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BILL MOYERS: Welcome to this week’s broadcast and the “troublemaker” of the year. That’s right, my guest is the first recipient of a new award that singles out teenagers who are not afraid to speak their minds on major issues, even when everyone else around them disagrees. Not afraid, in other words, to stir up trouble for a good cause. That’s what Zack Kopplin was doing just the other day at a Save Texas Schools rally in Austin, the state capital:

ZACK KOPPLIN: Do we want Texas tax dollars being used to fund private schools teaching creationism? Say no Texas!

ATTENDEES: No!

BILL MOYERS: Zack Kopplin was chosen to receive the first “troublemaker” of the year award because he’s made waves fighting on behalf of science and against laws making it easier to teach creationism in public schools.

Today’s fundamentalists, with political support from the right wing, are more aggressive than ever in crusading to challenge evolution with the dogma of creationism. But they didn’t reckon on Zack Kopplin.

Starting at the grass roots in his home state of Louisiana, he’s become a formidable adversary nationally, speaking, debating, button-holing politicians, and winning the active support of Nobel laureates, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The New Orleans City Council and tens of thousands of students, teachers and others around the country who have signed on to his campaign. Troublemakers all. Zack is now 19 and a history major at Rice University in Houston. He’s with me now. Welcome to the show.

ZACK KOPPLIN: Thank you so much for having me on.

BILL MOYERS: What was it about the Louisiana Science Education Act that you didn't like?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Well, this law allows supplemental materials into our public school biology classrooms to quote, "critique controversial theories," like evolution and climate change. Now, evolution and climate change aren't scientifically controversial, but they are controversial to Louisiana legislators. And basically, everyone who looked at this law knew it was just a backdoor to sneak creationism into public school science classes.

BILL MOYERS: Who was behind it?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Nationally, there's this group called the Discovery Institute. They're a creationist think tank that's been pushing these types of laws all around the country for years and years. They even tried to get one nationally included in George Bush's No Child Left Behind with the Santorum amendment. And so they wrote this law and they passed it on locally to the Louisiana Family Forum, which is our affiliate of Focus on the Family. Senator Ben Nevers, who sponsored it, said the Louisiana Family Forum suggested the law to him because they wanted creationism discussed when talking about Darwin's theory. So we know from the horse's mouth exactly what this law is about.

BILL MOYERS: What's your understanding now of creationism? What essentially does it hold?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Essentially it's a denial of evolution, mainly based off a literal interpretation of Genesis.

BILL MOYERS: That God created the earth, a supernatural power intervened, and that's where we and the universe came from?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Yes. And so there're some versions that say the earth is less than 10,000 years old. There're some where they've, creationists have adapted and said, "Well, we got in trouble in the court case when we said that, so we'll say it's millions of years old. But evolution still doesn't happen. We were created in our present form." And that's intelligent design creationism. Intelligent design creationism is still creationism dressed up to look like it's scientific, but it's really not.

BILL MOYERS: When did you collide with this notion?

ZACK KOPPLIN: So the Louisiana Science Education Act passed back in 2008. It was the summer before my sophomore year in high school. And so I knew about it. My dad's been involved in Louisiana politics my entire life, so it was a dinner conversation. We'd be, like, "We can't believe this bad law is just, like, it's passing. But Governor Jindal will never sign it." We knew Governor Jindal. He's a very smart man. He's a Brown University biology major. And so we decided, "Okay, when it gets to him, he'll veto it."

BILL MOYERS: He's also a Rhodes Scholar.

ZACK KOPPLIN: He's a Rhodes Scholar, yeah. And so it got to Governor Jindal with overwhelming support. And Governor Jindal started voicing his support for intelligent design creationism, he signed the law and he's defended it ever since. And we were shocked. So for about two years I sort of stewed over this law. I wanted to fight it. I talked to all my friends. And my friends knew I couldn't stand this law. But I never really knew how to take it on at that point. I was still too young to really recognize I had a voice.

BILL MOYERS: At what point did you say that to yourself, "This is so important to me for my own reasons of conscience, that I'm going to make it my life as a young man.”

ZACK KOPPLIN: So, my senior year of high school, I had to do a senior project. And I had friends who learned how to cook healthy food, learned a new language. And I was just, like, none of that interests me. But you know what? But what got my attention was this law. And so on a whim, I sent an e-mail to Dr. Barbara Forrest, who's an expert about, an expert on this issue. She—

BILL MOYERS: Teaches philosophy, doesn't she?

ZACK KOPPLIN: She teaches philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana. So she was an expert witness at the Kitzmiller versus Dover trial, where—

BILL MOYERS: In Pennsylvania.

ZACK KOPPLIN: In Pennsylvania, where intelligent design creationism was ruled unconstitutional. And while it's not a Supreme Court case and doesn't have holding across the entire United States, it essentially has put a stop to intelligent design as a serious method of sneaking creationism into the classroom.

But, so she was an expert witness there and she happens to live 30 minutes away from me in Livingston Parish, a local hotbed of creationism. And so I sent an e-mail to her and said, "I'm a student at Baton Rouge Magnet High and I really want to fight this law." And so she apparently looked me up to make sure I wasn't a creationist plant and then set up a meeting with me. And we got going from there—

BILL MOYERS: A mole.

ZACK KOPPLIN: Yep. I didn't really ever expect it to actually take off the way it did. I sent one e-mail, and suddenly this whole campaign began.

BILL MOYERS: Who else helped you?

ZACK KOPPLIN: I set up a meeting with Barbara and I asked her, “who should I talk to locally?" We worked out Senator Karen Carter Peterson, who represents a district in New Orleans. And she was one of the few votes against the law when it first passed. So I got her to agree to sponsor a repeal bill. And that was a great meeting. She just said, "Okay, like, when do we get started?" And that was just her response to me, "When do we get started." So, I talked to her and I also talked to Barbara about if we wanted to bring some big names on board, who should I, like, who should I talk to? And one of the people she recommended was Sir Harry Kroto, who is a Nobel Laureate chemist at Florida State. And so I sent him an e-mail. And he immediately called, he sent me an e-mail back and said, "Hey, do you have time to talk on the phone, like, on Friday?" And so we set it up where I had written a letter for Nobel Laureate scientists to our state legislature. I talked to him. And I woke up the next morning with him and about ten other Nobel Laureates having signed the letter. And we just started building from there. And so we have 78 Nobel Laureate scientists onboard.

BILL MOYERS: But you haven't repealed the law. It's still in place.

ZACK KOPPLIN: I mean, we would, I would've liked the law to be repealed two years ago, or even five years ago now. But it's going to be a long, tough fight. And I think we know that at this point.

BILL MOYERS: You realize that you're bucking public opinion. The latest findings from Gallup last June are that 46 percent of Americans believe in creationism. 32 percent believe in evolution guided by God. I guess they would call that a form of intelligent design. And 15 percent believe in evolution without God's help. You're definitively in the minority.

ZACK KOPPLIN: I would say we've got about 54 percent that are in the majority because there's a difference between intelligent design and what I think that second option about God guided evolutionists, which be theistic evolution. And there's a lot of people who say that God has caused evolution to happen. But they don't, that's not actually intelligent design. Intelligent design specifically rejects evolution, especially on a large scale. Creationists like to break it up into micro, macro evolution. That's not a legitimate thing. That's not what scientists do. But that's how they say, "We can't accept change over millions of years." And—

BILL MOYERS: And the theistic theory?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Theistic evolution is to say what the Catholic Church accepts, where Pope John Paul II said there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of faith. And they just say, "We think God started evolution. And it's run the way scientists say it's run."

