We're finishing up now. Here's an easy resource if you want to know what's going on in Texas or want to help: http://tfninsider.org/2013/08/21/whats-happening-with-the-science-textbook-adoption/

Stay in touch with us by signing up to testify at the textbook hearings: http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=science_2013adoption_petition_testimony_rally

Zack Kopplin is a science advocate who has fought creationism in public schools. He’s appeared on numerous national media outlets including Real Time with Bill Maher.

The Texas Freedom Network advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right. For more than a decade, TFN has lead the Stand Up for Science campaign to ensure that students receive a 21st-century science education that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of tomorrow.

Texas is adopting new science textbooks this year. As one of the most populated states in the U.S., Texas science textbooks affect what kind of textbooks publishers sell across the country.

Creationists on the Texas State Board of Education have put these books under threat. We are fighting to make sure only good science is taught in these textbooks.

Ask us anything about the fight for science and how you can help out.

Edit: Zack and TFN are back

Proof: https://twitter.com/TFN/status/370206963260354560 https://www.facebook.com/RepealCreationism/posts/628489323863009

Comments: 592 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

MissMichelleP45 karma

I'm a middle school science teacher in NY. I have a student whose parents have threatened, in the past, to sue me if I don't allow their child to discuss the Bible in class. What exactly are the Supreme Court rulings on cases like this?

So far, they haven't sued because I'm pretty sure they know they'll lose. But, I have one more year of teaching their kids and I'd like to have as much background knowledge as possible the next time dad marches into my classroom with his little notebook of Bible verses.

ephantmon45 karma

High school biology teacher in MD here.

Though I don't know your exact curriculum and school, there is no caselaw that would allow a parent to sue specifically for disallowing their child biblical discussion time in class.

I try to carefully explain to the students (and parents if necessary) the nature of science requires testability and falsifiability. There is nothing testable about creationism, and there is nothing falsifiable about an omnipotent god. By definition religion is supernatural and science deals with the natural world. Evolution is not anti-religion, it has no comment on, and no common ground with religion.

I would try to explain to dad (though he sounds like he won't listen anyway) that you are presenting evidence based on empirical observation and experimental data. If he is still belligerent about it, talk to your department chair and/or principal about keeping dad out of your classroom.

repealcreationism34 karma

Exactly right. Creationism simply doesn't fit into science and the it doesn't meet the requirements of the scientific method, therefore it shouldn't be in a public school science class. It's that simple.

MissMichelleP5 karma

My principal and superintendent were in my last meeting with the guy. He's a real jerk. I just want to have a Supreme Court decision that I can quote in my back pocket in order to shut him down.

repealcreationism11 karma

Be aware of this though, it is a good guideline on where you can go


repealcreationism18 karma

The major case on keeping the Bible out of science class is the Abington School District v. Schempp case.


Another case to look towards is Edwards v. Aguillard which establishes that creationism is not allowed in public schools.

It becomes a little more shaky on what the teacher is allowed to say about creationism, but as long as you are "religiously neutral" in your criticism, you should be ok.

CountryClubbin16 karma

I went to a private Catholic school in Alabama, and my science teachers wouldn't even listen to creationists arguments in my school. The school refused to buy textbooks that tried to fight notions such as Evolution and openly mocked creationist notions. I consider myself lucky! Right down the road, however, was a public, secular school who was forced to include such teachings.

Do you feel private schools are doing a better job of being science progressive than public schools. If so, why is that?

repealcreationism14 karma

Catholic schools are often good about evolution (not always, we know about a few creationist catholic schools actually getting public money).

Private schools can be great, but they're allowed to teach whatever they want. Public schools are required to teach science, the issue is when teachers break the law. I think they're fundamentally different systems, and I don't think people should have to resort to a private school if public school teachers are breaking the law. That's why we're fighting to keep creationism out of the schools.

jradoff15 karma

Do people who want to present "another side" to evolution also think there should be alternatives to the theory of gravity, relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.?

repealcreationism28 karma

Nope, they're selective in science denial. They also use medicine.

