High-school student fights to repeal Louisiana creationism law

| 218 Comments

A high-school student’s activity spearheading a grass-roots movement to repeal Louisiana’s inaptly named Louisiana Science Education Act is “a profile in (evolutionary) courage,” according to Michael Zimmerman, writing in the Huffington Post.

According to Professor Zimmerman, the student, Zack Kopplin, has already succeeded in influencing the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to adopt a new biology textbook, in the face of opposition from the powerful Louisiana Family Forum. More recently, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson announced her intention to introduce legislation repealing the LSEA, which promotes the use of “supplemental materials” in the classroom. Supplemental materials is a code term for literature that promotes creationism and attacks evolution.

Wesley Elsberry reported briefly on Mr. Kopplin’s campaign here. Please do not rehash that discussion on this thread.

Instead, please help make sure that Professor Zimmerman’s article gets the widest possible readership.

218 Comments

The Louisiana Coalition for Science is assisting Zack Kopplin in this effort. PT readers can help us by contacting friends and relatives in Louisiana and asking them to contact their legislators to request support for Senator Peterson’s repeal bill when it is filed. Information will be posted at Zack’s website, http://www.repealcreationism.com, and the LCFS website, http://lasciencecoalition.org.

Good on Professor Zimmerman and Zack Kopplin for their quest for better quality education for everyone.

An animated and enthusiastic thumbs up and a double attaboy to Zack Kopplin for his clear though and even clearer speech. Those are traits that are worthy of such accolades as well as emulation.

Gratitude also and equally enthusiastic laurels to Professor Zimmerman who has helped Zack to be heard.

Way to go.

Now we can look forward to wading through a new incarnation of xtian persecution based upon some kind of imaginary amalgam that includes recruitment of students and collaboration by media savvy scientists in the never ending onslaught of that unholy alliance coupled with the double threat of Muslinisms and unnatural proclivities like that there and homos and like that there. Why, any real American should see the threat to entrenched pseudo-traditions.

That must make me an un-real American. If I didn’t know any better, I’d probably go into a sulk and forget that there is never zero risk. In anything.

The hope is that a student interested in the truth will at least shame the vast majority of legislators who voted in that Trojan Horse in the first place. Maybe even enough to revoke it.

The one thing I can say for Louisiana beyond that on this matter is that its educational system has avoided “taking advantage of it” and making its science curricula stupid. We can’t just hope that the creationists won’t take advantage of this hole in the wall of separation of church and state, however.

Glen Davidson

Glen Davidson Wrote:

The hope is that a student interested in the truth will at least shame the vast majority of legislators who voted in that Trojan Horse in the first place.

I hope that he doesn’t stop with shaming the legislators, but puts the Governor himself on the spot. Jindal has a biology degree from Brown (AIUI he did not take any classes taught by Ken Miller), so he must have some opinion on the what the evidence supports regarding the age of life and common descent, even if he has been fooled into what “RM + NS” can or cannot do. He is also undoubtedly aware of the “big tent” scam, in which it’s not politically correct to discuss the age of life and common descent, even though some of the most notable evolution-deniers have plainly conceded that science is correct on at least those basic conclusions.

It will be interesting to follow young Zack’s career. (10 years from now will he be a scientist or a politician? maybe both?)

One can hope (if there is such a thing as justice) that top colleges/ universities in the region are begging Zack to attend thier schools/ offering scholarships etc. (Tulane?)

Go ZACK!

I think this isn’t too off-topic: Oklahoma House panel votes down science bill. These things do get scrapped with reasonable frequency, although this is more common in Oklahoma than in Louisiana in recent years.

I do wish the people throwing this junk away would bring up liability issues more than they do. The DI and their herd of independent minds like to sell this as freedom to teach creationism (at least some on the panel realized that it could go well beyond that, even), when of course it could end up with a huge bill that has to be paid by strapped school districts.

