Hey Michele Bachmann,
I Got Your Nobel Laureates Right Here

It’s gotta suck for Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. All she wants to do is go around the country trumping up support for a presidential run by making a bunch of unsubstantiated assertions disconnected from reality.

Exhibit A:

…we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States … men like John Quincy Adams… would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.

Quite often, she gets away with saying stuff like this. But lately some meddling kids have been calling her out, asking her to back up her assertions with actual evidence.

Last month, a New Jersey high school student challenged Bachmann to a debate about the US Constitution. Ann Myers said the congresswoman frequently distorts facts about the document and the Founding Fathers. In response, commenters on tea party web sites started making threats of violence against the student for having the audacity to question Bachmann.

The 16-year-old Myers says that some commenters have called her “a whore.”

Bachmann has not responded to the challenge, nor has she issued a statement condemning the threats.

This week, 17-year-old Baton Rouge high school student Zack Kopplin called on Bachmann to back up her statement from 2006 in which she said lots of Nobel Prize winners support intelligent design.

Exhibit B: “There is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact… hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel prizes, believe in intelligent design.”

Kopplin is leading a charge to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, an anti-evolution law that would sneak the teaching of creationism into science class. I’ve analyzed the purpose of the law here.

What’s really cool about Kopplin’s campaign is that he has lined up support for the repeal from 43 Nobel Laureates.

So Kopplin, in an open letter on his web site Wednesday, basically said, “I’ve shown mine, now you, Congresswoman Bachmann, show me yours.”

He writes:

Does Congresswoman Bachmann really think the public will fall for her sleight of hand and believe she has Nobel Laureate scientists who support these unscientific theories?

Congresswoman Bachmann, I see your “hundreds” of scientists, and raise you millions of scientists.

For the next hand, I raise you 43 Nobel Laureate scientists.  That’s right: 43 Nobel Laureate scientists have endorsed our effort to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law.

Major science organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which represents over 10 million scientists, have publicly endorsed the repeal.

Congresswoman Bachmann, you claim that Nobel Laureates support creationism.  Show me your hand. If you want to be taken seriously by voters while you run for President, back up your claims with facts. Can you match 43 Nobel Laureates, or do you fold?

Kopplin is testifying before Louisiana lawmakers today urging them to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

laurilebo@gmail.com'

Lauri Lebo is the author of The Devil in Dover: Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America, a book about the 2005 First Amendment trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover in which intelligent design was ruled creationism.