Facultus9914 karma

Springboro, OH resident here. We have a school board intent on introducing creationism and have enlisted the Liberty Institute to assist them with legal issues. In dealing with school boards what have you found is the most effective tactit in getting them to drop the introduction. The school board also is trying to get courses from the Institute of the Constitution introduced to the students. Any experience with them? Edit: Added link http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/12/secessionists-were-going-to-teach-constitution-class-at-ohio-high-school/

repealcreationism16 karma

Bring out as many constitutents to testify as you can. Numbers are always good.

And honestly, I've been following the Springboro case. They are being so blatant that if they insist on teaching creationism, sue immediately!

Facultus994 karma

How do we sue and pay for it? Any orgs out there available to help?

repealcreationism18 karma

Contact the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the National Center for Science Education.

precipice_of_doom13 karma

I recently watched The Revisionaries documentary, and have become very concerned with the creationist agenda in Texas. It is frustrating to see how the economics of textbook publishing have put one state board in such a large position of power in dictating how the rest of this nation's children will be taught in their early years.

What can I do in my own state to help change this?

Edit: Revisionaries, not revisionists.

repealcreationism11 karma

To an extent, you have to cross your fingers and hope we win in Texas.

What you can still do though, is show up at your State Board of Education and if Texas adopted a bad set of books, you can testify for your state to adopt different books.

Wild20987 karma

Cross fingers? Hope? That sounds like superstition!

repealcreationism5 karma

Haha, call it trust. Trust that we will win.

PinheadX8 karma

Who are the major players? Who should we be supporting or fighting against? Any up and coming elections we should be aware of?

TexasFreedomNetwork20 karma

Check out this report we recently issued. Go to Appendix D, on pages 16 and 17 (Who’s Who in the Science Textbook Battle in Texas).


repealcreationism5 karma

Bumping this answer

TheSicilianDude8 karma

As a native Texan, thank you for what you do. I love my home state so much (I'm in CO now) and hate how it's being run by the extreme right-wing nutjobs. I think it's a real shame that pushing creationism in schools and denying global warming has become the norm in the Republican party, and anyone who is against pushing it in the schools is perceived as a "liberal."

Anyway, questions!

  • Did y'all get involved a couple years back with the Don McElroy fiasco, where he tried to not only push creationism, but also push some revisionist BS in history books?

  • I think it would be a good idea to get universities involved in this (I graduated from Texas A&M, and we have a great science department). Any legitimate university's science department would obviously be against the creationist agenda. Have y'all done anything as far as working with state universities and possibly getting support from professors?

  • How is the support for both your movement and the creationists in the SBoE, from the people in the state government? I imagine Rick Perry is all for the creationists.

Please let me know any more ways I can help out! Thanks!

repealcreationism3 karma

TFN was definitely involved, have you watched the Revisionaries?

I'm currently trying to get as many Rice kids out as I can, and I know the Texas Freedom Network has chapters on campuses across the state.

Perry is definitely on the side of the creationists, but we're hoping we have enough support to keep the creationists from messing up the textbooks.

jshark67 karma

As a social experiment a couple years ago I went to the Creationists museum in Kentucky. I went because my brother, raised the same way as I to respect science and question your world, has gone off the deep end and is a full blown creationist. So I wanted to try to understand how they think, and it was really eye opening to me. Things such as depictions of dinosaurs and humans together, and Noah's Ark with Noah leading a t-rex onto the boat.

Anyway, just curious if you've visited that place.

repealcreationism6 karma

I haven't yet, but Ken Ham called me brainwashed.

canesknights7 karma

Do you think at some point in the next 50-100 years, we will have become a completely secular nation and/or world?

repealcreationism7 karma

We may overcome the issues of today (I hope), but science denial can begin easily and everyone is prone to accept some things without evidence.

What I do expect is that over the next 50-100 years, we will have more court cases and legislative victories on our side which will make the fight easier as time goes on.

primalchaos6 karma

What do you think of Freedom From Religion Foundation's recent moves to sue the IRS over not enforcing church electioneering regulations?

repealcreationism3 karma

I'm not sure as I haven't seen the actual case. I do there are problems here, but because I don't know the full details, I don't know if there is room for a judgement to take away tax-exempt status, or just punish rule breakers.

