Coppedge Trial: Discoveroids Are Optimistic

There’s still no news about the ongoing trial of 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.

As we’ve said before, if things were going well for the creationist, we’d undoubtedly have heard about it from 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).

In their apparent desperation to find something they can say to cheer up their fans, the Discoveroids have assigned their most brilliant legal minds to the task of analyzing the testimony of JPL’s witnesses, and they’ve come up with some amazing things. It’s all in their new post titled David Coppedge’s Jet Propulsion Lab Accusers Consistently Saying Inconsistent Things.

“Inconsistent things”? This sounds serious! Let’s take a look at what the Discoveroids have to say. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us

Last week, two witnesses took the stand in the David Coppedge v. Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) lawsuit who have given some contradictory testimony in the case.

Last week? Well, okay — if that’s the most current news they have to offer, we’ll go with it. What’s the contradictory testimony?

Margaret Weisenfelder was one of the JPL employees who complained that Coppedge was harassing her by sharing intelligent design DVDs at work. During her deposition, Weisenfelder stated she doesn’t think it’s appropriate to discuss religion or politics during working hours [quote omitted]. But she then admitted that when Coppedge’s supervisor Greg Chin showed cartoons that had “some political subject matter,” she wasn’t offended [quote omitted].

Wowie! She found Coppedge’s political discussion offensive, but not Chin’s. The Discoveroids tell us why that’s important:

Bear in mind that Greg Chin was David Coppedge’s supervisor who yelled at him and ordered him to stop talking about intelligent design. Weisenfelder and Chin share similar political views — which are very different from those of David Coppedge. And incidentally, Weisenfelder never complained about Chin discussing politics at work.

Apparently Weisenfelder has no problem when political views are expressed at work, so long as she agrees with them. When someone shares views she doesn’t agree with, then it’s not “appropriate to discuss … during working hours.”

That’s absolutely devastating! Let’s read on:

Carmen Vetter was another JPL employee who complained against Coppedge because he asked that the word “Christmas” be emplaced on the holiday party flier. She also told inconsistent stories about her interactions with David.

During deposition testimony, Coppedge’s attorney, William Becker, asked Vetter if she had ever had conversations with David which were friendly and had nothing to do with politics or religion. Depending on when she was asked, she gave different answers.

Amazing — there were times when she didn’t think Coppedge’s conversation was creepy. JPL’s defense is in big trouble! We continue:

It’s important to note that Vetter admitted she never told Coppedge she felt uncomfortable about discussing religion, and never asked him to stop broaching the subject with her. [References to deposition.] So she never even gave David the chance to stop before she complained about him.

Jeepers — she never told him to his face that he was obnoxious! Here’s more:

In fact, one major point about Coppedge’s interactions with Carmen Vetter was that at the time they occurred, she and Coppedge were both Christians, and so both of them had good reasons to expect neither would mind if religion came up. But Vetter gave inconsistent testimony about whether they both knew one-another were Christians.

JPL’s defense is crumbling! Now here comes the most powerful point in the Discoveroids’ post, and the parentheses are in the original:

(If you’re wondering why Vetter would now testify against Coppedge that she was bothered by their conversations about religion if they’re both Christians, it turns out that Vetter is no longer a Christian. During her deposition she acknowledged that “at this time,” she’s “basically what they call an agnostic.”)

Egad — the woman’s not a Christian! How can she be allowed to testify? This is an outrage! We’re skipping a lot, but here’s how the post concludes:

While some of these contradictions are more important than others, with Carmen Vetter, you get the feeling that you’re listening to a heavily coached witness who has some concocted stories in her head but isn’t capable of keeping them all straight all of the time. Sometimes the truth might be coming out, but sometimes you get an alternate version of reality. Whatever the truth actually is, it sure seems like that Carmen Vetter isn’t always telling it straight.

What can we say? This is certainly bad news. Two of the witnesses against Coppedge seem to admit that they weren’t always creeped out by him. According to the Discoveroids’ analysis — and we know how good they are at this stuff — things certainly look hopeless for JPL.

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

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8 responses to “Coppedge Trial: Discoveroids Are Optimistic

  1. My God! The people that work at JPL are human!

    I would be way more suspicious if a witness had perfect memory of conversations or meetings that occurred 2-3 years ago. That would reflect coaching. Besides, does the anonymous writer really think that the JPL would coach witnesses, and that they would remain silent about it? Perhaps it is something that the DI would do, so they imagine others doing it as well.

