JPL Prevails in Lawsuit

| 58 Comments

While the final decision hasn’t been written, the judge in the Coppedge v. Caltech and JPL case has made an order for a final ruling in JPL’s favor.

In his wrongful termination suit, Coppedge claimed he was demoted in 2009, then let go for engaging his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and for handing out DVDs on the topic while at work. Intelligent design is the belief that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

58 Comments

Kudos to JPL for not giving in to the bullying of the Discovery Institute, which I think wanted to get a settlement out of court they could declare victory over, rather than a trial and a full airing of the facts.

The DI was wrong?

That’s a first, you know, for that particular moment in time.

Glen Davidson

Nick Matzke said:

Kudos to JPL for not giving in to the bullying of the Discovery Institute, which I think wanted to get a settlement out of court they could declare victory over, rather than a trial and a full airing of the facts.

I think you’re right. They miscalculated. From JPL’s perspective this was (probably) not just about Coppedge; this was a defense of the general process they use to make all similar employment decisions. A settlement would’ve opened them up to other litigation, so no chance of that.

If only this could serve as a warning to everyone else that thinks they can use their religious beliefs as some kind of legalized privilege to shield them from problems of their own making.

Unfortunately, it won’t.

Another fundie xian who can’t tell the difference between harassment, annoying other people, and incompetence from persecution and martyrdom.

Or couldn’t anyway.

Rejoice!

I haven’t followed it too much. It’s all about proving secret motivations. Secret motivatism is common in legal disputes and open to Judges opinions or a general climate.

I don’t know if he was fired because of talking about creationism but very possibly. He thinks so and there seems good reasons. At least as good as anything that goes to the courts these days.

he had his day and if he was done wrong he knows the bad guys at least got trouble and many people suspect they did do the immoral thing. its been a great story for creationism in confirming or at least suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression. it especially kicks in amongst those who see themselves as scientists etc.

I thought it was unlikely he would win because it’s about proving secret motivations and , possibly, the present establishment is hostile to creationism and can act on this by ignoring the usual thumbs up to secret motivation accusations that are commom in idenity issues.

a good case, if not historic one day in retrospect, and he is man of fame. A good employee who doesn’t know his place. A American of the old stamp.

its been a great story for creationism in confirming or at least suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression.

Oddly, the lack of evidence for such lies doesn’t trouble Byers.

Or the DI, for that matter.

Glen Davidson

Robert, creationism’s Baghdad Bob.

Robert Byers said:

I haven’t followed it too much. It’s all about proving secret motivations.

That is, something for which there is absolutely no evidence. Just like creationism. Very consistent.

I haven’t followed it too much, but ill spout off about it anyways. It’s all about proving secret motivations. Secret motivatism is common in legal disputes and open to Judges opinions or a general climate.

I know he wasn’t fired because of talking about creationism but very possibly for being very bad at his job. He thinks so and there seems good reasons, even if he could not prove it. At least as good as anything that goes to the courts these days, but he lost anyways

he had his day and since he has done wrong he knows the good guys at least got trouble and many people suspect they did do the immoral thing. Fortunately the ruling proved who the real wrong doer was, so everything else is just sour grapes. its been a great story for creationism in not confirming but only suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression. They have now learned that they can’t get away with that crap. it especially kicks in amongst those who see themselves as opposed to scientists etc.

I thought it was unlikely he would win because it’s about proving secret motivations and he was in fact guilty as sin, possibly, the present establishment is hostile to creationism and can act on this by ignoring the usual thumbs up to secret motivation accusations that are commom in idenity issues. Since creationisms have never done any real science, they have earned the disregard that they have been granted by decent society.

a good case, if not historic one day in retrospect, and he is man of fame, found guilty and serving as an example to all who would try this nonsense. A good employee who doesn’t know his place but was given the punishment he so richly deserved. A American of the old stamp, soon to be stamped out by truth, justice and the American way.

A good employee who created conflicts in the workplace pushing his narrow sectarian views on unwilling co-workers, refused to change his behaviour when directed by management, placed his workplace in violation of its constitutional obligations, and refused to update his skills in a rapidly-changing field. Surprised he didn’t win Employee of the Year.

Robert Byers said:

its been a great story for creationism in confirming or at least suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression. it especially kicks in amongst those who see themselves as scientists etc.

Why are people not allowed to react negatively to Creationists acting like assholes, Robert Byers? Why are people obligated to tolerate a person who uses their faith in Jesus Christ as an excuse to engage in anti-social behavior? Why won’t you answer this?

Chris Lawson said:

A good employee who created conflicts in the workplace pushing his narrow sectarian views on unwilling co-workers, refused to change his behaviour when directed by management, placed his workplace in violation of its constitutional obligations, and refused to update his skills in a rapidly-changing field. Surprised he didn’t win Employee of the Year.

An extremely peculiar definition of “good employee.”

I don’t know if he was fired because of talking about creationism but very possibly

Actually, no, it isn’t possible that he was fired for protected, personal, private speech about creationism.

He has a 100% right to engage in private speech about creationism.

He was fired for the same good reason I would be fired, if I did the exact same thing in the opposite way, trying to figure out who is or isn’t creationist at work, and badgering the creationists in a distracting way, pushing my home-made anti-creationism DVDs on them*, and so on, when they were trying to do their jobs. (*Note - I don’t actually have any home-made anti-creationism DVDs, I’m just illustrating the point.)

There are restrictions on private behavior at work. As a really obvious example, I have a right to wear clothing with visible foul language or offensive slogans written on it in public (I choose not to), but I don’t and shouldn’t have the right to do that at work.

He was whining for a special privilege. If a religious Hindu was aggressively proselytizing him at work, he’d be the first to complain, but he thought he was entitled to do the same thing. He wasn’t.

refused to update his skills in a rapidly-changing field

There are “secret” but consciously known motivations (quite common in the world of creationism/right wing authoritarianism, e.g. deliberately claiming that ID “isn’t religious” while secretly supporting it because it is religious).

