Coppedge is an Inventive Fellow

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Earlier this week, Jeffrey Kluger wrote an article about Coppedge v. JPL and Caltech that appeared on Time’s website. Kluger is a lawyer himself, and had a pretty tough take-away message concerning Coppedge’s apparent chances of success in the lawsuit:

Groups like the intelligent design community are not always free to pick their poster children, and it’s unfortunate for them that Coppedge is one of theirs. It’s true enough that employers and colleagues in a science-based workplace might be uncomfortable with the idea of a coworker who believes in intelligent design. But neither the Constitution nor employee-protection laws can regulate feelings – no more than they can or should regulate belief systems. They can, however, circumscribe behavior on both sides of that faith-divide. From the filings at least, JPL appears to have stayed well within those boundaries. Coppedge appears to have jumped the rails entirely.

Yes, even disinterested third parties get it now.

JPL’s brief discusses a lack of self-awareness on Coppedge’s part. The tone-deafness isn’t just Coppedge, though. It permeates the DI and the IDC community. They are so intent on instantiating their myths that they cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that one of their own could be in the wrong. You’d think with all those lawyers in their camp that they would be better at this than they are.

But Kluger’s conclusions are simply what one expects when someone comes to this without an ideological precommitment. Another observation made by Kluger takes us down a rabbit hole and straight to Wonderland’s mad hatter’s tea party in progress.

Far more bizarre is Coppedge’s inclusion of a three-page “screenplay” dramatizing his interactions with one of the complaining coworkers, including such dialogue as “I’m so uncomfortable with David approaching me about watching an intelligent design DVD and talking about my stance on Proposition 8.” The coworker then, in the “screenplay” version of the incident, sobs.

It is not a legal leap to suggest that none of this helps Coppedge’s case. Nor does his footnote to the scene, which concedes “Some liberties have been taken with the dialogue and action as artistic license.” Legal briefs, of course, are not typically the place for artistic anything – especially license.

The specific document in question is the “Plaintiff’s Trial Brief” from the NCSE website. The “screenplay” starts on page 4, in the section headed as “Weisenfelder”.

Unfortunately, the PDF is an image-based one and I don’t have an OCR program to hand. The screenplay is immensely entertaining, though, please give it a read. If someone transcribes it, please send it along and I’ll update this post.

Update: Thanks to “grumpyoldbroad” for the transcription. The original had formatting that is, unfortunately, lost to HTML. It actually looks rather like the standard screenplay format, down to specification of interior settings.

Weisenfelder

Weisenfelder carried a grudge ever since Coppedge had the temerity to ask on the eve of the election about her position on Proposition 8. She wore that grudge on her back for three months, when on February 28, 2009, Coppedge loaned her a copy of the intelligent design documentary “Unlocking the Mystery of Life.” Here is how the screenplay of this suspense thriller with all of its harrowing action would read:1

INT. WORK AREA - LATE AFTERNOON

COPPEDGE quietly approaches WEISENFELDER.

COPPEDGE
Hi, Margaret. Tomorrow’s the election and I was wondering if you have decided on Propostion 8 yet. I will be voting for it.

WEISENFELDER
(annoyed)
I disagree with your position on it and don’t care to discuss it.

COPPEDGE
Is there anything I can say to change your mind?

WEISENFELDER
No.

COPPEDGE leaves.

THREE MONTHS LATER
INT. WORK AREA - DAY

COPPEDGE quietly approaches WEISENFELDER.

1Some liberties have been taken with the dialogue and action as artistic license. The dialogue is generally taken directly from huntley’s notes and Weisenfelder’s deposition testeimony..

COPPEDGE
Hi, Margaret. I’ve got a great DVD called Unlocking the Mystery of Life. Would you like to borrow it?

WEISENFELDER
Sure.

INT. MARGARET’S HOME - DAY

MARGARET is watching the DVD “Unlocking the Mystery of Life.” She fast-forwards through it, stopping occasionally to watch portions. She becomes increasingly distressed. This is about religion! How heavy-handed and repetitive can it get?

