First, the good news: This is probably the last episode in the Discovery Institute’s woeful attempt to re-write the history of David Coppedge, the creationist who claimed he was wrongfully demoted and later fired by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design (ID) on the job.
Coppedge used to work as a computer technician for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is part of Caltech. If you want to re-live the whole mess, our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) maintain an archive of pleadings in the case: NCSE’s Coppedge archive. The previous installment of this tragic tale of martyrdom was Alternate History, Part 2.
Today’s exciting revisionist telling of the Coppedge tale, like the others, is by Klinghoffer. It’s NASA Versus David Coppedge: Most Reprehensible Case of Anti-Intelligent Design Persecution Yet? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Of all the cases we’ve covered here where scientists and others have been persecuted for sharing ideas favorable to intelligent design, what happened to David Coppedge is arguably the most reprehensible.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Calm down, dear reader, we’re just getting started. Let’s read on:
That’s partly because Coppedge, working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab as a team lead on the Cassini Mission to Saturn, wasn’t a PhD scientist with the space agency. He was a computer administrator, albeit a senior one, and therefore by definition a less powerful, more vulnerable player in the science world.
Egad — those wicked Darwinists picked on Coppedge because he was weak and powerless! Then Klinghoffer says:
Another aggravating factor: His “offense” was not public (like, for example, the scientists whose stories are told in the film Expelled), in the sense of publishing or teaching about ID at a university or museum. In those instances, you could at least say that the persecutors acted on behalf of their cause, materialism. No, this was strictly private, and thus gratuitously cruel.
After that, Klinghoffer presents his summary of the case against Coppedge:
Coppedge loaned out documentaries on DVD, highlighting relevant scientific evidence of design [Hee hee!] in biology and cosmology, to willing colleagues. That’s it! That’s all he did.
For the other side of the case, you might want to look at Caltech’s Post-Trial Response Brief. It’s a 24-page pdf file, but the table of contents is a good summary. Among other things, it says Coppedge made his co-workers feel harassed and uncomfortable, he had a long history of customer complaints, and he was dismissed because of an undisputed lack of necessary skills.
Okay, back to Klinghoffer. He presents what he says is the third and final podcast in which “Coppedge tells his own story for the first time (outside of a courtroom context).” Because it’s outside of the courtroom, we’re supposed to assume that it’s true. Then he tells us:
As he approached retirement age, for his mild-mannered and entirely private advocacy, Mr. Coppedge was disciplined, demoted, shamed, and finally, after he sued over this indefensible treatment, fired. Completing the drama, in a five-week anti-discrimination lawsuit, a California Superior Court judge sided with JPL’s team of high-paid lawyers, shortly after which Coppedge was diagnosed with cancer.
Gasp — this is the most horrible tale we’ve ever heard! Klinghoffer closes his post in a most dramatic way:
You must hear about all of this now. It’s a David versus Goliath story, except that here, Goliath creamed David and walked away. Taking advantage of his vulnerability, David Coppedge’s supervisors sought to hurt and silence him. They succeeded. And that, by fear of career and personal ruin, is how the scientific “consensus” against ID is maintained.
Yes, that’s how those hell-bound Darwinists maintain their dominance; but now that he’s no longer in the courtroom being bullied by high-paid lawyers, you can listen to Coppedge and learn The Truth™.
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