StopTheIdiots6 karma

I am a high school student in Texas who will beginning my sophomore year shortly, and I although I disagree with creationism and what's going on here in Texas I don't know what I could do to stop it or have my voice be heard. My question for you is, where did you begin? We all have to start somewhere and I have no clue where to start.

repealcreationism11 karma

Come speak out at the Texas State Board of Education hearings on textbooks. It will likely be on September 17, but the date could change. Sign up to the Texas Freedom network's list to stay up to date and send me an email at [email protected] if you want some advice on testimony.

I began by speaking out at a Textbook hearing in Louisiana, actually.

BigSHug8255 karma

What is your opinion on the film "The Revisionaries"?

repealcreationism7 karma

A wonderful film, but really incredibly painful to watch. I wasn't in the hearings in the film, but I've been through similar ones in Louisiana and at this point I have PTSD from hearing creationists testify.

Sitting through things like this causes that PTSD:


BigSHug8255 karma

Oh man, that was painful.

How do you sit through that and not insult their lack of understanding?!

repealcreationism1 karma

Practice. Too much of it.

elgiorgie4 karma

The most cringe-worthy part of that video is the blazing idiocy of this congressman's confidence in his response..."Oh, and this e coli turned into a human? heheh"

My question...how do you teach an idiot? That is, how do you teach people who are so unwaveringly delusional and utterly allergic to curiosity in any form? Or do we just give up on that generation and focus on the Millennials.

Also, Rice U grad here. Mad props.

repealcreationism7 karma

It helps to embarrass him internationally. 350k views on that video later and he apparently decided he could at least wikipedia evolution before the next hearing. He still voted against us and doesn't believe in evolution though.

We don't give up on them, but this is really a generational issue and as my generation grows, I hope we will see less and less of this foolishness.

and_the_starcatcher5 karma

I'm a Texan, but currently go to college out of state. Do you have any suggestions for how can I get involved with this movement in Texas while being located somewhere else?

repealcreationism5 karma

First, get involved with whatever is going on in your state. Which state are you in?

Second, grassroots organizing is about networks. Since you grew up in Texas, you have friends and family there. Call them and tell them to show up at the Texas State Board of Education on September 17 and testify for good science.

Then get them to not only show up, but to also bring their friends out to the meeting too. That's how this spreads and how we win.

lazerpuppynerdsammic4 karma

Texas State Board of Education

Where are the meetings on 9/17 going to be? I'd like to go.

repealcreationism2 karma

Texas Education Agency in Austin. It should be the 17th, but there is a possibility the date gets changed. It will be between the 17th and the 20th.

Following the Texas Freedom Network is a good way to stay up to date


and_the_starcatcher4 karma

Ok, I'll spread the word. Also, I'm in CT.

repealcreationism1 karma

You're lucky in CT, that you will likely have a few rare local flareups at most. Watch out for what State Boards of Education are doing. You could also run for office on a pro-science platform.

Where you can get most involved is on national legislation. Call your congressman and advocate for better science policy (more funding, more teaching real science). Oppose politicians across the country who don't support science. If you ever go to D.C. get meetings with politicians and ask them to support science.

bastardfish5 karma

"Fighting" creationism?

Bluelivingred4 karma

I am in Alabama. Recently, the FFRF took issue with a "prayer caravan" that was posted on Cullman Counties' website. After the FFRF got involved, the backlash was unbelievable! Last years caravan had about 15 participants, this years had hundreds. I guess my question is how do you handle and control backlash in your attempt to keep god out of the classroom?

repealcreationism5 karma

We're not attacking religion and people can believe whatever they want. They just can't do it on public money and time or violate the separation of church and state in any other ways.

I also often work with religious groups like the clergy letter project, a group of clergy that support evolution and interfaith alliance.

rsmith914874 karma

Over the course of your career(s), have you seen the "strength" of creationism in Texas (and the nation at-large) growing in strength or waning?

TexasFreedomNetwork12 karma

We would say it has waned. Creationists can no longer walk in to a State Board of Education hearing and flat out say they want to teach creationism. They now have to resort to saying things like, "strengths and weakness," "teach the controversy," etc. That's not to say they've lost all power. Just look at our recent blog posts and you'll see there's still an urgency to this issue.

repealcreationism11 karma

Creationism is very good at evolving. Once the creationists could teach creationism outright, but after the Edwards v. Aguillard decision they had to evolve to intelligent design. That was struck down in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision.

