Klinghoffer Unleashed to Defend David Coppedge

You all know about the case of David Coppedge. Our last post about it, with background information, is David Coppedge v. JPL & Caltech — He’s Fired!

JPL’s letting Coppedge go has really stirred up the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

When they have a dirty job to do, the Discoveroids know that David Klinghoffer is the man they want. We won’t bother to repeat our description of his creationist oeuvre here, but you can check it out in this recent post. Suffice it to say that Klinghoffer is very experienced at whipping out his “Darwin = Hitler–Marx-Stalin-Mao-Mengele-Manson-etc.” rhetorical device and waiving it around with merry abandon at any provocation.

Klinghoffer’s post at the Discoveroid website is Protest David Coppedge’s Persecution, Direct to NASA! No more Mr. Nice Guy. The gloves are off. His post is a strident call to action. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us (except as indicated):

Every so often there’ll be a media story revealing some gross abuse of public resources by government personnel: say, management at a given federal agency who are using a startling percentage of their government work time to look at Internet pornography on government computers — that sort of thing. Everyone gets outraged for a day then we forget all about it.

This is classic Klinghoffer. With that image of bureaucrats and pornography to set the tone, he plunges into the subject:

The ultimate government resource, much more so than time or computers, is power, especially the power to coerce and punish. So let us not forget all about the violence that’s been done to the public trust in the David Coppedge case at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Yes, dear reader, Klinghoffer would have his readers believe that the behavior of porn-perusing paper-pushers is trivial compared to the incredibly abusive government outrage that has been perpetrated against Coppedge — without whom JPL probably wouldn’t even know where Saturn is.

Let’s read on, and in this excerpt, the bold font is in the original:

Get ready now to call (preferably) or at least email Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator, to express your outrage at the fact that Coppedge was fired this week. Here’s that contact information: phone: [deleted]; email: [deleted].

We wonder if Klinghoffer’s drooling fans are able to use a telephone or send an email. Some of them can probably do so. His post continues:

From all appearances, supervisors at NASA’s JPL abused their power in order to persecute Coppedge, a top computer specialist on the Cassini Mission to Saturn and a Darwin doubter.

Klinghoffer must have access to information that we don’t have, because things don’t appear that way to us. Coppedge got demoted, allegedly for being some kind of creationism evangelist in the workplace, and long after that he was let go in a downsizing. If there are more facts, perhaps Klinghoffer will share them with us. Oh — later on he cites Casey’s opinion of what happened — that’s the source of his information, but we discussed all that in our earlier post. Here’s more from Klinghoffer:

What did Coppedge do to get himself in trouble? He occasionally chatted with interested colleagues about the scientific case for intelligent design, he passed around a couple of pro-ID DVDs, which made good sense since JPL’s officially defined mission includes the exploration of questions relating to the origin and development of life on earth and elsewhere. His supervisor severely chastised him for this, humiliated and demoted him.

Poor guy. All he ever did was have a friendly chat with “interested colleagues” from time to time. It’s not as if he was harassing everyone in sight about creationism. And besides, JPL is supposed to be interested in origins, so why would they neglect a promising field of science like that which Coppedge was promoting? He was only trying to be helpful.

This next excerpt also has bold font from Klinghoffer’s original post:

Meanwhile, it’s important to take a moment now and call or write to Charles Bolden at NASA. Remind your friends to do so as well. Believe it or not, sometimes folks in government turn out to be sensitive to the thoughts of their constituents and employers — namely, you. Be respectful but firm in expressing your indignation at JPL’s truly indefensible attempt to silence a prominent, thoughtful, and well informed Darwin-doubter in their midst.

That’s about it. Klinghoffer has released the creationist peasants with their torches and pitchforks to storm the castle. Will the scientific world cave under all the pressure? We shall see.

Copyright © 2011. 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

19 responses to “Klinghoffer Unleashed to Defend David Coppedge

  1. And when you don’t even know what a fact is, send Klinghoffer on a rant.

    Luskin’s rabid flea.

  2. Klinghoffer Unhinged! Oh Noes!

    Get ready now to call (preferably) or at least email Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator, to express your outrage at the fact that Coppedge was fired this week. Here’s that contact information: phone: [deleted]; email: [deleted].

