United States. Ultimately, we get the leaders we deserve. Ignorant and self-interested voters will see their own image reflected in the faces of those they elect to represent them. Ms. Bachmann is an excellent example of this at the state level, but I have to believe that the United States’ electorate as a whole is not that stupid.

  28. Nice post, Mr. Kopplin. Michele Bachmann is a loon. I remember in the callow days of my youth when there used to be such a thing as a “moderate Republican.” Now they’re mosty purveyors of denialism: denial of anthropogenic climate change, denial of evolution, denial of social and economic justice for all. If this new crop of right-wingers had their way, there wouldn’t be any point to this discussion because the Department of Education would be abolished and science curricula would be whatever Joe the Plumber thought kids needed to know.

    • Sandman says:

      And excellent point well made there chief.

      Pop Quiz:

      Q): If you have a heart problem you go to hospital and see a cardio-specialist. When your car breaks down you take it to a qualified mechanic to fix. If you are in need of a tooth being pulled you go to a dentist. Now, when it comes to deciding what your kids should learn in school who do you ask to set the standards:

      a) Joe The Plumber?
      b) Don The Dentist?
      c) Michelle the Mentally Challenged Politician?
      d) A panel of qualified academics and education experts?

      Y’see my American chums THAT is where your problems begin. You have put the least qualified people in charge of what gets taught in your schools. LSBs staffed by Joe The Plumber and Don The Dentist are NOT qualified to set curricula content or determine how it is taught. Education is NOT something that can be democratised at the will of the general public.

      You need to scrap LSBs and state to state standards. Nationalise your standards and curricula control, or continue wasting time and effort and piles of money on these stupid battles, while kids in one state (or even in the next school district) get a better education than the ones next door.

      And you NEVER let plumbers, preachers and dentists set the standards.

      That or your education standards will always be all back o the bus compared to Europe, Canada and the rest of the west.

      • Tell us something we don’t know.

        You think we want this?

        The problem is, we only hold our elected officials accountable on Election Day. After that, they do what ever the hell they want.

        Just ask DINO Obama who brought in his man from Chicago that was rejected by every teacher’s union and educational organization in America. But he, like all DINOs and Republicans, did what was right for the upper 1% wealthy elite, again.

        Next year, vote out all DINOs, especially DINO Obama in the Democratic Primaries.

        Vote only for PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS.

  29. Lynn Wilhelm says:

    Great work again Zack. Keep up the good work.

  30. vhutchison says:

    Zach: I have followed your efforts from the begining and find your efforts inspiring and an outstanding example of what an individual can do. I hope your work will accomplish the goal of ridding Louisiana of this awful act.

  31. Kathryn says:

    Way to go Zach. You’re an inspiration. I’m embarrassed to say I only just today heard of your work. I hope you go into Journalism, but whatever you do, you’ll do great.

  32. Mark Jaquith says:

    Well said, Zack. Keep on this.

  33. Bryan Johnson says:

    Great work, Zack. Glad to see you taking a stand and fighting for what’s right. However, just one point of correction… the 2005 court case was Kitzmiller v Dover, not the other way around. Dover was the defendant. Keep up the continued good work.

  34. Joe Fatzen says:

    Hear hear! I only wish the Internet existed as a platform back when I was in high school, to take one the stupid crap directly.

  35. Connor says:

    Well done.

  36. Nick Nakorn says:

    Zack,
    many congratulations and best wishes for your campaign,
    Nick

  37. Guy Chapman says:

    As a Brit I have always found it incredible that any education department would even consider the idea that scientists need some kind of law to allow them to teach something which is completely rejected by the consensus of scientific opinion. At school we were taught about the history of ideas which are now considered refuted, including things like phlogiston and Cartesian aether. The teachers had no trouble at all explaining where these ideas came from, why they were significant in their day, and how science came to reject them. Creationism was taught in religious studies, and even then it was amde clear that this was pre-scientific and by now considered allegorical even by most Christians.

    What’s most disappointing is that they seem to be allowed an indefinite number of kicks at the can. The oxymoronic “creation science” was torpedoed, followed by intelligent design, and now “academic freedom” acts designed to allow academics the freedom to do something in which they have, in general, never expressed any lack of freedom. The idea that science teachers would be held back by the lack of a law specifically permitting them to teach pseudoscience is a ridiculous and trasnparent falsehood.

    Unfortunately these laws will not be struck down until test cases establish that they are being used to promote teaching of creationism (which is, of course, their sole purpose). No matter: the shame is still on the legislature for passing a bill whose intent is abundantly clear and absolutely antithetical to the teaching of future scientists.

    Perhaps as an example of the true impact of their thinking we should force them to live for six months without the use of any product whose manufacture or operation depends on quantum theory, the field of science which most obviously contradicts Boblical creationism. They might feel a little cold and isolated in that time.

  38. scutmunkey says:

    Well done kid. Keep up the good work

  39. Will Parbury says:

    Great post. I wish your campaign every success.

  40. NoUseForAName says:

    My boy better get laid for this, because this is sick. Best thing I’ve seen in a while, and I am seriously heartened by this. Like Omar calling out Marlo.

  41. pascal says:

    In a post called “Show me…” you can’t really just throw out numbers like 43 Nobel Laureates without at least linking to a list of their names (but anybody can just list names. Instead link to a list of sourced quotes from them), that’s just as bad as the number Bachmann pulled from thin air (it just looks more realistic).

  42. Jeffrey Peel says:

    Well said and congratulations on such an excellent piece – and one that, by its very nature, shows the value of fact and evidence. However, don’t assume that Louisiana is alone in having anti-education, anti-science politicians in its midst. Even in the UK we have to face down an active God-squad that wants us to return to the dark-age swamp of pseudo-science providing answers to some of the most fundamental questions. If we take our eyes off the hard-won gains of the last few centuries – where science has established primacy over mumbo jumbo – there is every chance that the priests, chiefs or thieves will steal the prize of well educated and articulate children. You are showing, by example, that this is a battle we must win.

  43. Liz says:

    This post simply wouldn’t have the impact that it has if it had been made by a politician, or a Nobel Laureate, or science teacher, as it could be manipulated to look like those people were simply defending a vested interest. For taking this fight on, the world owes you a debt of gratitude.

    BTW, I read this on the advice of Simon Singh, a mighty good man to have on your side!

  44. Nathaniel Byrne says:

    Brilliant, you’ve restored part of my faith in humanity.

  45. Sandman says:

    Hi Zack

    Well done lad! Keep on hammering at the anvil trooper.

    I’m from the UK and as some have commented here teaching creationism in a school here would see the school and teacher concerned in a whole stewpot of trouble. Even teaching it in RE class is a sensitive subject. Then again education in the UK is a national thing – we have a national curricula contents et by OFSTEAD and monitored closely to ensure no slippage in standards.

    A few years ago the Council of Europe passed Resolution 1580 (2007)1 which, while not legally binding on member states, sets out the European attitude to creationist teachings.

    http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/ta07/ERES1580.htm

    Take a look…its pretty stiff wording. Reflecting the shabby tactics of the Discoveroids AFA drafts circulated to creo-nut politicians Id propose you used this as a model framework for legislation in each state.

    Good luck my friend and battle ever on.

  46. Calum says:

    I support the cause, but this doesn’t seem like a great way to make the case. ‘We’re right because more people believe what we believe than believe what you believe’ is a specious argument, and one that would have prevented many great scientific discoveries were it valid.

    • Lynn Wilhelm says:

      “We’re right because more people qualified to discuss the issue believe the LSEA is dangerous and problematic than people believe it isn’t.”

      There, fixed that for you.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      The only reason this point is being made is Michele Bachmann made the claim in the first place.

  47. Phil says:

    I feel sad for any student whose future worth is jeopardized by a sub-par education.
    Zack: I think that YOU have a future… :-)
    Maybe not in the US… :-(

  48. Bill Whithers says:

    I’ll see your millions of scientists, and raise you a pope. I think you’re bluffing.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      To quote Pope John Paul II, “There is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of faith.” I believe I’ve matched that pope, and that he would have agreed with what I’m saying today.

      • Libby Cone says:

        I seldom find myself agreeing with the Pope, but there is no reason why evolution, the laws of thermodynamics, classical physics, and general relativity aren’t God’s laws. People who want to insist that God literally created the world in six days are dumbing God down, which is blasphemous. Read about multiverse theory, and see how absolutely awesome God is!

        • Jess Winfield says:

          “…there is no reason why evolution, the laws of thermodynamics, classical physics, and general relativity aren’t God’s laws…” But there is no reason why they are: , straight flush, cashing my chips. It’s been a pleasure playing with you.

          • Wayne says:

            Jess – you should go out and play in traffic.

          • Zack Kopplin says:

            Jess, Occam’s razor is irrelevant to this, because this isn’t a fight over religion. This is a fight over the separation of church and state. I personally could care less what anyone else believes, although I make sure people understand that you can be religious and still accept evolution.

            Wayne’s response was a little much though.

      • TJW says:

        well played, sir

  49. redwitch says:

    I graduated from a small public high school in NC. Our science teachers weren’t allowed to teach evolution in science class, and articles about contraception were torn out of teen magazines. I remember my biology teacher saying, “While I’m not allowed to teach anything about the theory of evolution, I MORE than happy to answer any questions you may have.” Keep up the good work!

  50. Lady Chappers says:

    What an inspirational post and Campaign / Blog. Keep up the good work, Zack.

  51. C.L. Ward says:

    Kudos, Zach! You give me hope for our next generation, showing that despite the best efforts of a lot of people to dumb down the schools and inject religion into curricula everywhere, students are still able to emerge from the system with bright minds.

    You may want to fix your “Nobel Laureates” link. I think you want it to go to http://www.repealcreationism.com/397/41-nobel-laureates-send-a-letter-to-the-louisiana-legislature/

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      I’m putting it to the NCSE link, because they mention that there is 43 total, not just the 42 who are on that letter.

  52. Renshia says:

    I sure you will find her position on this is:
    That was not meant as a factual statement.

  53. Fearghal says:

    Good work!

  54. Adam says:

    The scientists Bachmann has in mind are likely the following:

    Richard Errett Smalley (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996)
    Charles Hard Townes (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1964)

    Those are the only two I can find who have stated outright that they believe in intelligent design and doubt evolution. (And Smalley was a religious skeptic most of his life, only converting to Christianity and taking up the intelligent design cause in his later years.)

    That being said, ID proponents maintain much longer lists of Nobel laureates who have made some kind of statement professing religious belief, and count them for their side. These include household names such as Einstein, Planck, and Heisenberg. But you won’t find any statements from such men specifically endorsing intelligent design or doubting the reality of organic evolution.

    Meanwhile, it’s quite easy to identify Nobel laureates who recognize evolution and oppose the teaching of ID as science. As Zack has noted, 43 have recently come together to oppose Louisiana’s law. In 2005, 38 Nobel Laureates wrote a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education urging them to not teach intelligent design. In 1986, during the Edwards v. Aguillard hearings, 72 Nobel laureates endorsed an amicus curiae brief that noted that the “evolutionary history of organisms has been as extensively tested and as thoroughly corroborated as any biological concept.”

    • Karl says:

      Congresswoman Bachmann claimed “hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

      The scientists Bachmann has in mind are likely the following:

      Richard Errett Smalley (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996)
      Charles Hard Townes (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1964)

      Those are the only two I can find.

      So what you’re saying is that in addition to not understanding science, Bachmann doesn’t understand math, either? After all, “hundreds and hundreds” would mean (at a minimum) 400.

  55. Lisa says:

    Great piece! Keep up the good work!

  56. TomS says:

    Sir Ernst Chain (Physiology or Medicine, 1945)

  57. Noa Strong says:

    You GO girl. As a scientist and a believer in furthering our educational system i stand behind you. There can be no verbal slight of hand to easily dismiss your arguments. Bravo.

  58. Mike says:

    Good to see that our children here in the US aren’t afraid to stand up and fight for what they believe in. You are a true American kiddo and keep up the good fight:).

  59. Stephen Turk says:

    This 17 year old girl should run for President (when she can legally run) she has more brains than most adults.

    • Kerry says:

      17 year old YOUNG MAN.

      Zack is a dude.

      You’re getting him confused with Amy What’sHerName, the OTHER teenager that laid down the ownage on Michele Bachman.

      You are forgiven, given this sleight does not happen again. If you had read the damn article you would have figured it out on your own. My advice would be to next time read the article before you comment on it.

  60. Shawn says:

    Nice work, Zack. The more intelligent people your age stand up against such radical nonsense, the better chance of eradicating it. But please be aware of a more sinister plan at work. The Christian extremists in the Republican party are working toward eliminating public schools altogether, in order to avoid the “pesky” separation of church and state issue. That is what these voucher programs you here about are for. Private schools, funded by rich right wing sources, could teach Creationism without fear of legal repercussions. It is a growing movement, with big money behind it, that has “social engineering” as it’s ultimate goal. Your generation will have big decisions to make regarding the voucher issue. You are a very intelligent young adult. Keep on learning, and don’t worry, Michelle Bachmann will NEVER be elected President.

  61. Elise says:

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!

  62. Amanda says:

    As a graduate of a Louisiana high school, I wholly agree with you. As a Christian school, we were not exposed to the idea of evolution. Since it was a private school, they didn’t have to. It always upset me, because I knew there was no scientific theory to support creationism. Your fight is our fight.

  63. Erin Lawrence says:

    From a fellow Louisianian – great job and thank you for tackling these topics! I wish you every success.

  64. Bob Jones says:

    As long as BOTH ideas are taught, I have no problem with it. Do you know much about creationism? Have you learned it from church, the internet, friends? Wouldn’t you rather get the real information from a state-mandated book?

    Yes, yes we have “Separation of Church and State”. I am a believer in the school system (school system..read carefully please), and would want my future children to know both methods of creation (whether or not I’m an atheist or not, who cares?), the evolutionary way, and the God way just to make their own minds up. However, I wouldn’t want this very controversial topic brought up until at least 9th-10th grade (restrictive upon the level of schooling because of the development of younger minds and their abilities to make large character decisions). I am not saying to not teach evolution/history until 10th grade, I am simply saying that in order to make *most everyone* happy, the schools will have to either:

    1. Teach both science and creationism in Science class.
    2. Teach an actual Religions/ethics class in school.
    3. Stop the total whining about the classes in school and become adults.
    4. Profit!

    That is all. I will leave you to bicker.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      The problem is creationism is not science. It does not meet the requirements to be science, so it should not be in a public school science classroom. I have no problem with a comparative religions class or a philosophy class, although you may find an “ethics” or philosophy class wildly different than a comparative religions class.

    • Titus In Chains says:

      Nice try, Bob. But fence sitting isn’t really an admirable pasttime.

      Your “argument” is flawed, and patently ridiculous. You honestly think an acceptable solution is to teach both concepts as SCIENCE, so your children can “make their minds up”? This implies that one or the other position is ultimately “correct”. There happen to be many Americans with very different religious beliefs that do not come from the Bible. So in your solution, all of the various positions -scientific and dogmatic – would have to be presented as possible “truths”.

      If you want your future children to be exposed to christian teachings, take them to church, where you will find people much more qualified to educate them about creationism. You seem dismissive of the separation of church and state, but the men who wrote that into our Constitution were extremely prescient about how religion can corrupt a civil government. The freedom of religious belief does not equate to the right to coerce other people into accepting those beliefs.

      It’s not really a difficult issue. Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC theory, and as such is appropriate to be taught in SCIENCE class. Biblical creationism is NOT a scientific theory, and as such has no place in the curriculum of a science class, regardless of how many people believe or don’t believe in it.

    • Greg Smith says:

      (first off… “profit”? wtf….)
      It’s an extremely clumsy attempted sleight-of-hand to suggest that evolution and creationism are opposites; creationists are trying to sell an argument that if they can poke one hole in evolution then it’s wrong…. and so creationism wins! Leaving aside that they haven’t poked any such hole … even if evolution is wrong then creationism is still unsupported. You would need to find an alternate for which some evidence exists (and ancient books aren’t evidence). Creationism is simply a belief, no better than any number of other unsupported beliefs. As Zack says, not science. There is no ‘controversy’ to teach. Eugenie Scott says all this better than I can; I can’t find the talk I was thinking of on youtube but this one is probably similar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3PnKswZtPI

    • Fred says:

      Bob,

      “make most everyone happy” is not the job of schools. The job of school is to teach. Like math, natural science, biology, English, literature, history, grammar, etc..

      Creationism in all due (ir)respect does not qualify for science, nor biology, nor history. And as it is not a science (where is the Noble Prize in the Creationism category ?), it cannot be added in a program in itself. It’s only acceptable place is in Religion science between Greek Gods and Tatar shamans.

      Cheers from Switzerland.

    • Sanity Jane says:

      Bob, you’re ignoring the practicalities of teaching Biblical creationism alongside evolution in a science classroom. Teachers would need to devote days to covering the evolution of the Theory from Darwin’s concept of natural selection to the modern synthesis that recognizes the roles of mutation, genetic drift, and gene flow, as well as the many parallel lines of evidence that support common descent. Creationism could be summed up in under a minute: “God created all lifeforms sometime in the past in their current forms. Since this is a supernatural explanation for the origin of species, it can’t be addressed scientifically. Class dismissed.”

      I wouldn’t object to giving students an opportunity to hone their critical thinking by demolishing the pseudo-scientific fantasies of young-earth creationists before moving on to debunk the more subtle claims of ID proponents, but I don’t think that’s what creationists have in mind when they whine about “teaching the controversy.”

  65. Chris W says:

    Go, Zack. Don’t let the dark clouds of superstition and irrationality snuff out the flame of science and reason.

    And as far as teaching evolution and creationism as equal but different? That’s like teaching about the Revolutionary War, then about Bilbo finding the Ring, and then letting the students decide which is real and which is not.

    Chris W, MD

  66. Rowena DeVandal says:

    Kudos to you, young man! I was fortunate enough to go through public school long before anyone thought to try and get intelligent design added to the curriculum, for which I am eternally grateful. But it saddens me that the next generations of children may have to live with having this implausible and unprovable idea presented to them as another “possibility” for how life came to be on this planet. And, as someone who follows a very non-traditional religion, it outright FRIGHTENS me that future generations may find themselves living in a country where they are not able to follow their hearts when it comes to religion. The separation of church and state is something that should be considered sacrosanct, and trying to blur that line by allowing intelligent design to be taught as science is disgusting. This country is supposed to be a democracy, not a theocracy, and it’s people like you who will be the leaders of tomorrow who KEEP it that way.

  67. Cathy says:

    We find our nation behind so many others in the field of science. Our children need a better understanding of the way nature works,not the way we wished it worked. I understand that there are now scientists who have found reason to debate the theory of evolution. This does not mean that they are accepting of creationism. I am very glad to have someone call Bachmans bluff. We have all seen that she creates her own version of history to suit her needs,now she is trying to do the same with science!

  68. Jonathanblake says:

    Keep up the fight!! Way to call her bluff!! Science needs a victory as it seems so many “scientists” like Bachmann want to redefine it by destroying it and replacing it with their own “well-researched” ideas. I’m also from the South (Alabama) and went to a private school and I didn’t have a real science class until my freshman year in college. It was somewhat life changing to see that science wasn’t the menacing, malicious, fault ridden thing I’d always been told it was. My kids will never go to a private school unless I know it teaches science and not classes making you learn arguments about all the ways evolution is wrong and other dogma which is a shame because science helps you learn to think but my classes taught me what to think. Real science is a wonderful thing and had I began learning it earlier I might have been entering the field of science instead of what I’m in school for now. All that’s left for me to do is make sure my kids and others’ as well get the opportunity I never had- to fall in love with science at an earlier age and learn to discover the universe. I’ll side with the millions of scientists and with you!

  69. Richard Pilkington says:

    That you are aware Amy Myers was confronted with threats and insults speaks well of your character to make the statements that you do.

    I am impressed that there are at least a couple of well-spoken young people so concerned with what is going on in the world today and are willing to speak out so eloquently. As an aging American I am beginning to feel much better about handing over the reins to this younger generation.

  70. Top Dubstep says:

    Good work Zack. This is unbelievably inspiring to read.

  71. Christina Ramazani says:

    Zack- as a neighbor I gotta say- I definately know where you’re coming from.

    I wonder how people let Bachmann get elected. I’d like to speak to them.

    I went to Mississippi School for Math & Science because the “normal” system was gone to crap. I knew a few LSMS students a few years ago and it seemed we all agreed on the uselessness of “No Child Left Behind.” That was definately a strangling atmosphere for those who were intellectually gifted, or what have you. At least that law helped SOMEONE, but this I think could be absolutely detrimental to the U.S.