The new strategy is to use weasel words like the TFN described. While they can't get away with whatever they want, and we are winning in that regard, we have to remember, they are determined as ever.

Seekin3 karma

Creationism is very good at evolving.

My favorite line of the day. Thanks for this as well as the excellent work you're doing and the great AMA

Dudesan4 karma

They even leave plenty of transitional forms, such as "Cdesign Proponentsists"

repealcreationism5 karma

Exactly. And the ones who accidentally slip up on PR like Governor Jindal

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o4 karma

What is it that allows religion to continually influence so much legislation and education in this nation?

repealcreationism9 karma

The fact that fringe groups have so much power over primary elections. A few determined voters and a little money can swing smaller elections. Many moderates are afraid to vote for science, because they will face a primary challenge.

TexasFreedomNetwork5 karma

In Texas, in the context of the SBOE, few people even know who their State Board member is. And these are individuals with huge districts, representing more people than even our state senators. So there's a good deal of apathy when it comes to the SBOE.

NDaveT5 karma

Many Americans don't pay attention to local or even state elections at all. They think voting for president every four years is the extent of their civic duty.

repealcreationism2 karma

If they even do that.

ccthefrog4 karma

Thank you for your efforts in repealing creationism. How is the repeal in Louisiana going? I haven't heard about it in some time.

Also how can non-Americans support your work?

repealcreationism3 karma

We lost for the third year. Here's a good overview:


Yell at your American friends to get involved.

Bremstrahlung3 karma

Hi Zack! I'm studying in a physics related field and I moved to Baton Rouge a while back for graduate school. I have heard that Louisiana's regressive laws on creationism have been discouraging scientists from coming here to work at LSU and other institutions. Have you heard anything like this actually happening?

repealcreationism4 karma

Yes. LSU's former (now moved away) Dean of Graduate Sciences, Dr. Kevin Carman, testified before the State Legislature that he had lost scientists over the creationism law.

Bremstrahlung2 karma

Well that's depressing.

VertiginousAtaxic3 karma

Why do you think the Government goes to such lengths to preserve religious ritual when there is more than enough research to prove it's inefficient and unsupported by science? Is there anything that might sway the political opinion in our lifetimes?

repealcreationism2 karma

What exactly do you mean by this? Are you talking about people in Government or the voters?

The government can't specifically preserve religious ritual by itself. Individuals in the government do that, and if it violates the separation of church and state (which it often does), someone needs to challenge it, but fundamentally our government is secular.

VertiginousAtaxic5 karma

I mean, and I apologize, when will the inclusion of religious opinions in Scientific matters be excluded in, say, Congress?

It seems that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that disputes the necessity to include religious sensitivity in serious politics anymore. I respect the private practice of ritual, but why are we still supporting the religious opinion with Creation? Will we ever stop including religion in these conversations, do you think?

repealcreationism3 karma

I hope so, I really hope so. And sadly, I think we'll have silliness in Congress forever, because anyone can run for it. We just have to keep voting people like Paul Broun out of office. Maybe one day, we'll vote them all out. That's my goal.

Lord4th3 karma

How can you effectively reason with a creationist?

repealcreationism3 karma

Depends on the creationist. Try and get them to understand the scientific method.

Most likely, they won't listen, so your goal is to convince people to vote them out of office, or convince others in office to overrule them.

FranticFane3 karma

I'm in high school, and my bio teacher just gave a 10 minute rant on 'disproving evolution'. I kid you not. Anyway my question is, what should I do about it? if anything at all?

repealcreationism4 karma

Are you in public school? If you are, contact the National Center for Science Education, the ACLU, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State and get help challenging it.

Also record it if you can.

Blue_Checkers3 karma

What gives you the strength?

repealcreationism12 karma

Someone has to fight this fight.

ephantmon2 karma

In your experience, how many legislators, parents, school boards, etc. are willing to listen and look at the evidence dispassionately before making a decision, and how many are simply giving lip service?

repealcreationism6 karma

It is hard to put a number on this. It comes down the the individual character and beliefs of the politician.

There are some examples, like Judge John Jones, who ruled in the Dover Case which show that people can listen, learn, and make decisions based on evidence.

Jones was a conservative bush appointee and personal friend of Rick Santorum. He ended up making one of the strongest rulings for science this decade.

mtown4ever2 karma

Really appreciate your work. I watched The Revisionaries and I wish I could say that what I saw surprised me. Sad isn't it?

