March 13th, 2012
10:08 PM ET
Terminated employee claims bias against intelligent design
By Stan Wilson, CNN
Los Angeles (CNN) - A former veteran systems administrator for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory claimed during opening arguments in a civil lawsuit Tuesday that he was wrongfully terminated for expressing his views on intelligent design.
David Coppedge, who spent 15 years on the Cassini Mission, one of NASA and JPL's most ambitious planetary space explorations, asserts that he was unlawfully fired under his employer's anti-harassment and ethics policies. JPL contends Coppedge created a hostile workplace while expressing his religious views with co-workers.
His suit also claims that supervisors wrongly admonished him for distributing DVD documentary films titled "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" and "The Privileged Planet," which present biological and cosmological explanations for intelligent design, according to the complaint.
Coppedge claims he never forcibly compelled colleagues to accept his idea of intelligent design in the workplace. Intelligent design is a conviction that life is too complex to have developed solely through evolution and that the universe was designed by an intelligent entity.
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JPL, based in Pasadena, California, is one of the world's most prestigious institutions for scientific research and development institutions. In Coppedge's civil lawsuit, he describes JPL's space missions as designed, in part, to explore the origin of the universe, uncover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe - or is improbably confined to earth - and whether conditions necessary for life to exist reside elsewhere in the universe.
Launched in October 1997, the Cassini mission to Saturn included a sophisticated robotic spacecraft that orbited the ringed planet and provided streams of data about its rings, magnetosphere, moon Titan and icy satellites. Cassini was the largest interplanetary mission ever launched, with the largest technical staff and participation of 18 countries.
In his role, Coppedge was responsible for making technical and scientific recommendations to management and developing presentations about various technical capabilities of new systems and upgrades, his attorney William Becker Jr. said during opening arguments. During his tenure, Coppedge developed a "sincere interest in the scientific evidence behind life's origin," which led to his conviction about "intelligent design."
Coppedge shared the view that life and the existence of the universe derived not from "undirected material processes," but from "intelligent cause," said attorney Becker.
In March 2009, Coppedge claims that his supervisor advised him that co-workers had complained that he was harassing them over debates about his religious views and coercing them in the workplace into watching DVD programs about intelligent design. During his opening statements Tuesday, attorney Becker Jr. told a judge hearing the case that Coppedge's supervisor threatened him with termination if he "pushed his religion" and ordered Coppedge to refrain from discussing politics or religion with anyone in the office.
During that 2009 meeting, Coppedge alleges, his supervisor became angry and belligerent asserting that "intelligent design is religion" and ordered him to stop. "The tone of the meeting and conduct were abusive and constituted harassment," his attorney said in court.
JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor said the lawsuit "is completely without merit, and we intend to vigorously fight the allegations raised by Mr. Coppedge."
In their response to the civil suit, attorneys for JPL stated in court documents that one of Coppedge's co-workers complained to his supervisor that Coppedge made her feel so uncomfortable in discussing "non work related topics" that it bordered on harassment. The supervisor encouraged Coppedge to limit his discussions about topics like religion and politics to periods like lunch breaks, according to the response.
The documents state that other co-workers complained they also felt harassed when Coppedge expressed views in favor of California Proposition 8, the ballot initiative in 2010 that defined marriage between and man and woman.
"David Coppedge alienated his co-workers by the way he acted with them, and blamed anyone who complained about those interactions," according to JPL in their response. "He accuses his former project supervisor and line manager of making discriminatory and retaliatory employment decision, when they had in fact protected him for years."
JPL alleged that Coppedge "was seen as stubborn, unwilling to listen and always having to do things his way, which frustrated project members and resulted in errors."
Coppedge was demoted after eight years as lead systems administrator and terminated last year. He cited those actions as a factor in basis for his suit claiming religious discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wrongful demotion.
JPL has denied Coppedge's termination complaint, contending he was among 246 employees laid off as part of a downsizing plan that affected 300 staffers.
"JPL complies with all applicable state and federal employment laws including laws governing freedom of expression," said JPL spokeswoman McGregor.
California Institute of Technology operates JPL, which is federally funded under a contract with NASA. Scientists are employed by the Caltech.
The case has generated interest among advocates of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are supporting Coppedge's lawsuit. The National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution in public education, is closely monitoring the case.
Coppedge is seeking damages for wrongful termination, including attorney fees. The nonjury trial is expected to last four weeks.
*An earlier headline for this article identified David Coppedge as a scientist. His attorney later said that despite his technical work with computers, he is not a scientist.