Glen Davidson

Frank J said: I hope that he doesn’t stop with shaming the legislators, but puts the Governor himself on the spot. Jindal has a biology degree from Brown (AIUI he did not take any classes taught by Ken Miller), so he must have some opinion on the what the evidence supports regarding the age of life and common descent, even if he has been fooled into what “RM + NS” can or cannot do. He is also undoubtedly aware of the “big tent” scam, in which it’s not politically correct to discuss the age of life and common descent, even though some of the most notable evolution-deniers have plainly conceded that science is correct on at least those basic conclusions.

One of Jindal’s Biology professors at Brown, a geneticist, did write to him prior to Jindal’s signing of the Louisiana Science Education Act, imploring him not to sign it (And yes, Ken Miller did check and saw that Jindal was never a student of his. Jindal did well enough to earn a Rhodes Scholarship to Cambridge if my memory is correct.).

I was so pleased with Michael Zimmerman’s excellent essay to the Huffington Post, that I passed the link on to a large group of people, including several involved with community organizing here in New York City. Without a doubt, Zimmerman was right to note that Zachary’s ongoing effort is truly indeed a “profile in evolutionary courage”.

JASONMITCHELL said:

It will be interesting to follow young Zack’s career. (10 years from now will he be a scientist or a politician? maybe both?)

One can hope (if there is such a thing as justice) that top colleges/ universities in the region are begging Zack to attend thier schools/ offering scholarships etc. (Tulane?)

Go ZACK!

I hope he has his sights set on the East Coast, especially the Ivy League. Would love to hear that he has applied to Brown, that Brown makes an offer admission, and that he accepts it (And oh yes, I admit I am quite biased about this!).

Barbara Forrest said:

The Louisiana Coalition for Science is assisting Zack Kopplin in this effort. PT readers can help us by contacting friends and relatives in Louisiana and asking them to contact their legislators to request support for Senator Peterson’s repeal bill when it is filed. Information will be posted at Zack’s website, http://www.repealcreationism.com, and the LCFS website, http://lasciencecoalition.org.

Barbara, with your permission, I would like to post this comment over at my Facebook profile page and the NCSE Facebook fan page as well (Though you have my permission to post this comment after my post there regarding Zack’s heroic efforts.). I don’t know anyone in Louisiana aside from you and maybe one or two others, but I’ll gladly help in trying to get the word out.

John Kwok Wrote:

One of Jindal’s Biology professors at Brown, a geneticist, did write to him prior to Jindal’s signing of the Louisiana Science Education Act, imploring him not to sign it.

So did many others, and AIUI, he ignored them all, without even the courtesy of a reply. While that suggests that he might ignore questions about his personal position on evolution and conceivable “alternatives,” AFAIK no one has yet bothered to ask. Might he personally accept evolution and think that students deserve to learn failed “theories” too? Or does he think one of those failed “theories” has some promise, and if so which ones do and which don’t? He should not be allowed the luxury of “don’t ask, don’t tell” – with a biology degree no less - when so much is at stake.

Look at the legislative record - nearly unanimous approval. That’s both parties, nearly every parish in the state. No sane politician would choose to buck that sort of public support and kiss off that many votes.

The question isn’t whether Jindal believes in alternatives or understood the foundation of his education. The question is whether Jindal desires to be re-elected. I suppose he does.

Interesting. Like I said previously, the high-school sensation Mr. Kopplin was bound to get increased publicity (and puffing) among the evolution-friendly media outlets.

Naturally, good ole Huff-Po would be in the mood to publish about him, and atheist Michael Zimmerman would be in the mood to puff about him.

Being in high school, he IS pretty much “an AA battery in a megawatt world”, but he’s got Passion, he’s got (or far more likey, has been given by an adult evo) a marketing Plan– “kids, clergy, businesses”–and now he’s got national-level Puffery.

And honestly that can be a VERY valuable combination (Passion, Plan, Puffery) for any little AA battery. The fact is, in exchange for his PR evolution-marketing services as a high-school David-vs-Goliath poster boy, Mr. Kopplin may indeed find fame, fortune, and big scholarships to big schools.