I guess if I could ask one thing about your fight, do you think that with the rise of atheism, agnosticism and general malaise with organized religion occurring in the country and especially with young people, that this fight for right-wingers and creationists is a last gasp to grab hold of what they know is slipping away? Or is that too naive of a notion?

I support wholeheartedly your fight since I am a proud atheist and the repercussions of creationism being allowed in one place like Texas has the potential to affect what my kids here in Indiana have in their own textbooks.

repealcreationism3 karma

The polling shows that America has remained solid with roughly 42-46% of the country believing the Earth was formed in the last 10,000 years. That won't improve until we can ensure that our students are learning evolution.

The issue is, 13% of public school science teachers teach creationism blatantly, and another 60% don't teach evolution to the extent they should, because they are either intimidated, don't understand it, or don't believe it. We must change this.

mtown4ever1 karma

Growing up in Indiana, I'm surprised to say that creationism was never taught to me. We still don't sell beer on Sundays here so you would figure creationism would be a priority.

I appreciate your answer. Are there projections available for the number of folks who believe in creationism changing in the future? I mean if the damn Duggars keep pooping out kids like it's their job (I guess technically it is the Duggars job to poop out kids) what are the chances that number swing even more in our favor. Surely there are trends that can be looked at, right? I know the point is to seize the moment now lest these creationist-infused books change the dynamic.

repealcreationism2 karma

The trends haven't been good in the past, though I don't think anyone has done any future predictions based on them at this point.

I don't really care though. It's a fight that has to be fought, and even if it's tough, we've gotta keep fighting.

cheesestick772 karma

I'm playing devil's advocate here.

As a scientist myself, I have an unpublished law of physics that I stand by. I don't have a written up thesis, so I hope this makes sense: the laws of physics that we have now are not exclusive. There are plenty of things that stand outside these laws and still exist (think random bursts of light coming from deep sea bubbles, etc.). So it goes to say that there are unwritten laws. But I also stand by the idea that there can be exceptions to the written laws of physics and science as we know them (because we can't possibly write laws to encompass all physical occurrences.). So one law could be that there are infinite exceptions to the man-crafted laws. And with that given it is POSSIBLE that an intelligent designer created everything (and perhaps even more likely because if you assume this creator is above the laws of physics then there is no controversy of how the creator came into being... The designer wouldn't have to have a beginning.)

Any theory of how the universe began is just a theory, right? There is evidence to back up any theory, but not even the Big Bang is proven. Therefore, because we're teaching the Big Bang theory, etc., isn't it only logical and scientific to present all categories of theories, including ones that involve an intelligent designer?

I'm curious to see what your thoughts are about this as I respect your opinion very much. I know this write up is very crude so I hope it makes sense!

repealcreationism3 karma

Two problems. The simple one is at this point we can't test the idea of a designer, so it doesn't belong in science at this point. Maybe one day, but as long as it's inherently supernatural, it's not science.

Second, intelligent design as it is used in the context of this issue is a specific rejection of the theory of evolution and the belief that everything was created in its present form. It is creationism dressed up and will never belong in science class.

cheesestick772 karma

I get that "supernatural" ideas are not testable. But isn't it possible that "super nature" is just another part of nature that we don't understand? I just think the idea that science classes should only teach what we understand doesn't make sense. Also, intelligent design doesn't necessarily have to do with creationism. Sure it may have been created as a "dressed up" form of creationism. That's a valid statement. But now is it so hard to look objectively at that theory and say it's even the slightest bit possible?

I appreciate your comment back! Again I'm just wanting to have a respectful debate, so I hope it doesn't seem like I'm trying to attack your ideas.

repealcreationism3 karma

Intelligent design is not the simple belief in a designer. If you look at what intelligent design proponents, like the Discovery Institute, actually advocate, it is a specific rejection of evolution and a claim that everything was created in its present form. That can be tested and is wrong.

On what we consider supernatural today, again, one day maybe there will be something testable. That day is not today, and it won't be supernatural then.

