David Coppedge Trial: 23 Mar ’12

Today marks the end of the second week of the trial involving the suit filed by David Coppedge, the creationist who claims he was wrongfully demoted (and later fired) by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design (ID) on the job. As you recall, he used to work as a computer technician for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is part of Caltech. He also maintains a creationist website: Creation-Evolution Headlines — which was recently moved here.

There were no news stories at all about yesterday’s activities, and the press was silent all day today. Our guess is that the media lost interest after the first several days, when the trial failed to live up to the creationist hype that it would be about a titanic clash of worldviews played out against a background of cutting-edge space exploration, with NASA as the villain (they’re not even a party!) and a badly abused but courageous employee as the heroic underdog.

Instead of that, the trial has turned out to be nothing more than a dreary employment case featuring a headache-prone computer technician with what looks like a wildly overblown opinion of his grasp of science, and whose employer has a documented history that he was a bothersome pest at work.

We can’t blame the press for dropping the case. They were promised one thing, but they got another. Instead of being an exciting and interesting trial it turned out to be a bore. Nothing to see here, folks; move along now.

So we’re left wondering — if we’re so smart, why did we spend so much time on this thing? We must confess that we too were sucked in by the creationist hype. We assumed that with all their furious public relations activity, they’d surely come up with something. Even as we read the JPL pleadings, and knew that they had a good defense, we still assumed that the trial would be interesting, somehow. But we were wrong; it’s not interesting at all.

Therefore, we’re scaling back our Coppedge coverage. If there should be some genuine Coppedge news, we’ll write about it. We’ll even add to this post if something turns up later this evening, however unlikely that seems. But absent that, we’ve spent quite enough effort trying to find out what’s going on. The truth is that there’s nothing going on, except that some guy is out of a job and the Discoveroids are going to add him to their list of nondescript heroes.

Don’t misunderstand. We’ll probably post about Coppedge another time or two as the trial grinds on, if we find reliable news that might be worth mentioning. But it’s time we moved on to other things.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “David Coppedge Trial: 23 Mar ’12

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    So sad. A whole audience waiting for the DI to serve up a banquet of great juicy slabs of USDA Prime Red Meat, and all that was put out on the table was one overdone meatball infused with Pink Slime ™ filler, which it turns out the public isn’t hungry for any longer.

  2. Wait, you’re adapting in the light of new information, which in this case is a dearth of new information?
    Yeah, you’d make a lousy creationist.

  3. Erasmus, FCD

    It is getting hard to find good tard these days. Thank you for your service!

  4. There are some interesting comments by poster “News” (O’Leary) at the UD blog: More on the Dave Coppedge trial (that JPL/NASA guy who got fired for giving out ID DVDs).
    She asks: “Are court cases about this stuff really a good idea in general?”
    And then, in response to Coppedge saying that he didn’t realize that there was a need to disclose his DVD sales, she says: “Internal Revenue Service? Aw come on.”

  5. David Swofford

    I landed here after stumbling on to a thread at Amazon.com where the ID/creationist crowd was ranting about how Coppedge was fired for his support of ID and religious beliefs. I agree that the lawsuit was lame, but in fairness want to point out that it was the JPL (his employer) that was largely responsible for the lack of news. They submitted a request to limit media access which Coppedge opposed (http://ncse.com/webfm_send/1754). The request for media blackout was based on a clearly defensible argument, but unfortunately things like this play into the ID/CS propaganda that it’s the pro-evolution scientists who are unwilling to defend the factual basis of their arguments.