Activists Re-Launch Campaign to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law

Since 2008, the Louisiana Science Education Act Has Been the Subject of National and International Criticism and Ridicule

For Immediate Release

Baton Rouge, LA — (March, 18, 2013) — Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) recently filed SB 26 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, Louisiana’s misnamed and misguided creationism law.

Since its passage in 2008, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) has been the subject of national and international criticism and ridicule, and its repeal has been endorsed an overwhelming consensus of scientists and educators and a broad coalition of religious leaders and clergy. This is Senator Peterson’s third attempt at repealing the act.

Previous hearings about the Louisiana Science Education Act were the focus of intense national interest.  Videos of the meetings have collectively received more than 680,000 views on YouTube and were covered by national publications including io9 and Slate.  The campaign has been covered both nationally and internationally, including in The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Italian Vogue, MSNBC, and Bill Moyers’s “Moyers and Company.”

Originally conceived as the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, the LSEA is based on a model statute developed by the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that lobbies for legislation promoting creationism in the classroom.

State Senator Ben Nevers, the bill’s original sponsor, explained that he filed the bill at the behest of the Louisiana Family Forum. “They (the Louisiana Family Forum) believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin’s theory,” Senator Nevers said.

Nobel laureate chemist Sir Harry Kroto said, “The present situation (the LSEA) should be likened to requiring Louisiana school texts to include the claim that the sun goes round the Earth.”

Three years ago, Sir Harry Kroto was the first Nobel laureate to publicly endorse the act’s repeal. Today, the repeal campaign is endorsed by 78 Nobel laureate scientists, nearly 40% of living Nobel laureate scientists, and numerous other prominent scientists.  It has also been endorsed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other major science and educator organizations in Louisiana and the United States.

In addition, thousands of clergy members, who are part of the Clergy Letter Project, have joined the repeal campaign. Reverend Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance, said, “(The repeal effort) represents the best thinking in American science, the best thinking in American religion, and it also reflects the United States Constitution.”

Over 70,000 people from Louisiana and around the country have signed a petition and other petitions in support of this repeal.

The conservative Thomas Fordham Institute stated the Louisiana Science Education Act creates “anti-evolution pressures (that) continue to threaten state science standards.” In its evaluation of Louisiana’s education system, the Thomas Fordham Institute called the LSEA a “devastating flaw.”

Zack Kopplin, the student who began the campaign against the law said:

“America needs a scientific revolution; a Second Giant Leap for Humankind.  Fighting for a repeal of Louisiana’s creationism law is ground zero of this revolution.

“We need a grassroots movement of students who stand up and demand their public officials to support evidence-based science.”

Supporters of the repeal believe they will see a breakthrough this year because Louisiana’s public officials are becoming increasingly pro-science.  This spring, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology lifted a boycott of New Orleans (a boycott still remains on the rest of Louisiana), which had begun after the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act.  The boycott was lifted after the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to support the repeal of Louisiana’s creationism law, and the Orleans Parish School Board banned creationism from their classrooms in reaction to the passage of this law.

The bill to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act in 2012 was defeated in committee, by a vote of 2-1.

“We believe that this spring we can muster the votes we need to pass,” Kopplin said.



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11 Responses to Activists Re-Launch Campaign to Repeal Louisiana’s Creationism Law

  1. Chance Rearden says:

    The individuals in Louisiana that believe in creationism have every right to teach that to their own children in the privacy of their own homes. They do not have the right to spread those lies to others children though, nor should these false teachings be paid for with even one cent of public monies. Science is based on fact. Religion is based on myths.

  2. I absolutely support what you are doing, Zack.

    I’m writing a paper for the Reports of the NCSE on the science taught in Accelerated Christian Education schools. I hope I get it done in time to be of use to you. If I can be of any assistance, please get in touch. I have access to a large quantity of current ACE science PACEs (workbooks).

    It would also be worth taking a look at the tests that students in ACE take – they are extremely poor quality. They’re all based on rote memorisation, and very badly designed. They’re not evidence of any kind of learning at all, regardless of content. Another angle you could push is that schools receiving voucher money ought to meet minimum academic standards as well as content standards.

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  7. Kellen says:

    Hi Zack,

    I’m on the Community Team at and I recently read an article stating that you’ve relaunched your campaign to end the teaching of creationism as science in Louisiana schools. I’d love to speak with you about the ways in which Causes can help you with your campaign. Do you have some time to speak on the phone tomorrow? Perhaps around 11am PST? Also just so you know, we are completely free, we really do just want to help.

    Feel free to give me a call at 907-441-8141 or shoot me an email at

    I look forward to hearing from you!


  8. John in Newfoundland, Canada says:

    I support you with my whole heart and soul.

    Perhaps we could suggest that ALL state activities should be based on the Bible. Louisiana Math would eliminate numbers that aren’t actually IN the Bible. Technical subjects such as electricity and auto mechanics should be banned from schools and replaced by creationism-derived subjects. The State of LA should stop using machines that aren’t actually IN the Bible. Republicans should have to ride donkeys to Washington.

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