    There used to be a time when parents taught their ideals to their children, rather than depend on school teachers. In in a child’s younger years, I think it’s the parent’s responsibility to pass on their individual beliefs. In middle-high school, classes should be offered to those who want to study creationism.

    After having read a lot of these comments, it seems like many have a solution to fix the education system. To those in the UK, I’m jealous of your cirriculum- really really, but what works for you, would it work for us? Things regretfully do not always work out that way- for that to even be considered would definately require some changes in our government. (I’m going to do some research on your cirriculum, I’d like to know more details) And you’re right, Joe the Plumber isn’t qualified to decide what’s taught in science class. What’s sad is when a bunch of Joes get together and decide that it’s inappropriate to teach hormone-crazed teens about their bodies and ban “The Miracle of Life” from school- that is just ignorant.

    Well written, I’m proud.
    Christina~ Gulf Coast, MS

  72. I wouldn’t mind Creationism being taught in a religion, philosophy, or world culture class. The problem is, when education budgets were being slashed over the last 30 years and the US fell down the ranks of industrialized nations, funding for liberal arts and world studies was cut drastically, and the focus went to science and math in the hope of us closing the gap between us and the rest of the world. As such, you get politicians instead of teachers and scientists deciding what is science. Were the curricula to open back up, as it was before the War on Education started, you’d have forums for both concepts. Even in these litigious days where every atheist is trying to strike God from public schools, the concept of Creation can still be taught if couched correctly, perhaps in a comparative religion studies course.

    Then again, Republicans are about school choice, right? If they’re too thin-skinned to be able to handle science, they surely can take their kids out of public schools and put them into their local parochial school.

  73. Dion says:

    I am so glad she said “…the theory of evolution…” (3rd paragraph), since it is not a fact proven by the scientific method.

    • John Kusters says:

      Dion, neither is Atomic Theory or the Theory of Gravity, yet both are fundamental frameworks from which much of the rest of science is based upon.

    • Kenn Murphy says:

      In scientific research, the word theory has a much different meaning that you think it does. As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena. A scientific theory has been tested many times and found to be the best explanation that we have found so far for the phenomenon that it is trying to explain.

      P.S. Zach is a man, so the appropriate pronoun would be “he”.

    • Fred says:

      The evolution theory is tested since 150 years. It never failed scientific contradiction (which are numerous) and is adjusted when new evidence is found.

      http://youtu.be/G0UGpcea8Zg

      To the contrary, creationism is not tested in any way scientifically and never will.

      You people, why not contradict Newton gravity law with your God gravity law: We keep feets on the ground by God’s will ! I would buy into it as I do not have a clue in physics. :)

      Oh but I forgot, gravity is not mentioned on the Bible so you do not bother, right ?

      Cheers from Switzerland.

    • Jameson says:

      Evolution is a fact. The species alive in the world today are different than the species alive in the world in prior times. This is the fact of evolution: it happens. The theory of evolution is the explanation for how and why it happens.

      Now that you have been corrected, please don’t make that same mistake again. Now that you know the truth of the matter saying that evolution is not a proven fact would make you a liar.

  74. Vicky says:

    Good work Zack! I live in Minnesota’s 6th District and I can honestly say Michele Bachmann’s ignorance does not represent the vast majority of Minnesotan’s.

  75. @Dion: From what I understand, the “theory of evolution” is about as solid as the “theory of gravity” or the “theory of relativity”.

    Perhaps you don’t understand the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. Allow me to elucidate. A hypothesis is an educated guess, an untested attempt to explain an event in the world, based on superficial observation. One that hypothesis is tested in various ways, and the results of that test can indeed be duplicated and held up to scrutiny, that hypothesis becomes a theory and, over time, once it becomes universally accepted, it becomes a law.

    Politically motivated people take the word “theory” and make it synonymous with “guess”, and it’s not only wrong, it’s pernicious, misleading, and manipulative. Anyone with even a high-school scientific background knows the difference. There is a reason why it’s not called the “hypothesis of evolution”, because there have been tests, studies, analyses, documents, and thousands upon thousands of educated men over the last 150 years who have contributed to the creation of the theory and the compilation of evidence.

    I strongly urge you to parse phrases correctly if you insist on doing so.

  76. cake says:

    The article implies you are at a disadvantage scientifically if you believe in God with no real basis since god cannot be proven or disproven.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      No it does not, because you should not be teaching religion in a public school science classroom. There is nothing in this article about simply believing, this is about trying to force one narrow and unscientific viewpoint into the science classroom and claim it’s science. On top of that, Bachmann claims support she doesn’t have.

  77. Kenn Murphy says:

    I applaud you Zach. You’re an inspiration to us all. I only wish that I had done the same when I was in school.

  78. Pingback: Minnesota » Blog Archive » Hey Michele Bachmann, I Got Your Nobel Laureates Right Here

  79. Joshua Ross says:

    I agree free and open debate on a topic of controversy is not only unscientific, it’s un-American!

  80. bill peppin says:

    This forum has (apparently, but not actually) set those who would accept science against those who would represent that science, in order to be complete, must be informed by faith. Zach has concisely made the arguments in defense of excluding everything but science from science classes, including religion. For those who would support Bachmann, let me suggest you find solace in the following. Almost no practicing scientist holds that science, and what derives from science, encompasses all of human experience. Most would agree with me that science addresses not at all those things of most importance to human experience. For those of faith, I don’t have to suggest what these are to you.

  81. Bernie Keefe says:

    More power to you Zack! I enjoy your chutzpah in calling out Michele Bachmann. You and Amy Myers of NJ should get together. The true spirit of what it means to be a citizen of the United States resides in young people like yourself, and Amy.

    As to your detractors, pay them no heed. I am a Christian, yet I do not believe in the whole ‘six day’ simplicity. I believe that when God said, “Let there be light.”, we had the Big Bang if you will. The arrogance in confining the Almighty to a 24 hour period, certainly portrays our infinite God as trite.

    Two things, you need to get a facebook link, and also get yourself a form letter, much like Amy has prepared, so that we can send letters on your behalf.

    Rest assured I will be linking your site to my facebook page, and I will visit often to check on your progress.

    Bon Chance, and God Bless,
    Bernie

  82. Greg Smith says:

    Zack, good for you. It’s so important to keep people from destroying science education.

    It seems to me that those supporting ID or creationism do not actually understand what happened when “Origin of Species” was published. They seem to believe that their One Truth creation myth was eclipsed by this scientific blasphemy, and that if they argue against it long and hard enough, and do enough Lying For God, they can get their myth back as generally accepted truth. It’s not that simple, not even close. This is like believing that you can go back to having a Flat Earth after having landed on the moon and sent probes out of the solar system.

    First of all, need I point out there are multiple creation myths around. The one based on Genesis is just one. But the important thing which happened was this: Darwin showed that the presence of diverse species can be explained by extension of already-recognized processes of genetic changes, over long time periods. This changed the world because prior to that, no-one had any explanation for such diversity, except for “God did it”. There’s simply no going back on this; even though Darwin was wrong on many details (you’d certainly expect this; for instance DNA was unknown at the time) the point is that the process is no longer a “Mystery,” and thanks to a lot of scientific work building on this, we now have an extremely good, detailed explanation for the diversity of species, and nothing has ever been found which contradicts this theory. On the contrary, mountains of support have been found for it in many, many fields. DNA sequencing is being used to build a detailed map of the Tree of Life. Of course, it’s still possible to believe that God did it, if you insist, but if so, we now know how in great detail, and we know how long it really took, too. And it turns out, we don’t see any reason it couldn’t all have happened on its own. And I must say it’s far more impressive than simply “God did it”.

  83. Gordon says:

    Fantastic! Bachman is an embarrassment to Minnesota, which used to be so progressive, with Mondale, Humphrey, Wellstone, and so on. How Bachman got elected is beyond me, but I guess there are a lot of gullible folks in her district! She’s outspoken and speaks TOTAL untruths, it’s been documented. I’m so sorry she has risen to this level. What good does it do anyone to hear her spew lies about most everything? Great & inspiring work Zack, on this effort of yours. Excellent job!

  84. Floyd Lee says:

    As for me, I support Congresswoman Bachmann’s efforts. And btw….

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/science_law_and_economics_come046871.html

    • Zach (not the author) says:

      Right in the first paragraph of that trash you linked, it lies. There is no controversy over the theory of evolution. It is accepted scientific fact, and unqualified people criticizing it is NOT tantamount to actual controversy.

      I stopped reading after it said that there were credible scientific views that dissent from evolution. Your support is disgusting, the article is trash, and you should be ashamed of your idiocy.

      • Tex Taylor says:

        Bet you say the same about “Global Warming…”

        • Jameson says:

          The percentage of people educated in the relevant fields who do not believe in global warming is astonishingly small, much like the percentage of people educated in evolution yet believing in biblical creationism is astonishingly small.

          Being anti-fact is not an admirable quality. If you think all of these scientists are wrong and the few (most of whom work for oil companies) are right, you have to ask yourself why. Why would they lie? Why don’t the facts back up your opinion?

          Educate yourself.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      Floyd. Anything from that website has no credibility.

      You could also have more class when making stuff up about me on other sites.

  85. bill peppin says:

    Floyd, you are no scientist. Science WELCOMES! observations and inferences which challenge the generally-accepted view in SCIENCE! See, that’s what you guys just don’t seem to be able to understand. The reason why “creation science” [sic] does not belong in a SCIENCE! classroom is that it is not SCIENCE, but RELIGION: read the Pennsylvania decision that ruled, IN OUR LAW, that this is true; runs to 128 pages, and explains the preceding in clear language and at exhaustive length. Note that this implies nothing whatsoever about having classes that discuss philosophy and religions in the public schools. As a scientist, I APPLAUD efforts to do this as a fine way for young minds to develop keen skills in reasoning and analysis, the foundation of good science. But as so many have said in this forum: “intelligent design,” “creation science,” and “creationism” are NOT science. Whereas in religion, certain things are postulated as unchallengeable, in science NOTHING is unchallengeable, INCLUDING EVOLUTION, GLOBAL WARMING, GENERAL RELATIVITY, THE BIG BANG, QUANTUM MECHANICS, gar NICHTS, nada! Get it??? NO THING! So you put up a straw man when you say that teachers want to block information that contradicts (?) or does not support the theory of evolution. This is NOT TRUE, as evolution has been challenged SCIENTIFICALLY! for 150 years, and by nobody a better scientist or more devout Christian than Darwin himself! There is no possible conflict between “creation science” [sic] and evolution, because the former appeals to articles accepted on faith, while the latter derives, and ONLY derives, from observations made by imperfect humans in the natural world. So to the extent that humans are fallible, incorrect observations have been/are/will be made, from which incorrect scientific inferences will be drawn. But since all such inferences are subject to revision on new, and better, observations, new, and better, lines of logic, they cannot BY DEFINITION be unchallengeable. Thus, the very thing that a scientist finds spiritually uplifting — the naked honesty of science in willingness to replace former theories with new ones that better describe the data — is anathema to those like you. You are comfortable to allow people to interpret the clearly-ambiguous words of holy scripture in some way, and then blindly accept what they assert are the facts of the natural, i.e., the scientific, world. BTW, to say that, “Evolution is just a theory” has about the same information content as the statement that a pebble is just made up of molecules. If you understand what is written above, you will understand why this statement is information free despite the way it sounds to you.

  86. Garry Haralambou says:

    In 30 seconds, I searched the internet and found a number of scientist who believe in intelligent design. So that 17 year old was smart enough to fool a panel, but the truth is that scientist do support intelligent design. Watch this video.

    http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=nobel+laureates+who+believe+in+intelligent+design

    The read this article for more proof AND NAMES OF TWENTY NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS WHO BELIEVE IN A DIVINE DESIGNER.
    http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/nobelistsgod.htm

    Read this. This is why some scientist shy away from the truth.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/06/would_dr_arno_penzias_nobel_la003733.html

    • bill peppin says:

      Right, Penzias believes in ID, in “design” and so forth. Notice that he DOES NOT then go on to say that ID should be taught in science classrooms.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Garry, implying that evolution is atheistic is a false dichotomy. Of the 11 plaintiffs challenging ID at the 2005 Dover trial, at least 8 were Christian; several of the 8 were Sunday School teachers, and two (a husband-wife couple) ran a summer Bible Study camp. Several of the Dover expert witnesses for the plaintiffs were also Christian (Dr Ken Miller, Dr John Haught). Here’s Ken Miller:
      http://www.youtube.com/watchv=aO5us0qHcwc&feature=player_embedded

      In McLean vs Arkansas (1982), most of the plaintiffs challenging the creation science law were Christians and other theists.

      Many of us know the Discovery Institute list of dissenting scientists. But how does this compare to the percentage of scientists that accept evolution? How many on the DI list are biologists, paleontologists, geologists? How many ID biologists/geologists have long years of experience in the field and laboratory since getting their degrees?
      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111_1.html
      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111.html
      ID supporter and biochemist Dr Michael Behe might get a little credit since he accepts some common decent among species (an anathema among young-earthers) as well as an old earth and the so-called Big Bang. Yet, this is the same Behe, on cross-examination at Dover, that admitted if the rules of science were relaxed to allow ID into the science class room, astrology (yes, astrology) would also be allowed. Behe also conceded under oath to agreeing with this statement, “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred….” Perhaps little wonder why ID and creation science have been repeatedly ruled as religion and not science.

  87. Joanna Clark says:

    You link to a bunch of YouTube videos. Are you claiming that each of these individuals is a noble Laurette? Paul Nelson may be a Philosopher of Biology, but I find no evidence that he has been awarded a Noble Prize.

    I have no doubt that there are a few Noble Laurette’s who subscribe to creationism, but their numbers are miniscule in comparison to the numbers of scientists who do not subscribe to the creation nonsense.

    Instead of showing us a list of creationist propaganda films on YouTube, how about providing a list of those you claim subscribe to creationism or intelligent design.

    • bill peppin says:

      Many scientists do, indeed, believe in something divine out there, which many name God. Einstein is among them! But it is one thing to say that a scientist believes in God/design/creators and quite another to assert that, FROM THIS FACT ALONE, follows that (s)he advocates teaching his religious views, or any variants thereof, in the SCIENCE classroom.

      • Totentanz says:

        Actually, Einstein was not among them and even if he had been, he wouldn’t be anymore… considering he is, you know, dead.

  88. Charles gage says:

    Zack,

    Bravo! I am SO glad to hear from a young person such as yourself expressing interest in making changes. I went to school in the 1970′s and we were all about social issues and freedom and ending the Vietnam War. It is a pleasure to hear a young man take on this challenge.

    I thought for sure after we put a man on the moon (I watched it live on TV in 1969), that science would really “take off,” and it has, but still I am dumbfounded by the number of people who think cavemen and dinosaurs existed at the same time. I do not know how old Bachmann is but there seems to be a real educational drop-off in some of her age group. Perhaps, it is her background or environment. No idea, but seriously, she’s clueless.

    If people want to teach Creationism, teach it in church but don’t put a “science” label on it because it is anything but science.

    Congratulations on your efforts. I hope you are not taking too much heat from the religious crowd. Just know who is right, back it up with facts, and you will do great.

    Good luck at Rice next year. Good to see you on “Hardball” today.

    • bill peppin says:

      I don’t believe that Bachmann believes much of the drival she says in public about these things. She is but a thrower of Red Meat to those who would take such comments seriously. It’s all about, and only about, staking political claims on a rather large and monolithic block of voters. Looks to me she is just following the Palin example: former beauty queen, being conventionally photogenic, says ridiculous things so that the “news” bots will quote her. Think anybody would pay any attention to her if she were not “photogenic” in the sense of 24-hr “news” casting?

  89. C.D. Halburg says:

    If one was to look at the countries of the world, one would notice that the countries of the 3rd world share one common thread. That would be their own form of creationism. Without a strong foundation of Education, and science we end up with a country like Afghanastan. At least secular societies enjoy a standard they wouldn’t have without an educated class of people to design power plants, engineer irrigation for the farmers, &c. It really makes me wonder what kind of world Bachmann and others sharing her mind set would have us live. To me the choice is obvious.

  90. Debra Johnson says:

    Caught you on Hardball today, dude! You really stuck it to Bachmann! And on the same venue where she made her infamous, moronic comments about patriotism and the members of Congress. Bobby Jindal, as a former bio major (as I am), should be ashamed of himself, as should all proponents of this “law” who use it as a pathetic excuse to get religion into our classrooms. Don’t stop ’til it gets repealed!

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  92. Luckypuck says:

    Faith is based on opinion and no one person’s opinion is better than another’s. Science is based on facts and facts are indisputable, otherwise they were not facts to start with, no matter how many religionists may say their faith is based on facts.

    There are NO provable facts about intelligent design and, though still deemed a “theory,” evolution has a preponderance of facts that grow every decade and only a few counterfeited facts have been proven false and those proofs came from the scientific community.

    Lacking barely enough proof still to be called a theory, creationism gets the benefit of the doubt, while religionists try so desperately to inflate their anti-evolution doubts with nothing but hot air. Bachman is only selling lots of hot air. Too bad so many are even more desperate to believe her and too bad those are eligible to vote.

    But if scientists have any faith, it is that over time, the truth will prevail. I just hope our planet has enough time for that.

  93. Jon says:

    makes me more optimistic for our future to see smart, reasoned, mature, inspiring young men and women creating impact.

    thanks and congrats zach.

  94. Herebert says:

    I can name a Nobel laureate who was awarded the prize for being black–Obama, and didn’t Yasser Arafat get one for being a terrorist? (He was granted immunity for the murders he committed)

    I’d try some other title to attempt to show the recipient is either literate or admirable

    • bill peppin says:

      Oh? It would be fascinating to know what you would consider bona fides for some kind of intellectual firepower if not a Nobel prize. Events have shown that Obama did not deserve to be awarded the peace prize. But to imply that he is “not admirable” is, just like religious conviction, a statement of personal opinion. Your comment suggests that nothing Obama could say or do would identify him as “admirable” in your eyes. If this be untrue, please put this on the record for readers of this forum.

  95. Clitorious Achens says:

    If parents want a church like education for their children with an emphasis on the Bible there are plenty of church schools around to accommodate them. However the public schools is no place to be teaching this stuff. Tax payers who support public education come from a variety of backgrounds and religious preferences including atheists. So it is totally unfair to mix religious preferences in a public school setting.

  96. T'omm J'Onzz says:

    well you know, Zack, that now you’ll be threatened with violence, including rape, by the right for challenging the tea party darling, just as the 16-y/o who called Bachmann to demonstrate her Constitutional expertise.

    i support you and the idea in general idea, of course, but just so you know what kind of backlash to expect, if anything can prepare one for it.

  97. Wayne Perram says:

    Hey Zack. Jindal is a Rhodes Scholar. What are your credentials again? You’re nothing but a Jr. political hack. Let me guess? Devout atheist too….

    Here, educate yourself and come into the 21st century before you hit the college scene, so you won’t buy into more tripe. You and your instructors are about 20 years behind the times.

    You won’t understand much of it, but perhaps some day the light my come on and you won’t be so smug with your groupies here giving you the rub down. But it will be fun to watch you crawdad one day…

    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/37/4/1011.full

    • CatBallou says:

      Your hostility toward Zack doesn’t seem supported by your link, which is certainly not arguing against evolution. Perhaps it is you who misunderstands?

    • Auntie Mavis says:

      Are you trying to say that modern biology is pushing creationist theory?
      Or does it seek to continuously clarify evolution?

    • Gary says:

      Ah, yes, the “I’m older and therefore smarter than you” clique comes crawling out. Here’s where Zack has it all over you, Wayne. First, his article actually has reason and logic, not just ad hominem attacks. Second, in case you haven’t noticed (and your vitriol is so deep you probably haven’t), Zack has been doing a very good job all through these comments of keeping this conversation focused on his main concern, the separation of church and state as stipulated in the Constitution. He doesn’t care if you want to be religious, he (and the rest of us) don’t want it in the science classroom.
      Jindal may be a Rhodes Scholar, but that does not give him the right or privilege of saying, “We’re going to teach creationism in the science classroom.” Zack, on the other hand, is not a political hack, but a 17 year old who is operating at a much higher maturity level than you will ever be capable of. He’s well ahead of his time, not 20 years behind the times.
      Finally, and I only say this so that you’ll stop making a complete ass of yourself in front of your friends (it’s too late here… you’re already outed), if you really want to help ID’s cause, stop linking it to religion. Ya know, “ID” is not supposed to be religious; it’s supposed to be the secular (wink-wink) alternative to evolution. So every time you call people who disagree with the whole concept of creationism / ID (and they’re separate, right?… nudge nudge wink wink) by calling them “atheist”, you continue to put the lie to that argument confuse the issue. And you already seem confused enough.

