The Legacy of Brainwashing

by Ken Ham and Steve Golden on January 21, 2013

Atheistic evolutionists do not want any talk of “critiquing” or “thinking critically” about evolutionary ideas, because evolution is their way of explaining life without God.

Students are being brainwashed with evolutionary ideas in almost all public schools and museums, and they are expected to accept it uncritically. We’ve made this point many times over the years, but a recent news story has made the brainwashing even more obvious.1 In 2008, Louisiana passed a bill that would allow teachers in the public school system to “use supplemental materials … to help students critique and review scientific theories.” Such critical thinking skills should be a part of an education process and are part of many state education standards.

Well, a 19-year-old student at Rice University, Zack Kopplin, is on a mission to repeal that law. He is being praised by the secular world for his ambition, as evidenced in a recent article about him.2

Atheistic evolutionists do not want any talk of “critiquing” or “thinking critically” about evolutionary ideas, because it is their way of explaining life without God, which is why we call the evolutionary worldview a religion. Despite their claims to the contrary, atheists use evolutionary ideas as their religion to replace God. The evolutionary worldview is a foundation for their set of beliefs about life and how it arose, just as the biblical creation worldview, as described in Genesis, is our set of beliefs about how life arose. Atheists blindly hold to evolution because of their rejection of Christ. Zack Kopplin has seemingly declined to talk about his personal beliefs about God, but many atheists have basically claimed him as one of their own, including the Friendly Atheist, a well-known blogger, who published a post the other day calling Kopplin an atheist.3

Creation and Science

Now, the news reports on Kopplin could be critiqued in many aspects, but one of the key sections concerns Kopplin’s statements on science:

“Creationism is not science, and shouldn’t be in a public school science class—it’s that simple,” he says. “Often though, creationists do not, or are unwilling, to recognize this.” Science, he argues, is observable, naturalistic, testable, falsifiable, and expandable—everything that creationism is not.

First, Kopplin makes the assumption that science has to be “naturalistic.” Now, there’s no reason that science must be naturalistic—this is simply an assertion made by Kopplin and atheistic evolutionists! And really, that’s the legacy of brainwashing. Atheists use the philosophy of naturalism to explain life without God. In the naturalistic view, the world and human beings are the result of chance processes. In reality, equating science with naturalism is an arbitrary definition applied to the word science by those who reject the supernatural. As a result of adopting these ideas, Kopplin has gone a step further, insisting that science must be naturalistic. And he wants this arbitrary definition of science imposed on the culture.

What’s more, Kopplin—like almost all evolutionists—confuses historical science with operational (observational) science. Operational science is indeed observable, testable, falsifiable, and so on—but none of those words describes evolutionary ideas! While biblical creation may not be provable through tests and observation, neither is molecules-to-man evolution (or astronomical evolution). And in fact, the evidence that is available to us concerning our origins makes sense in the biblical creation-based worldview, not the evolutionary one. Of course, secularists mock creationists for separating out historical science and operational science. But they do that because the secularists want the word science to apply to both historical and operational science so that they can brainwash people (like Kopplin) into thinking that to believe in creation is to reject science.

Kopplin also claims that biblical creation inhibits students’ abilities to perform operational science:

“Creationism confuses students about the nature of science,” he says. “If students don’t understand the scientific method, and are taught that creationism is science, they will not be prepared to do work in genuine fields, especially not the biological sciences. We are hurting the chances of our students having jobs in science, and making discoveries that will change the world.”

We’re now seeing this sort of claim more and more from evolutionists. They, like Kopplin, believe that if a student is taught or believes in biblical creation, he will never be able to understand or achieve anything in the realm of science. And yet, here at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, we have a number of researchers on staff with earned PhDs in their respective fields of science.

In reality, evolutionary ideas are not necessary to understanding and performing operational science. A biblical creationist can design and build a bus just as well as an evolutionist. Actually, a creationist may do it better if the evolutionist, acting consistently with his worldview, applies the principles of chance processes to the engineering of the bus!

Kopplin continues his thoughts, drawing more faulty connections between evolution and operational science:

He worries that, if Louisiana (and Tennessee, which also has a similar law) insists on teaching students creationism, students will not be the ones discover the cure to AIDS or cancer. “We won’t be the ones to repair our own damaged wetlands and protect ourselves from more hurricanes like Katrina,” he says.