THE DVD PACKAGE. She notices a yellow sticky note. Wha?? There are names on it. “Try again” scrawled next to one of the names. What the…??

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Morning at the office. WEISENFELDER moves urgently through the corridors. Out of breath, reaches CHIN’s office.

CHIN
Hi, Margaret. What’s up? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.

WEISENFELDER
I saw a ghost alright. A holy ghost!

CHIN
Come again?

WEISENFELDER
David Coppedge made me borrow a DVD about intelligent design. I took it home…and…and –

CHIN
Take a deep breath, Margaret. Tell me what happened.

WEISENFELDER
It was…horrible. I’m an ordained minister in the Metaphysical Interfaith Church, you know. David just doesn’t know when he’s crossing the line talking about religion and politics in the work-place. I’ve had it with him. I’m so uncomfortable with David approaching me about watching an intelligent design DVD and talking about my stance on Proposition 8. I don’t want to deal with him on these kinds of issues. And (sobs) ,,,

CHIN
There, there.

WEISENFELDER
…and there was a sticky note on the DVD package. It had names on it and - I think he’s trying to keep track of who he loans his DVDs out to. I don’t want him to offer me DVDs ever again. I can’t take it. I just can’t!

CHIN
Well, I’ll look into it. Let me know if his behavior continues to be a problem for you.

WEISENFELDER
You know, I’m an ordained minister in the Metaphysical Interfaith Church and I –

According to Weisenfelder, she “feared” Coppedge would try to loan her another DVD when she did not want him to contact her again. (Weisenfelder Dep. Tr. 159:25-161-4). This is a difficult thriller to appreciate without more information, but that’s where Weisenfelder’s dramatic confrontation with Coppedge ends.

111 Comments

If any lawyers are reading this, is this kind of fiction at all normal for trial briefs? Most of the legal documents I’ve read are related either to creationist trials or contracts for work, but I’ve never seen anything so whimsical (although I doubt it is deliberately so).

they cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that one of their own could be in the wrong. You’d think with all those lawyers in their camp that they would be better at this than they are.

Legal representation has certainly been a bit of a mixed bag for the ID crowd. TMLC in Dover was ideological but the lawyers themselves were competent. The Rutherford Institute (Freshwater) will probably be pretty competent too. On the other hand, Hamilton (Freshwater case) appears not especially competent and a bit of a shyster. And IIRC, the legal paperwork filed by ICR when Texas refused to accredit their master’s program was so laughably bad, the judge returned the first draft to the lawyers and told them to resubmit.

Its hard to say about Becker, but the inclusion of a ‘screenplay’ in his trial brief may be an indication of either bad counsel, or good counsel getting ignored by the client.

And they wonder why we think they’re Looney Tunes.

The trial will hopefully bring out the connection between the uber-fundamentalist Moody Bible Institute and its anti-science propaganda machine, which includes Illustra Media, producer of the DVDs Coppedge was pimping for. Coppedge is (or at least was then) on the Board of Directors of Illustra Media. If there was ever any remaining doubt as to whether intelligent design creationism is about religion or science, this connection is the final nail in that particular coffin.

There should be a line of questioning where Coppedge is asked if he aware of the Moody Bible Institute and if he has any connection with it.

fnxtr said:

And they wonder why we think they’re Looney Tunes.

I doubt that they wonder or care at all about what we think of them. They are convinced that they are right despite all the evidence to the contrary.

I’ve got the “drama” typed out, Wes; page 4 though the concluding line, “This is a difficult thriller to appreciate without more information, but that’s where Weisenfelder’s dramatic confrontation with Coppedge ends.” on page 6. It’s done in Pages, but I could upload it to Google Docs. Or let me know if you want me to type out the rest of the Weisenfelder section.

Google Docs should work. I think the screenplay section is sufficient. Send me a link via email. If you don’t have my email handy, use the “Contact Us” link in the upper right of the page.

Sent via the “Contact Us” link. :)

Paul Burnett said:

If there was ever any remaining doubt as to whether intelligent design creationism is about religion or science, this connection is the final nail in that particular coffin.