    Klinghoffer seems all too willing to publish Charles Bodens email and phone number, just to be annoying. Funny thing, but I didn’t have any trouble finding Klinghoffer’s phone number and address, and for $2 I could have his email too. I have better things to do than annoy a discoveroid, but it is tempting.

  3. Tomato Addict says:

    Klinghoffer seems all too willing to publish Charles Bodens email and phone number …

    NASA has a directory (which isn’t working at the moment), so it’s not private information. Annoying, of course, but that’s how creationists are.

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    I was sorely tempted to stop by Mercer Island and take a picture of his house, but I thought that would be crossing a line. (Mercer Island, for those not from the Northwest, is pretty tony.) Now that I’ve moved to Wisconsin the temptation is laid to rest. Anyway, would’ve been nice to see what it is Klinghoffer’s sold his soul for, but some jerkass might have done something I don’t want any part of. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

  5. I was sorely tempted to stop by Mercer Island and take a picture of his house, but I thought that would be crossing a line. (Mercer Island, for those not from the Northwest, is pretty tony.)

    Oh I doubt it would make much difference. You can see his house from above using Google Earth–pretty good sized (larger than the immediate neighbors, smaller than a few more distant houses), with a deck and obviously with a lush landscape. It appears that the street view is blocked, so you can’t see it from ground level, but yeah, it looks like ignorant rants for dominionists pay pretty well.

    I’d never have even thought to look at it using Google Earth without seeing your comment here, but there isn’t too much hidden from view of anyone with a decent internet connection. And I doubt that he’s much of a target, being such an inconsequential shill for IDiocy. It really doesn’t look like the DI thinks of him as being convincing, which is why he’s the one chosen for guttersniping and fact-free viciousness.

  6. (Mercer Island, for those not from the Northwest, is pretty tony.)

    They don’t call it “Poverty Rock” for nothing….


  7. Gabriel Hanna

    @Glen Davidson:

    It doesn’t look excessive for a guy with six kids; the value of the house is more in its location. He’s sold his soul, but I don’t know what he did with money. Well, it’s been a buyer’s market in souls ever since the 80s anyway.

  8. If people started calling or emailing Klingie, he would tout it as an example of the darwinist conspiracy to quell scientific dissent, or something similar. Besides, the DI has too many lawyers with nothing to do….

  9. Coppedge is a little more than a “Darwin doubter.” Check out his website at Creation-Evolution Headlines.

    Klunkhopper’s antics reminds me of the time Dembski posted the names, home phone numbers and email addresses of the Baylor Board of Reagents. Not a smart move, but we’re dealing with creationists.

  10. He also writes articles for ICR. Here’s a typical example: http://www.icr.org/article/astrobiology-follow-/ but others can be found by searching for his last name on the site. It would be irritating to have him on your team if he spent all his time evangelizing, but his writing is pretty tame for a creationist, at least on ICR.

  11. Here’s a suggestion for those who challenge the JPL position: build your own rockets, and go hunt for your own evidence. Don’t we favor private enterprise?

  12. just read it.


    tone it down.

    drop the ad hominem and address the content.

    you do the cause a disservice with your gleeful indulgence in personality issues.

    klinghofer is what klinghofer is – his significvance is not who but what he brings to the table.

    and as far as what he brings to the table he could not be a more effective ally of reason than Bertrand Russell.

    “God grant my enemies be fools,” and all that, yes?

    as was said about a member of Parliament once, “Every speech of his is worth ten votes for the opposition.”

    These are people commited to strangling themselves with their own tongues. You cite KvD enough – read it. Consider huow it was the IDiots testimony that destroyed their case – arehuably more than the opposition detsroyed it.

    Certainly, indulge your emotional investment in the sunggery as we dead-soldier the third bottle of Bual – but in the snuggery; not here.

    indulge less; focus more.

    Thank you.


  13. The cause will have to suffer. Goodbye, JOHN THOMAS GILLICK.

  14. According to Klinghofer (as cited at UD) JPL claims firing Coppedged

    was a cost-cutting measure

    Thus, demoting him (for proselytizing) and terminating his contract (for cost reasons) is not necessarily related. Still, pissing off his bosses may not have served him in the later case.

