NASA in battle with intelligent design

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NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:13 am

No doubt the expelled brigade will be up in arms:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/b ... esign.html

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has landed robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, sent probes to outer planets and operates a worldwide network of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

Its latest mission is defending itself in a workplace lawsuit filed by a former computer specialist who claims he was demoted - and then let go - for promoting his views on intelligent design, the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his "team lead" title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Michael » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:00 am

Peter Henderson wrote:No doubt the expelled brigade will be up in arms:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/b ... esign.html

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has landed robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, sent probes to outer planets and operates a worldwide network of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

Its latest mission is defending itself in a workplace lawsuit filed by a former computer specialist who claims he was demoted - and then let go - for promoting his views on intelligent design, the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his "team lead" title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.



I always thought Coppedge was a YEC:) It shows how intelligent design means exactly the same as YEC now. It was not so in the 90s/
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Dagsannr » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:23 am

Yeah, I read that story a few days ago.

Like most cretinists, he'd been asked to stop wasting company time preaching and asked to stop harrassing co-workers who'd very blatantly asked him to stop already.

He did neither, so got the obligatory warnings, then demotion, then redundancy.

Of course, had he been a Muslim, then the cretinist lobby would be crowing their success over another victory over sharia law.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:36 am

Natman wrote:Yeah, I read that story a few days ago.

Like most cretinists, he'd been asked to stop wasting company time preaching and asked to stop harrassing co-workers who'd very blatantly asked him to stop already.

He did neither, so got the obligatory warnings, then demotion, then redundancy.

Of course, had he been a Muslim, then the cretinist lobby would be crowing their success over another victory over sharia law.


The fair employment legislation in Northern Ireland would have stopped this from ever happening in the first place.

The work place is supposed to be a neutral environment !
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:32 pm

Peter Henderson wrote:
Natman wrote:Yeah, I read that story a few days ago.

Like most cretinists, he'd been asked to stop wasting company time preaching and asked to stop harrassing co-workers who'd very blatantly asked him to stop already.

He did neither, so got the obligatory warnings, then demotion, then redundancy.

Of course, had he been a Muslim, then the cretinist lobby would be crowing their success over another victory over sharia law.


The fair employment legislation in Northern Ireland would have stopped this from ever happening in the first place.

The work place is supposed to be a neutral environment !


The word we are getting from the USA is that the Disco Kids are highly unlikely to win this case. The influence of the organisation has long been on the wane and taking this on is a sign of weakness. The US IDers have, of course, switched much of their PR puffery efforts to Europe and, in particular, to the UK because they think we are more easily hoodwinked these days than Americans. They think we don't know all about Dover and sleazy snake oil salesmen.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Dagsannr » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:53 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:The word we are getting from the USA is that the Disco Kids are highly unlikely to win this case. The influence of the organisation has long been on the wane and taking this on is a sign of weakness. The US IDers have, of course, switched much of their PR puffery efforts to Europe and, in particular, to the UK because they think we are more easily hoodwinked these days than Americans. They think we don't know all about Dover and sleazy snake oil salesmen.


Yeah, good luck to them.

The UK is possibly one of the more secular of the European countries thanks to an apathetic state religion and an extremely liberal public broadcaster.

ID will fail in the UK because the British just can't be arsed getting out of bed to go to church anymore and Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox are a million times cooler than Aled Jones and Rowan Williams.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Michael » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:54 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:
Peter Henderson wrote:
Natman wrote:Yeah, I read that story a few days ago.

Like most cretinists, he'd been asked to stop wasting company time preaching and asked to stop harrassing co-workers who'd very blatantly asked him to stop already.

He did neither, so got the obligatory warnings, then demotion, then redundancy.

Of course, had he been a Muslim, then the cretinist lobby would be crowing their success over another victory over sharia law.


The fair employment legislation in Northern Ireland would have stopped this from ever happening in the first place.

The work place is supposed to be a neutral environment !


The word we are getting from the USA is that the Disco Kids are highly unlikely to win this case. The influence of the organisation has long been on the wane and taking this on is a sign of weakness. The US IDers have, of course, switched much of their PR puffery efforts to Europe and, in particular, to the UK because they think we are more easily hoodwinked these days than Americans. They think we don't know all about Dover and sleazy snake oil salesmen.



Too optimistic Roger! Far too many do not know about ID and the cons creationists use. We have our Devon

I suggest things will get far worse before they get better
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Michael » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:56 pm

I am sure a moderator could stop this internal dissent between ourselves :wink:
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:36 pm

The UK is possibly one of the more secular of the European countries thanks to an apathetic state religion and an extremely liberal public broadcaster


Yeah, that's what Ham said in his blog yesterday, but he blamed the situation on a belief in evolution, and those Christians who compromised with it and millions of years.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:00 pm

Natman wrote:Yeah, good luck to them.

The UK is possibly one of the more secular of the European countries thanks to an apathetic state religion and an extremely liberal public broadcaster.

ID will fail in the UK because the British just can't be arsed getting out of bed to go to church anymore and Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox are a million times cooler than Aled Jones and Rowan Williams.


I don't think you can pin apathy towards religion on the BBC (which, incidentally is not the only public service broadcaster in the UK). Lord Reith was a strict Calvinist and his ghost still runs through the corridors and studios of the BBC. Moreover, the BBC has always given over a significant proportion of its air time to religion. Still does.