Ah, but wasn’t this a religious discrimination case? It appears that the classification of ID as religion or science depends on the goals. If we’re talking about teaching ID in science class, where religious preference has no place, then ID is clearly not a religious preference. However, when we’re talking about an employer who is forbidden by law to discriminate based on “age, gender, religious preference, …” then clearly, ID is a religious preference.

It’s how many Fundamentalists treat the Bible too.

Does it make more sense now?

grumpyoldbroad said: “This is a difficult thriller to appreciate without more information, but that’s where Weisenfelder’s dramatic confrontation with Coppedge ends.”

It occurs to me that since this account is built from Coppedge’s discussions with Becker, it may be an attempt to get testimony into the trial without a chance for cross-examination. I.e., present Coppedge’s side of a conversation off the witness stand.

IANAL but IMO if the judge is legally required to consider the brief, and it includes a story about a conversation between Coppedge and another employee, then the defense should be allowed to present Ms. Weisenfelder’s view of this conversation. Either with a response brief, or by calling her as a witness about that conversation.

Supposedly, “Some liberties have been taken with the dialogue and action as artistic license. The dialogue is generally taken directly from Huntley’s notes and Weisenfelder’s deposition testimony..” (bolding added and ellipses in the original)

I really wish Weisenfelder’s deposition was up on the NCSE site (if it is, I missed it). I’d like to know just how many “liberties” were taken and just how much of the dialogue was “generally” taken from it. The whole dramatization reads as terribly mean-spirited and while that sort of BS may sway a jury, it generally ticks judges off. It comes across as, “Look at poor innocent Coppedge. He merely offered this unbalanced, over-emotional woman a DVD and she went off the deep end.” Unfortunately, the attorney will have a hard time arguing that Coppedge didn’t know his discussions about Prop 8 were unwelcome–he states right in his little drama that Weisenfelder made it clear that she didn’t want to talk about it, but little Coppy felt the need to press the matter further. Oops.

Arrrrgh for the double-post. I corrected a typo on “testimony”, capitalized “Huntley” and fixed the superscript formatting lost in the cut and past to Google Docs, Wes. It should be all better now.

grumpyoldbroad said:

The whole dramatization reads as terribly mean-spirited and while that sort of BS may sway a jury, it generally ticks judges off. It comes across as, “Look at poor innocent Coppedge. He merely offered this unbalanced, over-emotional woman a DVD and she went off the deep end.”

Really? I think it reads as petulant and childish. If I were on the jury, it might sway me, but not in Coppedge’s favor.

This little “dramatization” reads like a Chick tract. All that’s missing is the “happy” ending where either the “evil, no-good” “sinner” sees the light and repents, or is shown in eternal torment.

Also, I would like to point out (recalling the case of the man who was fired for sexual harassment because a woman overheard him discussing an episode of “Seinfeld” with a friend) that calling Weisenfelder “oversensitive” is in no way significant to the case (nor does it seem particularly professional).

Oh, that as well, SWT. Juries, sadly, have been swayed by emotion before (as have judges, to be fair). “Mean-spirited” was my main response because Weisenfelder can’t respond to it (unless Plaintiff’s attorney is stupid enough to bring it up to her when she’s on the stand) and it was so heavy-handed: she runs to Chin “out of breath”, she breaks down in “sobs”, she’s so emotional, she’s stuttering, and twice he brings up that she’s a minister in the “Metaphysical Interfaith Church” (out of curiosity, I’d like to know if that’s the name of her church or another dramatization). “‘Metaphysical‘“ we know what that means, don’t we, Your Honor?” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Ugh.

With “friends” like Coppedge, the Dishonesty Institute doesn’t need any enemies. I am thrilled that the DI has made this case into such a “worthy” cause celebre that none other than that “notable” Darwin = Hitler expert, DI mendacious intellectual pornographer David Klinghoffer is the DI “journalist” covering the trial, writing such astute examples of breathtaking inanity as this:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]r057461.html

With any luck I am hoping that the Coppedge vs. JPL suit becomes the DI’s “Waterloo”.

