Discovery Institute Attacks Zack Kopplin

Slasher

It was only two days ago that we posted Discovery Institute Attacks John Glenn. Today they’re on the attack again. Their new target is Zack Kopplin who, although he’s not yet 22 years old, already has a writeup in Wikipedia, which describes him as “an American political activist, journalist, and television personality from Louisiana. Kopplin has campaigned to keep creationism out of public school science classrooms and been involved with other separation of church and state causes.”

Zack is well-known to readers of this humble blog as a tireless campaigner against the infamous and insidiously-named Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA). The LSEA was based on the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act, and it seems to be their only accomplishment, except for a similar law subsequently enacted in Tennessee. For our discussion of such legislation, see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

The Discoveroids just posted this at their creationist blog: Letter to a Young Darwin Activist’s Parents. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. The elves in our art department provided the graphic above this post in his honor. As we discuss Klinghoffer’s latest, keep in mind this disclaimer, which is adapted from the wording of the LSEA:

This post shall not be construed as being disrespectful of the Discoveroids.

Okay, here are some excerpts from Klinghoffer’s post, with bold font added by us:

What follows is an open letter to Zack’s father and mother, though it is applicable to others as well, young and old.

Isn’t that sweet? Klinghoffer is writing this for Zack’s mommy and daddy. Here’s what he says:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kopplin,

I hope this finds you both well.

On occasion, my wife and I have received notes directed home from a teacher about issues with our children’s behavior in school. I’ve always been grateful to hear what was going on, from another adult’s perspective, since moms and dads are often not the first to know. With that in mind, I’m writing to you about your son Zack.

Charming, isn’t it? Klinghoffer is writing as one concerned parent to another about a problem child. Let’s read on:

Zack, at age 21, is from what I’m able to tell spending a great deal of time as an “activist” trying to overturn the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). In this capacity he does some freelance writing for Slate and other publications, which I assume does not pay the bills. My concern is that Zack, a bright young person, is being used by what I’ll call the Darwin Lobby in a way that is not to his long-term benefit.

We won’t excerpt too much from Klinghoffer’s rather long letter. That would deprive you of the thrill of clicking over there to experience it for yourself. Also, we find his letter to be genuinely vomit-inducing, and even your Curmudgeon has a limited capacity to endure such things. But we’ll give you a few more excerpts. This is a good one:

[F]or several years my colleagues and I have tried to help Zack and other activists in understanding both about the science behind the evolution debate and, more specifically, about the provisions of the LSEA, which he has persistently misrepresented to the public. So when it comes to science and science education, we may be the closest thing to a teacher in your son’s life at the moment — not that we’ve been very successful in educating him. That is one reason I am getting in contact with you now.

Klinghoffer only wants to help the lad! His parental letter continues:

[W]hether a reasonable person supports or opposes LSEA, the law is not about advancing “creationism,” any more than Discovery Institute is a “creationist think tank.”

Isn’t this great? Here’s more:

It suits the purposes of the Darwin Lobby to confuse these matters. That explains why they have fastened onto Zack. The National Center for Science Education, for one, makes a specialty of sowing misinformation, which may be why they honored your son with a Friend of Darwin award.

Those creepy Darwinists are abusing the lad, and Klinghoffer thinks that’s terrible! He’s trying to help Zack by warning his parents, before it’s too late and Zack’s life is totally ruined! Okay, we’re jumping to the end. Here’s how Klinghoffer concludes his letter:

My suggestion? Have a talk with your son about his education, and about an unfortunate reality of the world, that zealots with a political agenda will try to use an enthusiastic person like himself to their own ends, which may not include a high regard for truth telling. If I were his father, I would want to see my boy buckle down, get his degree, prepare for a career, do something useful with his life, and something honorable.

Sincerely yours,
David Klinghoffer

Your Curmudgeon isn’t going to say anything, but we suspect that some of you might have something to say.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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49 responses to “Discovery Institute Attacks Zack Kopplin

  1. I don’t know anything about Zack’s parents, but I think they should be proud of him.

    As for David Klinghoffer — I guess he is always good for a laugh.

  2. michaelfugate

    If I were his father, I would want to see my boy buckle down, get his degree, prepare for a career, do something useful with his life, and something honorable.

    Yeah, like working for the DI? Is he speaking from experience? How much more useless of a career could one have than DK’s?

  3. “Vomit-inducing” is indeed le mot juste. What patronizing tosh from the mighty mind of Klinghoffer.

