Update: David Coppedge vs. JPL (19 Apr 2010)

WE are again writing again about the David Coppedge case because, besides finding little else to amuse us this morning, we think that what we wrote yesterday is worth keeping before you a while longer. That was The Coppedge Case: A Study in Tactics and Strategy.

Background: David Coppedge claims he was wrongfully demoted by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design on the job. He works for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a federally funded research firm that is also a NASA contractor. As we pointed out in Another Creationist Is “Expelled”, Coppedge is active at creationist websites.

The case is being championed by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). The lawyer for Coppedge is William J. Becker, Jr., who is also the attorney on the Discoveroid side of what we’re calling the “Darwin’s Dilemma” Lawsuit.

Discoveroid Casey Luskin is advising Becker in the Coppedge case. Together, this formidable legal duo is trying to establish some new kind constitutional right — an employee’s “freedom to promote creationism” in the workplace. Strange, but apparently true.

This morning we found one legitimate news item with some additional information. It appears in the San Gabriel Valley News. At first we thought it was just another public relations piece, but then we realized that the San Gabriel Valley is where JPL is located. This is a real newspaper article.

We’d like to give you some excerpts from the news story, but that paper is owned by Media News Group, and they’re suing bloggers who excerpt their stories without permission. So you’ll have to click over there to read it for yourself.

They tell about Coppedge being a Christian who edits a blog titled “Creation-Evolution Headlines.” We looked at it. That’s one of the wilder websites about creationism. If you want to rot your brain, check it out: Creation-Evolution Headlines.

The newspaper quotes Coppedge’s attorney William Becker, Jr., who claims that JPL ought to have an openness to intelligent design theory. That’s just great! A personal injury lawyer is telling JPL what kind of science they should study. Casey Luskin has, at last, found a worthy protege.

They also quote Gary Williams, a professor at Loyola Law School, who doesn’t think much of Coppedge’s case.

They also mention that Coppedge sits on the board of directors of Illustra Media, the group that publishes the DVDs that he distributed. Hard-core indeed!

And so, dear reader, we leave you with a few questions: Does a creationist employee working for JPL have some kind of constitutional right to distribute his creationist DVDs on the job? Has Casey Luskin found in William Becker the man who will be the Clarence Darrow of creationism? Should JPL, as Becker suggests, become interested in creationism in order to advance their space exploration work? And finally, doesn’t “Coppedge” sound like what we all hoped to attain on our first date with Mary Lou?

Hey, if JPL gets on the right track and embraces creationism, we may soon be exploring the outer planets. Then, perhaps, the next Coppedge DVD could be titled: “Destination Uranus!”

Copyright © 2010. 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

7 responses to “Update: David Coppedge vs. JPL (19 Apr 2010)

  1. Coppedge’s attorney William Becker, Jr: “I think it’s unfortunate that JPL, which is interested in exploring the origins of the universe would be hostile to the argument of intelligent design.”

    I would bet that JPL is not at all hostile to the “argument of intelligent design.” Probably half of their scientists have already remarked one time or another that it’s all God’s “design.” What they must be hostile to, and rightly so, is the misrepresentation of science that is a necessary component of the ID strategy and its “parent,” creationism.

  2. Actually, it’s useful to allow distribution of stuff like his DVDs in the workplace of a research facility. Much like the Jesus fish on the backs of cars, signaling to one and all that this is an idiot driver.

  3. What creationists want in general, and what Coppedge wants specifically, according to his court complaint, is to engage in any activity without accountability, responsibility or consequence.

    Seems to me that only 2-year olds can get away with that.

  4. Creationism ( i.e. intelligent design ) is not science
    or anything of the sort. It’s religion.

    Coppaedge although working at a top notch
    scientific facility, obviously has “problems”.

    Anyone that believes that stuff and is willing to
    pass around propaganda about it should have
    been yanked from his job.

  5. How can Coppedge be demoted for handing out a DVD or any material that experts from JPL appear prominantly? It’s not fair that he is singled out and persecuted for promoting an idea that many JPL people agree with. This is unjust discrimination.

  6. Don says: “This is unjust discrimination.”

    It’s a cruel world. Goodbye, Don.

  7. I submit that this is a setup.

    Coppedge is on the Board of Directors of Illustra Media, which is a shell company of Discovery Media, which in turn is the new name of the infamous “Moody Institute of Science,” producer of pro-creationism media for the fundamentalist Moody Bible Institute. (See http://ncse.com/creationism/analysis/unlocking-mystery-illustra-media for details)

    This is nothing more than an old creationist propaganda organization evolving (heh heh) to take advantage of the intelligent design creationism phenomena. And Coppedge seems to be playing the agent provocateur part well.

    This is just one more example of the (already) clear connection between the fundamentalist religionists and intelligent design creationism.

    (And what’s kind of cool is that Uncommon Descent let me post the above rant (only slightly different from above) – see http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-david-coppedge-is-guilty, comment #6 – the follow-on comments should be interesting.