In return, of course, the big-name evolutionists who so clearly ran out of gas regarding Louisiana, get some free media time (and free media sniping) that they wouldn’t otherwise get. So, how can non-Darwinists counter this interesting little AA battery?

So, honestly, it’s not enough to merely ASSERT, “ he’s an AA battery in megawatt world.”

Instead, such a claim has to be DEMONSTRATED, gently yet clearly, and full of sincere respect for a high-schooler who is found a passionate cause OTHER THAN Video Games, I-Pods, Gittin Drunk, Getting Girls Pregnant, Doing Drugs, Robbing The Kwik Shop, etc.

By focusing on the specific details of LSEA vis-a-vis Louisiana’s current offering of high school biology/science textbooks, and publicly asking Mr. Kopplin (and his handlers) specific questions, it should be easy to demonstrate that LSEA fulfills a clear science and science-education need.

(Not difficult at all. Just ask some questions about the origin of life chapter in the textbook, and then point out how LSEA helps science teachers get their class up to date.)

Also, ask specific, non-technical questions aimed at Kopplin’s planned targets–“kids, clergy, and businesses” again WRT the LSEA specifics, and again in the media.

Finally, the real scandal is NOT that there’s a new AA battery in Evotown. The scandal is that there are so FEW young AA batteries in the Churches!!!

fL

FL said:

Interesting. Like I said previously, the high-school sensation Mr. Kopplin was bound to get increased publicity (and puffing) among the evolution-friendly media outlets.

Naturally, good ole Huff-Po would be in the mood to publish about him, and atheist Michael Zimmerman would be in the mood to puff about him.

Being in high school, he IS pretty much “an AA battery in a megawatt world”, but he’s got Passion, he’s got (or far more likey, has been given by an adult evo) a marketing Plan– “kids, clergy, businesses”–and now he’s got national-level Puffery.

And honestly that can be a VERY valuable combination (Passion, Plan, Puffery) for any little AA battery. The fact is, in exchange for his PR evolution-marketing services as a high-school David-vs-Goliath poster boy, Mr. Kopplin may indeed find fame, fortune, and big scholarships to big schools.

In return, of course, the big-name evolutionists who so clearly ran out of gas regarding Louisiana, get some free media time (and free media sniping) that they wouldn’t otherwise get. So, how can non-Darwinists counter this interesting little AA battery?

So, honestly, it’s not enough to merely ASSERT, “ he’s an AA battery in megawatt world.”

Instead, such a claim has to be DEMONSTRATED, gently yet clearly, and full of sincere respect for a high-schooler who is found a passionate cause OTHER THAN Video Games, I-Pods, Gittin Drunk, Getting Girls Pregnant, Doing Drugs, Robbing The Kwik Shop, etc.

By focusing on the specific details of LSEA vis-a-vis Louisiana’s current offering of high school biology/science textbooks, and publicly asking Mr. Kopplin (and his handlers) specific questions, it should be easy to demonstrate that LSEA fulfills a clear science and science-education need.

(Not difficult at all. Just ask some questions about the origin of life chapter in the textbook, and then point out how LSEA helps science teachers get their class up to date.)

Also, ask specific, non-technical questions aimed at Kopplin’s planned targets–“kids, clergy, and businesses” again WRT the LSEA specifics, and again in the media.

Finally, the real scandal is NOT that there’s a new AA battery in Evotown. The scandal is that there are so FEW young AA batteries in the Churches!!!

fL

As both a Conservative (who does read HuffPo a lot) and as someone who knows that evolution is an irrefutable scientific fact (Indeed there is far more tangible support for it than, for example, string theory.), your latest bit of breathtaking inanity is absolutely priceless for its incoherent ignorance. But what more can I expect from a delusional DI IDiot Borg drone such as yourself, Floyd. Thanks again for demonstrating to all of us that you are still enjoying your membership in the Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg Collective.

