HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » How 19-year-old activist ...

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:27 PM

How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists

For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom. Outraged, he wrote a research paper about it for a high school English class. Nearly five years later, the 19-year-old Kopplin has become one of the fiercest — and most feared — advocates for education reform in Louisiana. We recently spoke to him to learn more about how he's making a difference.
Kopplin, who is studying history at Rice University, had good reason to be upset after the passing of the LSEA — an insidious piece of legislation that allows teachers to bring in their own supplemental materials when discussing politically controversial topics like evolution or climate change. Soon after the act was passed, some of his teachers began to not just supplement existing texts, but to rid the classroom of established science books altogether. It was during the process to adopt a new life science textbook in 2010 that creationists barraged Louisiana's State Board of Education with complaints about the evidence-based science texts. Suddenly, it appeared that they were going to be successful in throwing out science textbooks.


And perhaps not surprisingly, a number of people have refused to take Kopplin seriously on account of his age. "Oh, for sure — there have absolutely been people who have dismissed me because I'm still a kid," he told us. Some of his opponents have even suggested that his parents are really the ones behind the campaign — an accusation he flatly denies.

"They have their own lives to live, and certainly don't have time to run a public issue campaign," he says.

"What disturbs me though, is when other kids are the ones to dismiss me based on age," he told io9. "They see a 19 year old kid and can't believe that I can actually go out and change the world. Too many of my peers have this attitude that they need to dress nicely, sit quietly, and wait until we are adults to change things. This attitude must change. My generation needs to speak out for what we believe."



http://io9.com/5976112/how-19+year+old-activist-zack-kopplin-is-making-life-hell-for-louisianas-creationists


Awesome young man

58 replies, 10396 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jan 2013 OP
patrice Jan 2013 #1
Wait Wut Jan 2013 #2
jonthebru Jan 2013 #45
Wait Wut Jan 2013 #52
etherealtruth Jan 2013 #3
Terra Alta Jan 2013 #4
MountainLaurel Jan 2013 #5
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #13
another_liberal Jan 2013 #6
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #7
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #8
hollysmom Jan 2013 #9
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #10
LongTomH Jan 2013 #30
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #53
NewJeffCT Jan 2013 #11
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #17
Auntie Bush Jan 2013 #12
defacto7 Jan 2013 #14
byronius Jan 2013 #15
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #16
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #18
bluestateguy Jan 2013 #19
KamaAina Jan 2013 #31
juajen Jan 2013 #55
baldguy Jan 2013 #20
Kurovski Jan 2013 #21
bl968 Jan 2013 #22
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #42
Fantastic Anarchist Jan 2013 #23
mtnester Jan 2013 #26
Fantastic Anarchist Jan 2013 #28
mtnester Jan 2013 #36
tpsbmam Jan 2013 #33
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #48
mtnester Jan 2013 #24
zappaman Jan 2013 #25
RainDog Jan 2013 #27
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #29
KamaAina Jan 2013 #32
ErikJ Jan 2013 #34
JCat Jan 2013 #35
smirkymonkey Jan 2013 #37
Moostache Jan 2013 #38
Skittles Jan 2013 #39
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #49
d_r Jan 2013 #40
reACTIONary Jan 2013 #41
Beartracks Jan 2013 #43
obama2terms Jan 2013 #44
Chorophyll Jan 2013 #46
CrispyQ Jan 2013 #47
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #50
loudsue Jan 2013 #51
toby jo Jan 2013 #54
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #56
electricray Jan 2013 #57
TxDemChem Jan 2013 #58

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:40 PM

1. Defending Science is extremely important work. Thank you, Zack. You have a right to be proud of your

efforts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:40 PM

2. Awesome and brave!

He makes me miss the person I once was. Never give up, Zach...ever.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Wait Wut (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:13 AM

45. From those great English group of poets and minstrels... Timeless it is...

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye

I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I... Have become comfortably numb

WATERS, ROGER / GILMOUR, DAVID JON

Without young people like Zack, we are fairly well sunk. Hopefully, there are more brave, smart ones.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jonthebru (Reply #45)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:07 PM

52. That song always breaks my heart.

Even as a teenager.

