Discoveroids’ Christmas Gift: A Coppedge Story

The Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.– are running a year-end extravaganza. They’re posting what they consider their Top Ten stories for 2012. They made the big announcement of the coming series here, saying:

The end of the year is approaching. What could be better than rounding up the top ten evolution-related news and other stories of 2012? … We’ll roll out our favorites, and yours, starting Sunday and continuing through New Year’s Day.

Since then we’ve been trembling with anticipation, and now we’ve got a real winner for the day before Christmas: Our Top 10 Evolution-Related Stories: #9, David Coppedge Takes the Stand. It’s by Klinghoffer. He wrote it back in April of this year on the day the trial ended. You already know about the case, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts, with bold font added by us and David’s links omitted. It begins with this editorial note:

We said from the very beginning of our coverage of the David Coppedge case that whatever the ultimate outcome, by uncovering the nest of uninformed bias at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Coppedge had scored a victory for freedom of thought on issues related to intelligent design.

Yes, Coppedge has indeed scored a victory by exposing a nest of bias. Here’s the Discoveroids’ account of that great day when the whole world seemed to hold its breath as Coppedge mounted the witness stand:

Jet Propulsion Lab defense attorney Cameron Fox was observed to jump slightly with a nervous energy when she discussed an email memo potentially damaging to her client’s case. Judge Ernest Hiroshige was seen to put on his glasses and lean forward a bit when testimony from JPL manager Cab Burgess, apparently contradicting that email and calling Burgess’s candor into question, was projected on a screen in the court.

Cameron Fox jumped slightly, and Judge Hiroshige leaned forward a bit. What a thrilling moment that must have been! Let’s read on:

In a complicated case like this, being tried by a judge who keeps his thoughts and reflections well concealed, observers wondering about the outcome are pretty much reduced to scrutinizing Tarot cards. Hence the interest in Ms. Fox’s anxious footwork, a departure for an otherwise impressively calm, methodical and seasoned trial attorney. And the possible significance of Judge Hiroshige donning corrective eyewear and adopting an attentive posture at an arguably important moment.

Klinghoffer did a great job of reading all those subtle signs. His post continues, but remember, this was written back in April before the final decision was known:

How it will all play out in the end is, of course, guesswork. The main points, from the perspective of common sense as opposed to the arcana of employment law in the State of California, are as we have hammered away at them here. Coppedge was an employee with a fine documented record of high-quality job performance. He got along with colleagues and shared political, scientific and religious views only in a modest, unobtrusive way, as anyone ought to have the right to do.

Poor Coppedge. He was a high quality employee who never bothered anyone, and look — just look! — at what the Darwinists have done to him. Here’s the end of the Discoveroids’ historic post:

His trouble began when it became known that, among his views, there numbered a belief in the scientific theory of intelligent design. The culture of JPL could not tolerate open trafficking in this idea, however discreetly done. And this — by an implicit policy of intimidation and silence — is how Big Science at places like JPL maintains the pretense of a “consensus” against ID.

Big Science can’t tolerate even discreetly mentioning “the scientific theory of intelligent design.” That’s the lesson of the Coppedge case, and that’s one of the Discoveroids’ Top Ten stories for 2012.

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

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7 responses to “Discoveroids’ Christmas Gift: A Coppedge Story

  1. I enjoy your articles revealing the abject ignorance & intellectual poverty of the Discoveroids & other Xtian ***tards, but it would be nice to see a little more than your usual snark sometimes. An uninformed person might come across this and think, “Oh, this Curmudgeon guy has a chip on his shoulder, but he’s got nothing but smart-ass sarcasm to show, maybe Klingkoffer has something after all?”
    When Kadiddlehopper says something like “Coppedge was an employee with a fine documented record of high-quality job performance. He got along with colleagues and shared political, scientific and religious views only in a modest, unobtrusive way, as anyone ought to have the right to do,” please quote the parts from the transcripts that show Coppedge was found to be abrasive and obnoxious, and that he was let go because his project was done, not because he was fired for being an ignorant creationist.
    It’s nice to see point-by-point rebuttals with facts to back up your position, especially when your opposition has no facts on their side & has to make **** up. Don’t give them a pass on that kind of behavior.

  2. @Artor You may want to read through the legal document archive the NCSE hosts at . This may be the one post SC has made concerning D.C. vs JPL that hasn’t had a link to the ncse archive page.

  3. No, one does not have the “right” to share political and religious views with coworkers, even in a modest, unobtrusive way. Such emotionally-charged topics are too personal for a workplace. They are prying, in that one is supposed to respond by sharing one’s own political and religious views, and they are also TMI about the coworker.

    They are divisive: since these are such deeply-held beliefs and emotion-provoking subjects, one often cannot help feeling resentful towards those who hold quite opposite views. I don’t want to know what obnoxious opinions the people whom I have to work with every day for years at a time hold. It’s much easier to work with them effectively and professionally without that added complication. We’re there to work, not to be intimate.

    If you have some especially close friends among your coworkers, talk to them about those topics, if your friendship is one that allows for that. But keep that out of any daily conversation with coworkers, who may well wish to maintain more of a distance from you so that they can get along and work.

    I don’t want to hear about anyone’s sex life either.

  4. “Scientific” theory of Intelligent Design?? WTF???

  5. While it is true that most people are a bit different in person than they are online, it is also true that they are not THAT different. One need only read Coppedge’s vast history of creationist writings to see just what sort of co-worker he might be/have been. An obnoxious, under-informed “know it all” who thinks insulting those that disagree with him is just as effective as actually showing why they are wrong – and easier to do, too!

  6. So, Coppedge was a disruptive, company-time-wasting, obstinate, off-task influence at JPL, and JPL has to spend how much time, effort, and legal fees to get rid of him? He’s sure making it tough on the next religiously-inclined person seeking employment there.

  7. retiredsciguy says: “JPL has to spend how much time, effort, and legal fees to get rid of him?”

    You’ve got to admire their determination. It would have been far easier and cheaper to settle with the guy.