But then there are also unconscious motivations.

I wouldn’t rule out an unconscious motivation to create a fake “persecution” situation, with the hope of getting a settlement, with fear created by simple inability or unwillingness to keep up with the professional demands of a challenging job, as a factor here.

Consciously, I’m sure he sincerely believes that he is a persecuted martyr, but the unconscious motivation to get money even while unwilling or unable to continue to perform at a high level, may exist below the surface.

I’ve seen many far less egregious examples of people in challenging technical jobs reaching a point at which they begin to be overwhelmed by updating, and try to resist necessary changes. It’s something all of us in rapidly changing professions need to watch out for. Especially as retirement becomes less and less of an option in US society.

This is just my musing of course.

Chris Lawson said:

A good employee who created conflicts in the workplace pushing his narrow sectarian views on unwilling co-workers, refused to change his behaviour when directed by management, placed his workplace in violation of its constitutional obligations, and refused to update his skills in a rapidly-changing field. Surprised he didn’t win Employee of the Year.

This sounds like..hmm…if I make a few changes…

A good teacher who created conflicts in the classroom pushing his narrow sectarian views on unwilling students, refused to change his behaviour when directed by management, (and) placed his workplace in violation of its constitutional obligations.

There, I knew it was familiar. Now all Coppedge needs to do is file his appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court and we can enjoy this fiasco for years to come.

Robert Byers said:

[…]

its been a great story for creationism in confirming or at least suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression.

[…]

Robert, the issue before the court was exactly this, with Coppedge alleging this and JPL denying it. The indication from the court is that JPL prevails, thus the court is specifically saying that Coppedge’s allegation is not true. How does that count as “suggesting” exactly what has been denied?

As with other conspiracy-mongers, to the IDiots/creationists any judgment by disinterested third parties, including courts, only indicates how thorough the conspiracy against them is. Being impervious to reason and evidence is their “mode of thinking,” and it only bothers them enough to project such failure of intellection onto the other side whether it applies or not (there are unreasoning believers on our side too, but, unlike their side, that is only one part of the whole).

Of course, if the courts really were so one-sided, why would anyone like Coppedge ever initiate court proceedings? Either they’re really stupid, or they’re lying/delusional about how everyone’s against them. Or both. A lot of both, but of course not all are both.

Glen Davidson

harold said:

I don’t know if he was fired because of talking about creationism but very possibly

Actually, no, it isn’t possible that he was fired for protected, personal, private speech about creationism.

He has a 100% right to engage in private speech about creationism.

He was fired for the same good reason I would be fired, if I did the exact same thing in the opposite way, trying to figure out who is or isn’t creationist at work, and badgering the creationists in a distracting way, pushing my home-made anti-creationism DVDs on them*, and so on, when they were trying to do their jobs. (*Note - I don’t actually have any home-made anti-creationism DVDs, I’m just illustrating the point.)

There are restrictions on private behavior at work. As a really obvious example, I have a right to wear clothing with visible foul language or offensive slogans written on it in public (I choose not to), but I don’t and shouldn’t have the right to do that at work.

He was whining for a special privilege. If a religious Hindu was aggressively proselytizing him at work, he’d be the first to complain, but he thought he was entitled to do the same thing. He wasn’t.

Well if its admitted his speech about creationiosm was the reason for his firing then it comes down to how bad was it. He says it was fine ordinary conversation and felt he could show this in court. I don’t know however if its admitted he was fired because of his creationist speech. He could of been warned before denying him his rightful right to his job.

I think it was about his inability to prove secret motivations behind his firing.

Wesley R. Elsberry said:

Robert Byers said:

[…]

its been a great story for creationism in confirming or at least suggesting there is prejudice against the modern creationist aggression.

[…]

Robert, the issue before the court was exactly this, with Coppedge alleging this and JPL denying it. The indication from the court is that JPL prevails, thus the court is specifically saying that Coppedge’s allegation is not true. How does that count as “suggesting” exactly what has been denied?

The court doesn’t know secret motivations it just says they were not proven by him. It is suggested because the climate of prejudice on this is apparent to attentive creationists or any public observers as they experience themselves secret motivations behind the scenes in their own workplaces. The whole thing said creationism discussion was a factor and its big issue amonst these types who deal in sublects/jobs that touch on science. The story “To kill a mocking bird” is all about a showing secret motivations being demonstrated without a winning trial. this case is famous and discussed here because of the impression of aggression against creationist people ot our complaints of it.

I guess one must allow a losing court case as indicative of being wrong but there is a big climate created by the contention and hosyilty from the origin conflict in the modern world. The movie EXPELLEDn hits a nerve for big heaps of people.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

As with other conspiracy-mongers, to the IDiots/creationists any judgment by disinterested third parties, including courts, only indicates how thorough the conspiracy against them is. Being impervious to reason and evidence is their “mode of thinking,” and it only bothers them enough to project such failure of intellection onto the other side whether it applies or not (there are unreasoning believers on our side too, but, unlike their side, that is only one part of the whole).

Of course, if the courts really were so one-sided, why would anyone like Coppedge ever initiate court proceedings? Either they’re really stupid, or they’re lying/delusional about how everyone’s against them. Or both. A lot of both, but of course not all are both.

Glen Davidson

hope in justice springs eternal. In NOrth america the courts hardly even pretend to be segregated from the great presumptions and conclusions of the great ideas that rule our civilization. In fact identity and opinion determines who gets the top jobs in the courts and who denies this? The publicity for creationism here was more important then this guy’s job or compensation. i wish him well but a defeat has served as well as a victory would. if he won, if evolutionists accepted the conclusion, it still would of been presented as a minor case of a few zealots punishing creationists.