    I also wonder why the writer of this tripe doesn’t identify himself. ENV is one of the few blogs I see that has unattributed writing. Surely doing all that quote mining is worthy of some credit.

  2. The writer of the tripe is Klinkleklopper. He’s at the trial. Also, the smarmy style of writing has Keeperpopper’s name written all over it. The guy’s a professional contrarian so of course he sees monsters in the shadows. Besides, Klinkles is a professional liar, so you can’t believe anything he writes, even if he quotes a transcript.

    Do I remember every conversation I’ve had with a co-worker I don’t particularly like?

    No, he’s a bigot!

    Have you ever confronted this person and told him he’s a bigot?

    No, I have to work with the guy. I just go along to get along. No big deal.

    Wow, you seem to have inconsistent morals, condoning conversations you disagree with when it suits you.

    Uh, no, I’m a human being and this is how we get along.

    And, yes, if my boss puts an offensive cartoon on his door I will laugh a bellyful if that gets me a degree closer to a better pay raise next year. Yes, I will.

  3. There’s a huge difference between a one or two sentence comment mentioning religion or politics, or displaying simple political cartoon, and aggressively proselytizing.

    Activist creationists, especially ones with poor social skills, like apparently Coppedge, do not know the difference.

    It is impossible for an employer to prohibit any and all communication between employees on politics and religion. What an employer is concerned with is communication that is disruptive and that affects job performance.

    If this is the best Team Coppedge it is not worth a million bucks, which is about what Team Coppedge is demanding. JPL’s defense is that Coppedge’s job performance was poor and that is he was a why he was laid off in a general layoff in which many other people were also laid off. From what little I’ve seen Coppedge has not offered any evidence to indicate he was a SysAdmin god and guru who was laid off despite his superior job performance. If he had Klinghoffer would have written two or three articles about it by now.

  4. The one thing I hate about Creationists is the utter hypocracy and double standard they apply to there position.

    As jack said there is a clear difference between a political cartoon pasted on the wall and someone activly handing out flyers, DVD and pushing discussion to the point people have to ask him to leave.

    Also didn’t Copp ask for the cartoons to be taken down and they were??? Yet when he was asked him to do pretty much the same he had a problem with that.

    What I find utterly outragious is how they expected EVERY christian to agree with Copp and anyone who didn’t wasn’t christian enough for them. My guess is “basically agnostic” means not agreeing with biblical literalism.

    No matter what Kling wants to say it’s pretty obvious that when you choose to ignore and not comment on 95% of the trial that no matter what the truth actually is it’s pretty obvious he isn’t telling much of it. Hence why comments are not allowed on most creationists blogs.

  5. Off topic, but in Kansas the Kansas Citizens for Science Discussion board has been SHUT DOWN.

    Jack Krebs finally came out and said he was an atheist.

    This means that if needed in 2014 he won’t be as useful as he was because he kept all that private back in the Evolution Wars.

    Now its out…I guess KCFS was not all just about “Science” after all.

    Thats what my uncle always said.


  6. Ceteris Paribus

    As to Krebs’ religious affiliation or lack thereof, nobody who really cares about science education
    notes whether a supporter of science is an atheist or believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    But theocrats who want use the power of the state to inflict their own religion on citizens do make religion an issue. As Jack Krebs was quoted in the Washington Post in regard to the theocrats in the Kansas School Board hearings in 2005:

    “It’s clear from the beginning that this is not a real science discussion. This is a showcase for intelligent design,” said Jack Krebs, vice president of Kansas Citizens for Science, which is boycotting the four days of hearings. “They have created a straw man. They are trying to make science stand for atheism so they can fight atheism.”

    Oh, by the way, the KCFS discussion site is still functional. It’s just that after the 2005 hearings they limited posting to registered users. Something about the discussions being spammed by creationist morons making off topic posts. We will see what the SC does with your next post. – Hilarious.

  7. Ceteris Paribus says: “We will see what the SC does with your next post.”

    He’s probably just a hit & run.

  8. SC said:

    He’s probably just a hit & run.

    Ah, a drive-by creationist troll. Figures.