BILL MOYERS: Do you think the Gallup poll is simplistic?

ZACK KOPPLIN: I think it's very simplistic.

BILL MOYERS: Doesn't recognize the varieties of ideas on this subject—

ZACK KOPPLIN: Yes, having said that, the 46 percent who think the earth was formed in the last 10,000 years is a very scary number for me.

BILL MOYERS: Let me play you a clip from Representative Paul Broun of Georgia. He's a member of Congress. You've heard of him, I'm sure. And this was his appearance at an event organized by the Liberty Baptists Church in his own state.

PAUL BROUN: God's word is true. I've come to understand that all that stuff I was taught about evolution, and embryology, and big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see there are a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young earth. I don’t believe that the earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the bible says.

BILL MOYERS: Representative Broun is a medical doctor. He is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. If he were sitting here instead of me, what would you say to him?

ZACK KOPPLIN: We need to change that attitude. I mean, we need to be teaching evolution and embryology and the big bang theory because, you know, while he may think they're lies from the pit of hell, they're not. They're good, established science. And if our students don't learn it, they're going to be at a disadvantage to the rest of the world, to China, to Britain to France. And we're not going to do what we need to really make the advances to keep our way of life and ensure the survival of the human race, if we don't teach our students science.

He has the freedom to be educated and educate his children the way he sees it. But, we have to make a specific distinction. Not in the public schools, not in publicly funded private schools, like voucher schools. And definitely not educating other people's children.

BILL MOYERS: You've taken this fight beyond the Louisiana law into the fight against school vouchers. Why?

ZACK KOPPLIN: I didn't initially really care about school vouchers because I was fundamentally a science advocate. And I was worried about evolution. And then last summer I got, a friend sent me an article by Alternet that had exposed a school in Louisiana in this voucher program that was apparently using curriculum that taught the Loch Ness Monster disproved evolution, and the Loch Ness Monster was real.

And so it caught my attention. And I said, "Well, let me look into this more." And so I pulled a list of the voucher schools off our department of education's website and just started going through them. And I'd look up a school and look up its website. And I'd go find a school that said, "Scientists are sinful men." And we are—

BILL MOYERS: Sinful?

ZACK KOPPLIN: Sinful. And they rejected the things like theories like the age of the earth and anything else they said anything that, like, that that goes against God's word is an error. And so I found a school like that. I found a school that put in their student handbook that students had to defend creationism against traditional scientific theory. And so these are schools receiving millions in public money.

BILL MOYERS: Through vouchers—

ZACK KOPPLIN: Through vouchers—

BILL MOYERS: --transferring public funds from public schools to private religious schools.

ZACK KOPPLIN: And recently we, I exposed with MSNBC that over 300 schools in voucher programs in nine states and Washington DC are teaching creationism. We have schools that call evolution the way of the heathen. And so it's become pretty clear if you create a voucher program, you're just going to be funding creationism through the back door.

BILL MOYERS: Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute writes, "Were Kopplin's argument fundamentally that taxpayers should not have their money taken against their will to schools with which they might disagree, it would be one thing: vouchers do transfer taxpayer money, though they provide far more overall freedom than does public schooling. But Kopplin's argument, like the arguments of so many people on numerous education issues, isn't ultimately about freedom. It's about prohibiting others from learning something he doesn't like."

ZACK KOPPLIN: I think Neal McCluskey is forgetting about the First Amendment fundamentally. We have a separation of church and state in this country. And creationism is fundamentally religious. And evolution is just science and is not religious.

And I think as you probably have discussed on the show, the free exercise of religion includes religion and non-religion. So this country is fundamentally secular. And there shouldn't be, you, we shouldn't bring in one specific, not even just Christianity, but one specific version of Christianity that would not teach what the Catholics, or the Hindus or the Muslims or the atheists believe in the public schools and teach it instead of established science.

BILL MOYERS: Do you ever wake up in the morning and say, "Hey, I'm only 19. I've got Rice, tough school to get out of and get started in my life, in my work. Why am I doing this?"

ZACK KOPPLIN: I don't think it's a choice. I think it's something that has to be done. And I'm the one who's in the right position to do it, so I'm going to do it.

BILL MOYERS: Well, Zack, I've enjoyed this conversation and I wish you well. Thank you for coming.

ZACK KOPPLIN: Thank you so much for having me on.

Zack Kopplin on Keeping Creationism out of Public Classrooms

March 1, 2013

From the time he was a high school senior in his home state of Louisiana, anti-creationism activist Zack Kopplin has been speaking, debating, cornering politicians and winning the active support of 78 Nobel Laureates, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New Orleans City Council, and tens of thousands of students, teachers and others around the country. The Rice University history major joins Bill to talk about fighting the creep of creationist curricula into public school science classes and publicly funded vouchers that end up supporting creationist instruction.

“Evolution and climate change aren’t scientifically controversial, but they are controversial to Louisiana legislators,” Kopplin tells Bill. “Basically, everyone who looked at this law knew it was just a back door to sneak creationism into public school science classes.”

Interview Producer: Gail Ablow. Editor: Sikay Tang. Associate Producer: Robert Booth.

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  • sarno

    Interesting piece on keeping creationism in the schools. when I went to school we were taught many things that were scientific (global cooling in 1970′s, CPR methods, not eating before swimming, ulcers were caused by eating habits). Lots turned out not to be true … with school vouchers, let’s let parents decide what curriculum works for them! Why does it have to be one size fits all? Can’t some schools teach intelligent design and evolution? What are we afraid of?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1107085140 Tracy Slocum Masters

    The difference is: intelligent design deals with religion. Science gets down to the nittly gritty of it whether it evolved that way or an intelligent being caused these things to happen. And Science is not afraid to be wrong. People make mistakes and obviously those things that turned out to not be true were researched and retested again because someone had an intelligent question about the validity of it. They didnt hold and keep believing it to be true because it was written somewhere and believed by so many others to be true.

  • cipher

    What are we afraid of?

    Of being the laughing stock of the developed world, the only nation that can’t distinguish between fantasy and objective reality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dubay.denis Denis DuBay

    Suppose I came up to you and asked you how much money you had, and you said $100. Suppose I then said, OK, give me $50 and we’ll be even. That’s what it’s like asking a science teacher to give equal time to intelligent design – actually it’s much worse. It’s not science, it’s faith, it does not belong in the science curriculum. It misinforms students about science and about faith.

  • Scott

    Do we want flat Earth, alchemy, geocentric solar system, 4 humors, … Science class is for Science.

  • Josh

    Frankly, I’m so tired of the evolution versus creationism debate, since, in my opinion, both are flawed theories and neither should be taught as “truth.” While we should continue to learn all that we can about ourselves and the world in which we live (read: I am not anti-science), it would behoove us to recognize our limitations and realize that not everything can be learned empirically. There’s a lot we don’t know and that we may never know, but it’s okay! Furthermore, there are plenty of intelligent people who could make a convincing argument either way. Let’s remember that not all those who believe in intelligent design are unthinking Bible thumpers that accept the creation story as literally true, while not all evolutionists are as intellectually superior as they may think.