Peace and long life (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

John Kwok

Glen Davidson said:

I think this isn’t too off-topic: Oklahoma House panel votes down science bill. These things do get scrapped with reasonable frequency, although this is more common in Oklahoma than in Louisiana in recent years.

I do wish the people throwing this junk away would bring up liability issues more than they do. The DI and their herd of independent minds like to sell this as freedom to teach creationism (at least some on the panel realized that it could go well beyond that, even), when of course it could end up with a huge bill that has to be paid by strapped school districts.

Glen Davidson

I agree that we need to emphasize in opposition to such bills that likely litigation can cost the state in a court loss. In Oklahoma we have constantly mentioned this in opposition to creationist legislation. Also, we have emphasized the negative impact on the state economy in the harm done in recruitment of scientists and science-based business. The kerfuffle in Kansas over their teaching standards a few years ago is used as an example, where the Governor and state college presidents publicly deplored the negative impact on the economy. Legislators, especially Republicans and DINOs (Democrats in Name Only) in this reddest of states unfortunately find economic arguments more persuasive than those defending appropriate science teaching.

John Kwok said:

JASONMITCHELL said:

It will be interesting to follow young Zack’s career. (10 years from now will he be a scientist or a politician? maybe both?)

One can hope (if there is such a thing as justice) that top colleges/ universities in the region are begging Zack to attend thier schools/ offering scholarships etc. (Tulane?)

Go ZACK!

I hope he has his sights set on the East Coast, especially the Ivy League. Would love to hear that he has applied to Brown, that Brown makes an offer admission, and that he accepts it (And oh yes, I admit I am quite biased about this!).

I knew it. As soon as I read the story about Zack Kopplin, I said to myself, “this whole thing must somehow really be about John Kwok; I just can’t put my finger on it.”

Thanks for nailing it for us John.

FL said:

Finally, the real scandal is NOT that there’s a new AA battery in Evotown. The scandal is that there are so FEW young AA batteries in the Churches!!!

fL

I absolutely agree. In fact, why is it that creationists cannot seem to find even one intelligent, articulate individual with some passing knowledge of science in order to make their case? Why is it that they cannot seem to find even one competent researcher, or even one competent mathematician for that matter? Why is it that even one single high school student can outshine all creationists of any age? Why is that do you think?

If nothing else, Zach is a shining example of the kind of bright young mind that creationists want to illegally rob of a science education by substituting religious indoctrination. Some students will always be s smart enough to see right through that nonsense. Then what are you going to do when you piss of the intelligent and educated segment of the population?

Jindal has one chance to make this right. If he doesn’t he will lose a lot more than votes.

In fact, why is it that creationists cannot seem to find even one intelligent, articulate individual with some passing knowledge of science in order to make their case? Why is it that they cannot seem to find even one competent researcher, or even one competent mathematician for that matter? Why is it that even one single high school student can outshine all creationists of any age? Why is that do you think?

You might be overstating the case there DS…as in exponentially overstating..

The fact is that Mr. Kopplin is making a bit of a splash because of his PR media-marketing value as a passionate high-schooler–NOT because he’s found any actual new arguments with which to refute any points concerning the appropriateness of te LSEA law.

In terms of specific LSEA discussion, Kopplin’s as stuck, as completely bereft of rational anti-SEA ammo, as his grown-up evo-handlers. Not dissing him, but that’s the truth. Also he has no ammo for clergy (take it from a clergy guy).

His value is therefore PR-based, media-based, not science-based or religion-based, and that’s how atheist Zimmerman and NCSE et al are playing it. Youth sells.

But the fact is that the non-Darwinist Christians need to work on grooming their own PR high-school poster boys too, because people DO pay attention to media imagery and marketing, period.

The same three demographics that ole Zimm mentioned, are THE vital demographics for Christians and all those who understand the value of LSEA. So the Christian media marketing has to get activated sooner or later.