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
the issue here is that if he was pushing his beliefs on his co workers, he was annoying them to the point of being uncomfortable. While my opinion is these are religious beliefs, I don't think it matters. Any employee who constantly annoys his coworkers or makes his co workers so uncomfortable that they complain needs to tone it down, cut it out because they interfere with work. if it doesn't stop, there is good grounds to terminate.
Looks like this gentleman was subject to layoff due to the economic picture anyway, and has decided to try for the jackpot since there were complaints about him. his attempt may be no different that an older person, or a minority member who is laid of with an entire group of people– with a mix of ages and ethnicities– in downsizing trying to claim they wouldn't have been among the laid off but for... will have to see what the facts really are. juries usually can see the fire through the smoke.
The evidence for intelligence is right in front of us and all around us. Only unintelligent people would deny that.
Per your interpretation of reality.
Your first sentence is a strong argument. Your second detracts from it.
But then you're being redundant since the term "all around" covers the front as well. Still looking for intelligent design and designers, but have so far failed to find it right in front of me. Guess I'll keep looking around.
I wonder if this fellow was paid very large amounts of money to stir the Intelligent Design pot...
In order to not believe in God, the most fundamental law of physics must be violated. One must believe that the universe was created out of a void. Something from nothing. A whole lot of something from a whole lot of nothing.
In other words, to believe that the laws of physics define the universe and its creation one must have the simultaneous belief that the laws of physics do not exist.
I'm sorry but my mind is not capable of such faith in paradoxes. I'll have to stick with my faith in God.
So...if you believe in god, how was he created exactly? Seriously, is the flaw in your logic not as blatantly obvious to you as it is to everyone else?
And where did your god come from? Just because we don't know everything, why did you and others invent a big guy in the sky?
This is what I hate: the "something from nothing" argument. You are making -huge- claims about a vast universe that we haven't even -begun- to learn about and you're going to say that, instead, your faith should be put in a God that made everything so that a bunch of primates on an average planet near an average star could be saved? And you want to talk about how you don't have enough faith?
Then you don't understand "The fundamental laws of physics" because they neither prove nor disprove the existence of God.
You need to apply yourself more to the science to understand from where our universe may have come. Like many of your ilk, you only learn your science from your church and Fox news.
You forget Bob, that these are now laws, but theories that have been tried and tested according to the methods currently available. You need not make up invisible men in the sky, who's existence would then confound your little paradox, to explain what can rationally be achieved through further experimentation. If you'd like to explain how nature works, I suggest you think like a scientist, not a brainwashed fool.
Isn't "something out of nothing" the whole idea behind the Big Bang?
Science deals with hypothesis and experiment. Since you can't experiment with God, you can neither prove nor disprove God with science. Perhaps you can disprove certain beliefs, such as the "young earth" idea, but at the core level science and religion are not in conflict.
God hasn't been fully created yet. That comes later, apparently. Chalk another one up to wishful thinking, but what good would it do us to have an all-powerful god hanging around that either couldn't or wouldn't eliminate evil, be it a separate force or a dreadful quality of mankind? Kinda impinges on his or her omnipotence and omniscience, now doesn't it...
You might want to think these things through a little deeper.
There is nothing wrong with believing there is an omipotent God regardless if you believe in evolution, inteligent design or believe there is life beyond Earth or not. A theory at it's most basic is an attempt to model observed data. A theory should also be such that experiments can be done to prove or disprove it.
if someone believes in ID, what experiment can you do to prove or disprove God? The best that you can do is poke holes at evolution. Beyond that it is just a religious or metaphysics question. There is nothing wrong with metaphysics. However, metaphysics is not science.
For me to take the ID'ers seriously they would have to mathamatically prove that it is impossible for simple systems to graviate to complex systems and then for the proof to face scrunity. Then you could go about showing experimentally that there is a limit on complexity. However, with the realizatoin of quantum entanglement effecting the macroscopic world. The means for simple systems to become complex has increased by several orders of magnitude.
Goedel was able to prove that we cannot not know everything regardless of the scope of what we are analyzing. That might be the best proof of God. But why God can't use evolution and has to be arbitrary is beyond me.
Indeed, I often wonder why people think of science and religion like oil and water. I mean if I were to reconcile the two in favor of religion, I would simply say that science is just our method of trying to figure out how God (or whatever) defined reality for us.
What sort of ego does it take to think that a company would lay off almost 300 of your peers just to fire you?
