Most of you have seen these already, but they appeared during your Curmudgeon’s recent galactic adventure, so we’re catching up. Both of these appear at the blog of 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).
These were posted when the Coppedge trial was expected to begin on 07 March. As far as we can tell, there is no new date set for the trial, so they’re not as timely as they might have been. We’ll give you some some excerpts from each article, with bold font added by us and their links omitted:
The first is Why the Coppedge Trial Matters. It’s by David Klinghoffer, whose creationist oeuvre we last described here, and upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist. According to Klinghoffer:
David Coppedge’s case against his former employer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, goes to trial in Los Angeles on Wednesday. This will open yet another window on the culture of free-speech suppression that exists across academic and para-academic institutions.
Ah yes, the “culture of free-speech suppression.” A terrible thing indeed. That’s what keeps flat-earthers from teaching school kids to do “critical thinking” about the shape of the earth, and it keeps moon-landing deniers from teaching astronomy classes. By the way, David, it isn’t “NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.” JPL is part of Caltech. Anyway, Klinghoffer continues:
David Coppedge, it sure looks like, was denied his free expression rights when he accidentally stepped on a land mine: Darwinian evolution. We’ve documented a variety of other instances where variants of this general scenario have played out: [litany of other creationist martyrs who can be found telling their tales of woe in cult classic films like Expelled.]
Observe, dear reader, Klinghoffer’s view that the terrible fate which befell Coppedge was all about evolution. There’s no hint that he may have harassed his co-workers on several occasions over several different matters. Let’s read on:
In each instance [of Klinghoffer’s list of martyrs], a loosely organized Darwinian Guild sought to intimidate internal critics and doubters and chill their freedom to write and speak openly. Then courts and lawyers got involved. Emails were disclosed. The facts came out, all properly documented and vetted. Sometimes, significant sums of money were dislodged from Darwinian coffers. Now it’s set to happen again, with NASA, JPL and CalTech in the hot seat.
The “Darwinian Guild.” That has a nice ring to it. We need something to counter-balance it. How about “creationist coterie”? We could probably do better, but let’s not get distracted. Klinghoffer continues:
Most folks in scientific fields, faced with the fear that Darwinists seek to instill, keep quiet about their Darwin doubts. They know where the land mines are buried and so successfully avoid them by staying silent.
Oh, how true! We all live in constant fear. Here’s more:
Then you get a fellow like Coppedge who, for whatever reason, never got the memo and didn’t realize the danger in merely sharing a few pro-ID DVDs till he already fell under the threatening shadow of a Human Resources investigation. Before he knew it, he was out of a job.
Poor Coppedge! One day he offers a creationist DVD, and before you know it — Ka-BOOM! He’s out on the street. One more excerpt:
Someday, enough tiles [individual martyr cases] will have accumulated that any fair-minded person will see the image, without ambiguity. For the Darwin Guild, which needs the public to think that scientists are actually free to reach any conclusion on evolution, that will be an unmitigated disaster.
Okay, the next Discoveroid post is An Alcatraz of the Mind: What the Coppedge Trial Will Show. This one is also by Klinghoffer. He starts out quoting something by PZ Myers — who says “Coppedge is a nobody.” PZ is never subtle in such matters. Then Klinghoffer says:
As the Coppedge trial proceeds, this idea that Coppedge is a “nobody,” a “mere computer technician,” will be heard often from Darwin enforcers as they explain why NASA’s JPL “reasonably” punished Coppedge for his pro-intelligent design interests.
Punished for his interests? How contorted can a worldview be? Well, Klinghoffer hasn’t yet achieved Time Cube level, but he seems to be on the way. Moving along:
But the picture of Coppedge as a “nobody,” a person of no consequence and therefore offering no reason to protest his mistreatment, needs to be addressed. It’s exactly the fact that Coppedge isn’t a professor or academic himself that reveals the extent to which professional scholars are denied the freedom to reach any conclusion on the scientific questions raised by intelligent design.
Huh? What’s he saying? The Coppedge case reveals the tyranny against professional scholars? No doubt that’s how his trial team would like to argue the case, but his former employer has other reasons for his discipline and subsequent layoff. Another excerpt:
Let’s take a moment to recall the realities of the world of science. If you are outside that world, it’s hard to understand the prison-like conditions that pertain inside.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, isn’t Klinghoffer outside that world? How would he know about such conditions? Probably he’s attuned to the wailing of the condemned. On with the article:
It’s a strange kind of prison, though. There is no commandant, no professional correctional officers who guard the prisoners by day and go home at night to a wife and children. The internees guard themselves, supervised by kapo-like figures, specially suited to the role by their own meanly brutish nature.
Perhaps we were wrong. Klinghoffer seems to have achieved Time Cube status. Indeed, he may have surpassed it! This is getting tedious, so we’ll confine ourselves to a few more excerpts:
In such an Alcatraz of the mind, what sort of person do you think is most likely to fall into the most serious difficulty — running heedlessly into the fence and getting electrocuted, torn up by the prison dogs, not merely intimidated by the kapos but beaten and humiliated by them? Is it the trustee, the “good” scientist and longtime resident who absorbed the rules of the place long ago, for whom those rules have been second nature from undergraduate and grad-school days on, who hardly thinks of himself as being imprisoned but, quite the contrary, enjoys the perks while staying so safely clear of the perimeter that he never even sees it?
Of course not. In all likelihood, the guy who gets fried by the fence is someone who is an innocent, an unwary soul without the instinct for self-protection and, probably, without the long training in academia that many other internees have had. He is in the science world but not entirely of it. Such a person is David Coppedge. I have not met or talked with him myself but those who have spent time with him tell me that an “innocent” is exactly what he is.
Yes, we all love the smell of napalm and fried innocents in the morning. Okay, here’s the last of it:
[Coppedge] is precisely the kind of person most likely to get caught talking about ID and to pay the price for it. He offered to lend a DVD to a colleague and the next day found himself getting screamed at by a supervisor, then quickly demoted and, after he protested, fired. … As the Coppedge trial gets off the ground, he’ll have an opportunity to tell his story. It will be, or should be, an embarrassment to the kapos.
So that’s the view from Seattle. The JPL-Caltech position seems to be that Coppedge was a troublesome employee in many ways, and they finally let him go in a downsizing. But to the Discoveroids, the Coppedge case reveals that Big Science is an Alcatraz of the mind. Can one courtroom contain both of these mutually contradictory universes? We doubt it, but we’ll soon find out.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.