Discoveroids Freak Out over Zack Kopplin

The Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — have assigned to David Klinghoffer (their journalistic slasher) the task of discrediting Zack Kopplin. That’s the kind of work Klinghoffer was born to do, and he has embarked on his task with obvious relish.

You already know who Zack Kopplin is. The last time we wrote about him was Zack Kopplin on the Bill Moyers Show. His appearance on that show has had an effect on the Discoveroids. They think that uppity “Darwinist” kid is getting too big for his britches, so the Discoveroids are going to destroy him — if they can.

The opening round in Klinghoffer’s war on Zack is What Does It Mean to Be a “Friend of Darwin”? We’re going to look at it — not to see what Klinghoffer thinks of Zack, because that’s utterly predictable and nobody cares what he thinks — but to see what his nasty little essay says about the Discoveroids, and about Klinghoffer himself.

As we go through the thing, try to spot all the times Klinghoffer, while ostensibly criticizing Zack, is really expressing dissatisfaction with himself and his dead-end career. Okay, here are some excerpts from the Seattle slasher’s essay, with bold font added by us and his links omitted:

Zack Kopplin is a hero among Darwin activists for his attempt, when still a high school student in Baton Rouge, to combat teachers’ freedom to inform students in public schools that a legitimate scientific argument is going on over Darwinian evolution.

And Klinghoffer, who is well beyond his high school years, and has found employment with a shady creationist outfit, dimly senses that he is a hero to no one. From his dingy Seattle cubicle, he sees Zack achieve the sort of recognition that Klinghoffer imagines should have been his. Dream on, David. Zack is going places, and you’re toiling away as a creationist hack. The slasher essay continues:

He tried and failed to get Louisiana’s successful academic freedom law, the Louisiana Science Education Act, repealed.

Yes, so far the law hasn’t been repealed, but Zack’s campaign had the backing of at least 72 Nobel laureates — see Louisiana Creationism Repeal: Zack is Back! — while the Discoveroids’ effort to preserve the Louisiana law had the backing of an ignorant pack of swamp-dwelling creationists. Let’s read on:

For the effort he received a 2012 “Friend of Darwin” award from the National Center for Science Education. … What does it mean, in the community of Darwin lobbyists and activists, to be a “Friend of Darwin”?

Note that expression — “the community of Darwin lobbyists and activists.” If any outfit in this world deserves to be described as “lobbyists and activists” it’s the Discoveroids. The science community is merely reacting to their aggressive efforts to pervert and ultimately suppress science. We continue:

Well, Mr. Kopplin is now a college student, studying history at Rice University. He sat down for an interview with Bill Moyers … and demonstrated one thing about himself: he is absolutely dogged about driving home the Darwin Lobby message that equates all skepticism on Darwinian theory with, yes, creationism. Moyers is totally uncritical about this and joins in as well.

Klinghoffer is shocked — shocked! — that anyone would classify the Discoveroids as creationists. Actually, it’s so flamingly obvious that they are, the only shocking thing is that they continue to deny it. And while they deny it, they continue to claim that their mythical intelligent designer — blessed be he! — is up there in the sky (or somewhere) and he’s invisibly designing our DNA. Their only arguments to support this bizarre claim, besides the naked assertion that they know design when they see it, are the traditional creationist favorites — the god of the gaps argument and William Paley’s watchmaker analogy. But of course they’re not creationists — cough, cough — certainly not. Here’s more:

Yet, for goodness’ sake, the Louisiana law expressly forbids teaching religious ideas in public school classrooms. That would rule out, obviously, Biblical creationism a/k/a “creation science.” The Louisiana law itself says that it “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.”

You gotta give the Discoveroids credit — they keep clinging to their clunkers. That “shall not be construed” language has been totally debunked here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. Moving along:

Kopplin also goes on about Louisiana’s school voucher law, but as Josh Youngkin [a Discoveroid lobbyist] pointed out here recently, that’s got nothing to do with the academic freedom law. Nor does either have anything to do with intelligent design. Nevertheless Kopplin is kind enough not to leave us out of his account of “creeping creationism.”