So without a belief in evolution, research for the cure for cancer will cease? This kind of faulty logic is likely the result of accepting naturalistic explanations for our origins. More than that, Kopplin is really saying that he is against critical thinking in the science classroom. His desire is to prevent students from being exposed to any alternative to evolution. But if evolutionary ideas have so much scientific support, then why work so hard to exclude any other ideas about our origins? Allowing an examination of creationist and evolutionary ideas about the history of the universe would only make evolutionary ideas more popular if it was so obvious that they were confirmed by operational science. Actually, evolutionists want legislation to protect their teaching of evolution, because they know that if students were allowed to critically analyze the evidence, they would begin to question the molecules-to-man evolutionary belief.

An evolutionist blogger (who has also written for the Chronicle of Higher Education) named Adam Laats recently addressed this fallacy, as it has been made by Kopplin, TV host Bill Nye, and a number of other prominent evolutionists. Laats explained that even though he does not agree with the views of biblical creation, it cannot be denied that creationists are good scientists:

For those of us who want to understand creationism, we need to get beyond this naive assumption that creationists don’t know what science is, or that they are somehow hypocritical in their use of technology. … Many creationists have studied mainstream science. In many cases, such as that of leading creation science author Henry Morris, they have earned advanced technical degrees. And, beyond such stand-out leaders such as Morris, many rank-and-file creationists have extensive science educations. … Also, as creationists often remind themselves and their evolutionist foes, belief in evolution is not necessary for sophisticated engineering. Dobzhansky’s claim that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution may be true, but that would not stop creationists from traveling to the moon, perfecting airplanes, or inventing the internet. In the end, I think it makes a big difference whether Americans with creationist beliefs have “forgotten what science is” or if they have a distinctly different definition of science [emphasis ours]. Building an anti-creationist argument on the foundation that creationism disables technical education, as does Tanenbaum and other prominent pro-science voices such as Bill Nye [and we would add “and Kopplin”], is both a false claim and poor strategy.4

In other words, even Laats, an evolutionist, can see that it is patently false to claim that a disbelief in evolutionary ideas somehow hinders the advancement of operational science.

Besides, the teaching of evolution is not being hindered in the public school classrooms in America, or in secular universities, since in those institutions all aspects of evolution are basically presented as fact. That has been the case for decades.

Creation and the Classroom

We do support students being taught to examine the claims of any idea, such as evolution, critically.
In an attempt to explain why creation should not be taught, Kopplin stated, “These creationists, he argues, would be horrified to see the Vedas being taught in science class.” However, we at AiG do not advocate that government-mandated classes in creation be taught in schools. We do support students being taught to examine the claims of any idea, such as evolution, critically with all available views and evidence at their disposal. Students need to be taught the difference between operational and historical science. When they are taught how to think correctly about science, then they will be equipped to properly understand the origins issue and the evidence used.

Moreover, we would be no more horrified of the Vedas being taught in schools than we are of the anti-God religion of evolution. It is hypocritical to demand the religion of evolution be exclusively taught in the classroom while denying the presentation of other views. Secularists just do not even want evolution to be critiqued! Are they afraid people will start realizing the truth of God’s Word if we start thinking critically? Whether he realizes it or not, what Kopplin wants is more brainwashing, plain and simple.

To that end, Kopplin is also attacking state government school voucher programs across the U.S., claiming that because of vouchers, belief in biblical creation is being promulgated. In an article from MSNBC, Kopplin attacks private Christian schools that may benefit from state vouchers who take field trips to the Creation Museum and use the Answers in Genesis website (which contains thousands of articles written by expert scientists and Bible scholars) in their science classes.

Kopplin concludes, “We must speak out to prevent funding these creationist schools with our public money.”5 In multiple posts on Twitter and Facebook, Kopplin has claimed that “Our kids are funding the creation museum [sic] with public money.” But his accusations are both unfair and unfounded. He provides no evidence that state money is being used to fund field trips to the Creation Museum, outside of the fact that some schools accept vouchers. Furthermore, if the schools he lists are using voucher money for these field trips (and there is no evidence provided to substantiate that claim), that is entirely outside our control.