FL

You didn’t answer the question FL. No matter what you think of the high school kid, why ain’t you got no real scientists on your side? Why ain’t they got no real publications in no real journals? Why can’t they convince nobody of nothin? Why can even a high school student match your pathetic level of detail? Why?

FL said:

In fact, why is it that creationists cannot seem to find even one intelligent, articulate individual with some passing knowledge of science in order to make their case? Why is it that they cannot seem to find even one competent researcher, or even one competent mathematician for that matter? Why is it that even one single high school student can outshine all creationists of any age? Why is that do you think?

You might be overstating the case there DS…as in exponentially overstating..

The fact is that Mr. Kopplin is making a bit of a splash because of his PR media-marketing value as a passionate high-schooler–NOT because he’s found any actual new arguments with which to refute any points concerning the appropriateness of te LSEA law.

In terms of specific LSEA discussion, Kopplin’s as stuck, as completely bereft of rational anti-SEA ammo, as his grown-up evo-handlers. Not dissing him, but that’s the truth. Also he has no ammo for clergy (take it from a clergy guy).

His value is therefore PR-based, media-based, not science-based or religion-based, and that’s how atheist Zimmerman and NCSE et al are playing it. Youth sells.

But the fact is that the non-Darwinist Christians need to work on grooming their own PR high-school poster boys too, because people DO pay attention to media imagery and marketing, period.

The same three demographics that ole Zimm mentioned, are THE vital demographics for Christians and all those who understand the value of LSEA. So the Christian media marketing has to get activated sooner or later.

FL

So tell us why is the Louisiana Law not helping to improve Louisiana schools?

Why does this law, which you claim does not permit teachers to teach Creationism, instead of actual science, in science classrooms, allowing teachers to teach Creationism, instead of actual science, in classrooms?

Why do you claim that Kopplin’s reasons are “media-based,” and not, perhaps, because this law is actually harming the already abominably poor quality of education in Louisiana?

DS said:

You didn’t answer the question FL. No matter what you think of the high school kid, why ain’t you got no real scientists on your side? Why ain’t they got no real publications in no real journals? Why can’t they convince nobody of nothin? Why can even a high school student match your pathetic level of detail? Why?

FL can not even explain why Creationism or Intelligent Design are supposed to be scientific, and not religiously-motivated political propaganda.

ben said:

John Kwok said:

JASONMITCHELL said:

It will be interesting to follow young Zack’s career. (10 years from now will he be a scientist or a politician? maybe both?)

One can hope (if there is such a thing as justice) that top colleges/ universities in the region are begging Zack to attend thier schools/ offering scholarships etc. (Tulane?)

Go ZACK!

I hope he has his sights set on the East Coast, especially the Ivy League. Would love to hear that he has applied to Brown, that Brown makes an offer admission, and that he accepts it (And oh yes, I admit I am quite biased about this!).

I knew it. As soon as I read the story about Zack Kopplin, I said to myself, “this whole thing must somehow really be about John Kwok; I just can’t put my finger on it.”

Thanks for nailing it for us John.

No Ben, it isn’t about me at all. Instead it would be a slap in the face of fellow Brunonian Governor Bobby Jindal if the appeal law is passed in Louisiana’s legislature (with Zack’s assistance) and Zack is accepted at Brown (I only admit my bias since I am, like Jindal, a Brunonian.). Too bad you’re so obsessed about me for whatever reason that you can’t accept at face value my hope that Zack - assuming that he did apply to Brown - is offered admission, and accepts the offer.

DS said:

FL said:

Finally, the real scandal is NOT that there’s a new AA battery in Evotown. The scandal is that there are so FEW young AA batteries in the Churches!!!

fL

I absolutely agree. In fact, why is it that creationists cannot seem to find even one intelligent, articulate individual with some passing knowledge of science in order to make their case? Why is it that they cannot seem to find even one competent researcher, or even one competent mathematician for that matter? Why is it that even one single high school student can outshine all creationists of any age? Why is that do you think?