SaucerBosser2 karma

Are you so sure about evolution that you would use the might of the US to force everyone to learn it? (This is not meant to argue pro-creationism, but rather are you so confident that you are right that you would make it a law and use force to teach this to children?)

repealcreationism7 karma

We're not creating a law. It is already a law. And court precedent for decades. We're fighting attempts to get around the law and teach creationism in public schools.

SaucerBosser2 karma

I appreciate your response, but that is a bit of a dodge. Regardless of what the law actually says, you do seem to be seeking, at the very least, enforce that law and use the force of government to spread your opinion and silence the opinion of others. Do you disagree that advocating creationism is free speech? Perhaps the problem is inherent in public education, because we leave it up to a singular authority to decide what is 'true'. Since what is 'true' for me isn't necessarily 'true' for you, would it not be more effective to reform public education in a manner so that one group doesn't have the authority to define what is 'true' for everyone?

repealcreationism3 karma

The government itself is bound by the Constitution and the 1st Amendment. It can not advocate for religion. Any teacher, who is a paid representative of the government, cannot speak as a member of the government and teach creationism.

They have their free speech on their own time, but as a teacher, in that role, they cannot teach creationism.

Also you seem to be misunderstanding science and the scientific method. Science is simply the best explanation we have for the natural world. In a class titled "science" that's what you expect to get. It's not about what's true for you or someone else. You will get the same scientific method around the world or it's not science

SaucerBosser2 karma

But do you know for a fact that science is a universal truth? So called 'laws' of science are constantly disproven, this is how we reach scientific milestones. The heliocentric solar system model only came to be after the geocentric model was shown to be false.

I contend that it is more dangerous to allow an individual to define what is true, that is, what we are teaching the youth, rather than a few teachers who adhere to creationism.

Let me put this in another light. What if you advocated that schools stop teaching a certain political, economic, or philosophical subject, religion is certainly a philosophy. If socialism, communism, capitalism, democracy, or the divine right of kings are found to not adhere to the scientific method (because this is where you appear to derive your definition of truth from), should we then force them not to be taught in public schools? The ability to omit peoples opinions from education is a form brainwashing.

A step further would be, what if someone who gains the power to define curriculum doesn't agree with you that the scientific method defines what is true, but rather, what is true is a decree from God (or the President). Now that they have the power to define curriculum, they can censor your opinion from the education of countless youth (and no doubt portray your opinions as that of an outsider, outcast or in some other manner non-conforming to society).

Is it more dangerous to allow a few teachers to continue advocating creationism in schools, or is it more dangerous to allow a person or group of people to define what are youth are exposed to in terms of their education (and truth as it is in the minds of the youth)? Certainly you can see how this system has tremendous potential for abuse.

edit: I just wanted to add that this is very much untrue:

The government itself is bound by the Constitution and the 1st Amendment.

The government has had total disregard for the Constitution for some time now. A piece of paper has no power to enforce its will over men.

repealcreationism3 karma

All of those things are taught about in schools, but none of them are taught in science class. You're selectively ignoring that point.

Currently public schools teach science. Science follows the scientific method and only things that fall under the scientific method, belong in those classes.

Toploader2 karma

How do you recommend laypersons support science activism? I vote, I attend meetings, I share relevant posts on social media, donate to skeptical societies, etc., but I'm not doing enough.

BTW I live around the corner from Rice (Richmond and Mandell). I'd like to buy you a beer for all you've done, when you're old enough that is!

repealcreationism3 karma

That's already awesome. The real challenge to grassroots advocacy comes down to two things though. First, bringing other people out to those meetings with you. Get your friends and family to come.

Second, you have to get them to keep coming out, to get that passion for this fight. That's how to really make a difference. Get people to come out, and then keep coming out.

Also, I love your neighborhood.

schiarello2 karma

What is the best way to support science, argue against creationism as science, and not get trapped in a "Why do you hate God / Why do you hate America" conflict?

repealcreationism6 karma

First, cite practical examples of how science helps us, and specifically ways evolution helps us like modern medicine and agricultural practices.

Then, explain how creationism is not science and explain the scientific method.

neverlupus162 karma


Thanks so much for your campaign, as well as this Reddit AMA. One of the simultaneously encouraging and disheartening things to see is the abundance of professional scientists at the helm of this battle. I say that it's disheartening because as a medical student, I'm a little on the margin of this issue since I don't see too many MDs on the front, despite evolution being required for biology and medicine to fundamentally make sense.

