zach_kopplinA former Independent Noisemaker and friend of science — or foe of pseudo-science — has received an award from an unlikely source: Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner. The Hef.

Kopplin was flown to the Playboy Mansion in Califor-nigh-yay recently to accept the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award along with five other recipients ranging from whistle-blowers to civil rights activists. Hefner’s daughter, the politically active Christie Hefner, created the award in 1979.

Kopplin, a Baton Rouge native who is now an 18-year-old student at Rice University, was honored for his laudable albeit unsuccessful effort during the last two legislative sessions to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, a stupid law pushed by social conservatives that allows science teachers in public schools to “supplement” their curricula with materials that push Intelligent Design. ID is, as this paper has characterized it, creationism in a lab coat.

Kopplin has also been honored with a Friend of Darwin Award by the National Center for Science Education, which as best we can tell only depicts boobies in clinical terms, if ever at all.

The Advocate’s Kyle Peveto has a recap of Kopplin’s visit to Playmate Paradise with a most excellent lede. Read it here.

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