SonOfHastur said: calling Weisenfelder “oversensitive” is in no way significant to the case (nor does it seem particularly professional).

Could be an attempt to poison the well. I.e., sway the judge as to her credibility and undermine either her deposition or testimony.

I agree with grumpy that this sort of manouver might sway a jury member or two in a regular trial, but in a bench trial, its likely just going to tick the judge off.

SWT - I very much doubt Becker would be selecting people like you for the jury. :)

I just looked at the NCSE files. I hadn’t realized that a year ago, Becker requested that the judge remove himself due to prejudice against the plaintiff. Then asks for a bench trial? Stranger and stranger. Coppedge must be really unsuitable for a jury trial if his lawyer would rather he be tried solely by a judge the lawyer himself thinks is prejudiced against his client.

I’ve OCR’d the document with Acrobat X, but Facebook failed ot attach it and I don’t know how else to contact you. So it’s at http://www.fleming-group.com/Misc/20111202b_P’s_trial_brief-OCR.pdf. I don’t promise it’ll stay ther for a long time.

grumpyoldbroad said:

Oh, that as well, SWT. Juries, sadly, have been swayed by emotion before (as have judges, to be fair). “Mean-spirited” was my main response because Weisenfelder can’t respond to it (unless Plaintiff’s attorney is stupid enough to bring it up to her when she’s on the stand) and it was so heavy-handed: she runs to Chin “out of breath”, she breaks down in “sobs”, she’s so emotional, she’s stuttering, and twice he brings up that she’s a minister in the “Metaphysical Interfaith Church” (out of curiosity, I’d like to know if that’s the name of her church or another dramatization). “‘Metaphysical‘“ we know what that means, don’t we, Your Honor?” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Ugh.

It also comes across as if his intention is to start fights with her, rather than convince her.

It is very interesting to me that right wing fundamentalists have, at this point, implicitly or given up on trying to convince anyone, beyond their not especially effective attempts to brainwash their own children.

That’s true of the creationist trolls here, and of right wing fundamentalists everywhere I see them. They’re looking for anonymous forums so that they can express anger at those who don’t follow their cult.

(Since some may be confused by what follows, let me clarify that I am not religious.)

So in fact, it’s quite different even from Jack Chick tracts. Granted, in Chick tracts, creationist material is sometimes what converts the sinners, but Chick is old fashioned - at least in his tracts, the Christians are gentle in word and try to bring the wayward sheep home to the Lord. Chick’s views are absurd, offensive, somewhat sadistic, and unintentionally comical, but he does try to persuade.

If Coppedge had said something like “I found Jesus and He has done wonderful things in my life, we can talk sometime if you want”, that would actually have been inappropriate, but he very plausibly might not have been fired (especially if the other person is active in some religion, too, as is implied here.

Instead he wanted to confront about a highly controversial political issue and force discussions of confrontational pseudo-science that is inherently disrespectful to non-creationist religious stances.

I think that it highlights that fundamentalism is basically one aspect of a right wing social/political agenda.

jon.r.fleming,

I get a 404 when I click on your link.

I get a 404 when I click on your link.

Damn board reformatting. Let’s see… Howzabout here?

I don’t think that it is a blindness it’s more they don’t care about their client. Win or lose the DI and legal team get to write another scene in Expelled II. It doesn’t matter that their client becomes unemployable.

eric said:

they cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that one of their own could be in the wrong. You’d think with all those lawyers in their camp that they would be better at this than they are.

Legal representation has certainly been a bit of a mixed bag for the ID crowd. TMLC in Dover was ideological but the lawyers themselves were competent. The Rutherford Institute (Freshwater) will probably be pretty competent too. On the other hand, Hamilton (Freshwater case) appears not especially competent and a bit of a shyster. And IIRC, the legal paperwork filed by ICR when Texas refused to accredit their master’s program was so laughably bad, the judge returned the first draft to the lawyers and told them to resubmit.

Its hard to say about Becker, but the inclusion of a ‘screenplay’ in his trial brief may be an indication of either bad counsel, or good counsel getting ignored by the client.