  4. This is a new low for Klinghoffer, which is something I did not think was possible.

    May I humbly suggest, for a future ‘Curmudgeon Creative Challenge’ TM, submissions of letters to Klingy’s parents giving advice on managing their problem child?

  5. Pretty creepy – even a bit sick.

  6. This ranks as one of the worst Dishonesty Institutes ad hominem attacks. Of course, they whine if their name is even mentioned in connection with creationism, but to whine to Zack’s parents is incredibly low brow, only showing how absolutely worthless are these creationists.

  7. Maybe if someone had written letters to parents a long time ago, the Dishonesty Institute may not even have come into existence. Maybe this is what troubles Mr.Klinghoffer so deeply, his deep regrets at living a lie for so very long.

    As his age progresses and he realizes the he may some day soon be required to provide a personal accounting to his prime architect, he may simply pale with fear.

    It’s understandable that when facing such troubling thoughts, that someone like Zack, who will still be defending The Enlightenment long after Mr.Klinghoffer has been judged and found wanting by his prime architect, would become the target for old Klingypoopers emotional transference.

    I couldn’t help but notice that the usual “no comments allowed” policy for an open letter is in effect. No attempt to open a dialogue, just another bleak sermon from an ever waning pulpit . Not a very courageous way to face one’s twilight days.
    Cheers!

  8. “do something useful with his life, and something honorable”
    Klingy just has confirmed that ZK has been doing so for a few years now.

  9. Dean – I just sent an email requesting an explanation of why their opinions are not open to comment and discussion. Not holding my breath for a cogent response…..

  10. Why do I think of the scene in a movie where the store owner gets a visit from a polite gentlemen who, after some chit-chat, praises what a nice business this is, and how it would be a shame if something would happen to it, and the visitor would like to make some suggestions …

  11. @Dean –
    It is said that Supreme Court Justices sometimes consider in writing their opinions wonder how they will be judged by the future. The awful example of Chief Justice Roger Taney in the Dred Scott case. I have heard that Taney actually was a pretty good judge, but for this case for which he will be remembered.
    Of course, most of the creationists will be forgotten. But I wonder whether some of the more prominent ones ever consider that they have a chance of being remembered as a laughingstock.

  12. It’s always fun when Zack gets under the DI’s skin. It’s a useful and honorable task, and I hope he continues to be a thorn in their side for years to come.

  13. Zack sounds like an incredible young man. You only take flak when you are over the target; and Zack is definitely sticking to his guns. Bravo!

  14. Zack is great! Perhaps he’ll follow Klingie’s advice and get a degree in evolutionary biology and a career doing real research that adds to the overwhelming evidence for evolution and natural selection.

  15. Mike Elzinga

    Klinghoffer’s immediate reference to the “Darwin Lobby” (note that he couldn’t resist the caps) reveals the socio/political nature of ID/creationism. His demonizing tactics come from a cesspool of hackneyed sectarian political attacks on their many, many enemies – i.e., everyone else in a modern, secular civilization. One has to wonder what these ID/creationists would do if they were not constrained by secular laws.

  16. I suspect the Discoveroids are making a preemptive attack against Zack. Long-term agenda is get Jindal elected as President. (A Jindal-ish politician would do.)

  17. michaelfugate

    What must they be thinking about the referendum vote in Ireland – culture war lost?

  18. docbill1351

    KlinkleTinkle failed to observe that Zack is an adult, not a minor.

  19. docbill1351

    As President-for-Life of the Darwinian Pressure Group, Delta Pi Gamma, I am shocked and dismayed (yes, shocked AND dismayed!) how the Tooters have avoided years of royalty payments to us by commandeering our just cause and rebranding it as the “Darwin Lobby.” Afraid of the power we wield in withholding funds to build the “Bill and Harold Athletic Stadium, Tire Center and Hair Emporium” at Ohio State University, clearly the Tooters are doing everything in their power to prevent us from expanding our influence and empire. It just makes sense.

  20. waldteufel

    The dependably kreepy Klinghoffer krawls to a new low.
    One hopes that Zack frames a copy of Klingie’s smarmy, but hilarious, missive for chuckles and giggles.

  21. Ken Phelps

    So let me see if I’ve got this straight: Someone who works at an organization dedicated to promoting their position on social and scientific issues is crapping all over another adult person because they are working to promote their position on social and scientific issues?

    I have long held the position that self-awareness and the ability to sense irony are the first parts of the mind destroyed by the religion virus. This screed from the DI would seem to support that hypothesis.