  15. Not one of you has explained exactly what Coppedge did to deserve to be fired from a federal job in the U.S of A. This is not China. God forbid if he were to mention that he was gay or something. I would think that freedom thinkers such as yourself would believe in freedom of speech. Your mockery adds up to one thing: BIGOTRY!

  16. Kjar if he mentioned he was gay I would (and I suspect many here) would not bat an eye lid over it. Seems you the one with the problem with that. Secondly Sparc already mentioned above you the probable reason. If a company downsizing, and they need to get get of x team leaders. A team leader that no one wants to work with, would be the first one written down on the list to go.

  17. KJAR – The bottom line is that JPL pays their staff to do specific work. When a team lead chooses to evangelize to his co-workers instead of doing his work, he is distracting not only himself, but also other people from doing the work they are paid to do, and may even be creating a “hostile workplace” for his co-workers. From what we’ve read, this appears to be the case with Coppedge. There are undoubtedly facts none of us will know until (or if) it goes to trial, however that’s the case on the surface. The case is about his actions in the workplace, not specifically what he was preaching about.

    The layoff, which is a separate matter, would have gone through a great deal of review at JPL to ensure that it was necessary, and it most likely was based on economic requirements and affected a number of people, one of them being Coppedge. As long as JPL ‘s procedures were followed and fairly applied, the lay-off is unlikely to be an issue. It’s hard to imagine that they would not have been very careful in a situation where one of the employees selected for lay-off happens to have a lawsuit against the lab already in progress.

    As we can tell by reading his blog entries, Coppedge has been an outspoken creationism advocate for many years. If JPL managers were “bigoted” against employees who held his views, he would not have attained the position he was in at the time he was disciplined. It is clear that this became an issue only when he made it one, by his conduct in the workplace and during work hours.

    This Discovery Institute wants to use this case for their own ends. No matter the facts, the will highlight Coppedge’s apparent sympathy for intelligent design and opine that it is his ID support, and only that, which resulted in his disciplinary action. The DI’s overall objective is to create a false belief among the public that (1) ID is a legitimate science and not a religious belief, and (2) scientists who accept evolution are atheists and are participating in a world-wide conspiracy to eradicate ID because of their atheistic worldview, rather than because of any scientific basis. Thus, any case when has even a faint odor of a person being “expelled” for their belief in ID will be trumpeted by the DI as more evidence of the worldwide conspiracy.

    In this case, apart from a few typical posts, the DI has been quiet. That should concern anyone supporting Coppedge.

  18. Isn’t it a bit of an assumption that Coppedge was choosing to “evangelize” his co-workers while he and them were in the midst of work? The other “good” workers would be too focused on their work to listen to, let alone respond to Coppedge. I doubt Coppedge would be so stupid as to ramble on to co-workers who would most likely ignore him or at the least give dirty looks {“We are not interested”}. Whatever discussion that took place would have likely happened during free time.

    It’s not too hard to imagine that employees at NASA would enjoy discussing science-related topics during free time. If the topic of neo-Darwinism came up, I doubt anyone would complain. It certainly wouldn’t be considered evangelizing. Evangelizing is a word associated with proselytizing one’s personal religious faith. Why is it that if somebody dares to express that they have problems with certain aspects of neo-Darwinism they are immediately labelled as a religious freak? And why would he be accused of creating a “hostile environment”?

    If one is secure in what they believe to be true, they shouldn’t feel threatened by contrary views. In fact they should more than welcome to any challenges. It’s no different than how many Muslims respond to perceived attacks on their religious views. When they do this I can’t help but to conclude they are not secure in their beliefs

    I’m just saying that people should be free to discuss scientific views that may differ from others. It seems that whatever scientific data is used to question neo-Darwinism is immediately dismissed because some (not all!) may conclude the data points to an intelligent agent. Why not put aside such possible conclusions and just work together on testing the data? It seems to me that this is how science is supposed to work.

    NASA employees are free to choose not to get into discussions on ANY topic if makes them feel uncomfortable. If Coppedge was trying to ram his views down everybody’s throats, then he should have been disciplined. Otherwise, as I said before, it’s just exercising free speech.

  19. KJAR says:

    I’m just saying that people should be free to discuss scientific views that may differ from others.

    Okay, that’s enough. Goodbye, KJAR.