There really are a lot of kids like Zach out there. We just need to encourage them. Sadly, the majority will fall through the cracks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:43 PM

3. He is an awesome "kid"

There is no hope for his generation if they are taught pseudo science or religion in place of science .... jeez

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:44 PM

4. Bravo, Zack.

I hope he keeps fighting the good fight and doesn't let his detractors get him down. We need more science taught in schools, and less fairy tales.

I'm a Christian, BTW, but the whole creation story is nothing more than a myth, and it should be taught that it's a myth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:46 PM

5. Zack is awesome

I've met him at some local events, and I hope he is a thorn in the side of the Religious Reich in LA for decades to come.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MountainLaurel (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:32 PM

13. He needs to be sure to wear body armor in public. I'm quite serious.

He has placed himself in serious danger by daring to speak out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:49 PM

6. I bet all of those actual 'Science' texts would make a great bonfire.

I bet all of those actual 'Science' texts would make a great bonfire. At least they would if it weren't for people like this brave young man. More power to you, Zack!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:51 PM

7. Go Zack!

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:53 PM

8. Good for him!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:02 PM

9. that is so great and he is so right.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:07 PM

10. If you're on Facebook please consider "liking" his page:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:13 PM

30. Done! And shared to my Facebook page, and to a number of friends' pages

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LongTomH (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:54 PM

53. Great! Thanks!

I just noticed his "likes" count more than doubled overnight. Very cool.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:14 PM

11. I'm surprised he isn't getting death threats yet

from these so-called Christians.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:35 PM

17. Oh he probably already has. I think body armor in public might be a good idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:17 PM

12. He's old enough to go to war and help change the world...so

Why is he too young to help change the attitudes of the dumb?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:33 PM

14. Go Zack!

Facts... go with the facts! Thanks for standing up for reality in a world of fantasy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:33 PM

15. Excellent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:35 PM

16. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:40 PM

18. Science cannot be trusted to the adults in LA.

Good thing LA kids have Zack.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:41 PM

19. Louisiana public schools are pretty much ruined now anyway

My advice to parents over there is 1) move, 2) homeschool if you can, 3) find a liberal private school if you can (and if any exist).

You can talk about voting people like Jindal out, but you will be outvoted every single time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluestateguy (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:14 PM

31. They do, at least in New Orleans

3) find a liberal private school if you can (and if any exist).

The farther away you get from NOLA, though, the harder they'd be to find.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluestateguy (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:45 PM

55. How easy to just say "move." We in Louisiana love our way of living and

our beautiful state. Yes, we have a problem in Baton Rouge; but, honestly, there are a lot of democrats, even in our Capitol. Actually, we are everywhere in this state, more in the South than the bible belt North. We still have some good schools; though, admittedly, Bobby is trying to destroy them.

The Republicans have worked for years to fill our local governments and school boards. Every state is in danger of a slow takeover, that is, the ones that have not already been taken over. Those local Clerks of Court count all the votes in a Parish, and use central tabulators to do so, easy to steal.

During Katrina, which Bush turned into a travesty, Kathleen Blanco was demonized as being responsible. She was attacked mercilessly until people actually believed that it was her fault that calls to Washington, D.C. were ignored. Remember, our National Guard was enlisted in Bush's wars. The pugs got what they wanted; Jindal elected, and the ensuing idiocy that has grown into a rainstorm of intolerance and religiosity, instead of being a shower that contributes sporadically, and rarely dominates. We dems continue to fight, but let too many republicans wiggle into our local scene, thinking as many of you do, that the bigger races deserve our time at the expense of the Clerks of Court, or the School Boards, so to say?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:42 PM

20. Mr. Kopplin is doing the Lord's Work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:43 PM

21. Most people "Go along to get along".

people don't admit too often that they truly do not believe the hazardous foolishness their own "faith" may promote. The arguments are fruitless, and consequences too high, so people often put a sock in it.

