Rice U student crusades against creationism in public schools - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Rice U student crusades against creationism in public schools

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

A local college student is leading a crusade against creationism in Louisiana public schools.

For the last few years, Zack Kopplin has been organizing rallies and testifying in Baton Rouge. His goal? To repeal a 2008 law in his home state.

The Louisiana Science Education Act allows supplemental instructional materials into public schools. Kopplin says the law was passed as a way to sneak biblical beliefs into biology class.

"Politicians in Louisiana are trying their best to insert creationism into the science classrooms with public money," Kopplin explained. "So whether it's through this creationism law which allows supplemental materials to critique theories like evolution and climate change – which aren't controversial to scientists. They're controversial to Louisiana politicians."

One of the politicians he's referring to is Louisiana State Senator Mike Walsworth.

"Do I believe that God created the heavens and the earth? Absolutely, I do," Walsworth told FOX 26 News.

But the Louisiana legislator points out a paragraph in the law expressly forbidding the promotion of any religious doctrine or "discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."

Senator Walsworth says the purpose of the law was to give teachers and school administrators more flexibility in how they present concepts like evolution, global warming and human cloning.

And the lawmaker says the controversy over the Louisiana Science Education Act is overblown.

"The Department of Education, as of – I just talked to them last week. Not one parental complaint. Not one."

Zack Kopplin says more than 70 Nobel Laureates have signed up for his cause: rolling back the 2008 law. The 19 year old is now continuing his crusade long-distance, now that he's a sophomore at Rice University, majoring in history.

"Creationism is not what helps us understand the world, helps us make new medicine, helps us cure cancer or AIDS or anything like that. Evolution is."

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