Zack was too kind. We can think of better words than “creeping.” Maybe oozing, slithering, sneaking, slinking … perhaps all of the above. Another excerpt:

Look, I’ve heard this nonsense repeated many times but the boldness of the deception, and how dopey media people are about simply accepting it, still sometimes takes my breath away.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s how the article ends:

So this should give you an idea of what it means to be a Friend of Darwin. In the case of Zack Kopplin, it means grossly misleading the public about science and education.

Zack really got to those guys. It’s amazing what a bit of honest, informed, straight talk can accomplish. Good on ya, Zack!

See also: Confessions of a Discoveroid Lobbyist.

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

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19 responses to “Discoveroids Freak Out over Zack Kopplin

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    We need a law that media should require media to ‘teach the controversy’ and then Klinghopper can get his 7 minutes of fame, where they might even get his name right.

  2. Curmy, what disinfectant do you use to cleanse your website after writing about Klincougher? Are you sure it’s strong enough?

    Yes, indeed, it does appear that the only purpose of the Discovery Institute is to attempt to discredit anyone who dares to promote a rational approach to science.

  3. I didn’t have to delve very far into Klinghopper’s writings to show how dishonest this essay is.

    The issue matters because whether life has meaning depends on whether you think there is a spiritual reality outside our biological existence that bestows meaning. Belief in such a meaning makes no sense coupled with Darwinian theory, the purpose of which is to explain the development of life without reference to any spiritual reality. To imagine that a material creature can bestow authentic meaning on himself is merely a comforting lie some of us tell ourselves. -Klinghopper

    On a recent episode of "People's Court" one of the judge's zany spanish sayings hits the mark on this one, "even you do not believe you."

  4. I’m going to guess that virtually no one who reads ENV (for other than entertainment value, that is) watches Bill Moyer. But rather than just letting it go by, perhaps pretending that it’s unworthy of comment, Kling calls his readers attention to it and even provides a link. So now, Zack is able to get his message to even more people, thanks to Kling.

    Kling is paid to write lies, and naturally one of the main lies that he perpetuates is that everyone who disagrees with the DI’s lies is a liar themselves (or a facist, a nazi, an atheist, you name it).

    It’s good that he does this, however. The more he lies about ID not being creationism, and especially the more he distances the DI from young-earth creationists, the more supporters he will lose. YECs and evangelicals in general are the DI’s natural base. So every time they can be goaded into crying once more that they are not creationists – it’s a good thing.

  5. Ed says: ” But rather than just letting it go by, perhaps pretending that it’s unworthy of comment, Kling calls his readers attention to it and even provides a link. So now, Zack is able to get his message to even more people, thanks to Kling.”

    Not much risk of that. I donno how many readers they have, but their readers don’t use links. The one time the Discoveroids linked to this place we got only 23 hits from them, and at least two of those were from us, testing their link.

  6. zackkopplin

    They embedded the video now, so no worries. They might have to actually see my brainwashed darwinist face.

  7. You might be interested in this:A Trojan Horse for Creationism by Zack Kopplin at for March 8, 2013

  8. zackkopplin says: “They might have to actually see my brainwashed darwinist face.”

    A frightening prospect. Klinghoffer is using his best argument there.

  9. docbill1351

    Years ago Klinkhitler wrote an autobiographical piece about how he became a campus pariah after writing his first column for the Brown University school newspaper. He later had a stint at the National Review until he finally pissed off enough people, and he had a short, single article “job” at the Huffington Post which resulted in nearly 200 viscerally negative comments and a small firestorm in the blogosphere pointing out his lies and distortions. The HuffPo invited Klinkles not to return and considering the overall quality of the HuffPo, that’s saying something!

    Finally, though, Klinkleklopper has a steady-paying job safely ensconced behind the firewall of that asylum of sociopaths misnamed the Discovery Institute which subsists on the charity of other, wealthy sociopaths whose descriptions always include the word “reclusive.”

    Klinkleklanker’s writings always consist of two parts: lies, and omissions of truth. It’s revealing what Klinks leaves out of his otherwise shoddy attempt at writing. Good old Zach Kopplin has had TWO goes at repealing the Louisiana act. First, he went down in flames. The second time he was only smoking as several of the legislators left the chamber prior to the vote. Third time could be the charm. The Louisiana public is getting a lot of news coverage about how state money is being used to fund religious schools overtly teaching creationism, and at least one Muslim school *gasp!* eligible for voucher money (although they have yet to apply, IIRC).