If nothing else, Zach is a shining example of the kind of bright young mind that creationists want to illegally rob of a science education by substituting religious indoctrination. Some students will always be s smart enough to see right through that nonsense. Then what are you going to do when you piss of the intelligent and educated segment of the population?

Jindal has one chance to make this right. If he doesn’t he will lose a lot more than votes.

I strongly concur with your glowing assessment of Zack, DS. However, I am not so sanguine with Jindal’s decision-making process. More likely than not, I suspect that he would veto the bill, and I hope that there are enough votes in the Louisiana legislature that would override Jindal’s veto.

Please stop feeding the FL troll; the discussion would be tedious even if we had not heard it all before. As for Mr. Kwok, I will allow no more references to Brown University, Star Trek, idiot borg drones, or Stuyvesant High School.

FL said:

In fact, why is it that creationists cannot seem to find even one intelligent, articulate individual with some passing knowledge of science in order to make their case? Why is it that they cannot seem to find even one competent researcher, or even one competent mathematician for that matter? Why is it that even one single high school student can outshine all creationists of any age? Why is that do you think?

You might be overstating the case there DS…as in exponentially overstating..

As noted by others, you didn’t address the question at all.

However, I did find this particular piece of your screed interesting:

The same three demographics that ole Zimm mentioned, are THE vital demographics for Christians and all those who understand the value of LSEA. So the Christian media marketing has to get activated sooner or later.

FL

Um…yo…FL: I thought the LSEA didn’t have anything to do with supporting Christianity? If so, how then does the LSEA help Christians? Methinks you just tossed out a glimpse behind the curtain there. Thanks!

Matt Young said:

Please stop feeding the FL troll; the discussion would be tedious even if we had not heard it all before. As for Mr. Kwok, I will allow no more references to Brown University, Star Trek, idiot borg drones, or Stuyvesant High School.

Sorry Matt - your comment wasn’t up when I posted. But you’re right. Feel free to remove my comment if you like.

Matt Young said:

Please stop feeding the FL troll; the discussion would be tedious even if we had not heard it all before. As for Mr. Kwok, I will allow no more references to Brown University, Star Trek, idiot borg drones, or Stuyvesant High School.

But “mendacious intellectual pornography” is OK, I take it.

Matt Young said:

Please stop feeding the FL troll; the discussion would be tedious even if we had not heard it all before. As for Mr. Kwok, I will allow no more references to Brown University, Star Trek, idiot borg drones, or Stuyvesant High School.

Yaaaaaay!

Barbara Forrest, NCSE board member, talks about the Louisiana Science Education Act, on a video here

Karen S. said:

Barbara Forrest, NCSE board member, talks about the Louisiana Science Education Act, on a video here

Thanks for posting this Karen S. I found it independently and had it posted on Facebook, especially on the group page for Zack’s organization.

Karen S. said:

Barbara Forrest, NCSE board member, talks about the Louisiana Science Education Act, on a video here

Highly recommended! It demonstrates quite dramatically how these creationists operate.

Barbara Forrest it great!

Mike Elzinga said:

Karen S. said:

Barbara Forrest, NCSE board member, talks about the Louisiana Science Education Act, on a video here

Highly recommended! It demonstrates quite dramatically how these creationists operate.

Barbara Forrest it great!

Absolutely, Mike, Barbara is wonderful and still our best expert on the sordid history of the Dishonesty Institute.

For those of you who are on Facebook, I would strongly encourage you to join Zack Kopplin’s FB group, Repealing Louisiana’s Creationism Law.