My question to you: are there any resources you've seen for medical students and physicians to become engaged in the fight for better science standards as they pertain to issues such as evolution and climate change?

repealcreationism2 karma

I don't know of any specific resources for MD's. The best resource for this fight nationally is the National Center for Science Education. They're on the front lines of this fight wherever it flares up across the country and around the world.

It would be good to create a database of doctors who are interested in getting actively involved with these issues.

mtown4ever1 karma

Are there any other states who has similar creationist agendas that you view as important to quash as those of Texas?

repealcreationism2 karma

Louisiana, my home, and Tennessee both have creationism laws, and each year around the country, dozens of bill like that get introduced.

On top of this, Congress is terrible about science. Many Congresspeople are science deniers and also have been slashing science funding.

angrychemist161 karma

Firstly, how likely is it that creationism will make it into the Texas science textbooks? Secondly, do a large group of Christians seem to want creationism in textbooks? Or is it just a few groups who are exceptionally loud?

repealcreationism2 karma

It could be inserted though language like "teach the converversy" or the "strengths and weaknesses." There is no controversy, and this is really code language to sneak creationism into schools.

It is a few loud groups with a lot of money and the ability to win elections in certain parts of the state. Also low voter turnout hurts.

BioMechanicDonut1 karma

What exactly is creationism??

repealcreationism2 karma

Most often, a literal interpretation of the book of genesis as science. There are a number of variations.

Trupsebteri1 karma

In what ways do Creationism or Intelligent Design fail to fit the criteria for the scientific method that Evolution does?


repealcreationism2 karma

They are not naturalistic. You can't test evolution or intelligent design, these tests can't be repeated. There are no conditions under which these ideas are falsifiable, and there is no place to expand them.

I'd recommend these resources for more in depth information on creationism and ID versus evolution

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01 http://www.talkorigins.org/

jumb0tr0n1 karma

Hello Zack. How do you feel about charter schools, vouchers, refundable tax credits, and other forms of school choice?

For whatever reason, I've noticed an anecdotal correlation between people who don't want creationism in schools and people who oppose school choice.

Wouldn't you rather the creationists go off to their own school rather than having them take over the school board and force everyone else to read "Jesus Rode Dinosaurs: the REAL history of biology" etc?

repealcreationism3 karma

They already have the option to be in their own school, it's home school or a privately funded private school. They still try to influence public education. All the creationists who testified in Louisiana this year were homeschoolers or home school parents.

I'm vehemently opposed to vouchers, because they fund creationist schools. Charters can have accountability to stop bad science from being brought in, but the rules must be enforced.

jradoff1 karma

As you say, creationists tend to present specious "weakness" arguments. Why not apply a strategy of including common criticisms of evolution a standard part of the curriculum, along with the appropriate scientific counters to these concerns? See also: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html

repealcreationism7 karma

Because it teachers were teaching the evidence for evolution throughout the entire year and entire curriculum, we wouldn't need the common misconceptions to be taught. They would have been debunked.

nowisthetime11 karma

The number of charter schools in Texas is growing. They are "public" schools but don't operate under the same rules or scrutiny as traditional public schools. Have you looked at the practices in charter schools? Is there a risk that creationists and Christian fundamentalists generally will succeed in introducing their religious agenda in charter schools?

repealcreationism1 karma

Charters are often at risk in the same way that public schools are. Creationism isn't legal in their classrooms, but creationists will still try to sneak it in.

Facultus991 karma

How do you go about suing a school board without the ACLU doing it? Are there any organizations available to help pay for the lawsuit or do it themselves?

repealcreationism2 karma

If they've violated the law, the best option is to go to a group like the ACLU or Americans United for Separation of Church and State. They have the resources to make it happen.

You could call a lawyer and write the petition yourself too, if you could convince them to do it pro bono.

lmYOLOao1 karma

Not really a question, but we might be distantly (or not so distantly) related. We've got the same last name and it's not very common.

