Baton Rouge, LA – Nineteen-year-old Zack Kopplin is studying history at Rice University, but one of his side-projects happens to be political activism. He’s already seen some success too. His big project is keeping creationism out of Louisiana schools, and he already convinced the Louisiana State Board of Education to adopt evolution-based textbooks at the tender age of 16.
“Creationism is not science, and shouldn’t be in a public school science class — it’s that simple,” he argues.
MSN reports that, during his senior year, Kopplin decided to “get a repeal bill” as his class project, fighting against the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows teachers to use their own material for evolution-supportive curriculum. Somehow, Kopplin managed to get 78 Nobel laureate scientists to sign his letter in support.
“This was a pivotal moment for me,” Kopplin told io9. “I had always been a shy kid and had never spoken out before — I found myself speaking at a meeting of an advisory committee to the State Board of Education and urging them to adopt good science textbooks — and we won.”
Kopplin says that the teaching of creationism will harm everything in our society from scientific progress and medical innovation to climate change solutions.
“We don’t just deny evolution,” he says, “We are denying climate change and vaccines and other mainstream science. I’m calling for a Second Giant Leap to change the perception of science in the world.”
Believing that America has a “science problem,” Kopplin holds that the only way to solve out societal woes is through scientific advancement.
“My generation is going to have to face major challenges to our way of living — and the way to overcome them is through rapid scientific advancement,” he says. “But as as of right now, America has a science problem.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Kopplin that creationism is harmful to our society, or should it be taught alongside evolution?