Its hard to say about Becker, but the inclusion of a ‘screenplay’ in his trial brief may be an indication of either bad counsel, or good counsel getting ignored by the client.

Actually I feel another movie coming on… Expelled 2: the Terror Continues

You only have to read the first three pages to get a clear picture. His case can’t be very good if he starts out by listing all the people who were complaining because they felt he was trying to push them to convert to Christianity, and his conclusion from this is “These sentiments signal an unapologetic intolerance towards Coppedge’s religious convictions…”

Gee, if I’m making everyone I work with feel uncomfortable around me, it must be because they’re intolerant!

The screenplay starting on page 4 is a hoot.

Karen S. said:

Actually I feel another movie coming on… Expelled 2: the Terror Continues

You need more alliteration for a good title – “Expelled 2: The Carnage Continues”

Anybody know final figures on Expelled? Did it end up making any money?

rossum said:

Karen S. said:

Actually I feel another movie coming on… Expelled 2: the Terror Continues

You need more alliteration for a good title – “Expelled 2: The Carnage Continues”

Expelled 2: Still No Intelligence

Anybody know final figures on Expelled? Did it end up making any money?

Expelled lost money and was sold at auction in bankruptcy.

One of the bidders was the Panda’s Thumb group. Ruloff, the original financier ended up buying it back.

This was extensively covered on PT and you should be able to access it with a simple search.

Now that Expelled has been brought up, I’m going to repost the list of who is really getting Expelled. Fundie xians occasionally have purges at their schools and fire scientists and science supporters. The latest was La Sierra U. firing their biology department as part of a SDA sectarian witch hunt.

They can also be violent. Death threats are common and many scientists including myself get them often. One guy was knifed to death, one woman and one guy were beaten up. And someone was vandalizing cars at IIRC, a Florida natural history museum.

You can imagine what their New Dark Age would be like.

FWIW, fundie xians can and occasionally are violent. This vandalism in Florida is just more xian terrorism.

Below is an old list of their other victims. It is long and getting longer all the time.

The real story is the persecution of scientists by Fundie Xian Death cultists, who have fired, harassed, beaten up, and killed evolutionary biologists and their supporters whenever they can. http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626 [link goes to Blake Stacey’s blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.]

Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet) Now resigned under pressure.

1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

1 fired Brucke Waltke noted biblical scholar

Biology Department fired, La Sierra SDA University

1 attempted persecution Richard Dawkins by the Oklahoma state legislature

Vandalism Florida Museum of Natural History

Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while

Up to 16 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

And the Liars of Expelled, the movie have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

These days, fundie xian is synonymous with liar, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer.

My first comment is in permanent “moderation”, possibly because it contained the word “political”.

Anyway, Raven, thanks for alerting me to this bit of scumbaggery http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=1362.

Karen S. said: I would say that BioLogos has certainly gone downhill since its founding.

It wasn’t founded very far uphill, according to some.

Paul Burnett said:

Karen S. said: I would say that BioLogos has certainly gone downhill since its founding.

It wasn’t founded very far uphill, according to some.

Agreed and it has allowed itself to be mired in mediocrity, thanks to “Mr. Popularity”, Darrel Falk.

Karen S. said:

The Paul Goss article was good, John.

Evolution is singled out in high-minded calls for “critical thinking,” for “strengths and weaknesses”—as though it were less reliable, less scientific, than the others!

I’d add that AGW has joined evolution as something to be regarded with suspicion.

I’d expect no less from Paul R. Gross since he co-authored with Barbara Forrest, “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design”.

BTW I know Peter Enns was forced out (courtesy of a posting by Jerry Coyne at Coyne’s blog); I was merely being sarcastic in my observation about him and Giberson fleeing Darrel Falk’s Captain Smith on the bridge of the RMS Titanic before it struck that iceberg.

harold said:

Karen S. said:

I respectfully disagree. I think Darrel Falk is pandering too much to the literalist crowd. At least both Karl Giberson and Peter Enns had the good sense to depart what looks like the final voyage of the RMS Titanic.