      • Tex Taylor says:

        Baloney. I’m getting to where I can parrot and post your boilerplated retorts before you do. Somebody needs to shelve the cookie cutter.

        First, his article actually has reason and logic, not just ad hominem attacks.

        No it doesn’t. Zack is one of the millions of leftist lemmings mixing politics with science instead of religion with science. Global Climate Change Evolution is at best wild speculation that doesn’t begin to answer the origins of life, I’ve had far more science than Zack could have possibly taken including a ride through med school. I posted that to dispense with the nonsense and idiocy for the inane like you who fail to understand it is you that doesn’t get it.

        Second, in case you haven’t noticed (and your vitriol is so deep you probably haven’t), Zack has been doing a very good job all through these comments of keeping this conversation focused on his main concern, the separation of church and state as stipulated in the Constitution.

        Separation of Church and State? :lol: Let’s try a ruse of using the 1st Amendment to silence your critics. No, what it really on display is the Scopes Monkey Trial turned on its head. But now, instead of “Creationists”, whatever that means as a religious bigot like you would have no clue, what Zack is conveniently doing with the help of the lost masses is silence the critics of macro evolution and its many gaping holes.

        It may make him popular with the MSNBC drones, and get him admitted to an overrated university like Rice in the name of political correctness, but it doesn’t make it fact and it doesn’t make it true. I’m frankly surprised Zack didn’t mix in a little ‘We are the Ones’ mantra.

        One day soon, Zack will recognize the hard way his fifteen minutes of fame certainly were not worth it.

        • Tenncrain says:

          If you really had as much science as you claim, you’d know biological evolution does not deal with non-life paradigms, only with already existing life and how this already existing life has diversified (aka the origin of species). Origin of life questions are for fields within chemistry (abiogeneisis, panspermia, exogenesis, etc), but are outside the scope of biology/biological evolution.

          Many fossil record gaps have been filled within the last two decades alone. Check them out (such as between land mammals and whales, between fish and amphibians/tetrapods (Tiktaalik for example).

          Other posts have well dealt with the ‘God vs evolution’ argument being a false dichotomy. A short list of Christians/theists that accept evolution include Keith Miller (geologist), Ken Miller (biologist), Robert Bakker (paleontologist), not to mention scientists Francis Collins, Karl Giberson, Darrel Falk, etc, etc, etc.

          A good way to silence critics is with real evidence. However, since the Dover trial, leaders within the ID/creationist movement have publicly admitted there aren’t any developed creationist/ID ‘scientific’ models at this time. Young-earther Paul Nelson states this, so does ID Godfather Phillip Johnson.

          But despite this, and despite not having earned some form of consensus from the general scientific community, anti-evolutionists still want to ram their views (theology disguised as science) into science classrooms. Creationists try this via the political process in an effort to short-circuit the science peer review process; how fair is this when other ideas have to fight and claw their way through the science peer review process towards earning scientific acceptance?

          • Tex Taylor says:

            Yeah, well I’m still waiting for your evidence, including the fossil evidence. Direct me to the fossils themselves, please. I wish to take a look at “this fossil record.” And the Dover trial was pure politics, just like the Scopes Monkey Trial.

            you’d know biological evolution does not deal with non-life paradigms, only with already existing life and how this already existing life has diversified (aka the origin of species). Origin of life questions are for fields within chemistry (abiogeneisis, panspermia, exogenesis, etc), but are outside the scope of biology/biological evolution.

            How convenient. Abiogenesis? :roll: Though no IDer, to answer their claims which are very legitimate, by your definition, you’re going to have to revert back go the origins of life which is biology in the purest sense – because that is the basic of their complaint and their questions which you can’t begin to answer, though try as you must to minimize. Again, your platitudes ain’t cutting it – they may play great in the academic circles, but it still doesn’t explain.

            Contrary to Zack’s contention, this is not a debate over science. He can frame the debate any way he wishes, the bottom line is this is fascism pure and simple because you can’t begin to answer the difficult questions, nor do you want them posed in a classroom. It has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, as that a farce too. That’s a game you play to silence your critics.

            Creationists try this via the political process in an effort to short-circuit the science peer review process;

            As the godless pagans like you try to explain away the obvious – there’s far more to it than random mutation as evidenced by the “peer reviewed” article I provided from Oxford mind you. You’re 20 years dated sport. As long as you wish to operate the pejorative, expect it in return. :wink:

            I have no problem with evolution being taught in school rooms, and in fact encourage it. I have a big problem with evolution being posed as the only alternative without evidence to explain much, and its critics being silenced.

          • Gary says:

            Yeah, well I’m still waiting for your evidence, including the fossil evidence. Direct me to the fossils themselves, please.

            Wouldn’t matter. You could be directed to every bit of evidence, and you’d still refuse to accept it. Nothing will change your mind. You’re absolutely convinced of your righteousness, the purity of your cause, and that anyone and everyone who disagrees with you is part of some big conspiracy to take away your Bible.
            Seriously, if you want to frame the discussion as one of religion vs. non-religion, I suggest you start your own blog. This discussion (despite your protestations to the contrary) is about “Keep religion out of the science classroom.”

          • Tenncrain says:

            Tex Taylor says: “Direct me to the fossils themselves, please”

            If you went to med school, then surely you’re capable of finding things yourself without anyone else doing it for you. Regarding the Tiktaalik fossils, you can even email Neil Shubin himself at the Univ of Chicago :) Neil’s book ‘Your Inner Fish’ is another option. You can also email Philip Gingerich (Univ of Mich), William Sanders, and other fellow paleontologists around the globe about their recent findings on whale evolution.

            “Dover trial was pure politics”

            Dover was a debacle for the defense.

            Dover showed, among other things, that anti-evolutionists do virtually no original scientific research (pseudoscience groups like the DI and Creation Research Society not withstanding). An expert witness for the defense (biochemist Michael Behe) admitted under oath to agreeing with the following remark, “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred….”

            Flashback to 1981 with McLean vs Arkansas trial when it was pointed out that the defense provided no examples of ‘creation science’ papers being rejected by science journals.

            Returning to the anti-evolutionist debacle at Dover, Michael Behe also conceded if the rules of science were relaxed to allow ID, astrology (yes, astrology) could also be science. Also, numerous public statements and writings by Dover defense expert witnesses tell of things like that it’s implausible that ID/creationism is a natural entity (inferring ID/creationism is actually supernatural/religious). As if this wasn’t enough, two defense witnesses narrowly escaped contempt of court/perjury charges.

            Indeed, when expert plaintiff witness Dr Ken Miller showed how fused human chromosome #2 is evidence of humans and chimps having a common ancestor, the other side left this argument completely alone!

            Little wonder multiple courts over the decades have ruled creationism (and its offshoot, ID) to be religion and not science.

        • Tom says:

          Hi Tex & Wayne,

          I’m an astrophysicist, not a biologist, but I read a lot of scientific work outside of my own field. While digging into the peer-reviewed literature of a given scientific field is useful, there are great summaries written for a broader audience that are probably a better starting point for most folks. Case in point, the article cited by Wayne does not actually undermine evolution as a theory.

          As an aside, I don’t think a “ride through med school” makes someone an expert on evolutionary biology, and it doesn’t even necessarily give them much grounding in science. A close friend of mine has a PhD & M.D. in medicine but he’ll be the first to tell you that a lot of his colleagues do not actually understand or care about science.

          Anyway, I suggest that both of you read “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins. It’s a fantastic summary of the current evidence for evolution.

          [And Zack: Keep up the good work!]

          Cheers,
          Tom

        • Tenncrain says:

          Tex Taylor says: As the godless pagans like you…

          Such innuendo merely reveals desperation on your part. While I remain a Christian, I actually grew up a young-earth creationist. Learned the YEC theological and ‘scientific’ arguments from birth through HS. Even had access to a somewhat worn original 1961 copy of ‘The Genesis Flood’ by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb. Thus, the anti-evolutionist diatribes you and others spew are old hat. Of course, you totally danced around the listed Christian scientists that accept evolution.

          True, these darned godless liberals are such a thorn in the side ;) Guess that includes Dover Judge John Jones. Wait a minute, Jones is a Lutheran and a conservative Republican (and Lutherans like Walter Lammerts well represented 1960s revival of modern young-earth creationism). Indeed, Christians made up most of the Dover plaintiffs challenging ID (several plaintiffs were Sunday School teachers, and a husband-wife couple even ran a summer Bible Study camp). Some of the expert witnesses for the plaintiffs were Christian as well (Dr John Haught, biologist Dr Ken Miller).

          During the 1981 McLean vs Arkansas trial, most the the plaintiffs challenging the state’s ‘creation science’ law were Christians and other theists.

          BTW, there is indeed more than just ‘random mutation’. There’s also natural selection, which is the antithesis of random. As it is, there is evolution not caused by natural selection (they have other causes such as genetic drift). Anti-evolutionists are free to present their own scientific research refuting… oh, forgot, anti-evolutionists do virtually no original research.

          …the origins of life which is biology

          I searched the net for a definition of biology that includes the study of the origin of life, but in vain. Ironically, I recall hearing from my YEC days that both spontaneous generation of life and evolution were bogus, but they were also separate fields (and this was from other anti-evolutionists)! Guess little bits of reality can’t help but seep in, somewhat like how even Answers In Genesis now advises against using the ‘evolution just a theory’ argument as this misunderstands the scientific meaning of theory (and AIG feels evolutionary theory tarnishes ‘real’ science theories like the germ theory of disease).

          Even if life from nonlife problems deserve strong criticism, evolution itself is moot point as evolution is only relevant after life appears.

      • Gary says:

        One day soon, Zack will recognize the hard way his fifteen minutes of fame certainly were not worth it.

        Au contraire! It’s very well worth it. Very well worth it indeed.
        And it will probably be longer than 15 minutes.

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  99. I think it’s hilarious that Michele Bachman finds herself besieged by teenagers who are smarter than her. First the girl who challenged her to a debate, and now this. It’s an embarrassment to our country that someone like her is elected to Congress, let alone being spoken of as a potential presidential candidate. I shudder to imagine our fate if that moron were to win the presidency. Sadly, after two terms of Bush, I can’t put it past our idiot electorate.

  100. Ann Kasper says:

    Bravo, Zach! Your articulate article shows that Louisiana education can work. Good luck with the repeal effort.

  101. Nicholas Cash says:

    People often tell me that because I am in the Navy, I am a hero (which I don’t believe for a minute, it’s just my job and nothing more).

    Those people should be looking at you, Zack. You are standing up for what is right in the face of people around you who would want nothing more than for you to shut up and deal with it. You are standing up for being intellectually superior than those who knowingly use dishonesty and mis-guided wording to get their religious agenda into the science classroom. I salute you, kid. Keep up the good fight.

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  103. Tex Taylor says:

    Zack,

    As a footnote, why don’t you provide your opinions of the Christian faith so we can talk about what really drives this “scientific argument.” I’ll bet $10 to a donut that I can expose your real agenda and all those Nobel Laureates you hang your hat. But you’ll have to step up to the plate to play the game and take off the moderating feature to play.

    Because from the get go, it is obvious you haven’t been taught rule #1 about good science – rational skepticism. And I can “scientifically” prove that in a debate with you. You’re man enough to encircle yourself with toadies. You man enough to have a real debate with your answering some really difficult “scientific” questions about your pet theories?

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      You want to paint this as a fight between religion and non religion?

      This is a First Amendment issue. Go check out the statement by The Clergy Letter Project about the repeal or my interview with State of Belief. That should solve your problems.

      http://www.stateofbelief.com/show-archive/273-february-12-2011
      http://lasciencecoalition.org/docs/Zimmerman_Clergy_Letter_Project.pdf

      By the way, there is no scientific evidence for creationism (or as it is often parroted, “evidence against evolution”). The moment there is evidence, it would be allowed in a science class. That is the nature of science. You don’t need a law to do that. You do need a law if you want to sneak non science into the classroom.

      Lastly, you’re an adult. You could contribute in a meaningful way rather than using personal attacks.

    • Gary says:

      @Tex: This has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, or Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology or even the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for that matter. This has to do with the need to teach science in the science class.
      To me, it’s obvious that Zack knows rational skepticism. He’s very skeptical (as am I and all of the others whom you label as “toadies”) of the so-called “academic freedom law”. And he’s addressed that point quite well by saying, “You do need a law if you want to sneak non science into the classroom.”
      Keep it up, Zack! You’re doing great!

      • Tex Taylor says:

        Cowardice and silencing the critics. Nothing more. And I’ll guarantee you when all the rhetoric is wiped clean, it is a question of Creator and created vs. liberal politics. If not, let Zack answer my questions.

        Here’s the real bottom line. Zack is a liberal. Zack is convinced through twelve years of indoctrination he’s right. Zack has his lackeys as support here on the board lending to the indoctrination. Zack has a real problem with any discussion of “religion” in the public square real truth be known. And though in this case it’s posed as the discussion in classroom, its carry over is to all facets of dialogue. Guaranteed.

        And Ben Stein did a beautiful job of exposing this fact from Richard Dawkins to neophytes like Zack…

        Deny as you wish, but you’re not fooling most of us. It may appear this way on the board, but I would remind you that imbecile Al Gore is also a Nobel Laureate. So is Yasser Arafat. Politics is engrained many places, including the nomination of awards.

        Like I said, Jindal is more qualified than anyone on this board to discuss the specifics, and he recognizes the real argument too.

        • Fred says:

          Zack has an “hidden agenda” you need to expose”. Yeah right…

          From here you look and sound a bit like a right US wing nut, with the gun and the bible, seeing conspiracy everywhere. Especially with your Barack “Hussein” Obama icon. So telling…

          Can I remind you the topic: Bachmann must show up with 43 Science Noble prize in their field backing “Creationism”. You better go out and help her seek them out. They are in short supply.

          Cheers from Switzerland

        • Derek says:

          Wow – so many assumptions about someone you have admitted to never meeting. I guess that is your right wing, bible-thumper coming out and showing itself then? Amazing how the alleged left wing, liberal agnostics and atheists can stay on topic about the issue here; yet the ones like you keep trying to bring personal beliefs back in to cloud the issue. I also think it is funny that you guys never read anything that doesn’t agree with you. You claim that Ben Stein (an avowed political and economic commentator – not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination), has shown Richard Dawkins to be doing what exactly? I hope you are not refering to the abortion of a film called Expelled. If you are…
          http://richarddawkins.net/articles/2488
          What anyone believes is not the question here. It is whether the beliefs of one person can be forced upon another and called FACTS – which they are absolutely not. Try actually reading some of the theories that YOU purport to expose, before you start posting information that you have obviously only gotten from a third party (who is himself not able to understand what Richard Dawkins is saying). Basically just try to read period… any of the drivel that is published concerning ID is completely unbelievable for the most part… something even a high school student can obviously understand. And as he has said many times… if any ID supporter brings forward ANY real, scientifically verifiable proof of what they claim… then we can talk about allowing it to be taught in a SCIENCE class.

    • Lee says:

      Its not religion vs. non-religion. I am agnostic- assuming you know the difference between agnostic and athiest- and I know that creationism is not science. It is a matter of faith. If there were scientific evidence for creationism or “intelligent design”, it would be immediately added to the curriculum. I’m pretty sure any scientist would be glad to discover that evidence! Talk about an amazing discovery! They’d be world renowned!!! But, that evidence doesn’t exist because it is “faith”, not science! Furthermore, no one says that God or a higher power didn’t create that first molecule that evolved!!!! Perhaps both science and God exist! But, we can only teach in Science class, what we know as scientific fact! The rest is best left for religious and philosophical discussion!

      • Tex Taylor says:

        Not only do I know the difference between agnostic and “atheist”, but I can spell them correctly too.

        Zack, it’s a shame we can’t have a personal discussion. Because though I am sure you are bright, somebody, somewhere has done you a real disservice.

        You are woefully misled, and you’re being used. You are really limiting yourself and don’t even recognize it.

        • John Strong says:

          How can someone be woefully misled about a branch of science that has proven industrial and medicinal applications? And where are these same applications for the Book of Genesis?

        • Jameson says:

          Let me pose you a hypothetical, Tex.

          If evolution is false and easily disproven, which you imply, then why hasn’t anyone disproven it? Anyone who did you be rich in a hurry. Appearances on television, speaking engagements, the whole lot. Rich.

          The catholic church would love to rescind their acceptance of evolution. They are quite likely to support any research that would disprove it. Anyone who could disprove evolution would be incredibly famous and be all over the covers of religious magazines. Why hasn’t this happened? If evolution is easily disproven then why hasn’t anyone done it and become world famous?

          Anyone who disproved evolution (the basis of modern medicine) would win the nobel in medicine. Visits with Oprah, cover of Time and People and any other magazine in the entire world.

          Why hasn’t this happened? The answer is obvious, but you will ignore those problems because you are suffering from cognitive dissonance each time you think about these issues. The pain and shame you feel is what makes you tell these obvious falsehoods.

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  106. David Harrison says:

    From down under in Australia, this stuff is great! There used be a comedy skit on our TV “Only in America…..” Hats off to Zack. Not only is he right, but he brought me much closer to the wisdom of Michelle Bachmann. She has limited visibility here, but wow – I checked a few websites for more insight. She’s a class comedienne! Moving on from her intelligent design position, I loved her statement in the MB for Congress website: “American healthcare is the best in the world” then going on to describe all its failings in the very next sentence. (Which aren’t hard to figure. eg Here in Australia we have 100% universal coverage, live longer (surely a reasonable measure of success), and pay roughly half per capita to do it) So she manages to make contractory idiotic statement even within one paragraph written by herself (or minders). Roll on 2012. Please let her run for president, and keep the laughs coming!

    • Derek says:

      We are not here for your amusement :) … not saying we aren’t amusing at times, but you shouldn’t wish that on ANYONE!!

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  108. Alan Dente says:

    Well done, but it’s not as though using reasoned, rational argument to point out the flaws in her ‘opinion’ will matter anyway. To her, or the legions of your frighteningly ignorant countrymen.

    At least in the UK where I live, if people don’t know anything about something, like the sciences, it’s seen as good form to just keep quiet… (outside dogmatic circles, at least) seems like in America sometimes everyone wants a representative, even if it’s to represent how ball-achingly stupid some people are…

    The points you make, and the work you’ve done, are commendable. But alas you’ll just end up coming over as another know-it-all science guy who wants to take God away from decent, if ignorant, Americans…

    Next thing you know, you’ll be making outlandish claims like ‘people being allowed to own guns results in more people getting shot’ or somesuch nonsense… ;)

  109. ron russell says:

    Zack, Please have your scientist’s explain how man has evolved to such a level of superior itelligence and creativity that NO OTHER animal is even close, not even close.
    If there were something in between, other than mentally challenged humans, then evolution might have some credibilty, but as it is, it has NONE.

    • John Strong says:

      Sorry, the fossil record is very complete in this respect. More, cataloging DNA has shown the taxonomic arrangement of the fossil record to be correct.

      Besides, “I just can’t believe it” isn’t an argument.

    • Actually, evolution predicts precisely the idea that individual species will tend to evolve to better and better occupy particular environmental niches. Specialists tend to outdo generalists — the reason a generalist like humans has survived is because we have specialized in being brainy. If you have more than one species surviving by being brainy and changing the environment to be advantageous to itself, they’re going to tend to come into competition with each other, and the one that is better at doing it will tend to out-compete the other, with the loser going extinct. (Yes, I’m kinda oversimplifying, but I’m trying to get across the fundamental idea that the poster is confused on.) And, in fact, in the fossil record, we see precisely that — Neanderthals went extinct, being outcompeted by Cro-Magnons.

  110. Darlene Johnson says:

    Zack, please use your brilliant God-given brain and think back to First Cause. Then consider the fact that you have a soul that cannot die. Do you really think this life is all there is, that there is nothing after we die? Next, consider how marvelously everything works together in this world and the universe. Is it just by accident that the sun and moon are the exact distance from us that they need to be? Think about how things work then tell me how long it would take the materials of this world to come together on their own to form a watch.