  • Kirby

    Every time I think Moyers & company has done its best show ,you top yourself. You have done it again with this program. Susan Jacoby is a known quality, her writing and her intellect is much appreciated, and rightly so, but this kid, Zack Kopplin, is a real find. Thank you for having him and Susan Jacoby on you program.Just when I had
    decided that young people today are self-centered dum-mies, along comes Mr. Zack Kopplin to prove me wrong. How great it is to be wrong in this case! His intellect and his commitment to this very important cause is inspiring. Creationism is simply NOT science, and has no place in science classes. Intelligent Design is based on faulty reasoning and a misunderstanding of logical entailment. The argument is: “if something appears to be intelligently designed , then it MUST be intelligently designed.” The premise does not entail the conclusion. Science shows that the blind, non-teleological, non-goal-oriented pro-cesses of cosmological and biological evolution produce results that mimic design.This is beyond argument.
    Mr. Kopplin is exactly right in his assessment of these voucher programs.It is just taking public funds to support

    creationist instruction in religion-infused private schools.
    As an atheist and a supporter of a public education sys-
    tem,I resent the spending of public funds in this way.
    Thank you again for this particular program and for your
    program in general. It is the best,most informative show on television.

  • Chris

    That’s not what the piece was about.

  • Chris

    Your opinion is uninformed and dangerous

  • http://www.facebook.com/weisschr Christopher R Weiss

    Intelligent design doesn’t even qualify as a reasonable hypothesis. It failed in the Kitzmiller case to distinguish itself from garden variety creationism, it has no claims that have not been blown up repeatedly with valid scientific responses, and there is no such thing as irreducible complexity, which is the bedrock of this “theory.”

    Really… empirical truth is our best guess. Right now, intelligent design isn’t even reasonable let alone supportable. There is nothing empirical about intelligent design. It is a simple argument by analogy with no explanatory or predictive power behind it.

  • Anonymous

    One main difference between science and creationist is peer review. Call the creationist’s bluff and require them to go through the peer review requirements of science and creationist will not have anything but their “faith” to stand. Faith is make of “clay feet”. Peace, Just Sam

  • Trey Palmer

    So, Josh, what’s your take on the theory of gravity? Spontaneous generation? Lysenkoism? Relativity?

  • nburleson

    Parents and churches are free to teach creationism, intelligent design, or whatever they believe to their offspring – but these are faith-based, not scientific theory. They belong in a religion classroom perhaps; but not in a science classroom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.michel.733 Robert Michel

    We were created to serve God and our fellow man. Does it really matter how God chose to put us here. If you read the old testament you realize that this is the way people decided that God should be served. Then you read the new testament, the common sense section of the bible I call it. Its very easy to serve God without eccentric ideas and notions. You can learn science without rejecting your faith it just common sense.

  • Vijay

    This kid just seems angry to me, and arrogant. He has a bee in his bonnet that I think is rooted in something other than just respect for science. Is it hatred of Christianity? There are Jews, including secular ones, with a visceral hatred of Christianity.

    But there is a place for both science and religious faith and they can co-exist harmoniously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenny.cat.397 Jenny Cat

    Sarno is partly correct, through the use of scientific methods many old incorrect beliefs have been disproven. That is why we rely on the scientific method – to gain ever more accurate knowledge. It is a method, a process. Intelligent design and other beliefs that can’t be supported through peer reviewed scientific research are not science. Therefore they are ideas that may be personally meaningful but they don’t belong in science classrooms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1334322230 Anand Holtham-Keathley

    No they cannot. Religion is not to be paid with by public dollars. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1334322230 Anand Holtham-Keathley

    The concepts behind evolution are used every day in microbiology to help protect you from pathological microbes. That is why we have antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines. And also why doctors warn us about the over use of same because it breeds resistant strains through…wait for it… EVOLUTION!

  • ADAM

    God is a rumor a gossip gone too far

  • ADAM

    Man created God, and invented religion, to which few will rule on the ignorant masses

  • ADAM

    God exists in the imagination of the faithful, Moses did not get ten commandments, Jesus was not the Son of God, and Muhammad is not a prophet.
    All religions, old and new, will bring an end to mankind.
    As we know them

  • nnyl

    Because if you pass creationism off as valid science you are teaching a lie. Kids aren’t learning what they need to advance this country. Religious fundamentalists have a Dark Ages mentality. They are teaching myth as fact. If you want to teach creationism, do it in a religions of the world class and teach the creationist stories of all religions. But don’t pretend they are scientific fact, because they are not.

  • Josh

    It is one thing to say that there is some observable change in organisms over time, and quite another to say that we all descended from one-celled organisms. The truth is none of us really knows with any degree of certainty. I’m just being a freethinker, questioning both religious and scientific dogma.

  • jan

    I have several problems with the whole thing.

    1. I don’t want my kids to be taught someone else’s theology in the classroom that I may disagree with after I spent so much time convincing my kids to view their teacher as a person of knowledge to be respected and learned from.

    2. I want my kids to be taught science in a classroom, not creationism or the next religious theory that they settle on to push once they have creationism firmly in place.

    3. I object to my tax dollars being spent to support religious belief and religious conversion through transfer of public funds to private schools and I object to faith based funding for churches who announced in the newspaper that they were going to build a $14 million dollar addition to their church the same week the local food pantry announced they were out of food.

  • exflatlander

    Gives me renewed faith in the intelligence and dedication to truth and protecting the Constitution of the young people of this country. I just wish the vast majority of his age group were as dedicated to truth as he is.

  • erxflatlander

    Both the OT and the NT are “inspired by God.” As late as the late 18th century a man in France was brutally tortured and slaughtered with the full blessing of the RC Church for daring to say that the bible was written by men. So is God then really schizophrenic, at one time wrathfully destroying whole populations, allowing for brutish torture and rape, accepting human sacrifices for his inflated ego, or is he the kinder, gentler god of the NT? What I have found is that too many Christians cherry pick from both books according to what they want to be true. And that’s supposed to be accepted as “science”?

  • exflatlander

    Bottom line: the world was not created in 6 days, man has evolved and isn’t the same creature he/she was even 15,000 years ago, and this is all known as fact. But you would have us accept fairy tales written by superstitious sheep herders as science because science can’t explain absolutely and positively everything? That is false reasoning, the kind of false reasoning that has held back the human race since we did start to walk upright.

  • exflatlander

    Apparently you would have us believe that micro organisms can evolve in a matter of days, maybe even hours, but man is exactly as he was since the dawn of time. It would be nice to think that humans could actually some day evolve to the point of rejecting killing each other to settle disputes, to get beyond torture and rape, and to decide that the other half of the species is equally capable of learning, growing, and accomplishing great things – as long as they aren’t beaten into submission. NOw THAT would be human evolution.

  • exflatlander

    You suggest that taxpayer money for education should go to the “whatever” curriculum? At the same time that everybody seems to be on an anti-public school education bandwagon because our students don’t even know anything about American history, can’t ( or don’t) read, and are regularly getting their butts kicked by kids in foreign schools where real science is taught? THAT’S your solution to the education vacuum in this country?? No wonder we’re fast becoming the world’s laughing stock

  • Thomas Kelly

    I left this comment on a related site/link on this:

    Another way around this insanity, which may actually increase knowledge and not stunt it, is to allow the teaching of creationism — and be sure to teach ALL of the creation stories. Given the vague “creationism” label, this can be done legally.

    I would like to see examples of *other* creation stories noted in these debates. There are a few active religions with differing creation stories. Perhaps this would provide those in favor of “their” creationism being taught with much needed perspective.

