Ken Ham vs. Zack Kopplin

Our friend, Zack Kopplin, has been getting some terrific press coverage lately. For example, see Activist says creationism is taught in 20 Louisiana private schools that could enroll voucher students in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It says:

Louisiana anti-creationism advocate Zack Kopplin has launched a national database of 300 schools that are partly publicly funded and teach creationism, the belief that all living organisms originate from divine creation, as in the biblical account. The site, Say No to Creationist Vouchers, lists 20 such schools in Louisiana.

Kopplin, a college student, runs the state’s most prominent anti-creationism group, Repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Here’s another at the MSNBC website: Creationism spreading in schools, thanks to vouchers, in which Zack says:

We must to speak out to prevent funding these creationist schools with our public money. We must speak out and end these existing creationist voucher programs. As Americans, we must do the right thing and teach our students evidence-based science.

All of this is too much to bear for Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. He’s written a long, furious, foaming-at-the-mouth rant at the Answers in Genesis (AIG) website: The Legacy of Brainwashing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically. We’ve made this point many times over the years, but a recent news story has made the brainwashing even more obvious. In 2008, Louisiana passed a bill …

We know all about it. Back in 2008 Louisiana disgraced itself by being the first state in the US to pass an anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” law modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute. It encourages the use of unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — in science classes. The law was enacted notwithstanding a landmark decision from the US Supreme Court striking down Louisiana’s earlier creationism law (see: Edwards v. Aguillard). Let’s read on:

Well, a 19-year-old student at Rice University, Zack Kopplin, is on a mission to repeal that law. He is being praised by the secular world for his ambition, as evidenced in a recent article about him. Atheistic evolutionists do not want any talk of “critiquing” or “thinking critically” about evolutionary ideas, because evolution is their way of explaining life without God, which is why we call evolution a religion. Despite their claims to the contrary, atheists use evolution as their religion to replace God. … Atheists blindly hold to evolution because of their rejection of Christ. Zack Kopplin has seemingly declined to talk about his personal beliefs about God, but many atheists have basically claimed him as one of their own … .

Poor ol’ Hambo. Then he goes on at great length, paragraph after paragraph, blasting away at Zack and evolution. There’s just too much of it. The best we can do is give you a few choice examples:

First, Kopplin makes the assumption that science has to be “naturalistic.” Now, there’s no reason that science must be naturalistic — this is simply an assertion made by Kopplin and atheistic evolutionists!

Right — why can’t science be supernatural? After all, creation science is supernatural, and we all know how successful that’s been. Hambo continues:

What’s more, Kopplin—like almost all evolutionists — confuses historical science with operational (observational) science.

We’re not going to bother debunking that one again (see The Lessons of Tiktaalik). Then he quotes Zack about the damage creationism does because creationist kids can’t get decent jobs in the real world of science. Hambo doesn’t like that. He says:

We’re now seeing this sort of claim more and more from evolutionists. They, like Kopplin, believe that if a student is taught or believes in biblical creation, he will never be able to understand or achieve anything in the realm of science. And yet, here at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, we have a number of researchers on staff with earned PhDs in their respective fields of science.

Yes, and the best that Hambo’s staff can do is become creationist apologists and tour guides at Hambo’s creation museum. That’s a great use for their science degrees. Here’s more:

… Kopplin is also attacking state government school voucher programs across the U.S., claiming that because of vouchers, belief in biblical creation is being promulgated.

[...]

Kopplin may be offended at the very thought of government money from school vouchers going to schools that teach biblical creation, but we find it equally offensive that tax dollars go to fund the teaching of the religion of evolution. Why should Christians, who want their children educated in biblical creation, be forced to fund public schools and secular museums that teach evolution?

Uh, maybe because it’s the job of public schools to teach science, and not creationism? Then, in a desperate bid for publicity, Hambo challenges Zack to a debate:

Would Kopplin, obviously an intelligent young man, consider a debate with one of our scientists to look at the question of whether God’s Word, starting in Genesis, is true? However, we suspect he will use the same rhetoric used by most evolutionists when responding to such an invitation, and claim creationists should not be debated because they are not “real scientists.” We could probably even draft his refusal letter for him based on what other secularists have written when they have refused to debate a creation scientist.

We’ve long maintained that no one should ever debate a creationist. See Debating Creationists is Dumber Than Creationism. We’re skipping a lot of Hambo’s rant, but we’ll give you this from his conclusion:

What a sad state of affairs to see a young man who desires so strongly that generations of children and teens would believe they are just animals who developed by natural processes. If we really are just animals, why is violence, murder, cheating, or lying wrong?

Is Hambo suggesting that Zack is a lying, cheating murderer? Sounds like it. Here’s the last sentence:

This example should be a warning to parents. Kopplin is a product of the secular education system — a system that is also indoctrinating generations of children from church homes. We urge parents to recognize that their kids need to be rescued from this evil age.

There’s not much we can say, so we’ll end with this: Keep up the good work, Zack!

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Ken Ham vs. Zack Kopplin

  1. Hambo is sounding more and more like Jim Jones every day. Watch your back, Zack. He’s probably drawing up a fatwa against you as I write this. You are a brave man.