I worked with a Muslim guy who was always trying to push his religion on me. I didn’t appreciate it at all, and since I was a bit afraid of him I didn’t tell him what I really thought. He was pretty angry that I didn’t convert! But I’m happy being a Christian, and besides, I’m not trading my jeans, tee-shirts and sandals for a bag to wear. (I must say that other Muslims I’ve worked with weren’t like him at all.)

Being respectful of the people we work with is what it’s all about.

It’s pretty rare that I agree with Robert Byers, but when I do, I admit it.

Despite subsequently going off the rails, some of this is correct.

Well if its admitted his speech about creationiosm was the reason for his firing then it comes down to how bad was it.

That’s basically true. I try to be strict about simply not discussing politics or religion at work, but in practice, although ideal, that tends to be nearly impossible.

So yes, it’s about how bad it was - how disruptive and/or disrespectful it was. That’s always what it’s about.

He says it was fine ordinary conversation and felt he could show this in court.

Yes, that is a part of what he claimed.

I don’t know however if its admitted he was fired because of his creationist speech.

He was not fired for creationist speech because it was creationist. He was fired for speech that was deemed to be disruptive and/or disrespectful. It happened to be creationist, but it could equally have been about anything. Religious or political speech, or speech that involves comments about ethnic or social groups, is the most likely to be disruptive or perceived as disrespectful, and that type of speech should be indulged in only with caution. However, if you go on about the state of the petunias in your garden in a way that disrupts other employees, and won’t moderate your behavior, you may be fired. It’s the impact of the speech, not the subject, that matters.

He could of been warned before denying him his rightful right to his job.

I happen to very strongly agree with offering feedback and constructive suggestions, in a respectful and dignified way, before firing someone. I will admit that I find this guy’s behavior annoying, but if I gave the impression that I am in favor of summary firings (except for things like theft, violence, use of grotesquely inflammatory epithets, and so on), I am not.

In this case, if I recall correctly, his boss was exemplary in attempting to help him to modify his behavior.

I think it was about his inability to prove secret motivations behind his firing.

The hypothesis here is that there might be bias against self-identified creationists at JPL, even if they are exemplary employees.

We cannot test that hypothesis with this case, because this individual engaged in behavior that would get almost anyone fired, whether there was a pre-existing bias or not.

I can say that I have worked with religious Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc, as well as all varieties of Christians, without having any problems. I’ve never plotted against anyone for any reason, nor ever had anyone ask me to join in a plot against my religious co-workers. I don’t think such plots are happening.

harold said:

I wouldn’t rule out an unconscious motivation to create a fake “persecution” situation, with the hope of getting a settlement, with fear created by simple inability or unwillingness to keep up with the professional demands of a challenging job, as a factor here.

I think there is much to this speculation. In well over 50 years of watching the occasional aggressive proselytizer in the workplace, I have never seen an instance where the proselytizer was competent at his job. Proselytizing seems to be a preoccupation that distracts from focusing on the task at hand; or it’s an excuse for the inability to learn.

And by the way, I think this starts in school as well, especially at the university level. I have seen proselytizing students disrupting the teams set up in engineering and physics laboratory classes. They never took on any significant responsibility, yet they were constantly yapping about religion while screwing up the portion of the work for which they were responsible. Other students frequently complained about this behavior, but then the situation degenerated into a “freedom of speech” issue and the disruption continued in endless mud-wrestling over things that had nothing to do with the task at hand.

And with the emergence of the politically aggressive, hard right wing sectarians, these kinds of people have become even more obnoxious. They seem to think it is their right to meddle in the affairs of other people even went told explicitly that their opinions are not welcome and are out of place.

About the only reason I can think of that this kind of this kind of behavior has been allowed to continue is fear of lawsuits. You can’t “punch these people out” and you can’t shut them up. Firing them for incompetence is clearly legitimate; but the reason for that incompetence has something to do with the obsessive proselytizing. So you know they are likely to sue.

I have often suspected that there is something mentally wrong with people like this. Obsessive/compulsive behavior comes in many forms; and aggressive religion seems to be one of them.

The vast majority of people of various religions or non-religions do not cause problems, and I have always enjoyed diversity in the workplace. But those occasional proselytizers can be a real problem. They can leave a stench in the workplace environment for months after they are gone.

Actually, if (like the judge appears to have done) you accept JPL’s version of the story, the “creationism speech” is largely irrelevant. There are two distinct issues.

1. Coppedge was sufficiently unpleasant to a co-worker over a disagreement about Proposition 8 that the co-worker took it up with Coppedge’s immediate boss. Though it was not a full, formal complaint, the boss (mostly to cover his back) called in HR and, in consequence, the boss’s boss had an official “quiet word” with Coppedge. Coppedge’s behaviour during the interview resulted in his being replaced as his team’s representative on an informal consultative group. This was not a “demotion” per se, as it did not attract additional pay, but Coppedge’s original case was in protest at this.

2. The whole Cassini mission at JPL has been downsized and some hundreds of people have been laid off. This was known to have been going to happen for years and all of Coppedge’s fellow sysadmins knew that JPL would not be keeping them all on, and that they would need make sure that they were up to speed on the skills that would be needed to support the Cassini mission in its updated form. Coppedge did not heed the warnings, and he lost out to his colleagues in the balloon debate. That Coppedge had alienated many of the people he was supposed to be supporting, (to the extent that one of the groups had explicitly said that they didn’t want him fixing their computers) did not help his case.

Robert Byers said:The movie EXPELLEDn hits a nerve for big heaps of people.

We know all about how the execrable anti-science propaganda movie EXPELLED was marketed and shown to “big heaps” of fundagelical church groups and other ignoramuses prior to its “official” release, and then bombed when released to the general public. So the “big heaps of people” were folks like Byers - scientifically illiterate and willfully ignorant of science - who didn’t understand how science works before they saw the movie, and after they saw the movie they knew less than they did before.