    Background: I was brought up a nice Irish Catholic boy. In my teen years I became heavily involved in the Methodist Church. I was Youth Group President, Lay Leader, and I went on missions. At around 18 I stopped going for two reasons. First – I was struck by a revelation (pardon the pun). As I learned more about the world, I realized so many other people in the world (and certainly in the history of the world) believed something completely different. Thus, realizing I simply assimilated the religion that I was exposed to. I then asked myself, “As most of the world believed different things (some with even greater conviction than those around me), how can I know that what I have been told is *the* Truth? Especially as I seem to only be linked with this particular religion as a result of being born to this particular family, in this exact part of the world”

    Concomitant with this realization was also an understanding that my association with the Church had become exclusively socially-driven, and was no longer faith-based.

  • mik

    Thank you for this, Mr. Moyers.

    Americans who believe in progress, intellectualism and enlightenment (and that includes many who consider themselves religious) have had their heads in the sand while the forces that Zack so commendably resists have been eating away at anything and everything resembling a public institution. Let’s hope that he represents the start of a great awakening. So far, nobody has loudly and publicly stood up to these bullies.

    It’s mind boggling how a presumably educated, but ignorant, man like Paul Broun can deny the validity of sciences on which his discipline of medicine is based. On a wider scale, it’s sad to see America raising so many of its young to become ignorant adults with no clue about the knowledge and learning that laid the foundations of their comfortable lives.

    If the Paul Brouns of America were to prevail, the nation would experience a Christian mirror image of Taliban Islamic fundamentalism.

  • Palema

    If the world were intelligently “designed” wouldn’t god manage to do it with less waste, and less appearance of being experimental?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.hewlett Joe Hewlett

    Zack Kopplin is a brave kid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peggy-Lang/1009627061 Peggy Lang

    I highly recommend this program, this young man is not afraid to think, I admire that. I have to wonder “How can Creationists belive literally what they do about God? No ONE is anywher capable of understanding anything if all they do is read one book. Also, AND POISON this beatiful EARTH and All the Beauty?”

  • Anonymous

    http://www.trueorigin.org/evomyth04.asp

    [snip]

    The following suggested Origins of Life policy is a realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to achieve a win-win with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should find the policy acceptable:

    “As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved theory of origins that can be taught in the [school district/state]
    science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information for and against evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”

    Never discussing scientific information that questions evolution is to teach evolution as dogma.

  • Rick

    “man has evolved and isn’t the same creature he/she was even 15,000 years ago” You don’t have to go back that far. It appears you only have to look back a few generations to see a difference in humans. Not to mention all the other living creatures around us. I’m not takling about the ones humans messed with either.

  • Anonymous

    Zack Kopplin gives me hope for our future….he should consider running for President someday….I’d vote for him….
    ….thanks Mr. Moyers for having such great guests….

  • John

    Interesting and provocative subject that will never cease to be debated. Reading these comments I see that neither side has a monopoly on either intelligence or ignorance. There are none so blind as he who will not see.

  • Ted

    Thank you Bill Moyers and company! We need more courageous people like Zack fighting the spread of ignorance and superstition posing as knowledge, i.e., faith. Esp. when done by self-righteous politicians at taxpayers’ expense in the name of science. (I was proud to help vote Santorum out of office here in PA. Why won’t he go away?) They know they can’t play by the rules of science (no supernatural allowed) or by the rules of law (separation) so they are trying to change the rules. If Santorum and Paul Broun don’t scare you then you’re not paying attention. These theists act so certain that the personal epiphanies and good feelings inside their heads constitute evidence in the real world outside their heads. Behind their certainty I see extreme arrogance. How many scientists are fighting to teach the big bang and evolution in churches? So why won’t the theists stay out of science?

  • Herman Krieger

    Creative Education:
    http://www.efn.org/~hkrieger/c061.jpg
    From the series, “Churches ad hoc”.

  • Jeff

    Creationism can fit with evolution. Rabbi’s write in myth truths I the new and Old Testament. Creatism is the moral side which needs to be taught as well as the science side of irrefutable fact. When you talk in absolutes, evil begins. Wasn’t that in Star Wars? I think this is a plot to take away from the real problem of money misspent by government in education.

  • Javaid

    Thank you Bill Moyers for this wonderfully enlightening talk!

    This reminds us the reason(s) why US is 46th in the world in education. At this rate there is no hope for this country unless people start taking aggressive steps.

    Well done and keep the struggle alive Zack!

  • Josh

    I wouldn’t presume to have you believe anything. What I am saying, however, is that these things are basically unknowable, at least as for as I’m concerned, and it’s best to keep an open mind. To have theories and to present them as such is great, as is to continue to search for answers, but believing firmly in one thing without unequivocal proof, whatever it may be, blinds you to other possibilities and avenues of inquiry, in my humble opinion.

  • Anonymous

    The following suggested Origins of Life policy is a realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to achieve a win-win with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should find the policy acceptable:

    “As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved theory of origins that can be taught in the [school district/state] science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information for and against evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”

    Never discussing scientific information that questions evolution is to teach evolution as dogma.

  • kirby

    you have no evidence for anything you say here.

  • walt

    This is the first time you have had a program that I completely disagree with — the truth is that it’s a combination of creationism and evolution — forget religion — look at the facts!

  • Trey Palmer

    Come up with an alternative that is testable and then we’ll talk, until then, please keep religion out of schools, ‘k?

  • Anonymous

    The suggested policy does not include the teaching of creation/intelligent design in public schools.

    BTW, you are not obliged in science to come up with an alternative theory for a theory you are criticizing. There is no rule like
    that in science.

    What evidence would convince evolutionists that macroevolution aka vertical evolution aka information-building evolution is false?

    If an evolutionist says no such evidence exists, or indeed could exist, then how can evolution be testable?

  • Anonymous

    There is no cure for wilful ignorance.

  • MikeD

    One can understand the religious motivations behind creationism but climate change denial defies any rational analysis. The Bible is very clear on the necessity of being stewards of the earth and it doesn’t take science but simple common sense to realize that the earth is not being looked after very well.

    The problem is the contemptuous social attitude towards education. Education is seen as a means to an end, instead of an end in itself – an unflinching search for truth out of which character emerges. It is a travesty that socio-economic-political ends are allowed to determine the curriculum. Creationism isn’t the problem, it is the symptom of the problem.

  • Free

    Anything science has not been able to disprove should remain within the paradigm. Evidence supporting creation science has not been disproven and is only supported at great personal expense of the scientist involved.

  • Linksrat

    In watching Zack I was struck by how enamored Mr Moyer’s is with this kid. Then I realized he was basically talking Bills game, so of course. However, 2 things stood out to me. Zack saying there is no controversy on global warming or evolution….huh? Seriously?

    And Bill throwing out the Pew poll of 46% believing in ID and Zack misapplying the % to mean something else. Obvious juvenile misdirects

    Zack I can understand, but shame on you Bill. It’s part of your all to obvious schtick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/creesto Christopher W Lynch

    No theory has unequivacobale truth supporting it. But a vast preponderance of evidence that is reexamined again and again, with a majority of supporting results, makes a theory very functional. A bunch of folks that claim their belief is a theory is just rhetoric

  • http://www.facebook.com/creesto Christopher W Lynch

    Just because a minority of people refuse to ackknowledge things like evolution and global warming (the planet IS getting warmer…) does not make it a controversy. It just means that some like to scream their objections rather than provide evidence to counter

  • http://www.facebook.com/creesto Christopher W Lynch

    There is no evidence for creationism, only belief.

  • Rev David R Froemming

    Great show! Religion is just as political as it was in the days of the Roman empire. Creationism/fundamentalism/salvation that does not care for the planet and neighbor feeds the ideology of power in the form of corporate monopolies that want to be free to do as they please with the earth and humans in order to feed their greed.