    • bill peppin says:

      These are philosophical arguments, nothing to do with science. You want philosophy and religion, just know that it is not science. Know further that nobody maintains that science can teach us everything we need to know about life, love, behavior, spirituality, and all of the really important stuff. Your words repeat what the IDers like Behe say all the time, but provide no specific and testable hypotheses that can be verified or falsified by, and only by, observations in the natural world.

    • John Strong says:

      Paley’s Watch argument cannot apply to evolution because it has a specified endpoint.

      Evolution explains change over time. Evolution has occurred during my lifetime (PCB-resistant fish, AIDs).

      It does not concern itself with matters of the soul–it is merely the best explanation we have for biological processes.

    • Jameson says:

      Yeah, brain eating parasites are marvelous. Diseases are marvelous. Babies born intersex? Marvelous. Missing limbs? Marvelous. Born with half a brain? Marvelous.

      Please get an education. You are so out of touch with reality that you should be ashamed of yourself.

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  112. Robert del Carlo says:

    Hey Zack,

    I’m a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno. I represent the College of Science in our student government and spent my fall and spring semesters writing a piece of legislation on behalf of my University’s 17K students supporting Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s bill to eradicate medically-relevant antibiotics from the feed of food-producing animals; clearly, this is a concept and danger well-founded in the evolution we can observe in just a Petri dish within a matter of hours. I also teach this concept as a lab assistant in our microbiology department. At 19, it took me three years of my academic career to mobilize in support of the sciences I praise. Good work to you for starting so young and so loudly as well. You have my laud and expressed wish that you continue fighting for the integrity of Louisiana’s education.

  113. Steven Clay says:

    I’m loving these fools who think Zach has somehow slighted their personal beliefs. PLEASE READ THE WHOLE POST AND NOT JUST HEADLINES FROM TWITTER!!! (That said I imagine no is reading this either but since I already started…) Never are any claims made that god, buddha and the tooth fairy don’t exist. All that Zach and his fellows are asking is that religion not be taught in science class.

  114. ResqDogz says:

    Kudos, Zack!

    Stand firm and tall for your beliefs, based on scientifically demonstrable truths!

    While I agree with so many that science and religion are NOT “mutually-exclusive” and are perfectly capable of harmonious coexistence, the fact remains that these are two separate and distinct disciplines… one, with foundations of fact… the other, foundations of faith.

    And each has the right to be taught… in the proper venue: Science in the classroom, religion in Sunday school or prayer studies.

    Zack, you’ve articulated your position admirably and are to be commended for your courage, fortitude, and perseverance: Well done, lad!

  115. Zack Passman says:

    Nicely done, ZacK

  116. Sandy says:

    To Matt,
    When referring to America, America is capitalized.

  117. Liz says:

    Just when I start to lose hope for the future… here comes a kid who not only challenges the system, but does it with intelligence, a calm demeanor, and good humor. Way to go, Zack!

    • John Strong says:

      I’d have to say his sticking with the main points of the argument and not getting sidetracked into metaphysics or whatever is an unusually mature trait.

  118. Chris says:

    Paul,
    I dont really see how Zach, or anyone for that matter, is “intimidated” by the teaching of creationism as a form of science in public schools. He is, correctly, pointing out that creationism is not in any respect scientific. It is derived through cultural superstitions, not scientific method. It is also not falsifiable, which is fundamental to science. In fact, the only thing separating creationism from flat-earthism or the-sun-is-a-god-riding-a-golden-chariot-across-the-sky theory is numbers. Science is not based on the “well a whole bunch of people believing something cant be wrong” concept.

    Strong work, Zack! You got a great future ahead of you! Dont ever be afraid to speak up.

  119. Kathy says:

    Zack, I appreciate your zeal, your intelligence and your organizational skills. Please do not allow yourself to be snookered into mere appeals to authority (Nobel winners). Base any arguments solidly in the science itself. As a magna cum laud, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of a major university, wife of an applied scientist and daughter of an applied scientist, I have seen the power of the science itself to convince people of the truth about origins.
    May I suggest several books to you? When you have read a few of them, I would like to hear your comments.
    –In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence …, by Walt Brown PhD (covers biology, astronomy, earth science, physical sciences, hydroplate theory, etc.)
    -Darwin Was Wrong: A study in probabilities, by I. L. Cohen (mathematical analysis)
    -The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, by A. E. Wilder-Smith, PhD, PhD, PhD (yes, 3! earned PhD’s, in physical organic chemistry)
    Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael Behe (biochemistry)
    The Bone Peddlers, by Wm. R. Fix, OR Bones of Contention by Marvin Lubenow. (ethics and paleontology).

    Good luck

    1

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      One, you obviously didn’t understand the point of the piece if you thought this was an appeal to authority. It was actually a call to Michele Bachmann to back up her claims.

      Also, Behe and other Discovery Institute creationists have no credibility.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Kathy,

      I’m a former young-earth creationist. I grew up on YEC books like The Genesis Flood (Morris & Whitcomb). You rightly say people need to widen their scope of knowledge. I and other former YECs have done just that.

      Evolution and theism are not mutually exclusive. Here’s a small sample of books by Christian scientists (even an engineer ;) ) that accept evolution:

      Perspectives On An Evolving Creation (Keith Miller, geologist at Kansas St Univ, officer member Kansas Citizens For Science which twice successfully challenged creationism in the state)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_B._Miller

      The Language Of God (Francis Collins, led Human Genome Project)

      Finding Darwin’s God (Ken Miller, biologist at Brown, lead expert witness for plaintiffs at Dover trial). Miller has a newer book, Only A Theory.

      The Dinosaur Heresies (Robert Bakker, paleontologist that first proposed dinosaurs were birdlike/warmblooded)

      Coming To Peace With Science (Darrel Falk, biologist, president of BioLogos)

      Saving Darwin (Karl Giberson, physicist at Eastern Nazarene College)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Giberson

      Beyond the Firmament (Gordon Glover, engineer, producer of 16 videos about Christian education and evolution)
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj

      Regarding your authors, I might give Dr Behe a little credit since he accepts some common decent among species, an old earth, and the so-called Big Bang (all anathemas to YECs). The late A. E. Wilder-Smith, despite being a YEC, was rightly critical of other YECs using the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics chestnut against evolution.

      Otherwise, did the scientists/authors you list ever participate much at mainstream science meetings and seminars? Did they submit many papers to science peer reviewed journals? (and no, don’t include creationist ‘science’ journals by the Discovery Inst, the Creation Research Society, etc). How well does the ‘science’ from your authors work in real world experience in the field and the laboratory? This video might clarify the points better:
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/26/L8RqrD0kHQU

      I’ll give this bit of info for starters. While Behe has published several non-ID related articles in mainstream science journals, he admitted under oath at Dover that *nobody* had ever submitted any ID related ‘science’ papers in mainstream journals.

  120. Dr. Derek says:

    Zack,

    Nice try but your both wrong. We are just learning about US and our own DNA so evo / crea are in fact both theroys. Darwin only suggested, he never proved. With new DNA research / masking / cloning we are learning a great deal. As we move forward with new research / findings we will discover we have alot of explaining to do about our past.

    PS: If Darwin was alive today, I doubt he would make the same claims.

    • Derek says:

      There are just a few little differences… evolution is a theory with scientifically verifiable sources… creationism has no credible backing from scientifically verifiable sources, and is not in fact a SCIENTIFIC theory in any form. The key difference between the two is that all of the discoveries that you have pointed out above would never have been made if we sat back and just said “god did it”. So, for my money, I think that the one pushing ahead our understanding of our past is the best one to go with. If anyone wants more information on the other, they can go to the proper resource for it (e.g. philosophy, religion, and humanities courses).

  121. Dr. Derek says:

    Zack,

    Per Dr. Gerry, please explain the old adage: Chicken or Egg ? I raise your stakes and that of your 43 Buffoons.

    PS: They dont have the answer either.

    • CDG says:

      Derek,

      Your comment is intellectually lazy and typical of someone who argues against evolutionary theory without actually educating themselves on the subject. If you had done so, you would know the “chicken or egg” argument is an extreme oversimplification of a complicated evolutionary process that could have taken millions of years of mutation and natural selection. This argument is a common tactic of Creationists and is frankly quite silly.

      And before you give me the “practice what you preach” argument, I grew up in the Christian church, and have a degree in Zoology. I have done my due diligence.

    • Derek says:

      Any simpleton with half a brain knows that eggs came first. Archaeological evidence has been found over and over of egg producing species that are far older than the modern day chicken. So there is your answer… I guess that means you are on our side now?

  122. Kathy says:

    In your call to Michelle Bachmann to back up her claims of AUTHORITY on the subject, you have succumbed to the same temptation. I have not seen YOU back up YOUR claim that evolution is science, except by appeal to authorities. Read the material and discuss the SCIENCE, young man.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      The science has already been discussed over and over again. This is specifically about asking Michele Bachmann to back up her claims.

    • Derek says:

      How about reading the material before you comment? Or maybe just not reading in general is your problem… seems to be the problem of most people who still believe in creationism/ID.

    • Jameson says:

      Kathy, please be honest with yourself. If your beliefs were backed up with science we wouldn’t be having this discussion, would we? Your beliefs would already be part of science class.

      Did your brain just explode?

  123. Matthew Hawn says:

    Zack – terrific job! For those who came here in an attempt to defend “creationism,” give it a rest. How many times does Zack, and the scientific community have to spell it out for you – CREATIONISM IS NOT SCIENCE. It does not belong in a classroom in a PUBLIC SCHOOL. Of course, that is not Zack’s point. Ms. Bachmann needs to step up to the plate and answer Zack, but everyone reading this blog knows that she doesn’t have anything to back up her claims.

  124. Kathy says:

    What is your basis for saying that Michael Behe, a man with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, author of more than 3 dozen technical papers and a professor of Biochemistry at a well-known university, has no credibility in the discussion of origins?

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      Did you pay any attention to the Dover trial?

    • John Strong says:

      Behe was thoroughly discredited by his own testimony in Kitzmiller v Dover. Go read the public record–not only was he caught fibbing and was reprimanded for it, he also admitted under oath that ID “fails to address the central problem” of natural selection, meaning that ID is useless as an argument against evolution.
      More, during this court case, it was shown that the Discovery Institute was set up by politico-religionists with the express intent of creating a fake science that would replace evolution.
      For further reading, please consult The Wedge Document.

  125. Kathy says:

    I outgrew railroads about 20 years ago. Give me a summary.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      Basically Behe admitted astrology met the same standards creationism did, and his irreducible complexity arguments were disproven. The Dover ruling also declared intelligent design to be the same thing as creationism and equally unconstitutional.

      Lastly, Judge John Jones was a conservative Lutheran Bush appointee, this was not a partisan activist ruling.

  126. Rob says:

    Huffington linked to this. You are such an inspiration. Keep it up. Folks all around the world are learning from you.

  127. Kathy says:

    Your homework for tomorrow is to find and read the Humanist Manifesto I and Humanist Manifesto II. Read the introductory page of each along with the entire text. List every reference in each document to religion and belief. Write out what each says about evolution/origins, either explicitly or in any round-about fashion.
    From your careful and unbiased examination of what you have written out, is Humanism a religion or not? (Hint: the Supreme Court of the United States and other courts have referred to it as such.)
    Is evolution a tenet of that religion?
    Shall the teaching of evolution be forbidden in the schools because it is the tenet of a court-recognized religion?
    Why or why not?

    • John Strong says:

      Suppose someone invented a religion and managed to get it recognized by the authorities as such. Suppose then that the laws of thermodynamics were adopted by this religion as part of its platform.
      Would you support removing the laws of thermodynamics from engineering courses?
      You can’t do heat-transfer engineering (for example) without thermodynamics. Likewise, you cannot do virology, vaccine development, oncology, etc without the predictive power of evolution.

    • Derek says:

      Saying that the sun rises in the east can also be the tenet of a religion… doesn’t make it not true. However, if that religion claims an invisible man in the clouds made everything… you might want to do some fact checking/homework of your own on that before believing in it.

  128. Chris says:

    Kathy and “Dr” Derek,
    Evolution is absolutely a science, derived from scientific method, backed up by mountains of evidence, and accepted by the scientific community with the same level of support as germ theory or non-flat-earth theory is. This has nothing to do with whether or not “humanism” is a religion.

    Creationism is dogma based on ancient cultural superstitions, nothing more. Had you grown up in a different time and place, you would have espoused a different tale of creation, with different gods. It’s not based on anything but what those around you in the particar culture you happened to have been born in TOLD you to believe.

    For YOUR homework assignment, why don’t you read through the talk origins archive section on evidence for evolution (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/). It’s just a start, obviously, because like I said the evidence is overwhelming, on the same level as “the sun isn’t a god in a golden chariot theory”, but at least you can get a start on things instead of making ignorant comments.

  129. rafael Lopez says:

    In reality creationism is not a science even though I believe in creationism. But also, even though evolutionism keep trying to prove their point scientifically it always fall short and will always do. But let me go further; creationism is a science that goes beyond natural science. Physical laws originate from supernatural laws. If Zack keeps digging for “Eureka” in the natural he will spend all his life going around and around and will never prove his theory. Miracles are a touch of the supernatural (laws) into the natural decaying world.

  130. rafael Lopez says:

    Let me correct myself: Creationism is a supernatural science but you can’t experiment with it. You have to live it and you will see the result of it. However there is two sides of the supernatural; light and darkness.

    • Derek says:

      Not being able to experiment/verify any of the information is exactly what makes it NOT a science. So far all research on evolution has shown it to be a much better model than just saying a supernatural cause was involved, and leaving it at that.

  131. Chris says:

    By the way, anyone else spit out their coffee and laugh out loud at the following comment from above (posted by Kathy):

    “Please do not allow yourself to be snookered into mere appeals to authority (Nobel winners). Base any arguments solidly in the science itself. As a magna cum laud, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of a major university, wife of an applied scientist and daughter of an applied scientist, I have seen the power of the science itself to convince people of the truth about origins.”

    It’s not often someone can contradict themselves that blatantly in just three sentences! Basically: Dont listen to appeals to authority, take it from me, I’m smart. Very impressive lack of self-awareness!

    My resume is actually pretty decent also, but I generally just use it for job interviews, not to convince random people on the internet that I am an authority on a subject. I prefer to evidence and reason to back up my arguments, not my CV.

    Do you guys actually have any evidence or reason to back up creationism? Because all I am seeing is tales of an invisible overlord that magically speaks planets into existence and stays hidden from his creation except for inspiring a small handful of people in the mid-east to write his “word” down and gradually get this “word” out to everyone else (by both word of mouth and, more often, force). And of course, believing in such “word” will determine whether or not you spend the rest of eternity in paradise or hell. THAT’s science to you?

    Please don’t respond back with some nonsense of how I am going to find out when I die, because that meanse as much to me as when my older sister used to tell me that the boogie man would get me if I looked under the bed, or when my mom would tell me I wouldnt grow any taller if I didnt eat my vegetables, or when the nuns would tell me I would go blind if I, well, ahem… It’s all just superstitions. time for us to grow out of it as a society. Creationism has NO place in a 21st century (or even 20th century) classroom.

  132. Pingback: Zack vs. Bachmann, Science vs. Pseudoscience – Search for Truth

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  134. Rob says:

    Well said. It’s great to see people thinking critically and doing something about this. It’s absurd to think creationism is not only a viable explanation of how the universe was created, but something taxpayer money should be spent endorsing.

    Well said, and good luck to you.

    Rob

  135. Kathy says:

    Having just managed to wipe out my entire long response to Chris, scientific evidence examples and all, let me just say for now that it is important to make the distinction between creationism and creation science. The first is a belief system and the second is SCIENCE.

    The evidence of science is what we observe, creation scientists and evolutionists alike. Our world view determines how we interpret what we observe. The creation scientist looks at evidence world-wide of great flooding and says, “yep – evidence of the biblical world-wide flood.” Evolutionists reject that event, thus say, “It was only local flooding.” It is interpretation that differs in this case.

    I will try to get back to this this evening and re-do the evidence tidbits on the Big Bang, antibiotic resistant bacteria, the fossil record, radiometric dating, etc, etc. I wish there was a computer geek here to show me how to retrieve what I lost (I hit “back” to get a fresh Captcha Code after leaving this for hours and forgot to copy the text of what I’d written to plug it back in. Obviously, I’m not into computers… )

    Behe’s science is not the problem – he is extremely knowledgeable – thus the degrees and his position as a prof. Unfortunately, IDers come off wish-washy and confused because they are apparently unwilling or unready to take the deliberate step of saying, “an omniscient omnipotent God said he created the universe, the earth and all life and I BELIEVE it.” Without concrete ID of the Designer, the whole ID thing fails.

    Zach needs to widen his scope of knowledge and get deeper into science. Otherwise he will just be parroting what he has been taught. Even the “experts” are not infallible or always honest. Make an attempt to get and read a few of the books I listed in my first post. I’ll be back.

  136. Zack, you may have lost this argument. You need millions of years for your scientists to evolve, while Michelle Bachmann can clearly create hers – out of thin air! :)

  137. Gareth Andrews says:

    The writer sounds smug, not a very attractive characteristic.

    The writer is pandering to a sect of urban thinking that comes up with its own conventional wisdom and then, if questioned, doesn’t even think to question it.

    Science is not always Scientific. What does that mean?

    It means, for example, that the Theory of Evolution, is just that. They have NOT found the missing link. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Your certainty that they will doesn’t make it so. Many intelligent people will insist that they have found the missing link. That is not true.

    There is much in Science that is actually not scientific, for example, ideas about how fast the Universe is expanding. Just that idea alone is preposterous. The Universe, by definition, is infinite. Kind of hard to grasp, isn’t it? Things in the Universe that are measurable by us may be moving away from us, but that doesn’t mean the Universe is expanding, necessarily.

    That’s one example of how unscientific Science sometimes is.

    We have only theories about the origin of the Solar System. And time and again, little nuggets of what we’re sure happened are discovered to be slightly off.

    Dear Writer: stop pandering and start questioning.

    • Gary says:

      You hear that, Zack? Start questioning! I want you to question why it is that every time someone finds a “weakness” in evolution, the only possible explanation is “because our Christian God did it!” I want you to question why it is that the idea that the universe is expanding is “preposterous”. I want you to question why it is that, every time evolution is brought up, creationists start talking about cosmology and astronomy. I want you to question why it is that so many people can’t understand that a scientific theory does not mean “guess”. I want you to question why it is that people such as myself are “urban thinking” when all we’ve asked for is that *science* be taught in the *science classroom*. Finally, I want you to question why it is that creationists are so hot and heavy to get their religion into the science classroom. Why the science classroom? Not the physics classroom (even though, as I mentioned before, they’re so hot and heavy on discussing cosmology and astronomy and mixing it with the biology of evolution and chemistry of the origins of life)?
      So, there you go, Zack. Lots of things to question.

    • Jameson says:

      Your ignorance is astounding. Because you don’t understand something it can’t be happening? Wow. Please go hide under a rock because you don’t understand electricity.

      Stop pandering and start questioning. Ask yourself why you need to misrepresent the facts when discussing your beliefs. If your beliefs were true then science would surely back them up. You wouldn’t need to lie, in other words.

      Ask yourself why science disagrees with your beliefs. Open yourself up to the possibility that you have been misinformed.

    • John says:

      The universe is expanding, there is a lot of solid scientific data that supports this scientific theory. In referring to the expansion of the universe scientists are of course discussing the matter within the possibly infinite void of space. This matter is in fact finite as far as we know (even though there is a lot of it) and it is filling an ever larger volume of space, i.e. expanding. We know this because we can observe objects in space moving away from us. One way we have determined this is a through a phenomenon known as a redshift. The wavelength of emitted light will be slightly longer for an object moving away from the observer, similar to the Doppler effect for sound. They have actually collected data and used mathematics to calculate how fast the universe is expanding from these observations, which is very scientific. It wasn’t like some guy just said one day the universe is expanding and everyone accepted it without any proof. Similarly evolution is based on years of scientific observation leading to a fairly reasonable model that seems to explain the development of species fairly well. We have even observed evolution over short time scales such as the case of the peppered moth, wherein due to a change in environment certain characteristics were more favorable and the color of the species changed in less than 200 years. No one observed some designer suddenly changing them; rather it was observed that moths that did not blend in with their environment were eaten by birds and did not get to reproduce while moths that did blend in had a much higher survival rate and thus the characteristics of the species evolved over time as predicted in evolutionary theory (survival of the fittest). If there is ever an observation of some intelligent creator actively “designing” species (or at least some real evidence for such a creator) then ID and creationism might be taken seriously in the scientific community, but until that time we should continue to teach science based on well reasoned explanations for actual observations.