Robert Byers said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

As with other conspiracy-mongers, to the IDiots/creationists any judgment by disinterested third parties, including courts, only indicates how thorough the conspiracy against them is. Being impervious to reason and evidence is their “mode of thinking,” and it only bothers them enough to project such failure of intellection onto the other side whether it applies or not (there are unreasoning believers on our side too, but, unlike their side, that is only one part of the whole).

Of course, if the courts really were so one-sided, why would anyone like Coppedge ever initiate court proceedings? Either they’re really stupid, or they’re lying/delusional about how everyone’s against them. Or both. A lot of both, but of course not all are both.

Glen Davidson

hope in justice springs eternal.

Why, idiot? Why would it be so if you were correct about how biased the courts are? Of course you don’t think, lying for your beliefs is your only aim.

In NOrth america the courts hardly even pretend to be segregated from the great presumptions and conclusions of the great ideas that rule our civilization. In fact identity and opinion determines who gets the top jobs in the courts and who denies this?

What of that, cretin? I would be the last to pretend that it’s not the “right people” from the “right schools,” etc., who get promoted to power, but why would this really matter in this case? You don’t know, you just yelp when the “proper BS” is called BS.

The publicity for creationism here was more important then this guy’s job or compensation.

You’re really too stupid for words. Winning would in fact have been quite beneficial to the PR of the IDiots, whose only real concern is PR. With the judgment–and the evidence–showing that Coppedge wasn’t fired for being a creo-idiot like yourself, the whole thing has been largely neutralized. You don’t mind lying about that any more than lying about everything else, but even dullards with a modicum of thinking ability aren’t going to be trumpeting the Coppedge case–too many holes in the story. Sure, for complete rubes it’ll still be a martyr story, but rubes like yourself will believe anything that is claimed to support your addled notions.

i wish him well but a defeat has served as well as a victory would.

]

Here are the facts, idiot: You’re too dumb to understand what evidence means, but even people with 5 neurons, rather than your one, will recognize that you can’t parade a loser like Coppedge around as a martyr, when creationism is among the least of his failings (not for science, but for his job).

if he won, if evolutionists accepted the conclusion, it still would of been presented as a minor case of a few zealots punishing creationists.

I suppose because it would have been, contemptible fool. You certainly have no evidence otherwise, not even one case. But lies are as meaningful as evidence to you, hence you just blither on stupidly no matter what is shown to be the truth.

Glen Davidson

Robert Byers said:

The court doesn’t know secret motivations it just says they were not proven by him.

The greatest reason they weren’t proven is that there was plenty of reason to demote (if that’s truly what happened) him, and then to fire him during the downsize.

Of course idiots like yourself always believe the lies told, then retold by yourself, rather than justly considering the evidence, but people with intellectual honesty do not endlessly blunder on regardless of the evidence, as do you. Glen Davidson

I guess one must allow a losing court case as indicative of being wrong but there is a big climate created by the contention and hosyilty from the origin conflict in the modern world.

Really? People don’t like religious fraud intruding into education, science, and sometimes into jobs? I wonder why endless lying isn’t welcomed by those who care about evidence and honest evaluation of same.

The movie EXPELLEDn hits a nerve for big heaps of people.

Not very knowledgeable people, generally.

Although we do appreciate how it whined about God not being allowed into science education, while being promoted by the DI, whose typical lie is that there’s no reason to suppose that the Designer is God. Oddly, it didn’t matter when they thought that they could capitalize on a scurrilous propaganda film.

Glen Davidson

Mike Elzinga said:

I think there is much to this speculation. In well over 50 years of watching the occasional aggressive proselytizer in the workplace, I have never seen an instance where the proselytizer was competent at his job. Proselytizing seems to be a preoccupation that distracts from focusing on the task at hand; or it’s an excuse for the inability to learn. …

I have always enjoyed reading the posts and promised myself that I would never add to any thread and ruin the discussions that take place but today I will have to say something.

I am an educator at a Christian school, but I teach kids computer and programming. It was not my choice of work, but because of the global economic problems and the fact that I worked in the mission fields for seven years, it was the only work that I could get. Being outdated in my field of training made me unemployable and I was employed at the school because of my “Christian” credentials.

Speaking from experience in having worked with “compulsive preachers” for the past 13 years, I tend to agree with Mike in his statement. Many of the educators I work with, work here so that they preach to the kids, and I have come to realize that most of them wont be able to teach/work in “non Christian” schools. Many of them are lazy and not o “bright”. One of them even quit because he was told to but a bigger emphasis on teaching than preaching (He would preach for one hour each morning)

These kids are taught almost every week that they must stand up for their faith and that they will be persecuted and how science is (mis)used to destroy the bible . I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do. I am a firm believer in evolution and a very old earth. But because on one school outing I stated that an impact crater was over two thousand million years old I was hauled before the school/church board because of my “worldly and un-biblical views”

And before I get fried from all sides for my bad English, it is not my native tongue.

icstuff said: Speaking from experience in having worked with “compulsive preachers” for the past 13 years, I tend to agree with Mike in his statement. Many of the educators I work with, work here so that they preach to the kids…

…One of them even quit because he was told to but a bigger emphasis on teaching than preaching (He would preach for one hour each morning)

Assuming you have normal class periods, that essentially means he isn’t teaching the kids any subject material at all. Even if you have double class periods, that leaves approximately 20-30 minutes out of 90 for subject material. I have to ask, just because I’m curious; what subject is he supposed to be teaching?

And before I get fried from all sides for my bad English, it is not my native tongue.

No problem. Welcome!

icstuff said:

Mike Elzinga said:

I think there is much to this speculation. In well over 50 years of watching the occasional aggressive proselytizer in the workplace, I have never seen an instance where the proselytizer was competent at his job. Proselytizing seems to be a preoccupation that distracts from focusing on the task at hand; or it’s an excuse for the inability to learn. …

I have always enjoyed reading the posts and promised myself that I would never add to any thread and ruin the discussions that take place but today I will have to say something.