I agree that they pander too much to the “literal Adam” crowd, but on some other matters they are okay. They don’t want to alienate too many believers. Many of their posts are about evidence for evolution. On the other hand, Old Testament scholar Peter Enns was forced out. I thought he was great and I deplore that decision. I would say that BioLogos has certainly gone downhill since its founding.

That’s discouraging.

My opinion of them just went down.

I certainly agree with the Paul Goss article.

My opinion of them has barely registered above that of the Uncommon Dissent crowd, ever since Falk booted me for not being “nice” to his creationist “Brothers in Christ”.

harold Wrote:

Therefore, I must admit, I was personally quite surprised and impressed that home schooling parents were open to Biologos and reacted appropriately to Ham’s unjustified obnoxiousness.

I’m not surprsised. Most home schooling parents - like at least half of the general population - have been scammed. Probably only a minority are hopeless Biblical literalists, and from several polls, only ~half of them are strict YECs like Ham. IOW most are capable of understanding that evolution works and creationism/ID fails (to paraphrase the title of a book I just read), but just don’t have the time or interest to see how they have been scammed. And when our side whines about “sneaking in God” or “lying for Jesus” we only help the scam artists, especially the slicker ones like the DI gang. Like it or not our audience will not abandon God. But they will abandon bearing false witness if we calmly show them that that is what anti-evolution pseudoscience - including the warm and fuzzy “academic freedom” nonsense (IMO the worst “kind”) - is all about.

My opinion of them has barely registered above that of the Uncommon Dissent crowd, ever since Falk booted me for not being “nice” to his creationist “Brothers in Christ”.

You mean that nutjob Gregory? He was banned some time ago. He was the troll of all trolls.

Frank J said:

harold Wrote:

Therefore, I must admit, I was personally quite surprised and impressed that home schooling parents were open to Biologos and reacted appropriately to Ham’s unjustified obnoxiousness.

I’m not surprsised. Most home schooling parents - like at least half of the general population - have been scammed. Probably only a minority are hopeless Biblical literalists, and from several polls, only ~half of them are strict YECs like Ham. IOW most are capable of understanding that evolution works and creationism/ID fails (to paraphrase the title of a book I just read), but just don’t have the time or interest to see how they have been scammed. And when our side whines about “sneaking in God” or “lying for Jesus” we only help the scam artists, especially the slicker ones like the DI gang. Like it or not our audience will not abandon God. But they will abandon bearing false witness if we calmly show them that that is what anti-evolution pseudoscience - including the warm and fuzzy “academic freedom” nonsense (IMO the worst “kind”) - is all about.

This may have happened while Karl Giberson was still on the BioLogos staff. I’m not confident that Darrel Falk can manage this all by himself, since he seems intent on kowtowing to his creationist “Brothers in Christ”.

It reminds me of the play that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was based on :)

Also: Freshwater testifying via interpretive dance. For the win!

harold said:

John_S said:

Robert Byers said:

It comes down to his accusation he was fired because of his harmless creationist discussions. Not budgets. If the bosses are saying he was disruptive then they should dsay that and not say its the budget.

As I understand it, they did say he was disruptive and asked him to change his behavior. Being fired for being disruptive and being fired because of budgets are not mutually exclusive. When budgets are cut, someone has to go; and the first to go are the ones who are the least valuable to the operation. Not getting along with coworkers, proselytizing on the clock and making headaches for management are not conducive to making the short list of the ones to be kept on in a downsize.

Based on the data I have right now, there seem to be two reasonable possibilities -

1) He was a disruptive employee who resisted feedback about that, and also resisted legitimate technical feedback, who was not fired but rather given helpful advice. But eventually the painful need for layoffs came around and his obvious flaws contributed to the decision to lay him off, rather than an alternate employee who didn’t disrupt or ignore feedback.

OR…

2) He was a disruptive employee who resisted feedback about that, and also resisted legitimate technical feedback, who was not fired but rather given helpful advice. Eventually, he was laid off for budgetary reasons, but this would have happened anyway, even if he hadn’t been disruptive and resistant to improvement. He simply happened to hold a job that would have been eliminated, no matter how poorly or how well he had been doing the job.