Am sure Zack Kopplin won’t object, but for those who haven’t seen it, I am reposting an editorial essay written by Zack that was published in his hometown newspaper on the day that the Louisiana Board of Education voted in favor by a vote of 8-2 to acquire the very textbooks that Zack and his grassroots campaign had been urging (This essay is currently posted on the home page of his website http://www.repealcreationism.com):

As the Louisiana Board of Education (BESE) prepares to vote today on whether to approve life science textbooks that teach proper science, including the theory of evolution, lots of confusion and misunderstanding has surfaced about the boundaries between science and faith and the role each can play in our lives. As a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, I feel strongly that BESE should immediately adopt proper science textbooks that teach evolution without any disclaimers, revisions or supplementary materials. It’s been eight years since we’ve updated our textbooks; Louisiana public school students desperately need new books that teach proper science and will prepare us for success in the global economy. Some would like to insert the supernatural and faith-based beliefs of creationism and its offshoot, intelligent design, into public school science textbooks and classrooms. These beliefs have a proper place in church and in philosophy and religion courses, not in public school science class. Scientific theories are observable, naturalistic, testable, repeatable and falsifiable. Creationism and intelligent design do not meet these criteria. Evolution does. I often hear evolution criticized because it is “only a theory.” The scientific meaning of the word theory is very different than the everyday use describing an unproven conjecture — like the “theory that Carl Weiss wasn’t Huey Long’s murderer.” That theory is open to debate. In science, a theory is a well-supported group of facts that have been thoroughly tested and retested and shown to have predictive ability to explain natural phenomena. Major theories like the theory of gravity and the theory of evolution undergird entire branches of science and have helped send men to the moon and develop medicines to fight disease. There is also talk about something called “Teaching the Controversy.” There is no controversy among scientists about evolution! This point repeatedly has been made by prominent science organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists, which contains 10 million members and has made strong statements in support of teaching evolution. Any attempts to act like there is a controversy are disingenuous. Finally, creationists also pretend there are “flaws” in the theory of evolution. There are no flaws. In fact the National Academy of Sciences states on their website that because evidence supporting evolution is so strong, “scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred, and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution has taken place…” For the sake of our students, I hope BESE makes the right decision and adopts textbooks our students need for success.

A long time ago (pre-Dover) I read a splendid essay against inclusion of “ID” arguments into the high school curriculum.

The basic gist was that high school science was just a small part of high school education. As such it of necessity must be a summary review of the best of present mainstream thinking in science.

Every new possibility in particle physics shouldn’t be taught, nor every one of the alternate ideas in cosmogony, but only the best most meritorious mainstream thinking, like big bang cosmogony - no time for the weird, interesting stuff.

Likewise, even if “ID” were legitimate (which it is not), why introduce it to high school students when the scientific community hasn’t even recognized it as the best explanation for biological diversity on Earth?

High school is not the place where the merit of different scientific ideas should be decided. (“ID” doesn’t even qualify for consideration. Scientists know this, high school students do not.)

I can’t find it or remember the author. I’ve searched my Gould, Berra, and Eldredge, to no avail.

Does any one recognize this argument? Can you help me identify the author?

John Vanko said:

Does any one recognize this argument? Can you help me identify the author?

This argument is well known among secondary teachers; especially in math and science.

There is simply too much to cram into so little time. In addition, there are the Advanced Placement Exams in English, math, chemistry, physics, and biology. Some states have additional exams, such as New York’s Regents’ Exam.

The scores on these exams form part of the profile students present in their applications to colleges and universities; and those students wanting to get into good programs take this profile very seriously, as do their parents.

Then there are the snow days and other types of inclement weather days, the holidays, and senioritis. There are sports, student college visits, extracurricular activities, parent/teacher conferences, teacher recommendations to be written, and “professional development” activities (which are an extreme waste of time).

Most teachers teach five classes; and many of them have four or five separate preps along with all the grading and the frequent testing that must be done in order to be able to post grades periodically and keep parents informed of students who are falling behind.

Despite this current political demonizing of teachers, most teachers put in 60 hour weeks minimum. And the current pressures to increase class size and reduce teaching staff will not only lead to more teacher burnout, it will drive the best out of the field.

Politicians are the worst possible people to be attempting to “fix” education. What we are currently hearing from those politicians that are demonizing teachers is so out of touch with reality that one can’t help wonder where the hell these politicians heads are (actually, we know).

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