I am an educator at a Christian school, but I teach kids computer and programming. It was not my choice of work, but because of the global economic problems and the fact that I worked in the mission fields for seven years, it was the only work that I could get. Being outdated in my field of training made me unemployable and I was employed at the school because of my “Christian” credentials.

Speaking from experience in having worked with “compulsive preachers” for the past 13 years, I tend to agree with Mike in his statement. Many of the educators I work with, work here so that they preach to the kids, and I have come to realize that most of them wont be able to teach/work in “non Christian” schools. Many of them are lazy and not o “bright”. One of them even quit because he was told to but a bigger emphasis on teaching than preaching (He would preach for one hour each morning)

These kids are taught almost every week that they must stand up for their faith and that they will be persecuted and how science is (mis)used to destroy the bible . I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do. I am a firm believer in evolution and a very old earth. But because on one school outing I stated that an impact crater was over two thousand million years old I was hauled before the school/church board because of my “worldly and un-biblical views”

And before I get fried from all sides for my bad English, it is not my native tongue.

It’s good to hear from a Christian who values science. But I’m curious, if you work in a place that allows preaching in place of teaching, how can the kids pass any college entrance exams? How can they get into any pre ned programs? How can they ever understand anything about biology if they don’t learn about evolution? DOes anyone ever complain about being robbed of an education? Do they realize how disadvantaged they are? Do they care?

This seems to be at least marginally on topic. But if the moderator prefers, we can take this discussion to the bathroom wall.

Welcome sir(?). It’s always a pleasure to hear from a real Christian who doesn’t think Christianity perforce excludes pretty much all of modern science.

The movie EXPELLEDn hits a nerve for big heaps of people.

Serves them right for “planking”

I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do.

I know just what you mean. I’m a Christian myself, and accept evolution. (In fact, it’s the most fascinating thing on earth!) While non-believers might occasionally attack our beliefs, it pales in comparison with what we get from creationist types of all flavors. Just look at BioLogos, where mainstream Christians are rudely attacked by ID/YEC creationists…and the moderators (if any exist) do nothing about it!

Karen S. said: Just look at BioLogos, where mainstream Christians are rudely attacked by ID/YEC creationists…and the moderators (if any exist) do nothing about it!

BioLogos appears to have been an abject failure or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Ostensibly created to bring good science to creationist-leaning evangelicals, it seems to now be supporting a variant of NOMA. At best.

Karen S. said:

I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do.

I know just what you mean. I’m a Christian myself, and accept evolution. (In fact, it’s the most fascinating thing on earth!) While non-believers might occasionally attack our beliefs, it pales in comparison with what we get from creationist types of all flavors.

I also have had the same experience as a Christian that accepts evolution.

I happen to be an ex-YEC. It was bad enough that shedding my YEC beliefs in itself caused some spiritual upheaval. But I discovered the hard way that YECs direct much of their ire on ex-YECs. This backlash - including from some YEC friends and YEC relatives - almost caused me to leave the faith altogether. Even the so-called gnu atheists aren’t as bad.

DS said:

icstuff said:

Mike Elzinga said:

I think there is much to this speculation. In well over 50 years of watching the occasional aggressive proselytizer in the workplace, I have never seen an instance where the proselytizer was competent at his job. Proselytizing seems to be a preoccupation that distracts from focusing on the task at hand; or it’s an excuse for the inability to learn. …

I have always enjoyed reading the posts and promised myself that I would never add to any thread and ruin the discussions that take place but today I will have to say something.

I am an educator at a Christian school, but I teach kids computer and programming. It was not my choice of work, but because of the global economic problems and the fact that I worked in the mission fields for seven years, it was the only work that I could get. Being outdated in my field of training made me unemployable and I was employed at the school because of my “Christian” credentials.

Speaking from experience in having worked with “compulsive preachers” for the past 13 years, I tend to agree with Mike in his statement. Many of the educators I work with, work here so that they preach to the kids, and I have come to realize that most of them wont be able to teach/work in “non Christian” schools. Many of them are lazy and not o “bright”. One of them even quit because he was told to but a bigger emphasis on teaching than preaching (He would preach for one hour each morning)

These kids are taught almost every week that they must stand up for their faith and that they will be persecuted and how science is (mis)used to destroy the bible . I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do. I am a firm believer in evolution and a very old earth. But because on one school outing I stated that an impact crater was over two thousand million years old I was hauled before the school/church board because of my “worldly and un-biblical views”

And before I get fried from all sides for my bad English, it is not my native tongue.

It’s good to hear from a Christian who values science. But I’m curious, if you work in a place that allows preaching in place of teaching, how can the kids pass any college entrance exams? How can they get into any pre ned programs? How can they ever understand anything about biology if they don’t learn about evolution? DOes anyone ever complain about being robbed of an education? Do they realize how disadvantaged they are? Do they care?

This seems to be at least marginally on topic. But if the moderator prefers, we can take this discussion to the bathroom wall.

If I may interject. Having attended a mix of public schools and fundamentalist parochial schools prior to college, I can attest that least a few teachers/classes in my Christian school science studies were good, even excellent. That is, as long as the particular science was not outside theological comfort zones (such as how a hurricane forms, such as how the engineering sciences build skyscrapers). Of course, in biology class this all went out the window.

This said, I later graduated from a public university with a non-science degree. But my intro biology and geology classes opened my eyes on how I would have been at a serious disadvantage had I wanted to major in science. I’ve seriously thought about emailing my old science teachers and principal at my old parochial school deploring the pseudo-science I was taught in biology.

Oh, more moderate Christian private schools often strongly teach evolution. My gf says there was only the occasional religous discusion in her science classes and only as a side-issue; otherwise, it was strongly science and only science including evolution in biology class.

Tenncrain said:

Karen S. said:

I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do.