These seem to be the only two reasonable possibilities, based on what I can see right now. Naturally, we’ll get to see more evidence before this is over.

Your two options are right . Yet there is another option. He was fired ahead of others because of the ID stuff. Otherwise he would not of been fired.

It all comes down to if the Judge is persuaded there was a secret motivation to fire him because of the ID stuff or not. Does the words and culture around the creation stuff made by staff and bosses demonstrate or not this secret motivation. I doubt he can prove it even if true. I don’t know myself if its true but there is such a climate of hostility and it was shown to this man in that workplace that its a very educated suspicion that he was fired for his Creationist beliefs in a place where these things matter to everyone more then regular workplaces.

Robert Byers said: He was fired ahead of others because of the ID stuff. Otherwise he would not of been fired.

He wasn’t fired - he was laid off - there’s a difference. Your reading comprehension skills are slipping more than usual.

John Wrote:

I’m not confident that Darrel Falk can manage this all by himself, since he seems intent on kowtowing to his creationist “Brothers in Christ”.

You mean like David Klinghoffer? ;-)

Seriously, I think we’re missing our greatest opportunity to “divide and conquer.” Klinghoffer, for those who don’t know, is not a “Christ” person, and yet is in a way the “king of all creationists” because he is at the center of what it is all about - the “Hitler” thing. As if “Expelled” (starring another non-Christ type) left any doubt of the real motivation behind the anti-evolution movement.

Meanwhile you can’t get any more of a “brother in Christ” than the late Pope John Paul II. Yet he has made what is the most devastating sound bite (like it or not this is a war of sound bites) against the anti-evolution movement. Namely describing the evidence for evolution as “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated,” while apparently sadly aware that “creationism” does nothing but seek and fabricate “evidences,” with no hope for convergence. Thus the increasing damage control in the form of “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” that has evolved into the ID scam.

Frank J said:

John Wrote:

I’m not confident that Darrel Falk can manage this all by himself, since he seems intent on kowtowing to his creationist “Brothers in Christ”.

You mean like David Klinghoffer? ;-)

Seriously, I think we’re missing our greatest opportunity to “divide and conquer.” Klinghoffer, for those who don’t know, is not a “Christ” person, and yet is in a way the “king of all creationists” because he is at the center of what it is all about - the “Hitler” thing. As if “Expelled” (starring another non-Christ type) left any doubt of the real motivation behind the anti-evolution movement.

Meanwhile you can’t get any more of a “brother in Christ” than the late Pope John Paul II. Yet he has made what is the most devastating sound bite (like it or not this is a war of sound bites) against the anti-evolution movement. Namely describing the evidence for evolution as “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated,” while apparently sadly aware that “creationism” does nothing but seek and fabricate “evidences,” with no hope for convergence. Thus the increasing damage control in the form of “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” that has evolved into the ID scam.

I made a similar point over at FB last weekend to a fellow alumnus of my high school whose only comment indicating that he accepted the reality of biological evolution was that he had transferred from Catholic schools to attend our elite public scienc and mathematics-oriented New York City high school. I told him that the Roman Catholic Church has accepted the overwhelming scientific proof for biological evolution for decades,and I wrote that knowing full well how Pope John Paul II was a strong advocate for recognizing the fact of biological evolution.

As for David Klinghoffer, I have little respect for a fellow Brunonian who has yet to heed advice from the likes of notable professors at our alma mater like Ken Miller.

Is the Coppedge trial on hold for some reason? The NCSE has not posted any trial updates.

DavidK said:

Is the Coppedge trial on hold for some reason? The NCSE has not posted any trial updates.

Headaches?

DavidK said:

Is the Coppedge trial on hold for some reason? The NCSE has not posted any trial updates.

The DI published something today but it doesn’t directly mention what’s happening in the trial

Check out the testimony concerning Coppedge’s complaining about changing the name from Christmas Party to Holiday Party in the Pasadena Star News on 03/21 (http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/new[…]lem-employee).