  22. Here’s what Zack’s father thought of him back when he was in high school and just starting his anti-creationism campaign:

    Asked about his son’s political initiative, Kopplin called his eldest child “smart, courageous and relentless.”

    “Every 17-year-old, you know, they are quite independent thinkers,” he said. “I’m extraordinarily proud of him. He’s a strong-willed young man, and I’m proud of him.”

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/02/for_kopplins_lobbying_in_state.html

    I’m sure his pride in Zack has only grown in the years since.

  23. I’d write a letter to Klinghoffer’s parents, but they probably abandoned him at age 7 when they saw how he was turning out.

    If that’s not the case, then they’re most likely happy he was able to find work prostituting what scant writing talents he has for the likes of the Discovery Institute.

  24. retiredsciguy says: “I’d write a letter to Klinghoffer’s parents …”

    No need for that. They know, or they knew. But there’s another way to play this game. One can imagine a canasta game, either in this world or the next, where Klinghoffer’s mother is seated at a card table with her lady friends. One of thm looks up from her cards and says: “Mrs. Klinghoffer, we all talk about our children, but you never talk about David. It’s okay if you want to brag. So tell us, what’s he doing?” Mrs. Klinghoffer sighs deeply, and with a pained look on her face, says: “Oy, don’t ask!”

  25. What a disgusting sack of [edited out]. Words fail me. I really really hope Zack’s parents send an appropriate, and very public response.

  26. Steen Goddik

    Klinghoffer seems awfully focused on money. Wonder if the DI supporters know how much they are paying him?

  27. Wow! I have no idea what to say in response to that.

  28. @TomS: Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing.

  29. docbill1351

    The Tooters are big on projection. Here Klooperpooper is lamenting on his own failed career from being cast as a raciest at Brown University to his loss of a job at the National Review to his ultimate decline and demise as a poo flinger for a right wing creationist “think” [stink] tank situated above a gym in a seedy part of Seattle.

    Yes, Klinkerstinker is the poster child of a failed career, eeking out crumbs from charity working for a non-profit, pitifully poor, fleabag outfit.

    Yet, Zack, not even in his mid-20’s is already a national figure, interviewed on national TV, writing for national magazines and leading a fight in Louisiana which went from ZERO votes to three, documenting how creationism is being taught in Louisiana and working his way, steadily, to overturning the Disco Tute’s ONLY “victory,” the LSEA act. Zack will win and Klankerdrooper will still be climbing those smelly stairs to his office, a total loser with a loser career working for a loser organization, all the while projecting, projecting. As if he could resurrect his failed career by clapping, in Peter Pan to cure Tinkerbell.

    Sorry, Klinkerklapper, you’re klapping alone.

  30. Dave Luckett

    I don’t believe that the parents of Zack Kopplin should honour this with a response, were they to become aware of it. Any response at all would do that, you know.

    I know my fingertips itch to bang one out. Phrases form in my head even now, and the indignation at so scabrous a piece of slimy hypocrisy threatens to blow my cool. Offering advice, quotha! Grima Wormtongue as career counsellor!

    It’s a delicate calculation. If you respond, you acknowledge that Klinghoffer matters enough to bother. If you don’t respond, well, there’s the old problem about silence and consent. On balance, I prefer the latter, but I can see why others would disagree.

  31. Do these idiots really believe that they know you better than your parents? How stupid do they think your parents and we who support what you do are?

  32. My open letter to the inimitable one:

    Dear Mr. Klinghoffer,

    You underestimate Mr. Kopplin. He is not “used” by the “Darwin Lobby.” He is the “Darwin Lobby.” Their current elected “leader” if you will. He “uses” the rest of us, including his parents, who will undoubtedly find your letter rather pathetic. You see, if you “creationists,” or whatever you prefer to be called, had anything remotely resembling a promising alternate theory, your would never think of resorting to such word games, and tantrums demanding handouts to misrepresent the one scientific explanation for the origin of species that has survived 150 years of real critical analysis.

  33. Those creepy Darwinists are abusing the lad, and Klinghoffer thinks that’s terrible! He’s trying to help Zack by warning his parents, before it’s too late and Zack’s life is totally ruined! Okay, we’re jumping to the end. Here’s how Klinghoffer concludes his letter:

    My suggestion? Have a talk with your son about his education, and about an unfortunate reality of the world, that zealots with a political agenda will try to use an enthusiastic person like himself to their own ends, which may not include a high regard for truth telling. If I were his father, I would want to see my boy buckle down, get his degree, prepare for a career, do something useful with his life, and something honorable.