  • Iquitsewn

    Impressive. There is a division between church and state in this country and sometimes folks have forgotten that. Science has been acceptable when the general public has needed it, but now a few religious people have decided to condemn it. If that is how they feel, they should not be allowed any medication, x-rays, certain foods and other things (tv’s ect) that science is partially responsible for. I wonder where there idea’s would center on if given the choice. Its more than evolution vs creationism, its science vs man’s personal religious beliefs… Not all people believe in the same religious teachings. Like there are types of people there are types of religion. Science is basically black and white in its teachings. Theory than proof. Nothing else.

  • Patrick7612

    R2D3, please google for what evidence would disprove evolution. Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution is True, has one of numerous good responses to that question here: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/what-would-disprove-evolution/
    The bottom line is that evolution could be falsified if such evidence were found and is thus scientific. Unfalsifiable claims are not scientific.

  • Josh

    Right, no theory has unequivocal truth supporting it, which is precisely what makes it a theory.

  • Anonymous

    Testing a theory experimentally is most efficiently done by disproving, not proving. Dawkins’ statement in Time Magazine (Aug. 15, 2005) that a single hippo or rabbit fossil in Precambrian rock “would blow evolution out of the water” underscores the point.

    Although no hippo or rabbit fossil has been found in Precambrian rock, microfossils of pollen, spores, angiosperms, gymnosperms, and at least one winged insect have been found in Precambrian rock.

    So why haven’t these discoveries blown evolution out of the water?

    Stainforth, R. M., “Occurance of Pollen and Spores in the Roraima Formation of Venezuela and British Guiana”, Nature, 1966, 210, pp. 292-296.)

    Sahni, B., “Age of the Saline Series in the Salt Range of the Punjab”, Nature, 1944, 153, p. 462.)

    I’ll tell you why. Because of the blinding power of the evolutionary paradigm, which is based on philosophical naturalism.

  • Len Gustafson

    A thoughtful program. As a person of faith I have no qualms about scientific theories of the origins of our planet and of life there on. I do object to those who espouse scientific ignorance as a Chiristian virtue.

  • HonestJohn

    The only reason people “need” faith or religion is because they are afraid of death. When and if we overcome this useless fear, perhaps we can finally remove our need to cling onto our ancient religious beliefs. Let’s hope so anyway. Great interview with a fine young man. Thanks!

  • SnowyOwl

    The theory doesn’t refer to whether or not there’s such a thing as evolution. The theory is about how it works. Evolution itself is an observable fact. Period.

    Science still can’t explain precisely how gravity works. We speak of a theory of gravity. Nobody’s questioning whether gravity itself exists. We can see that it exists. We can observe it in action. Theories are the most probable explanations for how something works, using the best scientific data available.

    What about electrical theory? Chemical theory? Atomic theory? Does the word “theory” mean that science doesn’t know whether electricty or chemical reactions or atomic reactions actually exist?
    Very simply: There is evolution. And there is a theory of evolution, which is constantly being revised and improved as new data is discovered.

  • linksrat

    Chris, it was nearly the blink of an eye when Time published The Ice Age is coming. And yes, there are plenty of scientist who do not swallow the AGW line. There are reams of data questioning the evidence and collection methods too.

    It gets warmer/colder and has forever. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t pay attention, I am questioning what the warmers want us to do. All hail Algore, billionaire sell out to Oil.

    Likewise, you can find distinguished scientists and learned minds who scoff at the claims for evolution explaining our existence..

    Its as much a religion as any other. Too funny.

  • The Zen Carpenter

    Josh, how do you define unequivocal proof? Are you still uncertain that the earth is round? It was once a strongly held belief that the world was flat and challenged by science by offering undeniable proof. Is it still just a theory or is it now true? And would it be wise to continue the debate in spite of the evidence?

    Why would this “theory” be different? The evidence from D.N.A. research and discoveries in particle mechanics overwhelmingly support evolution as fact. At some point we have to draw a conclusion and move on. Theories
    + facts = truth! Religion and faith are another matter.

  • The Zen Carpenter

    Josh, how do you define unequivocal proof? Are you still uncertain that the earth is round? It was once a strongly held belief that the world was flat and challenged by science by offering undeniable proof. Is it still just a theory or is it now true? And would it be wise to continue the debate in spite of the evidence?

    Why would this “theory” be different? The evidence from D.N.A. research and discoveries in particle mechanics overwhelmingly support evolution as fact. At some point we have to draw a conclusion and move on. Theories
    + facts = truth! Religion and faith are another matter.

  • The Zen Carpenter

    That is a very good point. As powerful as the truth is it cannot make a blind man see what is right before his eyes. Just like a blind man, It is the limits of our perceptions we are trying to overcome. To continue the metaphor, a blind man can only assume that a color exists and only theoretically speculate what it is. If he were to gain sight he then can move into the reality of fact. The ignorance surrounding this issue is much like that blindness except it is voluntary. Evolution can be observed everywhere for those who have the clarity of thought to see it.

  • ORAXX

    If creationism had any validity, what so ever, its proponents would not have to resort to the force of law to get those ideas into the classroom.

  • mohadib

    “Common sense section of the bible”?
    I guess you forgot about “revelations”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.rittenour.543 David Rittenour

    Why is this even a thing?

    Intelligent Design is based on Christian Dogma, and therefor is unconstitutional – separation of Church & State and all that.

    End of discussion, this shouldn’t even be up for debate in the first place so why/how hasn’t this just been halted already?

  • Josh

    I don’t think that there will ever be any, to be honest. You seem to be operating under the mistaken assumption that I’m on “the other side,” when in fact what I’m saying is that it’s all conjecture, and that such things are basically unknowable in any real sense of the word. Teaching the theory of evolution in schools is great, but it’s not possible to pigeonhole everyone who questions it as an unthinking creationist, as tempting as that might be. Yes, let’s keep looking for answers, but let’s have an open mind too, otherwise we’re just replacing one set of dogma with another.

  • http://twitter.com/amievoltaire Angela Keller

    I’m not a follower of creationism – but – allow it in school. But,
    openly. It’s one “theory” and because it has far reaching politics it
    deserves to be known by all for many reasons – not as THE ONLY truth but
    as a truth many take to be THE TRUTH. It’s not science and should not
    be in a science classroom under a guise but hearing about it – from a
    voice that can present it as one historical theory. Banning one theory
    is grounds for banning any theory x doesn’t like. If it’s based on fallacies – point them out and let listening and then questioning of both sides occur.

  • Phlynk

    You seem to be a bit confused as to what it means to have research papers printed in a peer-reviewed publication.

    First of all, you cited two articles published in “Nature” magazine. “Nature” magazine has a known history of both publishing papers which have never been peer-reviewed and also publishing articles which were peer-reviewed and then later found to be fraudulent.

    Secondly, just because a paper gets printed in a peer-reviewed journal doesn’t mean it is fact. It only means that the reviewers found no glaring problems with the researcher’s data and conclusions. What really matters is whether or not subsequent research can support or refute the original data and conclusions.

    Finally, both those papers are quite dated. Consequently, there may have been discoveries made since their publication which explain the findings.

    There are thousands upon thousand of research papers which have been published which support the the Theory of Evolution By Natural Selection and you cite two very dated and obscure papers whose data and conclusions may, ultimately, be fully explained without blowing evolution out of the water.

    If these articles are of such importance why haven’t any researchers done further research in these areas?

  • Karl Schneider

    I hope to vote for Zack for President some day!

  • Karl Schneider

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing? Then why does evil exist?