I know just what you mean. I’m a Christian myself, and accept evolution. (In fact, it’s the most fascinating thing on earth!) While non-believers might occasionally attack our beliefs, it pales in comparison with what we get from creationist types of all flavors.

I also have had the same experience as a Christian that accepts evolution.

I happen to be an ex-YEC. It was bad enough that shedding my YEC beliefs in itself caused some spiritual upheaval. But I discovered the hard way that YECs direct much of their ire on ex-YECs. This backlash - including from some YEC friends and YEC relatives - almost caused me to leave the faith altogether. Even the so-called gnu atheists aren’t as bad.

It’s called “cognitive dissonance”.

You dealt with it the hard but healthy way.

A more common, easier way, is to indulge in rage at any challenge of what one wishes to believe.

By exploding with rage and venom at you, they strongly reinforce the emotional barriers that prevent examining of their own beliefs.

There’s a lot of this going around, and creationism isn’t the only irrational belief structure that is defended this way.

DS said:

It’s good to hear from a Christian who values science. But I’m curious, if you work in a place that allows preaching in place of teaching, how can the kids pass any college entrance exams? How can they get into any pre ned programs? How can they ever understand anything about biology if they don’t learn about evolution? DOes anyone ever complain about being robbed of an education? Do they realize how disadvantaged they are? Do they care?

This seems to be at least marginally on topic. But if the moderator prefers, we can take this discussion to the bathroom wall.

Kids are supposed to work at own pace no “periods” It is a system that was imported from the USA and they wrote the SATs, but was always difficult to get kids to into University locally. But it is not allowed anymore and they have to sit and write exams with the public schools.

On your point of being robbed of an education - they did clampdown on the lots of preaching when kids did not finish work and that is why he left. Science is taught but with a nice “biblical” twist.

icstuff said:

Kids are supposed to work at own pace no “periods” It is a system that was imported from the USA and they wrote the SATs, but was always difficult to get kids to into University locally. But it is not allowed anymore and they have to sit and write exams with the public schools.

On your point of being robbed of an education - they did clampdown on the lots of preaching when kids did not finish work and that is why he left. Science is taught but with a nice “biblical” twist.

Thanks for the response. Sounds like they are still being cheated of a real education, they just don’t realize it, or care. Seems like not being able to get into college would be recognized as a bad thing, but not necessarily.

As long as they are freely choosing to be left behind, I suppose it’s fine. This is the choice we all have to make, blissful ignorance and denial of reality, or the courage to face up to the truth. You pick your poison, you pay the price. Unfortunately, most of them will probably end up like Coppedge, unable to perform in a technological capacity, they are reduced to forcing their sectarian views on others who made the opposite choice. And then they wonder why their behavior isn’t appreciated.

DS said: As long as they are freely choosing to be left behind, I suppose it’s fine.

Not for me. (Most) kids do not have the emotional or psychological maturity needed to make such an informed choice, which is why they are not under their own recognizance, do not have full rights, and generally suffer lesser punishment for crimes. I would no more let them choose a bad education than I would let them choose illiteracy and no education.

This is not just a philosophical issue, either, its a practical one. These young people will vote. They will help determine the laws under which YOU live and how YOUR government acts. Purely as a matter of self-interest, I want them to get an education that includes correct facts about the world and not misrepresentations. I’m under no illusions that a good education leads to political agreement (with me or in general). It doesn’t. But I am much more comfortable with a well educated and informed person disagreeing with me than I am with the thought that someone voted for a policy or person based on wrong information.

eric said:

DS said: As long as they are freely choosing to be left behind, I suppose it’s fine.

Not for me. (Most) kids do not have the emotional or psychological maturity needed to make such an informed choice, which is why they are not under their own recognizance, do not have full rights, and generally suffer lesser punishment for crimes. I would no more let them choose a bad education than I would let them choose illiteracy and no education.

This is not just a philosophical issue, either, its a practical one. These young people will vote. They will help determine the laws under which YOU live and how YOUR government acts. Purely as a matter of self-interest, I want them to get an education that includes correct facts about the world and not misrepresentations. I’m under no illusions that a good education leads to political agreement (with me or in general). It doesn’t. But I am much more comfortable with a well educated and informed person disagreeing with me than I am with the thought that someone voted for a policy or person based on wrong information.

Agreed. But if this is what their parents choose for them, the only way out may be to choose for themselves when they are older. Unfortunately, that doesn’t often happen. Brainwashing is something the parents can choose for the children, there is no way to stop that. But it is important to provide alternatives and it’s important to point out the consequences of choices.

You are right, it’s unfortunate that the brainwashed get to vote and their vote counts the same as an informed and educated person. That’s one of the problems with democracy. That’s why education is our only hope. That’s why it’s so egregious when parents try to circumvent the process and allow preaching as a substitute for teaching. But in our democracy that’s their right.

DS said: Agreed. But if this is what their parents choose for them, the only way out may be to choose for themselves when they are older.

Again, not for me. I’d be fine with mandatory federal curriculum standards. If you want to do homeschooling or private school or some other alternative to publish schooling, that’s fine, but you the parent are responsible for ensuring your kid gets an equivalent education. If you don’t, child services gets called.

Consider education to be like medical care and healthy living conditions. We may give parents a lot of leeway to not give their kids medical care and decide on the conditions in which they live, but there is a “floor” on such leeway. Go below it, and the state steps in and says: we don’t care if its against your beliefs, you will feed them/clean up/let them out/give them this medicine or find yourself in jail and your kids in another home.

You are right, it’s unfortunate that the brainwashed get to vote and their vote counts the same as an informed and educated person.