Alright I guess I do have a question. Co-pleen or Cop-lin? My family around where I live goes for the former.

repealcreationism1 karma


repealcreationism1 karma

Having said that, the Kopplin side of my family is from the mid-west, so who knows

archer931 karma

Am I the only guy on here that is both religious and sees how creationism and evolution are extremely compliant with each other? I think the discussion of Christian creationism should be allowed as long as it is in a useful and informational way just as I'd love to hear from other religion's creation stories. Evolution happened. Point. Blank. Period. However, to deny a higher power just because we see how it worked is, in my opinion, foolish. Nothing should shoved down a child's throat, whether it be a higher being or a lack thereof. Give them all the information you can and let them choose.

TexasFreedomNetwork2 karma

Absolutely not. We're proud that our organization has plenty of people like you. Heck, we even have clergy who strongly believe creationism doesn't belong in public schools and that science and religion are not at ll in conflict with each other.

archer933 karma

Actually, I subscribe to the wish of a religious studies class as a staple in public schools. Cover everything from early mythologies to current religions. Then, the taboo of hearing creationism or any other religious outlook would be gone and would be seen as an option, not an opposition.

repealcreationism4 karma

Agreed, or at least a philosophy class

mostlyyf1 karma

Is this anything like that South Park episode where Russell Crowe fought cancer, but instead fought a guy with cancer? Because I'd probably pay good money to see you guys fight a creationist.

Keep fighting the good fight.

repealcreationism1 karma


MidWestJoke1 karma

What is wrong with creationism? Some people believe it. Have you ever thought that instead of fighting it and getting it out of the schools, you fight for it to be taught to those who want it?

repealcreationism3 karma

Nope. It's not science and doesn't belong in public schools. That's what private schools and home school are for.

PostYourSinks1 karma

What is your typical response to goddidit for everything science hasn't answered (yet)

repealcreationism1 karma

Ok, but the evidence backing evolution is unquestionable, so we should be teaching that in schools. Religion is not science, therefore doesn't belong in public school science classrooms.

two_in_the_bush1 karma

Has anyone, to your knowledge, compiled a list of actions that supporters can take?

repealcreationism2 karma

Here's one:

Vote in SBOE elections Call and email your board member Write an editorial in your local paper Tweet and Facebook about the hearings Call 5 friends (or more) and tell them about the issue and convince them to take action. Make a meme about the issue Testify before the State Board of Education Sign the stand up for science petition and stay in touch with TFN: http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=science_2013adoption_petition_testimony_rally

nowisthetime10 karma

What is up for review by the SBOE and what is the timeframe?

TexasFreedomNetwork1 karma

Science instructional materials (textbooks) are currently undergoing review. The final vote by the SBOE will happen in November.

The controversy will continue next year when the SBOE takes up history textbooks.

repealcreationism0 karma

Also, the first public meeting is September 17 (or possibly somewhere in the 17-20th). We need people to come out for that.

coffeemakesmecrap0 karma

I've been in Texas public schools my whole life. Currently a sophomore at UT. What is your opinion on a science book saying something like

"Science does not prove nor disprove the existence of a God. Some theorize that biological evolution was guided by a higher power to be where it is today, but this theory is not able to be tested, and therefore outside the realm of science"?

repealcreationism3 karma

Honestly it is irrelevant, because as you said, it's outside the realm of science. If we're teaching the scientific method, people should be able to see that.

Brioman3330 karma

Intelligent design is a subcategory of science. Why ban that from textbooks? Why try to conceal knowledge?

repealcreationism1 karma

It is not science, it is not testable, these tests are not repeatable, and it's not naturalistic, among many other things.

Kirky03310 karma

What's your stance on agnostics and Buddhists?

repealcreationism2 karma

We're happy to have their support if they're willing to fight for science.

Kirky03311 karma

As an agnostic, I'm always down for some science!

repealcreationism2 karma


bluefisch2000 karma

I have successfully shown of a creationist with the the disprove of the word kind. How ever he then fights back with the question of evolution between families (as family->genus->species). I am not sure what to answer.

repealcreationism1 karma

Make the creationist read this:


repealcreationism-1 karma

Just got sent:

"Is mixing science/evolution and religion/creationism in the classroom like mixing auto mechanics and art?"

I don't think so. If you view your work as art, that doesn't require you to compromise the accuracy of your work.

magare808-9 karma

How do you justify fighting people because of different beliefs?

EDIT: Downvotes? Really?

repealcreationism13 karma

Creationism is not science, it does not belong in a state mandated science textbook for public schools.