    At a time when the young Klankleklipper was staking out a career as a professional pariah, Zack has received accolades including the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment award, interviews on Hardball with Chris Matthews, write-ups in Vogue, the Washington Post and many on-line venues and, of course, the extensive Moyers interview. None of those outlets seem to be interested in pariahs. Alas.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Zack continues his studies in history to a PhD on the subject of Creationism in America, perhaps in the footsteps of his mentor and friend, Barbara Forrest. One can hope for a new generation!

  10. waldteufel

    The contrast of personalities here is stark. Zack is an intelligent, articulate defender of reason and science. He’s making a positive difference. Kadiddlepooper is a slimy and pathetic little stooge for the enemies of the enlightenment roosting in Seattle. Smeagol Gollum comes to mind when I see Kadiddlepooper’s little scribblings at ENV.

  11. Kudo’s to Zack for hitting a nerve! I’d think being attacked directly is an indication his efforts are being effective.

  12. How much more Ad Hominem could this get? Klinghoffer cannot defend the theory, so he attacks one of the most prominent critics instead. The Discovery Institute is simply pathetic.

  13. “Klinghoffer is shocked — shocked! — that anyone would classify the Discoveroids as creationists.”

    And as most people know, at least since “Casablanca,” “shocked — shocked” means not at all shocked. In fact Klinghoffer probably salivated over another opportunity to bait-and-switch 2 definitions of the word.

    In light of the recent passing of Duane Gish – one of the first to turn “creationism” from “honest, if misguided belief” to full-blown pseudoscience – I have to complain once again that “creationists” is much too kind a word for Discoveroids. Gish may have honestly believed in a recent 6-day creation, but was shrewd enough to know that the evidence did not support it. Nevertheless he at least said enough about his alternate “theory” to allow critical analysis. Big tent scammers at the DI won’t dare do that. The few times they hinted at an alternate hypothesis (e.g. Behe’s ~4-billion year old ancestral cell), it was nothing that would ever be acceptable to the committed Biblical literalists they lure under the big tent witgh their paranoid rants. If you call those scammed rubes “creationists,” clearly another term is in order for the snake oil salesmen who have been scamming them for decades.

  14. doodlebugger

    Klinkledoofer was at Brown. He is living proof that there is nothing worse than
    a smart idiot .

  15. @doodlebugger. Would you know if he took a biology class taught by Ken Miller?

    I know that Bobby Jindal was there (bio major no less!) but did not take any courses taught by Dr. Miller. I must caution everyone, though, that if one has a radical agenda, and believes that it’s OK to bear false witness to promote it, they’ll learn as much as they can about the subject, specifically to better misrepresent it. Jonathan Wells (Discoveroid) essentially admitted that before he learned the political correctness that is mandatory in perpetrating the ID scam.

  16. This whole episode reminds me of a sign in front of a church, “Live a life so full that the Westboro Baptist Church will picket your funeral.”
    Yes, Zack must be doing something right.

  17. waldteufel says, “Smeagol Gollum comes to mind when I see Kadiddlepooper’s little scribblings at ENV.”

    Smeagol Gollum comes to mind when I see James Carville, but that’s another story. I know he can’t help the way he looks. (Smeagol, that is, not Carville.)

  18. docbill1351

    I’ve been trying to think of a literary figure to represent Klinkleklamper but my well is dry so far. Smeagol is more a pitiful creature than slimy and loathsome. Unlike Klankleklonker, Smeagol started out a normal Hobbit and only became twisted after he found the Ring.

    We need to find a figure who was born twisted and never had a single redeeming value. Who knows, maybe Krapperdropper is in a class all by his own self.

  19. Mark Joseph

    @Frank J:
    “I must caution everyone, though, that if one has a radical agenda, and believes that it’s OK to bear false witness to promote it, they’ll learn as much as they can about the subject, specifically to better misrepresent it.”

    The technical term used in the historical literature is “liars for Jesus.”