Oh, everyone should get a vote. I would strongly opppose any sort of literacy or education test for voting. I just think primary and secondary education is an area where its okay for the state to enforce some basic, minimal standards.

icstuff said:

Mike Elzinga said:

I think there is much to this speculation. In well over 50 years of watching the occasional aggressive proselytizer in the workplace, I have never seen an instance where the proselytizer was competent at his job. Proselytizing seems to be a preoccupation that distracts from focusing on the task at hand; or it’s an excuse for the inability to learn. …

I have always enjoyed reading the posts and promised myself that I would never add to any thread and ruin the discussions that take place but today I will have to say something.

I am an educator at a Christian school, but I teach kids computer and programming. It was not my choice of work, but because of the global economic problems and the fact that I worked in the mission fields for seven years, it was the only work that I could get. Being outdated in my field of training made me unemployable and I was employed at the school because of my “Christian” credentials.

Speaking from experience in having worked with “compulsive preachers” for the past 13 years, I tend to agree with Mike in his statement. Many of the educators I work with, work here so that they preach to the kids, and I have come to realize that most of them wont be able to teach/work in “non Christian” schools. Many of them are lazy and not o “bright”. One of them even quit because he was told to but a bigger emphasis on teaching than preaching (He would preach for one hour each morning)

These kids are taught almost every week that they must stand up for their faith and that they will be persecuted and how science is (mis)used to destroy the bible . I on the other hand have found that it is the Christians(some of them) that persecute you (even if they think you are Christian or not)for not believing as they do. I am a firm believer in evolution and a very old earth. But because on one school outing I stated that an impact crater was over two thousand million years old I was hauled before the school/church board because of my “worldly and un-biblical views”

And before I get fried from all sides for my bad English, it is not my native tongue.

Sometimes it’s best said in easy to understand pictures:

http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/a[…]e/2011/07/10

http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2011/09/20 (and the next several in the series)

Tenncrain Wrote:

I happen to be an ex-YEC.

Just curious. Did you make any brief stops at old-earth-young-life, old-earth-old-life, or old-earth-old-life-plus-common-descent-but-not-“RM+NS”-driven (Behe’s position)? Or did you immediately recognize that all the common mutually-contradictory anti-evolution positions simply don’t hold up to the evidence?

And if you don’t mind another question, did the anti-evolution activists’ increasingly evasive approach to their “theories,” in stark contrast to their obsession with “Darwinism,” factor in to your conversion?

(Most) kids do not have the emotional or psychological maturity needed to make such an informed choice,

Exactly. That’s why we have compulsory education. And that’s why good parents make their kids do homework. And a good board of education will make sure that kids are taught mainstream science.

Tentative ruling: http://www.freedomxlaw.com/document[…]cision.2.pdf

The Court would enter judgment in favor of the Defendants on all causes of action. This ruling is based upon the arguments and points and authorities presented in the final arguments (oral and written) of the Defendants which are adopted by this reference as the rationale for the ruling.

There is a 11/1/2012 correction, http://www.freedomxlaw.com/document[…]Decision.pdf , but doesn’t affect the excerpt above.

The case is civil case BC435600 in Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles. https://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civil/

It’s good to hear from a Christian who values science. But I’m curious, if you work in a place that allows preaching in place of teaching, how can the kids pass any college entrance exams? How can they get into any pre ned programs? How can they ever understand anything about biology if they don’t learn about evolution? DOes anyone ever complain about being robbed of an education? Do they realize how disadvantaged they are? Do they care?

This seems to be at least marginally on topic. But if the moderator prefers, we can take this discussion to the bathroom wall. las mujeres hotel london new york hotel

huynhhai said: ROBOTIC COPY OF EARLIER POST + SPAM

Your spam is not wanted.

Frank J said:

Tenncrain Wrote:

I happen to be an ex-YEC.

Just curious. Did you make any brief stops at old-earth-young-life, old-earth-old-life, or old-earth-old-life-plus-common-descent-but-not-“RM+NS”-driven (Behe’s position)? Or did you immediately recognize that all the common mutually-contradictory anti-evolution positions simply don’t hold up to the evidence?

Barely a stop, if that.

For starters, when I was a impressionable teenage YEC, some in my old YEC congregation had very mixed feelings for ID. While they might have appreciated how ID gave anti-evolutionism a shot in the arm, they also felt ID was a very poor compromise with a world Flood and young earth.

When I started to shed my YECism, one of the very first non-YEC books I read was Ken Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God with Miller’s criticism of old-earth anti-evolutionism of the likes of Dembski/Phillip Johnson and the “old-earth-old-life-plus-common-descent-but-not-RM+NS” position of Behe/Scott Minnich. As fate would have it, I started my conversion about the time of the Kitzmiller v. Dover (PA) Board trial in Harrisburg. The way ID buried itself was a big influence on me (with Behe looking silly and inept, Dembski not even showing up, Dover Board members Buckingham and Bonsell [both YECs] lying under oath and narrowly escaping perjury).

And if you don’t mind another question, did the anti-evolution activists’ increasingly evasive approach to their “theories,” in stark contrast to their obsession with “Darwinism,” factor in to your conversion?

I suppose I didn’t catch on to this until sometime later. However, I did get somewhat more of a grasp of this when I read other books along with reviewing the Kitzmiller court transcripts. For example, when repeatedly asked during the trial, Behe repeatedly shied away from giving a mechanism for ID.

I now find it ironic that anti-evolutionists keep using “Darwinism” as this term is so antiquated, so 1890s. Never mind the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1940s, never mind the relatively recent discovery of other mechanisms of evolution like genetic drift and gene hitch-hiking that supplement (and in some cases falsify) natural selection, etc, etc.

eric said:

Karen S. said: Just look at BioLogos, where mainstream Christians are rudely attacked by ID/YEC creationists…and the moderators (if any exist) do nothing about it!

BioLogos appears to have been an abject failure or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Ostensibly created to bring good science to creationist-leaning evangelicals, it seems to now be supporting a variant of NOMA. At best.