Kopplin is misrepresenting state voucher programs. For example, in Ohio (our museum virtually straddles the Ohio-Kentucky border) there are a limited number of vouchers. The program is similar to the one in Louisiana (a state which has been Kopplin’s main target). In Ohio, as in Louisiana, vouchers are designated for students who attend public schools that are academically poor and who wish to use a voucher to attend a better-performing charter or private school. To imply that just about any student in our region can attend Christian schools using vouchers and then theoretically visit the Creation Museum is not presenting the whole story.

Kopplin may be offended at the very thought of government money from school vouchers going to schools that teach biblical creation, but we find it equally offensive that tax dollars go to fund the teaching of the religion of evolution. Why should Christians, who want their children educated in biblical creation, be forced to fund public schools and secular museums that teach evolution? Kopplin is simply pushing an atheistic agenda driven by a belief in evolution and an unwillingness to think critically about the claims that underlie it. Obviously, Kopplin has not been taught critical thinking skills in these areas. He is a product of the system and cannot see that.

Challenge Zack Kopplin to a Debate

In essence, what Kopplin and many other evolutionists have done is build all these “creationist straw men” and then proceeded to tear them down by making outlandish, false statements about creation. One news headline stated, “Meet Creationists’ Nightmare — The Teen Who Is Combating Christians & Defending Evolution in Public Schools.” 6 One of our nightmares is that this teen, like many others, is spreading the lie of evolution and millions of years, which causes many to doubt the authority of Scripture. Kopplin has publically misrepresented biblical creation, and we want to set the record straight. Would Kopplin, obviously an intelligent young man, consider a debate with one of our scientists to look at the question of whether God’s Word, starting in Genesis, is true? However, we suspect he will use the same rhetoric used by most evolutionists when responding to such an invitation, and claim creationists should not be debated because they are not “real scientists.” We could probably even draft his refusal letter for him based on what other secularists have written when they have refused to debate a creation scientist.

Biblical creation is actually consistent with operational science, not contradictory, and we want people to know that they can trust the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, the true history book of the universe, and God is the Creator of the universe. As the Creator, He made the rules and laws of the universe. Christianity is not a blind faith but a defensible one.

God’s Word exhorts us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids

Sad news reports like those above are one of the reasons Answers in Genesis has adopted the theme this year of “Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids.” It is high time we stand our ground and stop letting the secular world influence our children. Instead, we need to teach them about the lies of the anti-God religion of evolution and show them why we can trust the Bible on creation and, more importantly, on salvation. Our Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins so that he might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4, (NASB)), so let us do our part to raise our children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Watch the following video about this theme:


Kopplin has sadly been brought up to believe in evolution as fact, and we sincerely hope that he will come to realize the authority of Scripture and submit to God as the Author of creation just as God said in His Word—and also that Kopplin will come to know the Lord as Savior (if he has not done so already). The battle is being fought in the hearts and minds of each individual. Imagine if all Christians had the passion that Zack Kopplin has for evolution, but instead for the cause of Christ and the authority of Scripture. Each of us needs to be doing our part, just as the Apostle Paul described in Ephesians 4:15–16:

But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Evolution and millions of years are in direct contradiction to God’s Word. As Christians, we need to remain strong on the authority of Scripture, showing our children that God’s Word is trustworthy, and giving them answers to the many questions the world throws at them on a daily basis.

What a sad state of affairs to see a young man who desires so strongly that generations of children and teens would believe they are just animals who developed by natural processes. If we really are just animals, why is violence, murder, cheating, or lying wrong? Who determines what’s “moral” and what’s not? In an evolution-based culture, moral relativism would permeate—as we see happening more and more in America and other Western nations.

This example should be a warning to parents. Kopplin is a product of the secular education system—a system that is also indoctrinating generations of children from church homes. We urge parents to recognize that their kids need to be rescued from this evil age.


  1. George Dvorsky, “How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists,” io9,
  2. Ibid.
  3. “io9 Profiles Teen Atheist and Science Advocate Zack Kopplin,” Friendly Atheist,
  4. Adam Laats, “Science at the Creation Museum,” I Love You But You’re Going to Hell (blog),
  5. Zack Kopplin, “Creationism spreading in schools, thanks to vouchers,” MSNBC,
  6. Billy Hallowell, “Meet Creationists’ Nightmare—The Teen Who Is Combating Christians & Defending Evolution in Public Schools,” The Blaze,

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.