Coppedge complained that by changing the name to Holiday Party while inclusive to everyone else discriminated against Christians such as himself. From the article: This doesn’t include me and my beliefs,” Coppedge said, pointing to a holiday flier admitted into evidence Wednesday. “We are having to sacrifice for a very small minority.”

However, Coppedge later testified that Christmas was a Federal Holiday that does not exclude people of other faiths and cultural backgrounds. From the article: “What could be more inclusive than Christmas?” Coppedge testified.”

According to Coppedge, as a Christian, his religious beliefs are being trampled on with the party name change but Christmas is actually a Federal Holiday (non-religious implication?) that applies to everybody.

I see a pattern with Coppedge: His religious beliefs concerning talking to co-workers about ID were the reason he was fired but ID is not religious. Changing the name of the party is an affront to his Christian beliefs but Christmas is a Federal Holiday that applies to everybody.

MWN

This is from page 15-16 of the plaintiff’s trial brief

Coppedge’s termination was a response to his having challenged the disciplinary actions taken against him, and not due to relevant criteria JPL would have evaluated in reducing its workforce because (I) the temporal proximity between the filing of the lawsuit and Coppedge’s termination was suspiciously close in time; (2) Coppedge’s transitional supervisors who would become responsible for determining that he would be laid off in late 20 I 0 suspiciously attended an attorney-client confidential meeting concerning this lawsuit several months before they assumed their supervisorial positions; (3) the hiring of two new personnel to Coppedge’s team in October 2010 conveniently provided management with an excuse to terminate Coppedge in January 20 II in conformity with the number of reductions contemplated as early as April/May2010; (4) Coppedge had no documented critical record of his job performance over a career span of 14 years until after he filed this lawsuit in 2010; (5) criticisms in Coppedge’s 2010 performance evaluation were made by individuals with motives for wanting Coppedge terminated, and in one case, accusations of misuse of business time by Coppedge were manufactured by a named defendant in this case and the person he had appointed to replace Coppedge in a position the defendant had demoted him from; (6) subjective criteria was used to rank employees who were under consideration to be part of the reduction in force; and (7) the list of employees considered for lay off was “padded” to include favored employees that were not even part of the group designated for staff reductions. These multiple factors raise serious questions concerning JPL’s true reason for terminating Coppedge.

Weisenfelder

Weisenfelder carried a grudge ever since Coppedge had the temerity to ask on the eve of the election about her position on Proposition 8. She wore that grudge on her back for three months, when on February 28, 2009, Coppedge loaned her a copy of the intelligent design documentary “Unlocking the Mystery of Life.” Here is how the screenplay of this suspense thriller with all of its harrowing action would read:1

INT. WORK AREA - LATE AFTERNOON

COPPEDGE quietly approaches WEISENFELDER.

COPPEDGE Hi, Margaret. Tomorrow’s the election and I was wondering if you have decided on Propostion 8 yet. I will be voting for it.

WEISENFELDER (annoyed) I disagree with your position on it and don’t care to discuss it.

COPPEDGE Is there anything I can say to change your mind?

WEISENFELDER No.

COPPEDGE leaves.

THREE MONTHS LATER INT. WORK AREA - DAY

COPPEDGE quietly approaches WEISENFELDER.

1Some liberties have been taken with the dialogue and action as artistic license. The dialogue is generally taken directly from huntley’s notes and Weisenfelder’s deposition testeimony..

COPPEDGE Hi, Margaret. I’ve got a great DVD called Unlocking the Mystery of Life. Would you like to borrow it?

WEISENFELDER Sure.

According to the screenplay of his conversation with Weisenfelder, Coppedge spent only a few minutes at most talking to her.

Henry said:

[…]

According to the screenplay of his conversation with Weisenfelder, Coppedge spent only a few minutes at most talking to her.

Eh? The “artistic license” screenplay isn’t even represented by the plaintiff as showing *all* interactions between Weisenfelder and Coppedge. It especially leaves off anything concerning interactions prior to the Proposition 8 discussion.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on March 22, 2012 6:37 AM.

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