The BBC isn't so much liberal as a product of the middle-class background of those that run it (from top to bottom). It really does me something to the people that work there that "nation shall speak unto nation" and its remit to entertain, inform and educate. One thing the BBC has never been is significantly left wing. Right up until the late 80s (and possibly beyond) staff were systematically vetted to keep out the hardline ideological Trotskyites and Marxists. Yer, there are a lot of Labour voters in the BBC but Labour isn't a very liberal political party and, in any event, Labour is a major and popular political party. In comparison with the national press, the BBC is a paragon of political impartiality. It's required to be, by law.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby GrumpyBob » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:21 pm

Best place to follow the Coppedge case is the Sensuous Curmudgeon blog, and of course at Panda's Thumb.

Actually it's Coppedge vs JPL (which is run by Caltech) not NASA.

The case is really about a long history of disruptive behaviour by the employee (according to JPL), the ID issue is only part of it. I believe the DiscoTute are egging this on and the Coppedge's lawyer (who has ties to DI) is trying to make it a single issue thing around ID victimisation. There is a good deal of information at the NCSE site. Regarding Coppedge's YEC, it seems to me the boundaries between YEC and ID creationism are increasingly blurred in public communications - this actually reflects the origins of ID creationism - see also the fake Cornell conference.

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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Dagsannr » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:32 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:
Natman wrote:Yeah, good luck to them.

The UK is possibly one of the more secular of the European countries thanks to an apathetic state religion and an extremely liberal public broadcaster.

ID will fail in the UK because the British just can't be arsed getting out of bed to go to church anymore and Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox are a million times cooler than Aled Jones and Rowan Williams.


I don't think you can pin apathy towards religion on the BBC (which, incidentally is not the only public service broadcaster in the UK). Lord Reith was a strict Calvinist and his ghost still runs through the corridors and studios of the BBC. Moreover, the BBC has always given over a significant proportion of its air time to religion. Still does.

The BBC isn't so much liberal as a product of the middle-class background of those that run it (from top to bottom). It really does me something to the people that work there that "nation shall speak unto nation" and its remit to entertain, inform and educate. One thing the BBC has never been is significantly left wing. Right up until the late 80s (and possibly beyond) staff were systematically vetted to keep out the hardline ideological Trotskyites and Marxists. Yer, there are a lot of Labour voters in the BBC but Labour isn't a very liberal political party and, in any event, Labour is a major and popular political party. In comparison with the national press, the BBC is a paragon of political impartiality. It's required to be, by law.


Three issues here (although I do accept a lot of your post);

First is that I never equated a liberal public broadcaster with the apathy of the CofE. The CofE manages apathy all by itself, it's suffered from it since long before TV came along, it's one of its better qualities and as state religions go, I wish more were like it.

I also never equated public broadcaster with the BBC. C4 is a public broadcaster too, and it's very liberal in both its remit and its outlook. The BBC is, at heart, very conservative, but a lot of its programming, presenters and themes are liberal.

Lastly, you're falling into what I thought was a purely American phenomena - that liberal is the same as left-wing. Liberal in the sense I was refering to was the proper meaning of the term; widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions, conventions etc. Or; open to political or social changes and reforms. Yes, you could broadly class it as left-wing, if you're also prepared to equate right-wing with pure conservatism.

You can be impartial about politics and be liberal, don't get too caught up with American political terms to forget that.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Michael » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:36 pm

GrumpyBob wrote:Best place to follow the Coppedge case is the Sensuous Curmudgeon blog, and of course at Panda's Thumb.

Actually it's Coppedge vs JPL (which is run by Caltech) not NASA.

The case is really about a long history of disruptive behaviour by the employee (according to JPL), the ID issue is only part of it. I believe the DiscoTute are egging this on and the Coppedge's lawyer (who has ties to DI) is trying to make it a single issue thing around ID victimisation. There is a good deal of information at the NCSE site. Regarding Coppedge's YEC, it seems to me the boundaries between YEC and ID creationism are increasingly blurred in public communications - this actually reflects the origins of ID creationism - see also the fake Cornell conference.

Robert

In 2000 I always insisted on a clear distinction and demarcation between YEC and ID. That has changed as we see that there is no essentail difference between them and Behe is the odd one out.
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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby GrumpyBob » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:52 pm

Coppedge Trial Day 2 at Sensuous Curmudgeon - several good links to trial material. Also seems the DiscoTute PR machine is getting most media coverage.

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Re: NASA in battle with intelligent design

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Natman wrote:I also never equated public broadcaster with the BBC. C4 is a public broadcaster too, and it's very liberal in both its remit and its outlook. The BBC is, at heart, very conservative, but a lot of its programming, presenters and themes are liberal.

Lastly, you're falling into what I thought was a purely American phenomena - that liberal is the same as left-wing. Liberal in the sense I was refering to was the proper meaning of the term; widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions, conventions etc. Or; open to political or social changes and reforms. Yes, you could broadly class it as left-wing, if you're also prepared to equate right-wing with pure conservatism.

You can be impartial about politics and be liberal, don't get too caught up with American political terms to forget that.


Yer, you've got some good points there and, indeed, the use of the term liberal is very ambiguous.

For what it is worth, I tend to view liberalism as a progressive outlook but the problem there is addressed in David Marquand's book, The Progressive's Dilemma. Precisely where do progressives stand on the political spectrum? Dated but worth a read.

There is another alternative which I tend to carry round in my head - liberal refers to the old Liberal (rather than Social Democrat) wing of the Lib Dems. That would probably place liberal as slightly right of centre and overlapping with the left of the Tories.

The American use of the term liberal is typically one of abuse, a catch all for anyone who isn't politically far to the right. Trouble is that the American usage is creeping in to English English.

Finally Channel 3 (ITV) was long regarded as just public service broadcasting financed by advertising and operated as a series of franchises awarded through a beauty contest.
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