Am joining this discussion rather late due to contending with some problems pertaining to Hurricane Sandy (thankfully I was not affected directly). Have to agree with eric’s assessment of BioLogos, and I would go further. By opting to be too “nice” to its creationist audience, BioLogos has failed in its mission. (It doesn’t do nearly as good a job as E. O. Wilson has been in reminding creationist environmentalists of the overwhelming scientific evidence for biological evolution and that current evolutionary theory remains its best scientific explanation.)

Minor update – 11/30/2012 – The JPL lawyers have filed with the court their draft of the court-adopted argument as to why JPL prevailed.

Stripped of boilerplate, addresses and signatures and the like, the whole document is:

On November 30, 2012, Defendant CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY lodged its [Proposed] Statement of Decision and [Proposed] Judgment On Decision of Court.

So I guess we don’t get a preview.

11/01/2012: Judge Hiroshige wrote:

Per CRC 3.1590 (g) Plaintiff may within 15 days after the service of the Proposed Statement of Decision and Proposed Judgment file objections to the proposed SOD and Judgment.

11/30/2012: CalTech “lodged its [Proposed] Statement of Decision and [Proposed] Judgment On Decision of Court”

So to the extent David Coppedge wishes to object to the arguments made by the defendants and accepted by the court, they should have their bite at the apple posted sometime next week.

12/14/2012: David Coppedge files 246 pages of OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT’S PROPOSED JUDGMENT 12/17/2012: David Coppedge files 9 pages of REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

richardpenner said:

12/14/2012: David Coppedge files 246 pages of OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANT’S PROPOSED JUDGMENT

12/17/2012: David Coppedge files 9 pages of REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Guide to filings: Coppedge’s objections span 114 paragraphs of proposed findings of fact and at least 24 paragraphs of proposed conclusions of law and judgment. Coppedge attempts to reargue the whole case. I think (I am not a lawyer) that Coppedge (or rather his lawyers) are fundamentally misguided in that the purpose of the proposed findings are not just to explain the case from the JPL’s/CalTech’s side and so the repetition of the “objection” that various paragraphs do not “further” JPL’s legal theories are badly off-target.

OBJECTIONS 1/7 : Proposed findings of fact 1-17 (paragraphs 1-6 and 11 not objected to)

OBJECTIONS 2/7 : Proposed findings of fact 18-35 (glued to the back of 3/7 in the current PDF system)

OBJECTIONS 3/7 : Proposed findings of fact 36-70 (paragraphs 63 and 65 not objected to)

OBJECTIONS 4/7 : Proposed findings of fact 71-114 (paragraph 75 not objected to)

OBJECTIONS 5/7 : Proposed conclusions of law and judgment 1-13 (paragraph 5 not objected to)

OBJECTIONS 6/7 : Proposed conclusions of law and judgment 14-23 (paragraphs 18 not objected to)

OBJECTIONS 7/7 : Proposed conclusions of law and judgment 24-end

I’m not sure what the Court was supposed to take judicial notice of – presumably back in November of 2011, the same judge ruled that Coppedge’s raised issues that were supposed to be resolved by the trial. Also, presumably, the judge remembers this and now thinks that Coppedge’s smoke was, not in fact, evidence that JPL was on fire.

12/19/2012 – JPL/Caltech files Defendant’s Response to Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision

On Friday, November 16, 2012, Defendant California Institute of Technology filed a Response to Plaintiff David Coppedge’s Request for Statement of Decision (“Response”), to provide for the Court and parties with an overview of the standards governing Statemnets of Decision, and to explain why Plaintif’s Request was neither procedurally not substantively appropriate. Defendant incorporates its Response herein by reference.

As Defendant anticipated at the time, based on Plaintiff’s Request, Plaintiff has used his Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement Of Decision (“Objections”) as an attempt to re-try his case after the Court has ruled against him following a six-week trial and extensive post-trial breifing. This is not a proper or acceptable use of objections to a Statement of Decision.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 632, “[t]the court shall issue a statement of decision explaining the factual and legal basis for its decision as to each of the principal controverted issues at trial upon the request of any party appearing at the trial.” Section 634 provides for objections where “a statement of decision does not resolve a controverted issue, or if the statement is ambiguous …”

At the Court’s Request, Defendant prepated a Proposed Statement of Decision addressing the principle controverted issues, as provided in Section 632. Pursuant to Section 634, an the Court’s Tenatative Order of November 1, 2012, Plaintiff had a right to file objections. However, Plaintiff’s “Objections” are not objections; the are a re-trial on paper, in which Plaintiff attacks virtually every finding of fact and conclusion of law in Defendant’s Proposed Statement. Simply put, what Plaintiff wants is not clarifications of Defendant’s Proposed Statement, but rather, for the Court to change its mind and rule in his favor.

As Defendant pointed out in its earlier Response, and reiterates here for the Court’s benefit, Plaintiff cannot use his Objections as a way to commandeer the Statement of Decision and re-try his case.

In the request … filed by Casa Blanca, rather than a request for the legal/factual basis for the court’s decision on the issues framed by the pleading, it made 16 demands, each with several subparts. These subparts would require the trial court to answer over 75 questions and make a list of findings of evidentiary facts on issues not controverted by the pleadings. Such a requirement cannot be made of the court. … Casa Blanca seeks an inquisition, a rehearing of the evidence. The trial court was not required to provide specific answers so long as the findings in the statement of decision fairly disclose the court’s determinations of all material issues.

See People v. Casa Blanca Convalescent Homes, Inc. 159 Cal. App. 3d 509, 525 (1984) (emphasis added) (footnote omitted).

Put simply, Section 634 does not permit the objecting party to re-argue his case — which is precisely what Plaintiff has tried to do here. Defendant respectfully requests that the Court disregard Plaintiff’s meritless and burdensome Objections, and enter Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision and Proposed Judgment.

This resonates with me strongly because this is the behavior I, a non-lawyer, also saw in the volumous Objections.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on November 2, 2012 7:15 AM.

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