I hope the new generations are not as lazy as the ones that came before. Good for Mr.. Kopplin.

Matters of faith and spirit are best left to the individual's inner life, and out of the concrete reality we all must share.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:44 PM

22. The Big Lie

"What disturbs me though, is when other kids are the ones to dismiss me based on age," he told io9. "They see a 19 year old kid and can't believe that I can actually go out and change the world."

The reason is from an early age children are taught that they must be seen and not heard, that their voices, their opinions, and their votes don't matter. They are taught this at home, at church, and at school. Thus they come to believe it. It's the rare soul that can see past this insidious indoctrination, and actually go out and make a difference.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bl968 (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:06 PM

42. Neil deGrasse Tyson said...

something like "we spend the first two years of our kids life trying to get them to talk and walk, and the rest of it telling them to shut up and sit down"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:54 PM

23. OMG ... at the 1:00 mark ...

... The Congressman asks the lady if the E. Coli bacteria evolved into a person.

These people are clueless about evolution. No wonder they want to outlaw it (they assume they can).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:01 PM

26. I think I lost some IQ points watching that

In fact, I am certain I am stupider for having wasted some brain cells over this uneducated, ignorant asshat. In the same breath, the ideology and unbelievable ignorance coming from these people scare the hell out of me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mtnester (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:04 PM

28. How do they get to positions of power?

It boggles the mind.

They are quite literally moronic, and I don't mean that as ad hominem; I mean to figure out how they possibly made it past the age of five without tripping and breaking their neck because they were chewing gum at the same time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:31 PM

36. I have yet to really figure that out...the best answer I have

is there are a LOT of ignorant asshats out there, and they flock together to save themselves

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:19 PM

33. Aim: make kids as stupid as I am! Note the facepalms when the moran

asks the moronic question.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:25 AM

48. in his case, yes. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:58 PM

24. Our young folks will save us from the lunatic fringe..and Kudos to this young man

I am embarrassed to say things like this were not in my list of things to do when I was 19. I do not know this young man, but am proud of him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:59 PM

25. Awesome!

Thanks for posting this!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:03 PM

27. k&r for citizen activism!! esp. related to dumbing down this nation. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:05 PM

29. Go Zack! You give me hope for the next generation. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:17 PM

32. No more science conventions for NOLA until the law goes away

That ought to fix their wagon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:27 PM

34. Loch Ness monster is real?

I suppose they think its one of the dinosaurs that Jesus supposedly rode? This stuff used to amuse me but now its getting frightening. When are the book burnings coming?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:27 PM

35. This almost 60 year-old lady

feels a little better about up coming generations. Keep fighting for the truth Zack.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:43 PM

37. Bravo Zach!

Gives me some hope for the future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:44 PM

38. Only wish I could keep Rec'ing this!!!

Awesome job young man - don't EVER let anyone tell you what is or is not truth...if they refuse to back up assertion with fact or evidence, or resort to ad hominem attacks to subdue your arguments then you have already won.

PLEASE awaken your generation to start protesting and changing the collision course your generation is on with a catastrophic future. I will be long dead and gone by the time the very worst effects of climate change and resource plundering run their course, but those in their formative years and up through their 20's really need to put the cellphones and Facebook and trendy nonsense away to shape a viable future for themselves. We need MILLIONS more like this example!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:44 PM

39. ZACTKTIVIST!!!

YEE HAW!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:28 AM

49. yeah!




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:08 PM

40. I continue to be amazed

at the people who get elected to state legislatures. Look at those videos.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:31 PM

41. From the article: Encouraged by Barbara Forrest....

Encouraged by Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University...

Barbara Forrest ROCKS!!! She was one of the principles in the fight against creationism in Dover PA.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:30 PM

43. This man rocks.

I almost said this KID rocks, but that would be inaccurate. He's got a great head on his shoulders, one many "denialist" legislators would do well to respect and learn from.

I like that word: "denialist." I'm gonna have to start using that.

