Archive for the 'Zachary Kopplin' Category

Published by admin on 13 Feb 2013

Academic Freedom Silliness in Montana — Compared to Academic Freedom Silliness in Louisiana

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By Barbara Forrest

Everyone has heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” With respect to the creationism bill introduced in Montana this year, that should read, “A video clip is worth a thousand words.” Our readers may enjoy (or not) comparing Rep. Clayton Fiscus’s defense of his HB 183 to “to emphasize critical thinking in instruction related to controversial scientific theories on the origin of life” to Louisiana legislators’ responses to Zack Kopplin’s 2011 and 2012 bills to repeal the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). It’s a real contest as to whose legislators are sillier. But as you will see, the outcome in Montana was very different than in Louisiana. Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 16 Nov 2012

Hardball blasts Jindal’s support for creationism in Louisiana

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By Barbara Forrest

Louisiana residents who support teaching good science — which includes evolution — will find it hard to see Bobby Jindal’s comments in his November 13 Politico interview as anything except an opportunistic pivot for the sake of his national ambitions.

It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that. . . . It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.

Really, governor? If that’s the case, then your constituents can count on your public support next year for the repeal of the creationist Louisiana Science Education Act that you signed in 2008 as a favor to your friends at the Louisiana Family Forum, right?

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Published by admin on 18 Jul 2012

The Unbearable Irony of Being Senator Conrad Appel

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By Barbara Forrest

Sometimes the word “irony” is insufficient as a response to the actual nature of events. For some situations, “irony” is just too tepid. One finds that such is the case upon reading the article entitled “Louisiana Science Education Strategy Under Development” in the Business section of the July 15, 2012, New Orleans Times-Picayune. The article opens this way:

After recognizing a need for more students and graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, drafted Senate Resolution 120. The resolution asks Louisiana’s top higher education board, the Board of Regents, to develop a strategy to attract and keep students in those degree fields to supply companies in New Orleans with a larger, more capable work force. 

Sen. Conrad Appel, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, is concerned about the state of science education in Louisiana. Although this is one of those cases in which “irony” sounds a bit weak, let’s just go ahead and say that his concern — while most welcome — is also most ironic. Read on to find out why.

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Published by admin on 16 May 2012

Discovery Institute to LA Family Forum: “Repeat after me: ‘The LA Science Education Act is *NOT* a creationism law.’”

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By Barbara Forrest

There are times when we run across items that simply must be shared. This is one of those times. Alert readers may have read the April 17, 2012, Media Matters (MM) article by Simon Maloy, “The Unscientific Model: ‘Academic Freedom’s’ Creationist Pedigree.” If not, we recommend it, and besides, you need it as background in order to fully appreciate what we will share when you “Continue Reading” below. Maloy has done a good job of showing that the “academic freedom” bills being peddled by the Discovery Institute (DI) are the terminologically sanitized, direct descendants of the “equal time” creation science bills of the early 1980s. Louisiana’s 1981 “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act,” for example, was enacted “for the purposes of protecting academic freedom.”

The Balanced Treatment Act, which required the teaching of “creation science” along with evolution, was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. The Court explicitly rejected the “academic freedom” defense. But losing in court has never deterred creationists. A small band of brave souls simply — and opportunistically — ditched the “young earth” and “flood geology” (that’s Noah‘s flood) and rebranded themselves as “intelligent design theorists.” They also continued to write creationist legislation — except that such bills must now be written as “stealth” bills using code language such as “critical thinking,” as in the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). There is only one teensy-weensy problem: the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) and its disciples just can’t seem to get the “stealth” part down.  Continue Reading »

Published by admin on 27 Dec 2011

Ringing Out 2011: “Battle over Science in Louisiana”

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By  Barbara Forrest

The year 2011 is about to end, and this gives the Louisiana Coalition for Science (LCFS) a chance to highlight two cool things:  (1) a new article by LCFS member Dr. Ian Binns entitled “Battle over Science in Louisiana” published in (2) Reports of the National Center for Science Education (RNCSE, pronounced “rensee”), which is now freely available online. (The Binns article is here [pdf].) Until recently, Dr. Binns was a science educator at Louisiana State University; he is now at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Throughout 2010-2011, he was an integral participant in LCFS’s successful effort to protect the selection of state-approved biology textbooks, and he took the lead in our successful effort to block the passage of HB 580, which would have undermined state oversight of school districts’ purchase of science materials. In the November-December 2011 issue of RNCSE, Dr. Binns has chronicled the attack on science education that took place after the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA).

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Published by admin on 10 Jun 2011

Press Release: HB 580 — yet another Louisiana stealth creationism bill (no, seriously).

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By Barbara Forrest

Friends, we at the Louisiana Coalition for Science would like to be able to say that we are pulling your leg. But we’re not. Louisiana is about to enact into law yet another stealth creationism bill in the form of HB 580 — unless the Senate finally decides to put a stop to this foolishness within the next 13 days when the current legislative session (mercifully) comes to an end. HB 580 passed in the House of Representatives on June 8 with a vote [pdf] of 87 yays, 5 nays, and 13 abstentions. (Thank you, Rep. Walt Leger, Rep. Patricia Haynes-Smith, Rep. Regina Barrow, Rep. Barbara Norton, and Rep. Charmaine Marchand Stiaes.) Louisiana is the embodiment of one of the cardinal rules that every pro-science citizen has to learn:  CREATIONISTS NEVER GIVE UP. To which we now add a corollary:  CREATIONISTS WANT IT ALL. Louisiana creationists were given the proverbial inch in the form of the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), and since 2008 they have been industriously grabbing their mile.

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Published by admin on 03 Apr 2011

Did Louisiana Family Forum’s prayer network malfunction?

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By Barbara Forrest

For the three years since the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) was enacted, the Louisiana Coalition for Science has hammered constantly on the fact that the LSEA is a creationist law. The Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) has consistently denied this. But other people who share the same political and religious views as the LFF seem to have their own ideas concerning what this law is all about. Maybe the LFF’s memo didn’t get sent out widely enough through the prayer network . . . or the divine communication channels broke down . . . or something.

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