  138. Simon says:

    I believe the biggest problem with a majority of people commenting here, and society in general is that they hide under their “logic” blanket just as frequently as religious people hide behind their beliefs.
    Obviously, everyone has the right to believe whatever it is they see fit, but too often do people forget that the whole point of science is that it grows with observation. There are many many things in our world that scientists have devised questionable explanations for simply because we DO NOT know how they work, or were created. Real “logic” would know that just because someone created a story that is plausible doesn’t mean that it is the truth. And sadly, when you get into the real world you will learn that not making complete sense does not stop something from being the truth. Scientists and their followers are very dangerous people, for they will often gather small amounts of evidence and use that as a basis for deciding exactly how something works without ever being able to prove or test that belief. They then teach that theory to others as fact, when in reality, they really just do not know. They are slaves to their “faith” just as the religious are. The difference is that instead of using their platform as a way to teach us to love others, they look down on others because “they aren’t smart like you are”, or “they ignore logic”, which they do themselves. You people are sad, and hopefully one day you will realize that.

    • Jameson says:

      Cite an example of scientists taking small amounts of evidence and using that as a basis for deciding how something works without being able to test that belief.

      If you cannot (when you cannot) then please admit it. Honest people have nothing to fear from admitting when they are wrong. Only ideologues need to lie to defend their beliefs.

  139. spidermom says:

    Regardless of this controversy, yeah for you, Zach, for sticking up for what you believe in! I wish more 17 year olds had this sort of passion. Keep at it…follow your passion.

  140. Tom says:

    Simon: You misunderstand logic and science.

    A lot of folks think scientists are just sitting around making up some plausible explanations, out of whole cloth, to explain a few things they’ve observed. This isn’t how it works. Robust scientific theories are based upon a wide range of observable phenomena, and are interwoven with other scientific theories, often spanning multiple disciplines. There must be consistency on a large scale.

    Also, while some people who believe in evolution do so because they “take on faith” the word of the scientists, that does not, in general, make a belief in evolution equivalent to a belief in [fill in the name of your favorite creation story and deity here]. In the former case, these same people can choose to look at the myriad pieces of evidence for evolution themselves, and many do so. In the latter case, it’s a matter of faith whether one wants a deeper explanation or not.

    Let me give you an analogy. I study the life cycle of stars for a living. According to stellar theory, stars like our own Sun are comprised mostly of hydrogen, with a lot of helium and some other trace elements thrown in there. Well, I have met people who come up with their own random ideas for the formation of stars, the composition of stars, and the life cycle of stars. These ideas do not make any sense in the context of all of the data we have from observing the universe around us. Has a person ever journeyed to a star and sampled the material first-hand? No. However, stellar theory hangs together very coherently with other principles of physics and the observable data. The nonsensical explanations that people have made up (some based upon personal religious views, others based upon active imaginations) simply don’t withstand a few minutes of serious scrutiny. Of course, it’s always possible to find someone with a PhD, even in the relevant field, who has an unusual viewpoint in that field. There’s a professor of physics in this country who has made a name for himself trying to convince other scientists that stars are big spheres of iron with a thin veneer of hydrogen. Such objects are inconsistent with an incredible tapestry of observational data, but that doesn’t stop this guy from promoting his belief.

    Are there still uncertainties and open questions in stellar theory? Absolutely. That’s part of scientific progress. Are there still uncertainties and open questions in evolutionary biology? Same thing. But you cannot hold up ID/creationism on one hand, evolutionary biology on the other, and say that belief in one is equivalent to belief in the other. As I said, a robust scientific theory is consistent with a vast array of observable phenomena, and the evidence is available for scrutiny by anyone interested and motivated to pursue it.

  141. Tenncrain says:

    If creationism/ID gets equal time, why can’t alien intervention ‘theory’ also get equal time?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/4/Kp86gsHschQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7IRRiVUmMI

    Oh, before some have knee-jerk reactions that a godless atheist produced these videos, Gordon Glover is a Christian; he has 16 online lessons on mainstream science and religion.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj

  142. Chris says:

    Kathy,
    The “I cant understand it, therefore it must have happened by magic” approach is not “science”. Creationism is nothing more than primitive cultural superstitions being kept alive by a large-scale cult mentality. Attempts to characterize it as “science” are ridiculous.

    And are you seriously going to try make an attempt at claiming the Noah’s Ark story is true??? Even the most delusional nut jobs have long since stopped clinging to that fairy tale! What century are we in right now?

    I imagine your “evidence” is going to be a whole lot of arguments of incredulity, mixed in with some “something cant come from nothing” nonsense (which no scientific theory that I am aware of, including evolution or big bang, claims happens), with some outright false statements such as the ol’ favorite “genetic information cant be added” BS. The last statement can be easily countered by pointing to processes such as conjugation, transduction, incomplete separation of chromosomes during meiosis, etc etc, but that doesnt seem to matter. You just really really want to discredit something that directly contradicts your bible, and will go to any lengths to do so.

    And you will undoubtably throw in some arguments from authority, which mind-bogglingly you still employ (reference the comment about Behe’s degrees above). I say “mind-bogglingly” because for every one “scientist” you reference, I could point to literally thousands who adamantly support evolutionary science. And for any imaginary, unnamed nobel laureate Michelle Bachmann throws out, I could point to 43 ACTUAL nobel laureates who refute what she says. Trying to use an argument from authority to support creationism is absolutely absurd! Take a gander at “Project Steve” sometime, would you.

    Creationism is NOT science. It’s alot of wishful thinking that the invisible guys your mom and dad told you about are really true. That aint science. Time to grow up and move on.

  143. Chris says:

    The “missing link” comment, made by a different poster above, demonstrates a profound ignorance of both evolution as well as science in general. I’ll explain.

    Some time ago, the theory was advanced that disease (or at least infectious disease) was caused by tiny organisms invisible to the naked eye. Of course, this was scoffed at and repressed by the establishment because it didnt fit in with societal religious beliefs. For them, disease was either a punishment from the god they believed in or the work of devils. But eventually, as always, common sense and reason won out over primitive cultural idiocy, and germ theory came to be accepted.

    We now know that sepsis is caused primarily by the body’s response to microorganisms, not the actions of the microorganism itself. We also, relatively recently, have begun to elucidate the role of our blood’s clotting system in the pathophysiology of sepsis.

    Now based on that, is it your thought that we should abandon germ theory and go back to blood letting and reciting incantations to spirits and gods as our primary means of practicing medicine? After all, “the scientific community is divided on the issue”! There’s “controversy”!

    I imagine you are now going to try to turn that around somehow and say, “see science is always changing!” But you see, that’s what science is. You look at the evidence, you make reasonable guesses, you then test these guesses, and if you are wrong you go back to square one. As the evidence mounts more and more and more, you feel more and more comfortable and sure of your hypothesis. But you never know for a fact. THAT is science, and creationism is certainly NOT science.

    The only difference between evolution and germ theory, heliocentrism, non-flat-earth-ism, etc, is that evolution directly contradicts the judeo-christian bible. That is why some people are going to such ludicrous lengths to discredit it.

    Well, bummer. Your invisible friends in the sky dont exist. Just like Zeus didnt. Just like Osiris. Just like Odin didnt. Just like Ra didnt. Yahweh is no different than them. And Jesus was no more divine than Mohammed. The only difference is in what time and place you happened to have been born.

    Or keep believing in such things if you want. That’s your business, not mine. Just dont make ridiculous attempts to call it “science”. It’s not.

    But science and rational thought always win out eventually over primitive cultural superstitions. Always happens eventually. You’re on the losing side of history. Time for Louisiana to catch up. Keep up the good work, Zack!

  144. Kathy says:

    Chris asked what evidence there is for creation. First, let’s set the stage. Remember, the universe and all life were either created or come about by purely natural processes. Are there any other choices? Biblical Creationism is the belief that the universe and all life was created ex nihilo (Genesis 1) by a self-revealing omnipotent God and are not a product of naturalistic processes, except by natural variation, ie. different “breeds” of dogs, etc. Adherence to the literal word of God means belief in creation in six 24 hour days in the past 6,000 to 10,000 years, (determined from the geneologies and ages of people as recorded in the Bible and history itself.

    Evolution says that everything came into existence and developed, literally molecules to man, by purely natural processes . Creation science is the scientific examination of the same evidence that evolutionists have, but it allows for the acknowledgement that certain evidence “corroborates” the biblical outline of creation by an omnipotent God who is, by definition, able to create anything He chooses, just by merely speaking it (Genesis 1) into existence. This affects their conclusions/interpretations in biology, biochemistry, etc. Biblical creation scientists also accept the Bible’s account of a world-wide flood in the geologically recent past as true. This affects their interpretation of facts/evidence in geology, hydrology, paleontology, etc.

    Religious Humanism denies the existence of God: it insists that the universe is self-existing and that life is a result of purely natural processes. It obviously denies the Biblical flood. Many evolutionists hold this religious world view, which then affects their scientific pronouncements. (Taking an in-between view, theistic evolutionists believe that God created (something) initially but evolution took over w/o God’s involvement. They bow to the word of fallible scientists rather than that of an infallible God. Intelligent Design proponents see the evidence of design in the natural world but seem (to me) to be unwilling or unready to say that the designer is God. )
    Obviously there is a total disconnect between the two belief systems on origins/life and thus we see the scientific skirmishes that result.

    Many evolutionists deny the credibility of creation scientists by saying that they are not published in mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific journals. What many do not know (because it is concealed) is that once it is known that a scientist is philosophically a creationist or that their work shows any corroboration of the biblical account of creation, they are henceforth censored from the mainstream print media, which is all controlled by evolutionists. Religious Humanists, scientists or not, aid and abet this effort, because, as one of them wrote years ago, if creationists/creation scientists lose the battle for the first 11 chapters of Genesis, there is no longer any need for a Savior (Jesus, in the New Testament ). Indeed, Sir Julian Huxley candidly said in a TV interview that one of the reasons he/they were so quick to jump at evolution was because it did not interfere with their sexual mores.

    I will now submit this, before I accidently erase it again, and will work on re-doing the scientific evidence tidbits I also lost.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Kathy,

      Did you catch my reply to your June 2 (7:49 PM) post?

      You said: “Religious Humanism denies the existence of God… Many evolutionists hold this religious world view, which then affects their scientific pronouncements”

      There’s a big difference between so-called philosophical materialism (believed by militant atheists like Richard Dawkins who say there’s absolutely no existence beyond the material world) and methodological naturalism/scientific naturalism (used by *both* theists and non-theists, they say science is limited to using only natural means to study only natural phenomena, science has no say one way or other about the immaterial world).

      Atheist biologists like Dawkins and Jerry Coyne may do superb work when they use only science to investigate biological evolution, but if they tack on atheistic philosophical baggage, they venture into pseudoscience. Likewise, if Brown Univ biologist Ken Miller (a Christian who accepts evolution) proclaimed that science shows evolution is God’s method of creation, Miller himself says that would be pseudoscience. Atheistic pseudoscience is no more science than Christian pseudoscience, or Buddhist pseudoscience. But, young-earth creation science is a particularly detrimental kind of pseudoscience. Again, this Gordon Glover video (indeed, the whole video series) might clarify the points:
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/26/L8RqrD0kHQU

      You said: “Biblical creation scientists also accept the Bible’s account of a world-wide flood”

      One has to go back to about the 1820s (almost 200 years ago) to find a large percentage of geologists that believed in a world wide flood. By this time, experience in the field were leading even Christian geologists to slowly if reluctantly discard a world flood, such as Adam Sedgwick who recanted his earlier world flood views in 1831. The following link has snips of his 1831 speech and one in 1825 when he strongly supported a worldwide flood:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/apr02.html

      Even among Christians, a worldwide flood had largely fallen out of favor until George McCready Price repacked the concept into so-called “flood geology”. Petroleum geophysicist and former young-earth creationist Glen Morton (who once published in the Creation Research Society) learned painfully from direct experience that neither flood geology nor a young earth have any practical use in the field.
      http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

      Glen’s experience are part of this Gordon Glover video:
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/23/dc6uhQWQQMQ

      You said: creationist are “…censored from the mainstream print media”

      Young-earth creationist material is desperately lacking in scientific merit. Indeed, as shown in the 1981 Arkansas creation science trial, YECs have very rarely even tried to submit papers to science peer reviewed science journals. During the trial, YECs among other things provided no examples of rejected YEC papers. And before one thinks mainstream scientists get a free ride in science journals, all scientists have papers rejected all the time. Evolutionist Steven J Gould had a stack of rejected papers over several decades.

  145. Simon says:

    There was a point in human history where the common belief was that the earth was flat. Everyone who believed this was very sure that it was the case and no doubt were very rude to the few who didn’t. And who can blame them, from our standpoint (even today) the world does indeed look flat. When the idea that the world is round was first introduced, it was laughed off as being ridiculous and “illogical” for going against all of the evidence they had gathered at the time. Eventually it was proven that the world is in fact round, but it wasn’t until our understanding and progression as a whole increased. Science has done many great things, and can be extremely useful. I am only concerned with warning against passing off things we believe to be true as irrefutable fact because they make sense, without knowing for sure from experience. I know that when I was in school, we were taught that there were nine planets. This made sense, and everyone accepted it. It was then later announced that Pluto was not a planet, and that there are in fact only eight. I don’t believe that is ok, but there are many other instances of similar situations. I think everyone would have taken that information better had scientists admitted that we don’t know everything, and that for a lot of issues, we are just making educated guesses. But they don’t, they too often reveal their guesses as fact, and those who don’t have the resources to test it for themselves just blindly believe the lies.

    • Jameson says:

      Scientists always admit that we don’t know everything. Please come back and admit you are wrong on that point.

      Your ignorance of what science is all about is not a flaw in science, it is a flaw in yourself.

  146. Chris says:

    Gonna have to take this bit by bit:

    Quote:
    “Evolution says that everything came into existence and developed, literally molecules to man, by purely natural processes . “

    Actually evolution means the changes in inherited traits within a population over the time by means of genetic drift and natural selection. Your definition isnt close to what evolution really is. Evolution really doesnt purport to explain the universe’s existence. Like all sciences, it explains what we observe around us using reason, evidence, and scientific method. So right off the bat, we see we are dealing with someone with a very limited understanding of the biological sciences.

    Quote:
    “Creation science is the scientific examination of the same evidence that evolutionists have, but it allows for the acknowledgement that certain evidence “corroborates” the biblical outline of creation by an omnipotent God who is, by definition, able to create anything He chooses, just by merely speaking it (Genesis 1) into existence. This affects their conclusions/interpretations in biology, biochemistry, etc. “

    No, actually creationism is DOGMA, not science. If you havent gotten that yet, I dont think you are going to.

    Quote:
    “Biblical creation scientists also accept the Bible’s account of a world-wide flood in the geologically recent past as true. This affects their interpretation of facts/evidence in geology, hydrology, paleontology, etc.”

    Honestly, discussing whether or not the Noah’s Ark tale is true is ridiculous. I’m not even going there. It’s sort of like having conversations with advanced schizophrenics to make fun of them, I’m above it.

    Quote:
    Religious Humanism denies the existence of God: it insists that the universe is self-existing and that life is a result of purely natural processes. It obviously denies the Biblical flood. Many evolutionists hold this religious world view, which then affects their scientific pronouncements. (Taking an in-between view, theistic evolutionists believe that God created (something) initially but evolution took over w/o God’s involvement.”

    Again, evolution really doesnt state anything about any gods. As it shouldnt. It is science, not dogma.

    Quote:
    “They bow to the word of fallible scientists rather than that of an infallible God.”

    No actually those who practice science dont “bow” to anyone. Certainly not to imaginary beings. Where do you get this from?

    Quote:
    “Intelligent Design proponents see the evidence of design in the natural world but seem (to me) to be unwilling or unready to say that the designer is God. )
Obviously there is a total disconnect between the two belief systems on origins/life and thus we see the scientific skirmishes that result.”

    It’s not really scientific skirmishes. It’s scientists speaking out against dogma and pseudoscience.

    Quote:
    “Many evolutionists deny the credibility of creation scientists by saying that they are not published in mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific journals. What many do not know (because it is concealed) is that once it is known that a scientist is philosophically a creationist or that their work shows any corroboration of the biblical account of creation, they are henceforth censored from the mainstream print media, which is all controlled by evolutionists.”

    Theyre not published in mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journals because it’s not science, it’s dogma.

    Quote:
    “Religious Humanists, scientists or not, aid and abet this effort, because, as one of them wrote years ago, if creationists/creation scientists lose the battle for the first 11 chapters of Genesis, there is no longer any need for a Savior (Jesus, in the New Testament ). Indeed, Sir Julian Huxley candidly said in a TV interview that one of the reasons he/they were so quick to jump at evolution was because it did not interfere with their sexual mores.”

    There we go! You just gotta keep the conversation going with you guys long enough and the really bat-sh!t crazy talk comes out! Yeah, that’s exactly it, because we dont want anything interfering with our “sexual mores”! Holy crap it just gets crazier and crazier.

    Quote:
    “I will now submit this, before I accidently erase it again, and will work on re-doing the scientific evidence tidbits I also lost.”

    You know what, as entertaining as this is, I’m moving on. Gotta back to all my sexual mores. Cant wait to the day this debate is over once and for all and nonsense is finally out of the classroom once and for all. For now, I’m out.

  147. Former Red Stivk says:

    Zack. I am very impressed.
    Thank you. I am 54 , andwas born in conservative Baton Rouge, moved away. One Day I hope I can vote for you. We need thinkers and leaders to step up. Keep on doing what you are doing.

  148. James Randi says:

    Michelle is my current hero, and she’s found out that reason is an expensive luxury… Hang in there, girl!

    James Randi

  149. John Q. Public says:

    Michelle Bachmann is certifiably insane.

  150. Maria says:

    Go Zack!! Kudos to you for taking a stand. I think it has even more weight coming from a young student. My kids are inspired by you.

    I agree that creationism has no place in the science classroom. It is not science. Believe what you want, but science is based on empirical evidence. Creationism is faith based. Faith = belief despite insufficient or contadictory evidence. Faith exists where emotion replaces evidence. Science is based on evidence, not emotion.

  151. Meaghan says:

    I am embarrassed that my state elected such an incredibly backward and uneducated individual to a national office. I agree with you, and respect your opinion.

    Keep up the good work!

  152. Kathy says:

    Chris asked for evidence for evolution. Remember that there are really only 2 options for how the universe and all life came into existence: creation or evolution, including molecules-to-man, by purely natural processes, which is what evolution posits. Evidence that contradicts evolution often lends credence to creation. “I don’t believe it!” is not evidence against fiat creation by an omnipotent God in six 24 hour days in the geologically recent past, nor against a complete world-wide flood several thousand years ago. The origin of the earth cannot be replicated and was not observed by anyone – with the exception of the God who said that he did it – and thus cannot be “proved” to have been either supernatural OR naturalistic.

    Evolutionists tell us that the universe is billions of years old and that over aeons an upward progression of purely natural changes turned atoms to molecules to man. Very long ages are required in this theory: we don’t believe a frog turns into a prince with just one kiss – but, George Wald, said, “Time is the hero of the plot. …..One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.” Scientific American, Vol. 190, August 1954, p. 48, as quoted by Walt Brown. Wald also stated, “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are – as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” Ibid, p. 46. This Nobel Prize winner made it clear he believed in the spontaneous generation of life, disproven by Pasteur, rather than “the only alternative…a single, primary act of supernatural creation.” Ibid. This is a Nobel winner for Zach’s list?

    Radiometric dating ostensibly tells us that rocks are billions of years old – perfect for evolutionary theory. The method requires an comparing the amount of the (radioactive) “parent” element in the rock to the amount of “daughter” element (from radioactive decay over time), against the known rate of radioactive decay of that element. It has to ASSUME that there was NO daughter element in the rock at its origin. But how can anyone know how much daughter element might have occurred naturally in the rock to begin with ? ? Is this method credible??

    When rock samples are delivered to a lab for radiometric dating, the surmised age of the rock is asked for. The lava flows down over the edge of the Grand Canyon have been radiometrically dated (1.34 billion years) as being older than the rock layers on the bottom of the canyon (1.07 billion years). When rock samples of known age are submitted (and the age guesstimate not given), radiometric dating gives wildly inaccurate dates. Rocks from Mt. St. Helens’ 1980 eruption were said to be about between 0.35 and 2.8 million years old! Other historic rocks were similiarly ludicrous dates. If radiometric dating is that inaccurate on rocks of known age, how can we trust it to yield accurate ages on rocks of unknown age?