    So the “boy” (this is a 21-year-old, a legal adult, we’re talking about) should “buckle down, get his degree, prepare for a career, do something useful with his life, and something honorable”–such as becoming an evolutionary biologist, perhaps?

    As for “zealots with a political agenda,” Klinghoffer is in no position to cast stones (or poo, or anything else).

  34. @Frank J –
    the one scientific explanation for the origin of species that has survived 150 years of real critical analysis.

    As far as I know, the only investigations of the origins of species and other phenomena of the variety of life in the last 150 years have made reference to evolution.

    This is true even to the extent that “creationism” and “intelligent design”, although they offer no explanations for anything, only tell us what they don’t like about evolution.

    What I am suggesting is, while what you is saying is true, there is no reason to limit it to “scientific”, “explanation”, “origin of species”, and “survived critical analysis”.

  35. @DL is worried: “If you don’t respond, well, there’s the old problem about silence and consent.”
    There is a simple way out of this dilemma: leave answering Klunkleplopper to people like us. ZK’s parents, when asked, simply can refer to websites like this one.

  36. ZK’s parents, when asked, simply can refer to websites like this one.

    Yes, but Klinghoffer can then simply claim that this Darwinism-indoctrinated science-hating site has a long history of ridiculing the Discoveroids, complete with ad hominem attacks on himself — such as calling him Klunkleplopper. That’s only one of several variants on this page alone, and I’m not sure it’s helpful in making our case to fence-sitting visitors.

  37. docbill1351

    Zack called out Klinkleklanker on Facebook and gave Curmie a nice shout-out.

  38. docbill1351 says: “Zack called out Klinkleklanker on Facebook”

    Ah, so that’s it. I’ve been getting loads of hits from Facebook, but I’m not registered there so I had no idea what was causing it.

  39. docbill1351

    Yeah, he called your description of Klappercrapper the best he’s ever read. Slasher journalist and poo flinger. Should be “journalist,” though, because whatever it is he does, it ain’t journalism.

  40. @Realthog is still worried: do you think Klonklekrapper will act in a different way if ZK’s parents answer him themselves? Honestly?

  41. docbill, you meant to write shouldn’t be “journalist,” right?
    at any rate, you’re absolutely correct — “whatever it is he does, it ain’t journalism.”

  42. retiredsciguy, I took it to mean that the word journalist, in that context, should be in scare-quotes, the same way I refer to the “theory” of intelligent design.

  43. docbill1351

    Yeah, like “Fresh” Food.

  44. @mnbo

    do you think Klonklekrapper will act in a different way if ZK’s parents answer him themselves?

    I think you have misunderstood me. I’m predicting Klinghoffer’s response to anyone who refers him to this site. He’ll (a) say we’re all Darwinist-indoctrinated enemies of true science and censors of freedom of expression, and (b) point to “Klonklekrapper” and its variants and ask his readers if this isn’t verdict enough on the rest of what’s promoted here.

  45. Doh! Yeah, scare quotes. Got it now. Sorry, docbill.

  46. retiredsciguy says: “Doh! Yeah, scare quotes. Got it now. Sorry, docbill.”

    I doubt that I’ll do it for the word journalist. A load of them produce a product which is far from being disinterested reporting of the subjects they cover. The whole “profession” has earned the skepticism their writings generally receive.

  47. What Klinghoffer is paid to do is write “stuff” to discredit evolution. Since there is nothing he can write that can discredit the science of evolution itself, he goes after any and all supporters of the teaching of evolution.

    Totally despicable. Klinghoffer fully deserves all the scatological “misspellings” of his name that docbill or anyone else throws at him. The only reason I usually spell his name correctly (as well as Ken Ham’s) is so that anyone doing a search for “Klinghoffer” or “Ken Ham” (like, for instance, Klinghoffer or Ken Ham) might find my comment.

    So, Klingy, if you’re reading this, I want to ask — are you proud of the way you prostitute yourself for a buck?

  48. docbill1351

    @RSG

    In a piece written for the Brown Univ alumni magazine in 2008, Klooperdrooper wrote of his experience of being labeled raciest. From the article Klankerwanker wrote:

    “I was shunned. I was a pariah. And I thoroughly enjoyed almost every minute of it.”

    The “almost” struck be as odd considering what a [edited out] Konkerbonker is.

  49. A message for David Klinghoffer: