Young Atheist and Science Advocate Zack Kopplin Interviewed by Bill Moyers

Zack Kopplin is having one hell of a run of great publicity. Between getting the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award last summer to a wonderful profile at io9, he’s been speaking out against Creationism in Louisiana public schools and for good science in general — and people are paying attention.

Zack Kopplin

In his most recent media appearance, Zack was interviewed by legendary journalist Bill Moyers:

It’s an awesome, long interview that really lets Zack tell his story. It’s very clear from listening to him that a young person with passion for a cause can really get something done. If we had more students like him speaking out against this Christian-led nonsense, states like Louisiana could focus on truly educating students instead of debating whether or not superstition needs a place in a curriculum.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought, also appears on the episode.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    For all the idiots there are , there are also so many great young people like Zach, and Jessica, and so many others who’s names I don’t know. I think the future may be in good hands.

  • Mario Strada

    Zack, if you read this, we are behind you 100%. Please let us know how we can help.

  • Adam

    “Who are you going to convince?” That question/comment always falls on deaf ears for me. I’m living proof.

  • SecularPatriot

    Someone has to save Louisiana, and I’m fairly confident that if I go there, I will die in a barfight within a week. So good on Zack!

  • Mario Strada

    Folks, take the time to watch the entire video, beyond Zack interview. It’s worth it.

  • Member Like You

    Also check out the extended content on the PBS site, including interviews about atheism with Martin Amis, Richard Dawkins, and two more that will be a surprise. Really great to see intelligent discussion hovering near mainstream culture about the founders’ intent in omitting religion from the Government and how this explicitly is not a Christian nation.

  • 5oh4

    I’m a pretty militant Atheist that has lived in Louisiana for over 10 years. Still haven’t died in a bar fight. So don’t worry.

  • Shop

    I might listen this a bit more later, but when I see his laudable quest to remove creationism linked with global warming advocacy, I see a problem. Science is skepticism, and the need to question and to expect accurate data supporting a view is essential. Creationism fails miserably in that, as does the warmist community. To place the two in a single byline, is more than ironic.

  • David Kopp

    “warmist”? It’s a simple fact that the average temperature of the globe, by all accounts, is increasing. Even a Koch-funded study by someone who was a skeptic realized that:

  • cipher

    A wonderfully dedicated and courageous young man, a credit to his parents and teachers.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Rich Wilson

    I have a rule about skepticism. I think skepticism is good. But I am simply not qualified to understand the science behind everything and independently verify every scientific position on my own.

    So when a particular scientific position is supported by the high 90s% of scientist, I don’t think it’s being ‘skeptical’ to hold out, it’s waiving the ‘skeptic’ flag to support confirmation bias.

    If your doctor gives you a diagnosis, it may be prudent to get a 2nd opinion, and maybe even a 3rd. But when you have to visit one hundred doctors to find one who disagrees, it’s time to question your own motives for spending that much energy being ‘skeptical’.

  • abb3w

    Not to mention lots of other interviews by Bill Moyers over the years. There’s possibly some interesting stuff buried in his archives on the web.

  • Rich Wilson

    It’s also worth noting that the inclusion of climate change in the evolution/creationism debate wasn’t Zack’s (or anyone on the science side) idea.

    Whatever the reason, it’s clear that antievolution bills that also target global warming are here to stay. In 2013 alone, of the nine antiscience bills introduced in seven states, five of them mention global warming: Colorado’s House Bill 1213, Kansas’s House Bill 2306, Montana’s House Bill 1213, and Oklahoma’s House Bill 1674, in addition to Arizona’s SB 1213.

  • Rich Wilson

    Agreed. Taking nothing away from Zack, but I think to most of us, the Jacoby interview will be more interesting.

  • Shop

    You’re invoking consensus, which is a political term, not a scientific one. And I am quite capable of evaluating the evidence and methods used to promote AGW. I remain unconvinced. I am also not interested in ad hominen attacks, which you have already engaged in.

  • baal

    Scientific consensus is a term scientists use and it does matter. Scientists make hay proving that other scientists didn’t do it right or made false conclusions. Part of that is codified into peer – review and more is the ‘sense of the community.’ Essentially all scientists agree AGW is human caused and a real problem. The dissenters are few, nutty, or heavily subsidized by industry.

    @ the vid, Zack is impressive. I didn’t speak that well at that age and I was competitive at debate.

  • Shop

    Science is a method of inquiry to determine facts. Whether something is a fact or not is not determined by votes or numbers “believing” it. It’s determined by empiricism. Read a bit about Walter Alvarez and his theory.

    You mention that you were “competitive” at debate. Were you taught debating skills that included labelling your opponents as “dissenters”, dismissing them as “nutty”, marginalizing them as a minority, or claiming they were fraudulently mis-representing themselves for money?