Zach Kopplin is doing something truly extraordinary: He is fighting for science.
The Louisiana Science Education Act allows teachers to bring in supplementary material or controversial subjects, such as climate control. However, some teachers are using the LSEA to effectively stop using standard science texts in place of creationist texts. This means that they are teaching aspects of religions that have been disproven in mainstream science, and certain ideas, such as evolution, are being left at the wayside.
Kopplin has been vilified by the organizations that he has riled, and has been called the Anti-Christ as well as being responsible for Hurricane Katrina. He has also been mocked because of his age; he started the fight when he was fourteen, and just recently nineteen. He originally wrote up his disagreement with the act in an English paper, but let the idea lay until he realized that no one was going to take up the fight, and, with the backing of intelligent design critic and Southern Louisiana philosophy professor Barbara Forrest, wrote a letter that has been signed by 78 Noble Laureates.
Although he has introduced a bill twice to repeal the act, it has died twice in committee. He is hoping to get the bill out of committee this year, but has encountered staunch resistance from legislators. He has noted that he has no problem with private schools, as they can teach what they want, but public schools that take advantage of the vouchers provided by the LSEA should not be teaching religion in schools, such as creationism.
As he told io0.com, "They see a 19 year old kid and can't believe that I can actually go out and change the world. Too many of my peers have this attitude that they need to dress nicely, sit quietly, and wait until we are adults to change things. This attitude must change. My generation needs to speak out for what we believe."