    Coal is said to form from vegetation laid down in layers over long ages. Polystrate fossils are often found in coal beds: trees, upright or angled, crossing multiple coal layers. If it took long ages to put down vegetation/sediment to create a coal bed, trees trapped in them would have decayed. The only explanation is rapid burial. At Mt. St. Helens, the 1980 blast denuded the forested hills around the lake and then washed all the trees back down into the lake. The log mat drifted and washed back and forth, the bark gradually rubbing off, as well as the branches. The trees’ truncated root masses became water-logged and sank, gradually turning the trees upright before they sank, at different rates, to the bottom. Creation scientists, scuba-diving in the lake, photographed what appears to be a forest growing on the lake bottom in piles of bark and branches. At Yellowstone, there are are “forests” of fossil trees, supposedly layered one on top of the other as much as 55 million years ago. Examination shows they have truncated roots. While volcanic action might have been involved in burying these trees in ash, where did all the water come from to create such vast fossilized “layered” forests? A gigantic flood?

    The Mt St. Helens eruptions also created vast layered deposits. One portion, 25 feet thick, with distinct coarse and fine grained sediment layers, was created in 3 hours by volcanic ash “moving at hurricane velocity”. (answersingenesis.org). The first eruption (1 day??!) created deposits averaging 150 feet thick. At that rate, how long would it take to create the layered depth of the Grand Canyon? Two years later, another explosion/mudflow/snowmelt “eroded bedrock up to 600 feet deep to form 2 canyons on the north flank of the volcano. Individual canyons up to 140 feet deep” were cut through the previous debris and ash deposits. (Ibid) At this rate, how long would it take to carve the Grand Canyon through all the sedimentary layers? Evolutionary time frames are not necessary!

    “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. Haeckel falsified his drawing of embryos to sell this prop of evolutionary theory. He was censured during his lifetime for it. (Died in 1919). I was taught this theory as fact at a major university the 1960′s.

    Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. All amino acids occur in both left- and right-handed (the direction of the rotation of light through a solution of it) mirror image forms, which are chemically equivalent. Labs can create amino acids and they will form in a racemic mix (equal parts of left and right-handed molecules). They can be dried from solution and the D (right handed) and L (lefthanded) forms separated. If one form is added to water it will create a racemic solution. All amino acids in life proteins are levo-rotary (“left-handed” ) ONLY. Even one right-handed amino acid with destroy the protein. Evolutionist Jacques Monod wrote in “Chance and Necessity”, about the origin of life and the process of evolution. He wrote “pure chance, absolutely free but blind, (is) at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” “Our number came up in a Monte Carlo game.” Contemplate just how many gazillions of amino acids are in the human body – or any living creature – and try to calculate the Monte Carlo odds that ONLY left-handed amino acids and ONLY right-handed sugars just happened – by pure chance – to create such a biologically, biochemically complex creature. Including all its DNA, which is required to create the RNA, and also the RNA, which is required to create the DNA. Which came first, the DNA or the RNA? Oh, Jacques knows! Both at the same time apparently! Chris asked for evidence for evolution. Remember that there are really only 2 options for how the universe and all life came into existence: creation or evolution, including molecules-to-man, by purely natural processes, which is what evolution posits. Evidence that contradicts evolution often lends credence to creation. “I don’t believe it!” is not evidence against fiat creation by an omnipotent God in six 24 hour days in the geologically recent past, nor against a complete world-wide flood several thousand years ago. The origin of the earth cannot be replicated and was not observed by anyone – with the exception of the God who said that he did it – and thus cannot be “proved” to have been either supernatural OR naturalistic.

    Evolutionists tell us that the universe is billions of years old and that over aeons an upward progression of purely natural changes turned atoms to molecules to man. Very long ages are required in this theory: we don’t believe a frog turns into a prince with just one kiss – but, George Wald, said, “Time is the hero of the plot. …..One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.” Scientific American, Vol. 190, August 1954, p. 48, as quoted by Walt Brown. Wald also stated, “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are – as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” Ibid, p. 46. This Nobel Prize winner made it clear he believed in the spontaneous generation of life, disproven by Pasteur, rather than “the only alternative…a single, primary act of supernatural creation.” Ibid. This is a Nobel winner for Zach’s list?

    Radiometric dating ostensibly tells us that rocks are billions of years old – perfect for evolutionary theory. The method requires an comparing the amount of the (radioactive) “parent” element in the rock to the amount of “daughter” element (from radioactive decay over time), against the known rate of radioactive decay of that element. It has to ASSUME that there was NO daughter element in the rock at its origin. But how can anyone know how much daughter element might have occurred naturally in the rock to begin with ? ? Is this method credible??

    When rock samples are delivered to a lab for radiometric dating, the surmised age of the rock is asked for. The lava flows down over the edge of the Grand Canyon have been radiometrically dated (1.34 billion years) as being older than the rock layers on the bottom of the canyon (1.07 billion years). When rock samples of known age are submitted (and the age guesstimate not given), radiometric dating gives wildly inaccurate dates. Rocks from Mt. St. Helens’ 1980 eruption were said to be about between 0.35 and 2.8 million years old! Other historic rocks were similiarly ludicrous dates. If radiometric dating is that inaccurate on rocks of known age, how can we trust it to yield accurate ages on rocks of unknown age?

    Coal is said to form from vegetation laid down in layers over long ages. Polystrate fossils are often found in coal beds: trees, upright or angled, crossing multiple coal layers. If it took long ages to put down vegetation/sediment to create a coal bed, trees trapped in them would have decayed. The only explanation is rapid burial. At Mt. St. Helens, the 1980 blast denuded the forested hills around the lake and then washed all the trees back down into the lake. The log mat drifted and washed back and forth, the bark gradually rubbing off, as well as the branches. The trees’ truncated root masses became water-logged and sank, gradually turning the trees upright before they sank, at different rates, to the bottom. Creation scientists, scuba-diving in the lake, photographed what appears to be a forest growing on the lake bottom in piles of bark and branches. At Yellowstone, there are are “forests” of fossil trees, supposedly layered one on top of the other as much as 55 million years ago. Examination shows they have truncated roots. While volcanic action might have been involved in burying these trees in ash, where did all the water come from to create such vast fossilized “layered” forests? A gigantic flood?

    The Mt St. Helens eruptions also created vast layered deposits. One portion, 25 feet thick, with distinct coarse and fine grained sediment layers, was created in 3 hours by volcanic ash “moving at hurricane velocity”. (answersingenesis.org). The first eruption (1 day??!) created deposits averaging 150 feet thick. At that rate, how long would it take to create the layered depth of the Grand Canyon? Two years later, another explosion/mudflow/snowmelt “eroded bedrock up to 600 feet deep to form 2 canyons on the north flank of the volcano. Individual canyons up to 140 feet deep” were cut through the previous debris and ash deposits. (Ibid) At this rate, how long would it take to carve the Grand Canyon through all the sedimentary layers? Evolutionary time frames are not necessary!

    “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. Haeckel falsified his drawing of embryos to sell this prop of evolutionary theory. He was censured during his lifetime for it. (Died in 1919). I was taught this theory as fact at a major university the 1960′s.

    Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. All amino acids occur in both left- and right-handed (the direction of the rotation of light through a solution of it) mirror image forms, which are chemically equivalent. Labs can create amino acids and they will form in a racemic mix (equal parts of left and right-handed molecules). They can be dried from solution and the D (right handed) and L (lefthanded) forms separated. If one form is added to water it will create a racemic solution. All amino acids in life proteins are levo-rotary (“left-handed” ) ONLY. Even one right-handed amino acid with destroy the protein. Evolutionist Jacques Monod wrote in “Chance and Necessity”, about the origin of life and the process of evolution. He wrote “pure chance, absolutely free but blind, (is) at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” “Our number came up in a Monte Carlo game.” Contemplate just how many gazillions of amino acids are in the human body – or any living creature – and try to calculate the Monte Carlo odds that ONLY left-handed amino acids and ONLY right-handed sugars just happened – by pure chance – to create such a biologically, biochemically complex creature. Including all its DNA, which is required to create the RNA, and also the RNA, which is required to create the DNA. Which came first, the DNA or the RNA? Oh, Jacques knows! Both at the same time apparently! Another evolutionist Nobel laureate for Zach’s own list.

    • Tenncrain says:

      Kathy, you are over repeating yourself, your cut & paste cookie cutter machine is stuck in the on position. You also keep parroting the same old moldy creationist chestnuts.

      You said: “Evolutionists tell us that the universe is billions of years old and that over eons an upward progression of purely natural changes turned atoms to molecules to man.”

      Again, biological evolution is limited to already existing life and how this life has changed. Biological evolution does not deal with cosmology/astronomy, does not deal with nonlife paradigms, does not deal with origin of life (that’s for various fields in chemistry such as panspermia, abiogeneisis, etc).

      Also, biological evolution is not inherently upward progression. While there is some ‘upward’ change, there’s also much change that involves little change in complexity, and there’s also some ‘downward’ change.

      You said: “Radiometric dating ostensibly tells us that rocks are billions of years old….Is this method credible?”

      Here’s a real explanation of radiometric dating via ASA’s website.
      http://asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html
      American Scientific Affiliation is an organization of Christian scientists. Indeed, a few radiometric dating pioneers were Christian, like Dr Lawrence Kulp (he advanced radiometric dating in general and radiocarbon dating in particular).

      If anything, geophysicists are well aware of possible sources of contamination in radiometric dating and when one radiometric dating method won’t work well for a given situation (including on Mt St Helens rocks).
      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD013_1.html
      There are many ways radiometric dating can be crosschecked (using multiple radiometric methods on same sample, even using natural variations within the same method). Radiometric dating well matches the earlier and independent method of biostratigraphy (used to construct the geological column, the geological column was developed long before both evolution and radiometric dating).

      You said: “Polystrate fossils ….The only explanation is rapid burial”

      Mainstream geologists accept and even take for granted that sudden events like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, etc, are real and that they bury life forms that turn into fossils. But, a local burial does not automatically equate with a global burial.

      There are a combination of both gradual and sudden forces at work.

      True, geologists shifted to Uniformitarianism (the present is the key to the past) from Catastrophism during the late 18th century with men like James Hutton and later Charles Lyell. However, it got to the point that late 19th century scientists focused largely on evidence of gradual changes in strata while greatly minimizing catastrophic evidence. Then things started to swing the other way to a happy and somewhat more middle ground that we have today. Now mainstream geology agrees that earth’s history shows a slow, gradual process punctuated by occasional natural catastrophic events; this is still uniformitarianism, as just as there are both gradual and violent forces at work today, there were also both gradual and violent forces in the past.

      So, the question is not *if* there’s evidence of catastrophic events. The real question is how many catastrophic events can be found, and of what size are they. However, even with the big floods, they are still relatively local, not worldwide, in scale. Ice cores samples from ice caps and glaciers taken from the poles, in Greenland, in high mountains like the Andes in South American, etc, show no world flood; some ice core samples can be dated to at least 30,000 years ago via their annual layers and other means (like radiometric dating of material embedded within the ice layers). Such ice core samples have no evidence of heavy sedimentation, no evidence of different salinity, no evidence of changes in oxygen isotope ratios.

      Almost 12,000 years of continuous tree ring data give same conclusion, no global flood.

      There were even early 19th century scientists that, while continuing to accept Catastrophism, still rejecting a single world flood (like pioneer paleontologist Georges Cuvier, but he was still a critic of Charles Lyell and Uniformitarianism).

      ——————————–

      Kathy, I and other former young-earth creationists know how hard it can be to look outside one’s theological comfort zone. If you read my earlier link to Glen Morton’s site, this would give an idea of his personal struggles (including being looked down on by other YECs). But what good is YEC pseudoscience when this pseudoscience comes crashing down under the weight of evidence? What happens to a YEC’s Christian faith then?

      Here are some personal experiences of former YECs:
      http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/experiences.htm

  153. Klaas Jan Runia says:

    Being a mere mortal from the Netherlands I stumbled upon this through three twitter accounts and two hyperlinks. Anyway, just wanted to say: hurray for reason! And for you. Great piece!

  154. Chris says:

    One last time, and this is the last time I state this. Evolution is the change in inherited traits over time within a population through the processes of genetic drift and natural selection. You seem to have alot of trouble understanding this, but obviously it’s not going to sink in so I’m not going to keep repeating this.

    This false dichotomy you have created where you either believe that everything spontaneously came into being via a diety from ancient hebrew mythology “speaking it so” or spontaneously came into being without a deity from ancient mythology is not an argument of science and has nothing to do with evolution. It’s just a, rather bizarre, false dichotomy similar to hearing a noise in the attic and stating that it must either be the ghost of your dead grandfather of the noise must have spontaneously come from nowhere. Those aren’t your only two options and the first one is just some kind of nonsensical superstition that those around you TOLD you to believe.

    The “spontaneous generation” that George Wald was referring to was the non-guided, non-designed progression of simple molecules to complex organisms over long periods of time. The “spontaneous generation” that Louis Pasteur disproved was the spontaneous generation of disease, and his work, and that of others, helped lay the foundation of germ theory. The two things have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.

    Now of course, if you had bothered to read the whole article from Scientific American, you would see the next sentence following Wald’s quote to complete the following paragraph:

    “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are — as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. It will help to digress for a moment to ask what one means by “impossible.”

    Please note the last sentence of that. He then goes into a discussion of probability and further states:

    “When we consider the spontaneous origin of a living organism, this is not an event that need happen again and again. It is perhaps enough for it to happen once. The probability with which we: are concerned is of a special kind; it is the probability that an event occur at least once. To this type of probability a fundamentally important thing happens as one increases the number of trials. However improbable the event in a single trial, it becomes increasingly probable as the trials are multiplied. Eventually the event becomes virtually inevitable.”

    This, again, has nothing to do with Pasteur and germ theory, but, hey, maybe if you throw out enough scientific terms, misrepresentations of scientific work, and carefully mined quotes from scientists you can create confusion on one side of your false dichotomy and convince yourself that you win! Amazing the way that works!

    To be continued…

  155. Chris says:

    You dont seem to understand carbon dating whatsoever. I seriously have trouble figuring out where to begin with what you stated. Plants fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis, incorporating C-14 at a level that approximates the quantity in the atmosphere. When the plant dies, this process stops and the fraction of C14 decays at a fixed exponential rate. So no, you dont need to know “how much daughter element” was there, that doesnt even make any sense. You just need to know how much organic matter you have and the proportion of C14 within that organic matter. And yes, it is very reliable. Much more reliable than the reliability of ancient hebrew scribes copying down legends of talking snakes and invisible guys in the sky “speaking” planets into existence.

    Now I can understand how you might not know the basics of geology (although you could have at least read up a little before posting), but do you seriously not know what “lava” is??? Because that’s the only way your comments about Mt St Helens and the Grand Canyon makes any sense, if you didnt understand that lava is just molten rock. It’s not NEW rock, at least not in the sense of carbon dating. The long-dead organic material within it does not begin fixing carbon from the atmosphere again when rock gets hot. Are you kidding me??? So yes, the dating of rocks from Mt St Helens and the Grand Canyon via carbon dating is accurate.

    NONE of what you mentioned points in any way, shape or form, to a “global flood”. Honestly, I think you need some basic geology education, as well as basic evolutionary biology, before I can continue this discussion. Because honestly I feel like I am discussing calculus with someone who is insisting that 2 plus 3 equals 7. This is just insanity. And it is EXACTLY what you get when you try to put this into the classroom masqueraded as “science”. You get high-scale ignorance.

  156. Chris says:

    And finally, Haeckel and the theory of recapitulation is not evolutionary science. What university did you go to where this was taught as “fact” in the 1960’s?

    And your argument about amino acids is a combination of, again, quote mining with a pure argument of incredulity. Nothing more whatsoever.

    Arguments of incredulity are NOT evidence!

    Appeals to authority are NOT evidence!

    False dichotomies are NOT evidence!

    Quote mining is NOT evidence!

    You need to learn basics of logic, reason, rational thought, and scientific method before we can continue any form of reasonable discussion. And please try to look for information from sources outside of “answers in genesis”. Until then (for the second time now), I’m done.

  157. Kathy says:

    Chris,
    Please calm down long enough to think about what you are reading, instead of just reacting. I did not say “carbon dating”. (That is, as you noted, used with things that used to be alive.) I said “radio-metric dating.” It is used on igneous rocks and some metamorphic rocks. Strontium-rubidium, potassium-argon, etc.

  158. Kathy says:

    Chris,
    You wrote, “Evolution is the change in inherited traits over time within a population through the processes of genetic drift and natural selection.”

    An organism can only INHERIT traits that the parent organism already had. Natural selection is a filter. It removes – it does not ADD anything. It selects from what is already there. That is why natural selection is not an explanation for upward change (ie. increase in complexity.)

    And mutations are almost always lethal, so don’t suggest that as an explanation.

    I’m so glad you brought up probabilities a la George Wald. Please note that his Nobel award was in physiology, not mathematics. A little later I will be back with the MATHEMATICAL approach to probabilities. Remember, mathematicians consider any probability beyond 1 in 10 to the 50th power to be “impossible”.

    • John Strong says:

      HIV has added new genetic material in your lifetime.

    • Jameson says:

      Mutations add information. You are wrong on the facts, please be honest enough (at least with yourself, if not others) to accept when you are wrong so you can avoid being wrong in that way in the future. Mutations are “almost always” lethal? No. Each of us has mutations. Google it.

      The facts have you cornered. If you or anyone else had disproved evolution you would be world famous for doing so. Are you? Are you on the cover of Time? Have you met the pope and convinced him to change the catholic church’s policy on evolution? If not, why not? If there is any group with a motivation to disprove evolution and the money to back up the research it is the church. Why haven’t they if its so easy?

      Is it a big conspiracy? Is that it?

  159. Chris says:

    I’ve already explained before that there are multiple ways in which genetic information can be added. Among other ways, gene duplication, conjugation, transduction, incomplete separation during mitosis/meisosis, etc, all can lead to genetic information being added.

    And, yes, mutations absolutely DO contribute to the process. Do most mutations lead to either nothing or to cellular (or organism) death? Sure. But, see, you still dont seem to be able to grasp the numbers or time involved in this process. Again, you have GOT to start reading from sources outside of AIG or the Discovery Institute if you want to learn anything. I cant teach genetics 101 on an internet thread.

    And I am really scratching my head over what George Wald’s nobel prize not being in mathematics has to do with anything at all. YOU were the one who brought him up, not me. I was just pointing out what he had actually said after you had quote mined him. That having been said, his discussion does eloquently point out why it is not a valid argument to bring up some nonsensical “1 in 10 to the 50th power is impossible” figure or whatever future probability figure you’re going to throw out. You are forgetting again how natural selection works. Again, you need to learn some basics of genetics and evolution.

    And again, arguments of incredulity are NOT evidence!

  160. Kathy says:

    Chris,
    You mocked my reference to Louis Pasteur’s experiment regarding spontaneous generation of life. In his day people believed that maggots formed spontaneously (on putrefying meat). Pasteur’s well-known experiment proved that they did not, but were hatched from the miniscule eggs deposited by flies. Yes, he also worked on “germ” theory, but “spontaneous generation” in reference to Pasteur refers to abiogenesis- the development of living organisms from non-living material. We now have the accepted Law of Biogenesis – life arises only from life. And yes, evolutionists are uncomfortable with it, but cannot refute it. Why do we imply to school children that life can and did arise from non-life in some warm little pond billions of years ago?

    Uniformitarian molecules-to-man evolution unblushingly insists life must have begun by pure random chance. Mathematics – the most objective of sciences – can calculate the probability that DNA for even the smallest self-replicating species arose by chance from a primordial soup.

    Biologist H.J. Morowitz estimated the size of this smallest possible species. It would need 124 separate protein chains, each containing just 400 amino acids.

    Amino acids are produced only in “racemic” mixtures, ie. 50/50 mixtures each of levorotary and dextrorotary (“left” and “right” handed) forms. So, first, evolution’s warm little pond must contain all necessary amino acids, in nature’s racemic mixtures.

    However, life proteins contain only levorotary forms of amino acids. Therefore, all 400 amino acids in each of 124 protein chains must be levorotary only. No dextrorotary ones at all.

    Finally, proper sequencing of these amino acids and proper go/stop codons are required.

    The mathematical probability of this all happening simultaneously by evolution’s pure uniformitarian chance (Monod’s “absolutely free but blind” chance) – is 1 in 10
    to the 167,896th power.

