Skeptical Ninja of the Week: Zack Kopplin

It’s never easy to go against the grain, especially in high school. But that is what Zack Kopplin is doing.

Zack is 17-year-old high school senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. What sets him apart from his peers – and why we’re making him this week’s Skeptical Ninja – is his tireless efforts in ridding creationism from Louisiana’s science classrooms.

He’s already won a victory. His efforts have helped convince the Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to buy biology textbooks that accurately teach the theory of evolution, despite powerful forces on the opposing side.

Kopplin’s strategy of reaching out to “students, clergy and businesses” seems to be paying off. He is even making progress in repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act, a pro-creationist piece of legislation passed in 2008. There is still a lot of work to do, but with awesome people like Zack paving the way, the future looks bright.

So, for his relentless pursuit of a quality science education for students in Louisiana, we’re making Zack Kopplin Skepchick’s Skeptical Ninja of the Week.



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Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


  1. March 25, 2011 at 11:29 am —

    Was just commenting on Facebook how relentless creationist bullcrap is so exhausting, but Zack’s story is hopeful and invigorating. FTW

  2. March 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm —

    Keep up the good fight Zack, but watch out for your governor, he may try to exorcise you. 😉

  3. March 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm —

    Many moons ago, when I was both a skeptic *and* a teen, my AP Biology teacher did a great evolution mechanism demonstration. We had a classroom adjacent to a lab space. He told us that there were squares distributed around the lab and that we should collect as many as possible before time was called. Some were black, some tan, some (as it turned out) were transparent. They were distributed on the flat black lab benches, taped to wood-grain lab cabinets and (as it turned out) taped under the overhanging lab benches. As you can imagine, this was an excellent demonstration of the concept of “fitness”. The first haul took in a good crop of tan-on-black bench top specimens, a lot of black-on-wood grain specimens, fewer black-on-black, tan-on-wood grain, and nearly no transparent or under-the-counter specimens.
    Already being convinced theoretically of the practicality of natural selection, the lesson was not hard to take in.

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