    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    Epicurus

    www godisimaginary.com

  • Anonymous

    It’s irrelevant that the articles from Nature are from 1944, 1945, and 1966.

    The data still stands and has never been refuted.

    More recently….although modern geological reports acknowledge overthrusts in the Salt Range, they unanimously declare the Salt Range Formation to be Eocambrian, not Eocene. (Yeats et al. 1984, Butler et al. 1987, Jauné and Lillie 1988, Baker et al. 1988, Pennock et al. 1989, McDougall and Khan 1990).

    McDougall, J. W., and Khan, S. H., 1990, Strike-slip faulting in a foreland fold-thrust belt: The Kalabagh Fault and Western Salt Range, Pakistan: Tectonics, v. 9, pp. 1061-1075.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1990/TC009i005p01061.shtml

    Eocene: dated from about 56 to 34 million years ago
    Eocambrian (Upper Precambrian): dated from about 1.6 billion to 600 million years ago

  • Anonymous

    re: natural selection

    Edward Blyth, English chemist/zoologist (and creationist), wrote his first of three major articles on natural selection–although he didn’t use the term natural selection– in The Magazine of Natural History, 24 years before Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was published.

    Why then do evolutionists think of natural selection as Darwin’s idea?

  • Phlynk

    You seem confused. Even though there may be less dated articles apparently establishing that the aforementioned geological formation is Eocambrian rather than Eocene, it’s only the types, if any, of fossils that are found in that formation which is relevant.

    I suggest that, rather than whining about this alleged oversight, you bring it to the attention of someone who is need of a topic for their PhD. Hopefully they can also find evidence that supports the original research. If they can find fossils which — based on the current understanding of both Geology and Evolution — shouldn’t be there, then that would be a momentous find, but it would in no way necessarily undermine the Theory of Evolution. It would only mean that Evolutionary Biologists and possibly Geologists would need to rethink some of their previous interpretations of data.

    If you read the original paper regarding the pollen and spore fossils which were found, which I just did, you’ll notice that researchers were sharply divided as to the actual age of the rock that they found the fossils in. At the end of the paper the researchers state that this is a geological problem.

    You might want to consider actually reading the articles rather than just mindlessly copying and pasting the article titles.

  • Anonymous

    “Pollen Paradox” by Emil Silvestru and Carl Wieland

    http://creation.com/pollen-paradox

    [snip]

    Either way, it’s like a game with loaded dice—the ‘house’ (long-age belief) wins every time.

  • Christopher

    So…this 19 yr old guy actually thinks we’re made from monkeys? It isn’t “good established science,” or else they wouldn’t be called theories! I’m 19 years old and I’m not as stupid as him.

  • Kirby Gupton

    Actually,unless your post is a prank, you seem to be quite stupid! Evolution doesn’t hold that we are “made from monkeys”,and “theory” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does. Educate yourself before you cast stones at someone who is,by any measure,more educated than yourself!

  • SnowyOwl

    What facts are those, pray tell?

  • medra

    Thank you Kopplin for your fight to repeal the creationist laws. As a 76 years old atheist, I can tell you not to believe in the number of theists in this country. I know many no-believers who are in the closet, afraid to tell their families and friends. Hopefully they will take courage from your campaign and emerge from the closet like the gay community did.
    Vic L.

  • Jess reeb

    Looks like the false doctrine has brainwashed too many. People need to be exposed to everything to make decisions for themselves. I respect Christ but I really see that most christians – perhaps it’s the fault of the Vatican – are so brainwashed they are beyond help. Everything outside their belief is evil or the devil… it makes one wonder how blind and ignorant people can be… they cannot see the flaws in their cookbook. It would be different if they did do basic things, like not kill and not sanction animal slaughter. First do no harm. I have seen that science has actually proven things the ancient civilizations practiced, but in the name of science I do not accept violence and cruelty. Only those that have created a false path and enforced their beliefs upon others would be afraid of the truth and slander others. I do not separate God from science, but I do separate religion from God. Religion is man made and those who are indoctrinated are found to be ignorant and narrow minded. Instead of continuing a war between science and religion, people need to come to an advanced level of awareness to accept differences and to consider things with a rational logical mind…not on the basis of: I said it now believe it, question no more…. that is the where the problem lies. We are wasting our intelligence by limiting our minds.

  • kirby

    Parents have an intellectual duty to themselves,their children,and the intellectual climate of their society or culture to NOT teach nor believe creationist/intelligent design nonsense! Who cares what churches do!

  • Dennis

    This episode was fascinating. I finished watching the interview with Zack Kopplin with goose bumps thinking how intelligent, well-spoken, and courageous this young man is. He has truly inspired me to stand up even more strongly for things I believe in. My friend made a good comment – if religious zealots want to teach creationism then they must teach it as a theory, like evolution. See how quickly they change their tune on that. Of course, we were just joking around. Creationism has no place in the science classroom. We should just have comparative religion classes. I am not against that at all. But messing with science? Insane.

  • walt

    “A case for Creation”

    “Science is not only compatible with spirituality — it is a profound source of it”

  • Richard

    Jesus Christ is the son of God. He died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. He was burried and on the third day God raised Him from the dead. He is alive and in heaven right now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He is coming back to earth to judge the living and the dead. Put your faith in Him and what he accomplished on the cross. Jesus said ” He that believes in me has everlasting life. God bless you one and all.

  • Ted

    Creationism = creator = God = religion = faith = not science. You are welcome to spend hours or even years studying all the faith-based “theories” that people have believed over the centuries. As long as you acknowledge you’re not doing science and you are not spending taxpayer money pretending to “educate” children on science, go for it. Hopefully at some point during your studies you will ask yourself “how do I decide which of these “theories” best explains how the natural world works?”. Then you will realize there is no objective basis for making this decision because they are all based on faith. And then you will see the superiority of the scientific method for understanding reality. And please, no lectures about morality and love.

  • Tim

    This is the most under-reported aspect of the voucher program movement. It is — and always has been — about undermining the teaching of evolution and eviscerating science. In a privatized school system, teacher’s would be at the mercy of right-wing politicians. The rest of the world has already moved on from this debate. We are quickly becoming a third world nation because of it.

  • Stephen Walsh

    Prove it.

  • guest3

    if your mind is already closed and can’t be opened then I have already used my time unwisely. if not, and you’re yet willing to at least look, research intelligent design. anything you’d like me to research, I’ll willingly do.

  • Life

    Like how the force of law removed the idea of God from schools in the first place? Hypocrites… the truth is the truth, intelligent design is utmost valid

  • Horace

    Have faith.

  • Anonymous

    Please Richard!! Science demands a high standard for evidence, you don’t have it!

  • Eugene Fowler

    Darwins’ theory of evolution is woven into dozens of college subjects. Further the theory eviscerates creationists tale of The Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, soul invention, and “Original Sin”. In so doing, it renders the story of the nomad “Jesus” need for crucifixion as useless. It further removes the nomad as the pillar of religions worldwide.

  • katep

    I was raised Catholic and Methodist and everyone believed in God: doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Everyone also believed in science and evolution — and believed that God was present in all the forms of earth. NOONE took the adam and eve story seriously, thought it to be a lovely metaphor for a time when people didn’t have science, and so, had one foot in both “camps.” All were deeply spiritual. Zack is correct; the Gallops poll is not a good poll.