=====================

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:52 PM

44. Good for him!

I wish we had a kid like this at my old middle school. I had some fool of a science teacher who refused to use the textbook because there was ONE CHAPTER on evolution. That is of course until parents complained in droves and he got chewed out by our principal and was forced to use the book. It's really sad we have people out there that want to dumb down our education system even more.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:42 AM

46. Very big kick and rec.

This gives me hope.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:51 AM

47. I love this young man!

He also has his eyes set on vouchers. After an Alternet story came out about a school in the Louisiana voucher program teaching that the Loch Ness Monster was real and disproved evolution, Kopplin looked deeper into the program and found that this wasn't just one school, but at least 19 other schools, too.


These people have lost their fucking minds! We are leaving younger generations with huge problems to deal with. The least we can do is arm them with logic, reason & education. I feel so sorry for kids trapped in families & communities with these ideological views.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:37 AM

50. Amazingly ...

"What disturbs me though, is when other kids are the ones to dismiss me based on age," he told io9. "They see a 19 year old kid and can't believe that I can actually go out and change the world. Too many of my peers have this attitude that they need to dress nicely, sit quietly, and wait until we are adults to change things. This attitude must change. My generation needs to speak out for what we believe."


A generation ago, most 19 yr olds were on their own in the world, doing their thing and two generations ago, at 19 it was unheard of for someone NOT to be on their own in the world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:20 AM

51. This kid makes some good points about jobs and separation of church & state

"Just search creationism on Monster Jobs or Career Builder and tell me how many creationist jobs you find," he asks. Kopplin tells us about how this past Spring, Kevin Carman, the former Dean of LSU's College School of Science (now the Executive Vice President and Provost for the University of Nevada, Reno) testified in the Louisiana Senate Education Committee about how he had lost researchers and scientists to other states because of the Louisiana Science Education Act.

"But it also violates the separation of church and state," he says. "Teaching Biblical creationism is promoting one very specific fundamentalist version of Christianity, and violating the rights of every other American citizen who doesn't subscribe to those beliefs. So it would be stomping on the rights of Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Buddhists, Humanists, Muslims, Hindus, and every other religious group in the country.


Great article, and we need to find a way to support this kid!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:38 PM

54. I don't get why science scares these folks, you'd think they could conjugate it through

 

'god's creation of a mind at work', or some like thing.

I remember in '72 when the kids were making their Catholic confirmation, and father Gawlik asks 'are there any questions?' So I raise my hand and ask 'why can't women be priests?' & he gives the stock bullshit of 'because Jesus picked men for his service'. At 12 you don't have the sophistication to give back, but you know bullshit when it pours.

What got me was every single kid in that class turned and looked at me in utter amazement, jaws dropping and eyes wide open. Here I thought everybody was curious about the hypocrisy crawling all over the place. No. Got out shortly after.

Go Zack. Give em hell. 1 middle finger takes down alot of stupid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:57 PM

56. Already decided by the Supremes. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

creationism is not science and cannot be taught as science. Period.

But news is slow to come to the Third World Third Coast, as I call it.

All the way from Brownsville, TX, to Key West FL. and other states attached to the north ends of the coastal states (OK, AK, TN, GA).

====
Rice University students ROCK!!!

I was not smart enough to get admitted to Rice, but I think the pressure is so high there that it's better that I did not go there. I was a college bum at four other schools for 3 degrees.

And yes I am a lawyer, but I don't play one on TV, unlike Shatner and Spader

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:22 PM

57. I love this part:

"What disturbs me though, is when other kids are the ones to dismiss me based on age," he told io9.


The ridiculous irony is that many "kids" readily accept and respect the animatronic-types (Justin Bieber Miley Cyrus, and the like) that are paraded in front of them on television. But since Zack doesn't deliver his message in a catchy tune while gyrating in a manner beyond the maturity level of his audience, the "kids" don't take him seriously.

Media is such a powerful tool. Too bad that tool is controlled by "the invisible hand of the free market".

Keep it up Zack. My kids will listen to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 05:35 PM

58. Wonderful kid

We need more like him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread