One Student's Quest to Stop the Teaching of Creationism in Louisiana Schools

Monday, January 21, 2013

The fight over teaching evolution versus creationism has a long history in the United States. Perhaps the most famous case is Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, or the Scopes Monkey trial, the 1925 case in which the state of Tennessee prosecuted a public school teacher for teaching evolution in his classroom. 

The debate continues today. In 2008, Louisiana passed the Science Education Act, a law that allows schools to use supplemental materials in addition to textbooks in science classrooms, particularly when teaching about controversial topics, such as evolution and global warming. Critics argued that the law allowed teachers to promote creationism in the classroom. 

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Zack Kopplin was just 14-years-old when Governor Bobby Jindal signed the Act into law. But in the last few years, Zack has made it is his mission to repeal the law and end the teaching of creationism in Louisiana public schools. 

Zack is now a sophomore at Rice University, and he discusses his work against creationism in Louisiana and beyond.


Zack Kopplin

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]

John Prentice from New Orleans

I sometimes feel that Creationist would actually be a bit more chilled if Evolutionists would be a little bit more un-exasperated and patronising.

Since living in the US I often find myself re-evaluating my attitude as many people who believe in Creationism are EXTREMELY smart, in many cases far more intelligent and academically qualified than I am.

However, I simply cannot accept Creationism, as it seems to me that it is founded on Faith, not science. Perhaps we should introduce classes that are Optional focusing purely on Creationist Hypothesis in Schools? They could combine the Social/Psychological/Religious aspects of the debate with the biblical text?

I do however feel that Creationists would be a lot more patient and open to Evolutionists if the latter did not adopt a contemptuous and dismissive attitude towards the former.

Jan. 22 2013 07:23 AM

"How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God"

MLK Jr. - Letter from a Birmingham Jail

We often hear of the need to keep with strict proven science from "progressives" when studying evolution and global warming.
Does that include strict scientific discussion of when life begins such as the first heartbeat, the development of unique human DNA, a nervous system that can feel pain and when a fetus can live outside the womb thanks to medical science?
Is the beginning of life an issue when scientific ignorance is acceptable and fiercely encouraged by progressives?

Jan. 21 2013 10:32 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Creationism is a philosophical/theological idea rather than a solely physical science one, so it should be considered in a philosophy/theology class (the idea that creation has a creator that guides it). On the other hand, evolution is science, but it often includes the teaching of many philosophical/theological ideas (like there is no creator) which don't belong in a science class, but in a philosophy/theology class. So it cuts both ways.

Jan. 18 2013 08:11 AM

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