Student To Michele Bachmann: “Presidential Candidates Shouldn’t be able to Make Stuff Up”

It’s been a week since 17-year-old Zack Kopplin called out Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to back up her assertions that there are Nobel Prize winners who endorse intelligent design.

And even though Kopplin’s challenge has gotten a fair share of media attention, there hasn’t been a peep about it from Bachmann’s office.

Here is Kopplin on MSNBC’s HardBall with Chris Matthews. Love his statement, “Presidential candidates shouldn’t be able to make stuff up.”

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But Bachmann’s reticence is hardly a surprise. As Allison Kilkenny pointed out on AlterNet, “perhaps such ignorance should be expected from the woman who stood on the House floor and declared that the threat of manmade global warming doesn’t make sense because “carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature.”

Kopplin, a Louisiana High School senior, is leading the charge to repeal the misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act, which would open the door to the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in state public schools. Under the guise of “academic freedom,” it targets for “critical thinking” such specific topics as “evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

As part of his effort, Kopplin has gathered the signatures of 43 Nobel Laureates in the field of science who support his repeal efforts. Those same Nobel Laureates also make clear that intelligent design is a silly concept that, despite the mass public relations efforts of supporters such as Bachmann, is panned pretty much universally by the scientific community.

Meanwhile, Bachmann goes around saying, as she did in 2006, that she knows of Nobel Prize-winning scientists who believe in intelligent design.

On Friday, Kopplin testified before the Louisiana Senate, urging them to support SB 70, which would have repealed LSEA. But the bill died in committee and LSEA still stands. Here he is testifying here.

In his testimony, he explains the difference to lawmakers between a scientific theory and the popular use of the word theory as an unproven conjecture. I love the example he uses to make his point, which proves, at heart, he’s a Louisiana boy through and through.

“The theory that Carl Weiss wasn’t Huey Long’s murderer, that’s open to debate, but science as a theory is very different. Major theories like gravity or the theory of evolution undergird entire branches of science… they are hardly unproven conjectures.”

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.