    With 10 to the 80th power seconds in evolution’s time-frame, success requires 10 to the 167,816 power random “tries” per second, starting billions of years ago, continuing to the present. That is a number with 167,816 zeros after it. And that is to produce just the simplest, original, evolutionary organism.

    Mathematicians have defined “impossible” as a number with just 50 zeroes after it.

    This does not prove God exists, it does not prove the Bible is right. But it surely tells us that molecules-to-man evolution would be no less “miraculous” than fiat creation.

    Objective mathematics clearly shows that evolutionists insistence on teaching molecules-to-man theory to the exclusion of all others is tenuous at best.

    You may be mad at God, mad at the Catholic church (which teaches many unbiblical doctrines….), but that does not justify refusal to let school children have the benefit of hearing some of the scientific challenges to evolutionary theory.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has said, “[T]eaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of human-kind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.” (Edwards v. Aguillard) It also sustained this ruling: “No court of which we are aware has prohibited voluntary instrudtion concerning purely scientific evidence that happens, incidentally, to be consistent with a religious doctrine or tenet. It simply does not follow that science instruction violates the Establishment Clause merely because it ‘happens to coincide or harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions. McGowan, 366U.S. at 442…

  161. Ashutosh says:

    Sorry, but the “argument from chance” is an old chestnut which has been refuted multiple times. Consider the simpler example of protein folding. Similar to the arguments that were stated above, if a protein were to try out all combinations and fold by chance it would need a time much longer than the age of the universe. Yet now there is little mystery in the process, we have a perfectly reasonable theory of how proteins can fold quickly, and we even have computer programs simulating the process in real time. The whole gist of natural selection and evolution is that by retaining favorable structures, natural selection dramatically cuts down on the “space” that needs to be searched and pares down the number of possibilities. As Chris said, the arguments from chance are really arguments from incredulity.

  162. Kathy says:

    Ashutosh wrote:
    “The whole gist of natural selection and evolution is that by retaining favorable structures, natural selection dramatically cuts down on the “space” that needs to be searched and pares down the number of possibilities.”

    And how, pray tell, does the pure chance or natural processes decide how to “retain favorable structures”? Better yet, how does natural selection decide what IS a “favorable structure?”. Explain this scientifically, please? (Remember this discussion was about how an initial very simple self-replicating organism might have arisen. )

    Would it be the same way Urey and Miller retained/protected the (merely) simple amino acids they produced – in an intelligently conceived and intelligently designed experiment in an adequately, intelligently equipped laboratory – that included a trap specifically to retain and protect that experiment’s products from what they knew would be destruction by the energy force driving the experiment? Do their experimental results show evidence of intelligent design or purely random natural processes? Please explain, scientifically.

    Remember, a protein is made of a minimum of hundreds of amino acids. Those amino acids must each be produced and properly sequenced for there to even BE a protein which could fold at any speed. And while amino acids occur in racemic mixtures, only the levorotary (“left-handed”) ones can be used. How would a single randomly produced protein “search” for anything? Among “possibilities”? What possibilities? Please explain scientifically how purely natural processes are able to search for anything?

    Do you play the lottery each week? How is that working out for you?

  163. Kathy says:

    Chris,
    “Quote-mining”?! I have had a copy of Wald’s Scientific American article for probably 20 years now. Why is it not legitimate to quote a Nobel Prize laureate in the context of a scientific discussion? Don’t you and Zach refer to the work and pronouncements of scientists? And when your argument is that it is not, or should not be LEGAL to allow any science that contradicts evolution to be taught in the public schools, why do you object to the use of quotes from the US Supreme Court, the final LEGAL authority in the land? Again, why do you object to such quotes? Is it because when we get down to brass tacks the science doesn’t really support evolution, so you must stick to sweeping generalities?

    Do physiologist Wald’s quoted, non-mathematical speculations about probabilities actually trump the hard mathematical analysis actually done by other scientists and mathematician? If you think so, please explain why, scientifically?

    Since you apparently find that an evolutionist’s speculative assurances that “time is the hero of the plot” trump actual mathematics analysis of biochemistry or cell biology, do you also propose that mathematics be dumped from the science curriculums to protect school children “pseudoscience”?

    Again, I suggest you get some books and do some reading. Try A.E. Wilder-Smith’s The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, or his The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evoltuionary Theory: Information Sources & Structures.

    When you’ve had a chance to digest those, come back.

  164. Chris says:

    Kathy,
    Pasteur’s work absolutely unequivocally did NOT demonstrate that “life arises only from life”. That is a ridiculous extrapolation of his conclusion that fermentation was due to micro-organisms and that such microorganisms growing out in nutrient broths were not spontaneously generated. That said nothing whatsoever about how such organisms evolved over the billions of years and uncountable generations prior to that. You have a very very limited understanding of science and science history, seemingly coming entirely from sources such as the Discovery Institute, and this is becoming more silly every time you post a response.

    And again, it is now been explained to you several times now how your whole throw-out-a-bunch-of-big-numbers approach fails, how the process of evolution does not work “randomly” the way a “lottery” does, and how it is strictly an argument from incredulity you are employing. This is just wasting time.

    And yes, you were absolutely quote mining. You dont seem to understand what the term means, I am assuming, so I will explain. Quote-mining is taking out a snippet of someone’s words and using it out of context to distort it’s original meaning. It’s also called “fallacy of quoting out” and is a form of straw man argument.

    So, in your case, you neatly sliced out a portion of what Georgre Wald said to make it appear he was suggesting that he felt it was impossible that life could spontaneously generate, but that he still believed it did. You then made a mind-numbingly ridiculous jump and suggested that he was disagreeing with the landmark work of Louis Pasteur by stating this! And then of course, you wrap it up with the snide comment: “This is a Nobel winner for Zach’s list?”

    This is really all you have? “I dont understand evolution but the numbers seem to big for me, so therefore the god of the ancient hebrews (modified over 2500 years) must be a true story”? THAT is why we should teach “intelligent design” as a science in the classroom???

  165. Chris says:

    Incidentally, George Wald died in 1997. So no, I dont think he will be signing Zack’s list to repeal this absurd Louisina law.

  166. Chris says:

    And I also never said, in fact NO ONE ever said, that science that contradictss evolution be made illegal in the public school classroom. That is an unbelievably twisted straw man you have created!!! The issue is teaching NON-science as science, teaching DOGMA as science. The issue is teaching mythology as science. The issue is teaching tales of imaginary overlords in the sky, based loosely on ancient Hebrew legends, as science. THAT is the issue!

    How could you in all seriousness have been readig ANY of what has been stated above and think that our issue is teaching other forms of “science” in the classroom??

    • John Strong says:

      You know what’s so astonishing about the ID dialogue is that its intentional misunderstanding of science runs so deep. If someone came up with real empirical data that disproved Evolution, he’d be rich, and science would be forced to change. That hasn’t happened yet (nothing in cosmology, geology, the mapping of DNA, etc has disproved evolution–it’s that robust). That Kirk Cameron’s crocoduck would *disprove* evolution shows how deeply this intentional misunderstanding runs, since his people think that the *lack* of a spontaneously appearing crocoduck disproves evolution.
      And so the circular arguments go. Pretty soon you are like the guy who has decided it would calm the lunatic down a bit if he were to talk with him about the purple elephants as though they are real. There he is, talking about the attributes of purple elephants. . .

  167. Kathy says:

    Chris,
    FYI:
    I’ve never logged on to the Discovery website, have not seen nor read any material they may put out.

    Again, please explain to us, scientifically, how George Wald’s general speculative assumption about what happened in the past trumps an objective mathematical analysis of the probability of the spontaneous biochemical creation of a simple living organism by purely random natural processes?

    Please explain, in scientific terms, how it is that polystrate fossil trees appear world-side in coal beds, given the evolutionist theory that coal is laid down over long ages and the trees would have decayed before they could be buried?

    Please give the evolutionists’ theory – in scientific terms of course – as to how creatures as large as dinosaurs were fossilized worldwide, often in large groups, often dismembered?

    • Tenncrain says:

      Kathy, have you seen my three replies to you (June 3, 5, 6)? All my replies to you continued in your threads (like this post does) instead of starting brand new threads.

      • Kathy says:

        Tenncrain,
        I said creationist are “…censored from the mainstream print media”

        You wrote:
        “Young-earth creationist material is desperately lacking in scientific merit. Indeed, as shown in the 1981 Arkansas creation science trial, YECs have very rarely even tried to submit papers to science peer reviewed science journals.”

        Once the censorship of creation scientists began it became apparent that the evolutionist controlled scientific journals would not publish such work. Creation science journals have cropped up – and of course are labeled “without scientific merit” and then scoffingly ignored by the mainstream.

        Are you familiar with the work of Robert Gentry? He was the accepted world’s authority on Polonium radiohalos. Try reading his book “Creation’s Tiny Mystery”, including the appendices which include many of his papers, which were published in mainstream science journals. Also included is the correspondence regarding rejection of his subsequenst work for publication. Why the rejection? It became obvious that his work demonstrated that EITHER the granite “basement” rocks of earth cooled from molten form in under 3 minutes OR that radioactive decay rates – used for the all important billions of years age of the earth – had changed. Gentry has not been published in mainstream science journal since then, as both of these choices are detrimental to standard evolutionary theory. There have been published challenges to his work – at least one by scientists who didn’t even work with Po radiohalos! Gentry has also, in recent years, been censored on-line, having his postings on a global scientific bulletin board repeatedly scrubbed and then his password revoked. This happened in 2001.

        Apparently there are no options for a second opinion in science. Gag the upstart with the creationist implications! Don’t let anyone know there is a challenge to the “majority” view! After all, isn’t science a discipline where “majority rules”?

        Dr. Ignatz Semmelweiss’ handwashing procedures saved the lives of hundreds of women until his scoffing critics pushed him out and went right back to examining post-partum mothers in a maternity hospital without washing between patients or when coming from an autopsy. Morbidity rates climbed immediately to the previous levels. Semmelweiss died insane from the frustration, in poverty and disgrace. Tell me again why we shouldn’t question evolution because “the majority” of scientists are for it?

        My own late father rejected evolution because of his observations in the field and in the lab during his career in chemical research and development in the oil industry. A friend with a masters degree in biochemistry, came to faith in God while looking at the complexity of a cell under a microscope. She is now a creation scientist. It does not hinder her practice of medicine in any way. My husband, an applied scientist, rejected evolution because he finally examined the so-called scientific evidence for it. With doctoral and post-doctoral degrees from distinguished universities, he was astonished to hear someone say that there was evidence against evolution! Skeptical, because of his education, he quietly looked into it. He had never actually been taught much about evolution – it had simply always been presented as established fact. He found that the assumption of evolution is the “proof” of evolution. He now says it takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation. He agrees with the late Dr. Tahmisian, of the Atomic Energy Commission, that evolution is a fairy-tale for grown-ups.

        If you will watch carefully, you will see that as soon as anyone is “found out” as a closet creationist, they immediately are labeled “without credibility.” There are even cases of universities denying a degree based solely on that. One university tried to rescind a degree previously given because they heard the person rejected evolution!

        The fact that Dr. Gentry is a young earth creationist does not make his SCIENCE incorrect. (the same is true of other creation scientists, who are denied tenure if they pop their heads up.) Why should his work be censored? You may want to check out his current website before moving on to the plethora of articles on outraged evolutionist sites.

        • John Strong says:

          Re-read all that and tell me which part disproves natural selection.

          • Kathy says:

            None of my last post was intended to disprove natural selection. However, I will restate the obvious: those that can survive, will. Survival of the fittest.

            Natural selection is a filter. It can only select from the traits/genes available. If you are in a buffet line, you can only choose those entrees that are available. Buffet lines do not gradually evolve into 5 star restaurants by natural dining processes.

            What is the null hypothesis for natural selection vis a vis the alleged upward progression of life forms from simple one-celled organisms to all more complex forms of life (ie. macroevolution)?

        • Jameson says:

          There are countless religious organizations with incentives to defeat evolution. Ever heard of the Jesuits? The are catholics but they practice science. If your ridiculous claims were convincing then there would be Jesuit priests convinced by them with massive funding provided by the church.

          You talk like a conspiracy theorist. If you have a disproof of evolution why are you not world famous for being the person to disprove evolution? You would be more famous than Darwin within a matter of weeks.

          Why aren’t you? Why do you keep your disproof to yourself when you could share it with the world, if its convincing?

          Accept the facts: what you have is tripe. Meaningless self contradictory tripe that hasn’t convinced the people with the utmost incentive to disprove evolution and the money to back up their research.

        • Tenncrain says:

          Kathy, what you and other YECs promote is old hat to me. I grew up a YEC. Learned from books like The Genesis Flood, even had access to a well used and somewhat worn original 1961 copy of TGF that was two decades older than me! I indeed learned of YECs like Gentry, Stephen Austin, Thomas Barnes, Kurt Wise, etc. Over the decades, some of my relatives have met the likes of Duane Gish and the late Henry Morris.

          But when my YEC beliefs imploded after taking university science (especially geology), my Christian faith nearly toppled as well. If that wasn’t enough, other YECs shunned and looked down their noses at me. Beforehand, I was a faithful YEC. I even somewhat took for granted I would act the part to pass the university science classes, then go back to my YEC beliefs. My profs and most other students didn’t even know I was a YEC. But my geology course was a game changer for me.

          Although I graduated with a non-science degree, my geology and biology classes exposed that if I had chosen a career in the life or earth sciences, the young-earth creationism/flood geology I grew up on would have been a bad foundation to build on compared to other students who learn mainstream science in public or parochial schools.

          In all, I now feel inserting supernaturalism for scientific (or proximate) causes is a degradation to theology as well as pseudo-science.

          Despite being an ex-YEC, I still study YEC resources like ICR Impact and Back To Genesis articles, websites like AIG, Creation Wiki.

          You said: “You may want to check out [Gentry's] current website”

          I first looked up his site after the Dover decision; during the trial Gentry was outside court in Harrisburg promoting his views.

          However, I only learned recently that even other creationists reject Gentry’s views on radio halos, including YECs from Gentry’s own church (see The Creationists). As it is, Irish physicist John Joly studied the concept of radioactive halos almost a century ago, but Joly saw fit to abandon the concept as contradictory evidence piled up. When Gentry took an interest in radio halos in the 1960s, he largely repackaged Joly’s discarded idea.

          The Creationists gives an objective history of young-earth creationism (even Henry Morris says positive comments on back cover); not only is Gentry mentioned, but of multiple YEC geology students that chose to ditch ‘flood geology’, to the dismay of leading YECs like Morris and Walter Lammerts.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Creationists

          You said: “Apparently there are no options for a second opinion in science”

          All scientific ideas are considered tentative, evolution included. If a ‘second opinion’ ends up having better evidence (and this evidence is confirmed by other independent scientists), it can win over the scientific consensus even if there is strong initial resistance:
          http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/challenging

          Creationism/ID generally repeats the same old chestnuts. McLean vs Arkansas and Dover trials showed anti-evolutionists themselves admit under oath that they rarely perform (much less submit) original research.

          You said: “…it takes more faith to believe in evolution…”

          Evolution is supported by multiple lines of independent scientific evidence, such as genetics, comparative anatomy of living species, the fossil record, biogeography, etc. Indeed, when molecular genetics came along, it could have totally crippled evolution if genetics contradicted older forms of evidence. If anything, genetics only reconfirmed common decent among species.
          http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/18/E_zDWUguU_Y

          =======

          Kathy, I and other former YECs know how uncomfortable it can be to look outside one’s theological comfort zone. But what good is YEC pseudoscience when this pseudoscience comes crashing down under the weight of science? What happens to a YEC’s Christian faith then?

          Here are personal experiences of other former YECs:
          http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/experiences.htm

        • Tenncrain says:

          Kathy, you touched on creationism and oil industry experience.

          Perhaps you missed the earlier post about geophysicist and former YEC Glen Morton (who once published in the Creation Research Society) and how Morton learned painfully from direct experience in the oil industry that neither flood geology nor a young earth have any practical field use. Indeed, every YECs that Morton hired (several were from ICR graduate school) experienced the same spiritual upheaval that Morton did.
          http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

          Glen’s experience are part of this Gordon Glover video:
          http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/23/dc6uhQWQQMQ

  168. artiofab says:

    Has Bachmann responded at all to this challenge?

  169. Kathy says:

    I will ask again, what is the null hypothesis for macroevolution?

    • Sean says:

      How does attacking Evolution in any way invalidate it, or in any way support ID/Creationism?

      Instead, you should be working to build upon the existing science. That may mean refuting some things that were thought to be fact with new data that shows something else is true. What it doesn’t mean is tossing all of that observed, tested, experimented data out the window in favor of some meaningless “‘My Diety did it’, ‘No, my Diety did it!’” malarky.

  170. Kathy says:

    tick tock….

    Those who debate competitively tell me ad hominem attacks and tossing of red herrings to throw the opponent off track are popular when one is losing an argument.

    So far I haven’t heard what the null hypothesis for macroevolution is.

    tick tock….

    • Andrew says:

      Kathy, by Anurag Agrawal Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University.

      Dr. Agrawal provides one example of a null hypothesis for macroevolutionary patterns of plant defense on the provided link.

      Kathy, just name one scientific research that explicitly supports ‘ID’ or even tests design as a null hypothesis.

      • Andrew says:

        Kathy, “Macroevolution of plant defense strategies” by Anurag Agrawal, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
        http://www.aseanbiodiversity.info/Abstract/51007181.pdf

        Dr. Agrawal provides one example of a null hypothesis for macroevolutionary patterns of plant defense on the provided link.

        Just name one scientific research that explicitly supports ‘ID’ or even tests design as a null hypothesis.

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  172. Rhett says:

    Without science you would not have the life expectancy that you have today, the medicine, communications, transportation, mathematics, astronomy…etc. If we all lived by the bible and its hypocritical thinking we would most likely be dead. That is why your faith belongs in the church and science belongs in the class room. Its got nothing to do with opinion.

  173. (a different) Kathy says:

    My husband and I and our three children recently moved back to Baton Rouge after an absence of eight years (our oldest was not quite two years old when we moved away so no previous experience with schooling here… my husband is from rural Mississippi and I am from the Chicago area… we lived in the Chicago area and also the San Francisco Bay area before moving back here). I have been despairing over the state of education in Baton Rouge and what it will mean for our children and their futures. I have also been despairing over the general cultural attitude toward science and education. I want you to know, Zack, that in addition to the difference you are making on the big picture issues, you have made a tremendous difference in my personal life. You have given me hope for my children and their futures here. To know that this area and its PUBLIC schools have produced a young man like you makes me feel a lot better about raising and educating my children here.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      Thanks! I would definitely recommend Baton Rouge High.

      • (a different) Kathy says:

        I am trying my hardest to make that happen! My eldest child’s teacher from this past year had a son graduate from BR High this year and she agreed with me that it’s the best place for my children. Just got my eldest into WHAM for next year and hoping our other two can get into there with sibling preference (and from there to BR High one day).

        I forgot to say thank you, so thank you!

        • Jennifer from BR says:

          (a different) Kathy, you should also look into the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

          Zack, it’s a shame you’re too young to run for governor. I feel despair every time I pass yet another Bobby Jindal campaign sign in someone’s yard.

          -EWE ’11

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  175. Kailey says:

    Zach,

    While I was impressed with the cleverness of your argument (I also being a 17 year old interested in social issues), I encourage you to do some more research on creationism, as there is in fact a multitude of scientific evidence that supports it. Also, I find it rather ironic that you put so much emphasis on evolution being FACT, when it is called “the THEORY of evolution”. There is actually a creation museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and I having been there can say that it is definitely a sight to see. I encourage you to look into some of the evidence that supports creationism or intelligent design. I think you will be shocked at some of the things you find. However, go into this research with the mind of a true intellectual, that is, an open one.

    In addition, I find it hard to believe that any students’ college admission would be jeopardized by their having not studied evolution. Any college that would truly be that discriminatory would only be accepting the type of students who were motivated enough to do their own research regarding topics of interest (such as evolution vs. creationism) anyway. I know for a fact that whether you are taught creationism or evolution has no effect whatsoever on your SAT or ACT test scores, for one thing.

    Also, it would be my advice to lay off on the arrogance; it never fails to make a smart person appear to be much less credible and intelligent than they really are. Humility adds sagacity.

    • Andrew says:

      Name one scientific fact or evidence that supports creationism/ID?

      The theory of evolution is a model supported by facts and evidence from all branches of solid science such as Paleontology, Biology, Geology, Molecular biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Mathematics, Anthropology, and Cosmology to name a few.
      A few examples:

      Paleontology and the fossil record completely support evolution. This theory also predicts some fossils before we find them , such as Tikaalik roseae.(fishapod) a mix of fish and amphibian that is known as the first tetrapod. http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/meetTik.html

      Geology supports evolution in that we never find fossils from one age embedded in rocks from a different age.

      Molecular biology provides evidence that all life comes from a common ancestor in that DNA at the molecular level provides monumental evidence of common descent.

      Genetics supports evolution in that it provided the mechanism of inheritance that Darwin predicted must be present. Humans share genes with mushrooms, fish, and most genes with primates.

      The silly creation museum is not a museum at all. It is a religious Fred Flintstones amusement park that actually believes that man and dinosaurs walked side by side…….it is a total waste of time and money. It has no research component and ignores the undisputed bodies of scientific data to mislead or polarize young minds to avoid the chance to discover the truth. This anti-museum is all set up to say that there is a massive anti-God conspiracy in the scientific world of evolution.

      Another question: Since creationism has no science to back it up but only religious beliefs……..So how do you teach creationism?

    • Tenncrain says:

      You said, “…so much emphasis on evolution being FACT, when it is called ‘the THEORY of evolution’ “

      Kailey, you might be surprised even some creationists feel the ‘evolution only a theory’ argument is misleading.
      http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

      The common meaning of theory is somewhat like a hunch, but the scientific meaning is different.
      http://ncse.com/evolution/education/theory-fact

      Scientific theories explain or support facts. Science theories forever remain theories (they don’t become facts); atomic theory will never become atomic ‘fact’. But in the same way atomic theory tries to explain thousands of facts about matter, evolutionary theory explains thousands of facts about how life has changed. Science theories are more important than facts, even laws.

      You said, “I encourage you to look into some of the evidence that supports creationism or intelligent design”

      But how well does YEC ‘science’ work in real world experience in the field and laboratory? This particular Gordon Glover video (indeed, the whole video series) might better clarify this issue (Glover is a Christian):
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj#p/u/26/L8RqrD0kHQU

      I personally grew up a faithful young-earth creationist. But after I took university science (especially geology), not only did my YEC beliefs implode, my Christian faith nearly folded as well. My other posts on this page better explainst this issue.

  176. Lexi says:

    Zack, as a mother of two, I’d like to say thank you. I worry about the growing number of law makers who are intent on blurring or completely erasing the line between church and state. I want my children to be taught scientific facts in science class. If they wish to learn anything about religion, there are places for that, but not a science classroom. Although I doubt you will get a response from Mrs. Bachmann, I am sure that you will at least succeed in drawing attention to this issue, and the fact that she has lied. After reading your responses to some of the shameful comments from adults here, I have no doubt that you, an intelligent, well spoken, and well mannered young man, will do well in life and have a positive impact. Thank you.

    (Please excuse any grammatical errors and misspellings in my post. Spelling and grammar are not my strong suit, especially at 4 am. )

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  178. Terri Downing says:

    Dear Zack,

    I respect your position. However, as a public school teacher, I believe in presenting all sides of an issue. Both theories (evolution and intelligent design) should be presented to students, and they can use their own critical thinking skills to decide for themselves. That is what I aim for as a teacher – to assist students in thinking for themselves. I asked Terry Hollifield, an intelligent and learned Christian apologist, for some resources, and here is what he recommended.

    1. A list of scientists (past and present) who are creationists: http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp

    2. A great article on the politics and science of Bachmann’s answer:
    http://www.discovery.org/a/17021

    3. As far as books go, I’d recommend several:
    –> The Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer —(Biological perspective)
    –> In the Beginning Was Information by Werner Gitt (Information Theory perspective)
    –> Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe (Biological perspective)

    So if you have time this summer before you go to Rice (Congratulations!), check these out! Personally, I would also recommend Lee Stroebel’s The Case for Creation. Have a great summer, and good luck at Rice!

    • Andrew says:

      Terri,
      Regarding the subject of creatioism/ID is first, most of their claims that came from the Discovery Institute ( I call them Disney Land) and all sides of creationist cannot be tested, and are therefore beyond the realm of science. Second, those peripheral claims which can be tested have been proven false, and are therefore not science but religious beliefs. So what is the issue?

      Your list of “Scientific Creationists”, none of them has made no effort to publish in established scientific journals concerning creationism/ID. Is it because of prejudice against them? Or is it because no scientific case can be made for the theories they advance? I claimed it is the later.

      Since there is no science supporting creationism /ID but only religious apologists. …..How do you claim to be able to present it as science. Evolution is fully supported by evidence and facts of science….S0…….I see no issue with evolution. The issue with creationism/ID is that it belongs in a philosophy or religious classroom not a science classroom.

      What do you teach?

    • Tenncrain says:

      You said, “Both theories (evolution and intelligent design) should be presented to students”

      For the sake of debate, why do you imply there are only two theories? What about Hindu creationism? What about Cherokee Indian creationism? Why should these and other (perhaps hundreds) views be left out?

      As it is, ID is not a scientific theory, it’s religion. At present, evolution is the only scientific theory that has earned a broad scientific consensus. ID and other religious views can go in history and comparitive religion classes, but not science classes.

      Evolution and theism are not mutually exclusive (and I happen to be a former young-earth creationist). Here’s a small sample of books by Christian scientists that accept evolution:

      Perspectives On An Evolving Creation (Keith Miller, geologist at Kansas St Univ, officer member Kansas Citizens For Science which twice successfully challenged creationism in Kansas)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_B._Miller

      The Language Of God (Francis Collins, led Human Genome Project)

      Finding Darwin’s God (Ken Miller, biologist at Brown, lead expert witness for plaintiffs at Dover trial). Miller has a newer book,
      Only A Theory

      The Dinosaur Heresies (Robert Bakker, paleontologist that first proposed dinosaurs were birdlike/warmblooded)

      Coming To Peace With Science (Darrel Falk, biologist, president of BioLogos)

      Saving Darwin (Karl Giberson, physicist at Eastern Nazarene College)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Giberson

      Beyond the Firmament (Gordon Glover, engineer, producer of 16 videos about Christian education and evolution)
      http://www.youtube.com/user/glovergj

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  181. Mark says:

    You can only assume all the evolutionists above have found the so called “missing link”. No? Really? Just to be as specific as it gets, the Bible not only is as you call it, a Religious Book, but it is a History Book. That’s right. Your so called scientists have yet disprove the Bible. As a matter of fact, the longer they try, the more they prove that it is accurate. The flood happened. Your scientists have proven it. Even Darwin accepted that there is a God prior to his death. Do some research and check out the original tittle of his book. Be sitting down when you do. Have a good day

    • Michael says:

      » the Bible [...] is a History Book. [...] The flood happened. «

      Floods happen sometimes. There is no evidence for worldwide flood. In fact, you may find geological evidence against the worldwide flood.

      There is evidence for some floods local to Mesopotamia, at least one of them continuous and probably spanning as much as 200 km of land. Villagers on high lands in such case would not see dry land around, including distant mountains, due to the fact that the Earth is round, so it is possible that tales of exactly this event could be exaggerated and passed for generations as legend, long before the stories in the Bible and Egyptian mythology were written. Not impossible that one brave traveler built a boat and took his family to sail away before the waters around village receded. Nothing accurate or relevant to science class in naming the event worldwide and/or God-driven, though.

      The Bible does not present dates and exact locations (and where it does present locations, it contradicts itself), therefore it is not good enough for history class.

    • Tenncrain says:

      You said, “Darwin accepted that there is a God prior to his death”

      Actually, many creationists reject this:
      http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

      Even if this Darwin story was true, it would be irrelevant as science has no say one way or the other about theology. As it is, many Christians and other theists have no problem with evolution. Even Darwin himself thought the ‘religion vs evolution’ concept was a false conflict. Alfred Wallace came up with evolution via natural selection at about the same time as Darwin and Wallace remained religious.

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  183. The problem is that creationism wants to be taught in SCIENCE class, and it has nothing to do with science, as this has been proven and judged hundredfold.
    Creationism should be taught in RELIGION class, and, that lacking… in church!

    Intelligent design has as much a place in science class than basketball has, just because it’s also about muscles, and mathematical precision.

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  185. Scott Bain says:

    I live in Louisiana, and though I do not wish this to be taken as any sort of defence for Michele Bachmann, the RINO, but you have your parties muddles up.

    The government has NO RIGHT to be in the education business… PERIOD

    We have exchanged ‘education’ for indoctrination. Believing in creationism does not necessarily discredit one, nor is it possible to disprove creationism. Moreover there is no way to prove that man evolved from an ape, as evolutionists claim, and even if there was a way to prove it that still does NOT disprove creationism!

    You can believe as you wish, but it will NEVER change the fact that government has no place telling schools what to teach, nor does it give you the right to dictate to others your own preference of education.

    Parents should be taking more responsibility for their children’s education. If a school teaches something that they do not agree with, they should either send their child to a different school or home-school them.

    If a tax-paying Christian that believes in creationism sends their child to school, why should they be forced to PAY to have their child indoctrinated in something that goes against their core beliefs?

    Atheism is every bit the cult that other religions can be in that it’s members are often fanatical to the point of exhibiting a complete and total disregard for factual information. I’ve encountered more than a few that were even prone to violent outbursts at the mere mention of religion.

    How is that anything but totalitarian in nature?

    Be careful of the causes which you choose to champion, they may well come back to haunt you.

  186. Scott Bain says:

    In the past the courts also decided on many other issues that have long since been overturned… like slavery, prohibition, state sponsored segregation, obamacare, ect. and the list goes on and on.

    The point here is that just because one judge rules in favor of something does not make it right, nor does it make the ruling constitutional.

    An excellent example of this is Wickard v. Filburn.

    I suggest that you look it up, and start learning to think for yourself. Judges are just people too, and they get it wrong at least as often as they get things right.

    (at least in today’s society)

  187. Kathy says:

    The truth is apparently too hot to handle. My fact laden posts are being scrubbed as soon as they are submitted.

    There are vast areas of massive accumulations of fossil-laden rock around the world. If they are not evidence of a world wide flood, what are they evidence of ? When thorns, supposedly evolved to protect flowers, which supposedly did not appear til geologically late ages, appear in layers tens and hundreds of metres below the layers that contain the bones of dinosaurs that supposedly died out 65 million ya, how does that support evolution? It doesn’t! But the Bible tells us that all the land animals – which would include dinosaurs – were created on the 6th day and that thorns appeared after the the Fall of man into sin in the Garden of Eden. Thus thorns and dinosaurs would have existed together until the flood, which mangled animals, uprooted and smashed trees and left them in layers upon layers of sedimentary rock – laid down in water. See “Polystrate trees”, found – often, but not always – upright and crossing seams in coal beds world wide. Roots are truncated. One has even been found UPSIDE DOWN. Trees would decay before the alleged evolutionary pace of swampy sedimentation could bury them. What is the obvious conclusion of an open-minded scientist?

  188. Tara says:

    I have no idea if this comment will be read (as there are quite a large number of them) and I don’t know if my point has already been addressed (I apologize if it has been), but I felt compelled to reply.

    It is frustrating to me that Intelligent Design and Creationism have become interchangeable terms. I’m not completely up-to-date on the different terms, but from my personal perspective, they mean entirely different things. Creationism is the term that has come to represent the belief that God created the world in seven (literal) days. Coupled with this is the belief of a young (~6000 year old) Earth.

    Whereas Intelligent Design (to me, at least) simply means a belief that Someone (God) is behind the design/creation of, well, everything. As a young Christian (high school and before), I believed in Creationism and a young Earth. As an adult, seeing more of the world and learning about God and my faith, I see things differently.

    For example, why would God design certain laws, principles and patterns for the universe but go against them while creating it? I do believe in His miraculous intervention, but I think He has created a beautiful world and a beautiful system of development and design. It seems strange to me to automatically assume He would go against it in making the world. It is much more in keeping with what I understand of His character to let the world exist for millions of years before humans took any part in it. God is infinitely patient and part of the beauty and love of anything created is in watching it develop. I haven’t fully settled what I believe about how we got here, but whether God snapped His fingers and “there was light” or whether He used the patterns and laws of the world to get it (and us) where we are, is inconsequential to me.

    I suppose it does raise questions about the Genesis 1 passage from the Bible, but we (Christians) can accept the difference between historical records and artistic prose/poetry in every other part of the Bible (for example, 1 & 2 Kings versus the Psalms or Song of Solomon). I don’t believe it is a difficulty to understand the first part of Genesis to be artistic prose celebrating the creation of the world.

    This is a little rambling and hasn’t “proven a point” (this wasn’t my intention). I merely wanted to say that believing in a Creator doesn’t mean that you have to reject science.

    (Also, I do agree with the repeal. As with any faith-based teaching, if we want our children to learn it, we should teach it ourselves.)

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      That’s actually a misunderstanding, what you described as “intelligent design” is actually theistic evolution, and perfectly compatible with evolution. Intelligent design is creationism dressed up in an attempt to dodge court rulings.

      • Tara says:

        Oh, I see. Thank you for the clarification. My frustration, then, stems from the emphasis of some Christians on world origins (even to the point of hostility) over what we should be doing as Christians– that is, loving God and loving others.

  189. Nick says:

    It brings a really needed sigh of relief that a teen is standing up against the biblical tyranny that is trying to bring the IQ of America down to Neanderthal levels. There needs to be more people like you. You are the future of this country and people like you will insure that education will be taught as it should be. For I will not have my child learn the lies and mythical facts of the bible to be true. There is a lot of history of the bible that is false too and that is probably the next step in the minds of the biblical tyranny. To put stories of the bible in history classes and say that this is how it all started. Keep up the fight. Don’t let them grind you down.

  190. Tyler says:

    I think for the most part, American’s believe that Creationism should be taught in church not schools as a science. In England, they teach the philosophy of many religions, but not as a science. Parent’s may also, exclude their children from the course.

    As far a Michelle Bachmann goes… you cannot teach “intelligent design” along side evolution as a science because of the establishment clause.

    Anyone arguing that mandating evolution is just as bad as mandating intelligent design is flawed in their view. When a country labels a portion of Christianity as a science, they must do so for all religions in order to uphold the requirements of the establishment clause. I am sure Muslims do not want to learn Christianity as a viable science, nor do Christians want to learn about Islam as a viable science. The only way equity can be achieved, is to limit all religions from being taught as a science in public schools.

  191. kathy says:

    One more time. Creation SCIENCE is the interpretation of scientific evidence available to all, but looked at through the eyes of someone who accepts even the mere possibility that the Bible and its account of a world-wide flood (that covered even the highest mountains) MIGHT be true. What would the evidence BE if the flood account were true? As soon as someone says “that’s ridiculous!”, they have ceased to be an open minded examiner of the SCIENTIFIC evidence and have become adherents of a religiously based faith in random chance creating the universe and all life.

    Evolutionists look at the scientific evidence available to all, but look at it thinking that the Bible is NOT true and that its account of a world-wide flood, over even the highest mountains) is NOT true. Their only possible explanation is that everything was created out of nothing by nothing except presently available natural scientific processes.

    Yet we know that natural scientific processes cannot create life, cannot design a computer, cannot paint a picture, cannot create an eclair or a doghouse or a baseball diamond. The SETI program is back in business for a while, searching the heavens for signs of intelligence – “out there”. How in the world do scientists expect to recognize “signs of intelligence [ie intelligent life/beings] in outer space when they cannot even recognize the signs of an intelligent creator of the world they live in?

    Since they refuse to recognize the intricacies of a cell or the interdependence of specialized living creatures as the work of an intelligent being (aka “God”), why should we think they will know intelligence anywhere “out there?”

  192. Erik Vance says:

    I would be happy to answer on behalf of Ms. Bachmann. There are three, to my knowledge. Two of whom have repeatedly said that they have been misunderstood and fully support evolution, they just think God kicked the whole thing off 3.5 billion years ago and nudged evolution along. The last is Richard Errett Smalley, who late in life found God and made some odd comments while fighting lymphoma. Previously he had fully endorsed evolution. Kind of sad really. We should not be remembered for the things we said while we look terrifyingly at our own mortality.
    PS: I think you will find that far more than 42 Laureates have signed on to barring intelligent design in the classroom.

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  194. Katie says:

    I am offended by your first statement. Who cares that you are 17 years old? 17 year olds and 82 year old’s can come up with the exact same questions and answers. Its great that your forming a political opinion when your not even allowed to voice your opinion at the polls; I can commend you for that. I am 17 as well and feel that regardless of your age, making your case more important because of your age is useless. When we look back 20 years from now, no one is going to care about how old you were when you wrote this, but merely the words you wrote. Write what you want to say with passion, but don’t use your age as a gateway to publicity, it is a horrid and immoral method. Also, your writing should be ‘ageless’. We shouldn’t be able to tell from reading your statement your age. You write like a 17 year old…no. You write like a bratty 17 year old. Have some dignity while writing, don’t try to prove your case and shoot down your opponent in the same sentence. Give evidence, show class, and above all, show GRACE and HUMILITY. In today’s world…no one will listen to the child who whined and bickered. No one listens to the person who spews hatred and venom, but isn’t able to applaud or commend their opponent. Viciousness will get you no where in the real world. Republican or Democrat, you did not handle your case maturely, and therefore your words are ignored. Change your attitude.

  195. Zack says:

    Dear Zack and fellow contributors,

    Firstly, from one Zack to another, I’m quite impressed with your article. I am speaking from across the border in Canada and obviously find the situation that you are facing in your state to be quite troubling. On my side of the fence, we fortunately don’t face this issue wherein science is muddled with faith-based ideologies which, in all fairness, ultimately masquerade the application of a theocratic government. Generally speaking, everyone here appears to understand the logical concept of separating church and state (of which is clearly championed by the US constitution). I am going to succinctly repeat the same argument placed heretofore and place emphasis on the absurdity of the opposing and misinformed minority (fortunately, in most locales on this continent, I might add).

    Those persons advocating the incorporation of creationist (or anti-evolution) viewpoints into the public school system are self-serving and hypocritical (i.e., Michele Bachmann). By the same token, if church and state are to be mixed, one should ensure that we mandate that science and one of its brightest children, evolution, be included in all “Sunday school” lessons in all religious institutions located in Louisiana (regardless of denomination, of course). I don’t understand the unilateral application of such legislature especially given the fact that virtually all of those who support the inclusion of creationism also appear to completely advocate the tenets of the US constitution (again, for the sake of redundancy for those misinformed readers: the separation of “church” and “state” ).

    I truly hope that you find success with your cause and that this legislation is repealed as it will, with out exception, ruin the academic reputation of the students coming from your great state.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  196. allegory says:

    Your enthusiasm and adult confidence is so presh. Have you asked Barack Obama to show HIS credentials, such as his high school, college, law school transcripts? Have you taken any statements from a single “law student” he allegedly “taught” while given a part time “lecturer” position? I bet you’re pro abortion, too. How many videos have you watched of actual abortions? The SCIENCE about that procedure is much more evolved now than during Roe v Wade times without even a commonly used ultrasound to SHOW the mother ad public. But yeah, discouraging public and school debate is definitely the way to go when you’re so afraid of it. Good luck with that.

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  199. Mike Lane says:

    Sounds to me like Zack is an attention-seeking, intolerant, disrespectful bigot! Oh wait, only believers can be bigots. Sorry.

  200. Bill Elinor says:

    Zach,
    We are five years into this law. You stated: “Just look at the lessons from Louisiana. Colleges both at home and across the country may question our science education and withold admission because of our dubious science background.” Do you know of any incidences where this has happened? You also stated: “In addition, Louisiana students may lose out on cutting edge science jobs to kids from countries like China and Britain where they teach accurate science and the theory of evolution.” Do you know of any cases where this has happened? I realize that would be difficult to determine, but let’s try to stay with the facts as best we can. You also stated: “This law gives Louisiana an anti-science reputation, which hinders the state’s ability to attract scientists who can help find innovative solutions……. The LSEA also handicaps our bio-tech start-ups and efforts to attract investment in companies that do scientific research.” Can you offer me any proof that these things have occured? There is much speculation in your arguments. Time has passed. What are the lessons from Louisiana?
    Thanks for allowing me to respond.

  201. It seems like u really fully understand a good deal related to this specific subject matter and it all shows through
    this specific article, named “17 Year Old to Michele Bachmann:
    Show Me Your Nobel Laureate Scientists | Repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act”.
    Thx -Hayden

  202. Chrisitne says:

    Way to go my fellow teenager! You have just offically made my day!

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