  2. First, I have to agree with RSG. Hambo is taking himself more and more seriously with every post. Hopefully, it will only end in tears and not Kool-aid.
    Second, this post tells us that (a) Zack is now in the big time if someone of Hambo’s stature is threatened by him and (b) Zack shouldn’t accept the offer. Instead, this is a great time to “pull a Frank J” and suggest to Hambo that he offer to debate Klinghoffer or someone else from the DI. The DI accepts millions of years of evolution, so I think they should debate each other in order to, uh, straighten things out.

  3. Dear Mr. Ham:
    I want to take you up on your offer of a debate, but I notice that your website does not allow comments, by which I could present my ideas for your consideration, as well as respond to yours. For that reason I find it necessary to continue to read sites such as “The Sensuous Curmudgeon,” “Why Evolution is True, ” and “Pharyngula”. I understand that the owners of such sites are ungodly wretches–they even stoop so low as to deny the biblical truth, so obvious in nature, that bats are birds–but as they allow comments, I find that I can pose questions and interact with their answers. Since I know you are a partisan of critical thinking, I am sure that you approve of my spending my time there, and not at AiG.
    Sincerely,
    Mark Joseph

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    All this talk about science from Hambo (well, his version anyway), and he is challenging Zack to debate ‘the truth of the Bible’????

    How about us ‘religion of evolution’ types challenge him to a violence, lying and cheating game. Maybe even the murder part, since we have no morals.

  5. New Years Day Recipe
    “Hambo and Black Eye Peas”
    Buy a ham bone at your grocers, preferably one that has been hung up in a dark and musty place for a long time.Try to find a big ole greasy one.
    Soak your peas overnight then add the ham bone. Gently simmer for 6 hours while chanting “were you there” over and over.
    Add essence of magical powder.
    Remove the cooked ham bone, give it to the dog. Let it get gnawed on for awhile, and buried in the backyard.
    Watch football game. Chuck the black eye peas. Munch on critical thinking chips, have a beer. Life is good :)
    ( Kind of like when you were 24 and dating the 30 something Scottish stewardess and living in Oahu,,,,,,only better).
    Ouila!
    You’ve got Hamster back yard goulash.
    Afterwards, give the Labrador some ol Hambo hot sauce and watch it jet around the yard 30 minutes later on afterburner. No smoking please.

  6. Hey, don’t belittle Hambo so much – he’s doing a great job of proving Zack’s point. Vouchers ARE supporting religious education, as Hambo makes clear.

  7. Hopefully you won’t mind that I’ve posted you article here

    In the meantime, I can’t believe that Ham is the one complaining about:
    Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically.

    That effing hypocrite! What about their little statement of faith?

    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

    Why, if those people have “the truth” is such an oath necessary in the first place?

  8. Anybody who is on Hambo’s s*** list is A-OK for me. Ham not only rips on every non-YEC person, he attacks virtually anyone who deviates an iota from his interpretation of scripture, including other xians who happen to accept an old universe, evolution, etc. Biologos is loaded with “compromised Christians” as far at the ayatollah is concerned. I have to wonder if his kingdom is beginning to crumble financially since it is doubtful that his constituency is growing by leaps and bounds.

  9. creationism, the belief that all living organisms originate from divine creation

    Loose talk like this irritates me.

    For one thing, the science which treats of the origins of living organisms is reproductive biology. Evolutionary biology is about populations, and treats of things like the origins of species.

    For another, the belief in divine creation of all things (whether living organisms or non-living things) is not creationism. (I don’t know whether a species is one of the things that counts as a product of divine creation, or whether a species is an abstraction and a creation of human thought.) Creationism is the belief in a divine creation which conflicts with evolutionary biology.

  10. “the belief in divine creation of all things (whether living organisms or non-living things) is not creationism.”
    —————
    Yes it is. Few people define or use the term “creationism” in the way you are. The belief that living organisms have a divine origin is indeed part of creationism (young-earth creationism & old-earth creationism & evolutionary creationism, etc.). Species, life, elements, and matter are all well understood to have natural origins. Belief in divine origins of any of these is creationism. Introducing the supernatural to understand the origin of any of these is creationism.

    Species are products of human thought, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real entities. Of all the taxonomic ranks, from domain to subspecies, the species is the closest to being a natural unit.

  11. First I accept evolution. Second I taught my children that evolution has for all intents and purposes been proven. All available facts point to its accuracy. With that said, I do not have a problem with school vouchers going to creationist schools. Those people have paid their taxes, the voters in LA have decided that vouchers can be used in that manner. If people want to cripple their children intellectually, well unfortunately that is their right. Part of freedom is freedom to make bad choices.

    I firmly support the banning of ID, creationism and all other similar nonsense from public schools.

    I await my critics.

  12. If I can find Ken Ham’s email address, I’m going to challenge him to a debate in Zack’s stead. Zack is 19, and however bright he may be, someone more experienced should do it in his place.

    I understand Sensh’s objections to debating creationists. I understand they try to Gish Gallop you, they make things up, and so on. But I’ve read a lot of creationist books, and I know their tricks.