Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Zack Kopplin Vs. the Creationists

io9 has a story on Zack Kopplin and his continued war against the teaching of young earth, anti-evolution creationism in Louisiana.  George Dvorsky writes:
Encouraged by Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University — and a staunch critic of intelligent design and the Discovery Institute — Kopplin decided to write a letter that could be signed by Nobel laureate scientists in support of the repeal. To that end, he contacted Sir Harry Kroto, a British chemist who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley. Kroto helped him to draft the letter — one that has now been signed by 78 Nobel laureates.

In addition, Kopplin has introduced two bills to repeal the LSEA, both of which have been sponsored by State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. He plans on producing a third bill later this spring. And along with the Nobel laureates, he has the support of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), New Orleans City Council, and many others.
Next on the agenda, according to Dvorsky, is the vouchers program. I am of two minds about this because, ordinarily, I support vouchers as a means of getting kids out of failing public schools who would not ordinarily have the opportunity and to push these schools to improve.

I do not, on the other hand, like the idea of the money being used by private schools to teach creationism. The recent Loch Ness Monster story attracted attention to the curriculum that is being used by at least one of the schools receiving vouchers, Accelerated Christian Education.  As this story demonstrates, science is not exactly these folks' strong suit.  It is depressing to see a basically good idea misused by people who should but do not know better.  While Kopplin's campaign won't change the minds of those who will not honestly look at the science, it is the right thing to do.  

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