  • Jim

    We most certainly do not have a separation of church and state. Read the first amendment. There is an establishment clause and a free exercise clause, but no separation clause. This country was founded on religious liberty. Religious expression was never meant to be banned from the public square by the Founders. Oh, now we have separation, a phrase cherry-picked out of the writings of Jefferson, and established through Supreme Court precedent by one Hugo Black (a Franklin Roosevelt pick) in a majority opinion in the 1947, and forever after assigned as Constitutional. One of the many gifts of the so-called Progressives to the modern lexicon. An honest reading of the Constitution rejects that outright. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dispute Evolution, but I am against censorship that doesn’t allow all ideas including faith-based theories into the arena of ideas. It’s thought control in its own right. Science has advanced human civilization in amazing ways, but it has its limitations in human understanding. Too often we use it as a final authority, but it doesn’t always consider ethics. It doesn’t have to do with morality. It can explain the how, but often falls short on the why, which is better addressed through faith and spirituality, or if you will, religion.

  • Eugene Fowler

    To Jim: with “faith based theories…”. A faith
    based theory is an oxymoron because theories must stand critical scrutiny and be based upon testable content or proof. Faith based is simply hoping an idea is true. Religion is the business of promoting faith based ideas coupled with belief in a deity. Development of ethics and morality was and must be developed by mankind in a democratic community. Much time is wasted trying to sort the parsing of spiritual beings while there be nonsuch.

  • Jim

    An oxymoron is a word or phrase or figure of speech that is seemingly contradictory but in usage practical (i.e. civil war, great depression, extinct life, devout atheist, clearly misunderstood, …) By saying oxymoron, you are actually giving credence. If you don’t like a phrase I used so be it, but are you unwilling to accept all ideas into discussion if they don’t fit neatly into the box of science? ..that we must limit our focus to only accepted ideas? How un-Socratic. Are saying that ethics and morality have no place in a science class? ..that those considerations must be made democratically? You sound like a rationalist, and a relativist. You yourself have faith. Yes, you have put enormous faith in fallible human beings. You have reduced religion to simple story lines that are fantastical and elevate so-called deities. How 2-dimensional you make it sound. You have free will, of course you are free to do so. Look, I’m not religious myself. I was raised Catholic, but don’t practice. It’s my choice, but I don’t want to diminish the thousands of years of theology or what I see as a force for love and peace in this world, and I don’t want to extinguish the moral compass established by faith to help guide science and discovery.
    Final thought. Can you explain why you as an individual are unique with your own personality and character? As with millions of questions about life and being and evolution, science and scientific method can only take you so far..

  • Eugene Fowler

    Jim.., Speaking of all ideas here’s something we can both agree on.

    The Scientific Theory of Creation

    Theory is with Trinity of Gods without woman and created man in his image with strong procreation tendencies. The Creation Theory then advances with a very high correlation that without women… God(s) masturbates and the Godly ejaculations erupt with a “Big Bang” thereby creating a universe, and eventually our universe. Advanced theory lends credence to the many and various imperfections of our universe with only a minuscule earth of varied inhabitants generated through procreation. Creation Theory also greatly enhances The Multi-Universe Theory wherein all estimates must be in tripled.

  • Ted

    Does your church “allow all faith-based theories” or just the ones it believes in? Does Catholic church also teach the Hindu theories of creation?

    Which is more ethical: pretending to know the answer (religion) or admitting you don’t know yet (science)?

    Religion “better addresses the why”? Oh really? Typical religious answer to “Why?”: “It’s God’s will.”

  • JJ042804

    What Republicans doing is “un-ethical” and against the Constitution. Article the third …… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That means it is against the Constitution to force Religion into public Schools, plain and simple and Congress violated that Law.

  • JJ042804

    If you want to learn Religion, that’s what the Churches are for. The Constitution allows “freedom” of religion, which includes other believes. Putting Creationism into our public Schools would force Religion onto our Children and take away their freedom to believes of their choice. I can’t be anymore clearer than that. It’s in the Bill of Rights, Article 3.

  • JJ042804

    Republicans definitively opened a can of worms with this “law”, because it’s against the Constitution. Article 3 Bill of Rights. Article the third …… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That means it is against the Constitution to force Religion into public Schools, plain and simple and Congress violated that Law.

  • JJ042804

    Now after almost 300 years Republicans trying to put a Religion in our public Classrooms. If it doesn’t make you wonder what reason would they would have that they even violate the constitutional rights of our Children.

  • Rhonda Warmack Houston

    Haven’t those in office ever heard of separation of church and state? Do NOT these people want those who graduate from their schools eventually, have the ability to ‘ask the hard questions to get those good answers’ which is called ‘being able to compete with others for those good jobs…like the Asians and Japanese? But I guess not; what the South wants are just those who they can ‘lead and tell what to do’ which will as well further the poverty and to perpetuate, instead of breaking the cycle of those being poor…parish the thought of wanting leaders developing from within their community. However, too, this will work greatly when the Koch and the rest of the rich corporations want ‘slaves’ to work in whatever conditions the corporation feels they want to establish for their workers, which would be without a ‘living wage’…this whole process is continuing and perpetuating our country’s education eroding and sets everything up for the Rich Corporations ‘to come in’ at the time of its take over to run the nation.

  • Anonymous

    Discussing religion in the public square is one thing. Teaching religious doctrine–any religious doctrine–in the public schools is quite another. The people who tout “religious liberty” are often the same ones who demand that their religious beliefs be forced on others through coercion or force of law. (Anti-abortion laws and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act are just two recent examples.) And it’s just a wee bit hypocritical for the same people who “cherry pick” passages from the Bible to justify, for instance, their homophobia to complain about others cherry picking Jefferson’s writings.

  • B D

    Faith-based theories are worthless and have no place in a modern classroom. It’s ridiculous to even entertain the idea of doing so. Science works, faith is playing pretend.

  • Tele Ron

    IF YOU CHOOSE TO LISTE TO A 19 YEAR OLD KID GO AHEADLY. CLEARLY LEFTIST SOCIALIST PROGRESSIVE GARBAGE. I WAS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHEN THEY HY WERE RELIGIOUS. IG REMEMBER SINGING RELIGIOUS SONGS IN CLASS. I STILL HAVE A BIBLE GIVEN TO ME BY MY FIRST TEACHER. THE LIES ARE OBVIOUS TO OLDER AMERICANS WHO LIVED IT. YOUR PRESENTATION OF HISTORY AND SEPARATION IS A MYTH. AS A MATTERT OF FACT IN SCIENCE THERE ARE MANY THAT VIEW YOUR ASSUMPTIONS CONCERNING GLOBAL WARMING AS A JOKE. AS A CAVER AND PROFFICIANT IN GEOLOGY I KNOW YOU AND YOUR GLOBAL WARMINECTUG VIEWS ARE PURE DOGMA. I AM SORRY FOR THE KIDS LIKE THIS NSRROW MINDED IGNORANT 19 YEAR OLD. SAD THE LIES AND MISREPRESTATION OF FACT. I GUESS IF THE LEFT TELLS LIES LONG ENOUGH THE IGNORANT AND YOUTH WILL BELIEV.E IT. DAFFY DUCK LIKES YOUR SCIENCE. AFTER ALL TO THE VAST MAJORITY OF OLDER AMERICANS WE KNOW WHAT LIARS AND PROGRESSIVE DOGA IS.

  • TokyoMommy

    Atheism is also a religion. Why is the government teaching our children athiesm and negating scientific facts and evidence for the sake of athiesm which has also not been a scientifically proven fact?

  • TokyoMommy

    Athiesm is also a religion. Why force atheism down our children’s throats? Instead let’s teach our children scientific method and let them believe as they wish.

  • Anonymous

    I taught in public high schools for 33 years, TM, and at no time was atheism ever discussed in my classroom or the classrooms of any other teacher I visited. There is a curriculum for every class taught in the school, and due to time constraints and the heavy emphasis that is placed on kids’ standardized test scores, there’s little time to discuss religion of any sort, or atheism.

  • TokyoMommy

    Guest, actually most museums and textbooks that our tax money is paying for is showing that humans came from one celled creatures, fish, reptiles and monkeys. Many places are not mentioning any of this as being a theory. My public school taught evolution as a theory and little time was spent on it. The teacher was a Christian and told the class he has his own theory but for certain, it is misleading to assume we all came from once celled creatures, monkeys, etc.. We all have our own theories and Creationism also has a wide number of theories, but what is being taught in our museums and in our Universities is being presented as fact and not theory.

  • TokyoMommy

    If we are going to keep creationism out of public schools, then we must keep atheism out of public schools as well. Science made plenty of progress by scientists who believed in a creator, and will continue to do so. This assumption that creationists are stupid morons has to stop. Schools can still teach Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Natural sciences and bring moral principals into discussion from a humanistic and enviornmental perspective. Theism and atheism as no place in in our public schools. As for our country, we must obey our laws and insure that our laws are fair and just and allow for freedom of thought. Fine, if you want to teach theory, teach theory for what it is, theory…which are assumptions.

  • Anonymous

    So interesting about Brown University and Jindal. Just goes to show that the oil money owns him. It is the fossil fuel owners who need to make sure the next generation of Americans are un- and under-educated. And, religion is how oligarchs manipulate the masses all over the world. Look at what Putin did to revive religion. Look at what the Saudis fund everywhere. They do it everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    The world’s bankers have no intention of the US in the next generations to be a peer with France. They intend the US to be a poor resource rich mineral and oil exporting country. They are not investing in technological transformation here. That would mean transforming their fossil fuel industries out of business, since alternative energies are the hottest new form of technological innovation out there in this world. They are NOT funding it. They are shutting down universities and telling students they don’t need educations now. There are too many educated people in the US now, like both Mussolini and Hitler both claimed in their respective times.

  • Anonymous

    Atheism is not taught as science in schools. Science says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of God. Science just happens. Good science does not mix moral principles.

    Theory is not by itself taught but as part of scientific method and reason. Theory is not assumptions. Theory is a conjecture based on prior reasoning (not in a vacuum). Theory is then confirmed with observable evidence.

    If creationism followed scientific method and produced true observable evidence with peer review, scientists would simply accept it.

    Creationists are not stupid morons. Just uneducated and ill informed filling in their ignorance with beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    You can always find a few who claim to be scientists dissenting. But climate change is widely accepted because it is based on observable evidence. What alarms scientists is the rate and high CO2 amounts. Predictions are tricky but the stakes are deadly.

    Evolution is not religion. It is a theory being confirmed through observation and experimentation followed by peer review.

    If creationism could withstand scientific method, it would be accepted. But it can’t.

  • Anonymous

    atheism is as much a religion as “no oxygen” is a type of oxygen. your claim about “the government” teaching atheism is moronic, as is your claim that it somehow “negates” scientific evidence.

  • Anonymous

    so you accept the premise that teaching the creation of the universe by the Flying Spaghetti Monster is okay? or that children should be out chanting with Buddhist begging bowls? or that large pictures of Satan should be displayed in schools? if you say no, then your entire screed is worthless, and your argument is shot to hell.

  • Anonymous

    if atheism is a religion, then you should be able to breath under water, since no oxygen is the same as adequate oxygen. go ahead, I’ll stand and watch.

  • Anonymous

    “You are a bad person, and you do bad things. I killed someone to negate those bad things. Since I did that, now you have to tell everyone you are a bad person, and that you did bad things, and tell them that I killed someone because of the bad things they do. Now, to continue deserving not being burned eternally, you have to stop doing bad things or the person I killed will see that you suffer throughout eternity. That’s how much I love you. Have a nice day.” your “god” is a fraud if you believe that message somehow constitutes “good news.”

  • Anonymous

    “faith” is about as much proof as an unused pregnancy test.

  • JJ042804

    Atheist don’t believe in religion, so how can that be a religion? Also Atheists do trust in scientific facts.

  • JJ042804

    Article the third …… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I.e. Congress can’t make a Law that brings Religion into classroom, Since there is a variety of Religions, they can’t allow one (Creationism) and forbid the others (Buddhism…etc) Yes, we have a separation of Church and State!

  • JJ042804

    If “God” has created “man” in his image, how do you explain all those different Human Races, Asians, Africans, Indians……??? That’s a hole you can fly a Space Shuttle through. Btw speaking just of Man is sexist, because it’s putting Men above Women.

  • Diane Stanley

    “This assumption that creationists are stupid morons has to stop.”

    Sorry but your post just proves the point. They ARE stupid morons.

  • julchen

    I just came back from a trip to the Grand Canyon……AMAZING what God created in just one or two days………

  • Anonymous

    Uh you’re joking right?

  • julchen

    Don’t worry, I am, and keep wondering about the simple way of thinking of the creationists.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/serendipitycakes Heather Bryse-Harvey

    Atheism is not a religion.

  • DaveT

    It’s ok to ram the atheistic evolutionary brain-washing garbage down the throats of impressionable young minds, but nothing which competes! Nothing which suggests another possibility. No, the masses must be kept drunk on the Kool-Aid. But it takes more “Faith” to believe that random dumb processes generated complex intelligent life, than it does to believe that this incredible Universe, and our incredible human, animal, and plant life was “created” by a loving, benevolent, and super-intelligent God! The blind followers don’t question this fantasy because they’re force-fed, but if there is any question, the mocking and shaming begins. Science is held up as if “It” were a god, and you shall not question. It is a religion; largely atheistic and humanistic. So, don’t think that religion is not taught in Public School, because it is. There’s just no Cross, nor Menorah, nor talk of (the true) God, but of Science, and (Un-Scientific) Evolution, and man determining his own destiny. Atheists and Humanists can’t make strong arguements, so they skew the field, and make sure to keep all of the power, while doing their best to destroy any competition, because they’re cheap cowards and hypocrits, who know that they are incapable of mounting a real defense for their nonsense, and they’ll deserve their eternity in hell!

  • DaveT

    The only “Separation of Church and State” is in the Communist Manifesto. Our Constitution provides for non-interference by Gov’t in order to protect “Freedom of Religion.” We’re now seeing what happens when our leaders disrespect “The People,” and trample on our Constitution, or disrespect the Constitution, and trample on “The People.” Vote the Socialist/Communist Creeps OUT OF OFFICE!

  • DaveT

    Good for you TokyoMommy, you are right, and your critics are wrong. Religion is a set of beliefs, and represents in what or whom you place your “faith.” Is it in Science and Man? If there is no God, why do Atheists attack Christians? They have been stripping God out schools and textbooks, even “Revising” history, or removing historical facts from textbooks, in order to destroy the teaching of our nation’s foundation. Starting with the Atheist Madelaine Murray O’Hare in the early 60′s, Prayer and Bible reading was stripped from schools. If there is no God, why does Richard Dawkins encourage people to mock Christians? It’s not about Religion, but it’s a power struggle where Atheists (and Humanists) want to take over, and indoctrinate our young impressionable children with their godless propaganda. Yes, Religion IS taught in the schools, and also in the Universities now that they have been taken over by the Whacko Progressive, Socialist, and Communist Professors, who “profess” their filth, and shame any student who questions their indoctrination! Put down the Kool-Aid, and wake up!