Hypothesis: An educated guess based on observation. I think 'x' because I see 'y'
Theory: An even more educated guess based on research facts, and evidence. I know 'x' because I have 'y' and I think 'z'
Fact: Something that is true. X happens because of 'y'. ie: gravity...
So, where is the evidence, and facts for intelligent design? all that exist is a book and a bunch of ideas. Its a nice Hypothesis, and makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy, but that is just it. There is so many facts and evidence for evolution, that it really should even be considered a theory anymore, it just is. Just like an apple falls from a tree due to gravity, animals evolve due to evolution. The only thing missing are all the links that show what each animal evolved from, but we are getting close to it.
Hey don't forget the plants. I understand we share 1/3 dna with tulips.
Gravity (X) happens beause of God (Y)
To be frank, to attribute anything to "god" seems so boring. Basically the fact that we are living on a celestial ant-farm, subject to the whims of a capricious, celestial dictator, seems to take all of the fun out of aspiring to do more in life. I control my life, at least to the extent that the environment I live in allows me too.
cbinal stated: Gravity (X) happens beause of God (Y)
kay, now since there is no gravity in space, by your argument god can't exist in space either, so that means he must be stuck down here with us as well> So, to use your logic, or lack thereof::
~Gravity (~X) happens because of ~God (~Y).
Maybe you want to think this one through a bit more...
Evolution is a process that is not exclusive of a god. Even the Vatican agreed to that one. Maybe it's juts the way he or she or the process does things.
But gravity, as discussed by cbinal for some reason or another, isn't a force, but a property of curved space. Does that mean that god, since they are equal in cbinal's mind, is a bit warped? Maybe you're unintentionally more correct than you thought...
@Byrd Got a stick stuck somewhere? I was just injecting into his equation for the fun of it. Yes I believe gravity exists because God created it – it doesn't have to "follow him around". Your argument is ridiculous. I believe in God – you don't, that's just fine.
If the man wasn't doing his job fire him. If he was harrassing others fire him. But, there is always two sides to a story. I work in a high-tech environment and have done jobs for NASA and other government agencies and I am a Christian. Most I work with are, and they are extremely intelligent and can teach college courses on every "theory" that you guys "believe" is scientific fact, just because your teacher/prof told you it was. But, they are still Christians and still believe in God and Creation. That doesn't mean that they can't put a satellite into orbit that can track your every movement. Everyone needs to quit treating people as if they are stupid just because they believe in God. Believing in a God that teaches us to love one another more than yourself is the opposite of survival of the fittest and should be a positive thing, not a negative.
I have a question, how old do you think the planet earth is?
asianatheist..not every Christian believe that the earth is just a few thousand years old. There are Christians that do believe in evolution, or do you just like to spew your ignorance just like every other atheist who somehow think they are in the upper echelons of intelligence.
@TheAsian Just remember you asked how old "I believe" the Earth is. I take a literal interpretation of Creation and believe it to be right around 7200 years old. Now, I also know that scientific methods date it in the hundreds of millions which I "believe" to be incorrect. Not all Christians believe the way I do and all non-Christians will not – I understand that. But, God can create something that looks "old" but is new. Adam was not created as a baby but a full grown man – probably looked 30 years old.
It was just a question, I was not implying anything. If he/she, (like the rest of the scientific community) does believe in evolution, then that is great. He/she is moving in the right direction. However if the number he/she feels is less than 4.4 billion, or on the order of 10,000, then I would begin to question his/her innate cognitive ability.
An oft repeated misquote of Darwin's theory is "survival of the fittest". It is not survival of the fittest, it is survival of the fit. You do not need to be the best to survive, just good enough. Also altruism has a distinct survival advantage for a species as a whole (a species that helps its own survive to reproduce is likely much more successful than an individualistic species that focuses only on a single "family" unit).
That is a nice little story you have there cbinal. Problem is that your 'god' doesn't teach all love and happiness, or whatever. He teached that he is a vengeful, vindictive SOB that encourages people to kill each other in his name. He teaches the murdering of children...of babies. Don't believe me? I refer you to your own bible. I suggest you read it more carefully. Everything I just said is true and contained your 'holy book'. Muslims, you are the same too BTW. So please don't feel like I left you out.
Not to be overly cliche, but I rest my case.
cbinal– how do you know that Adam looked like a 30-year old man when he was created? I think there is a lot of this kind of 'interpretation' and 'speculation' that has crept into the bible over thousands of years that causes problems.
"If the man wasn't doing his job fire him."
Does that go for god as well? Perhaps you'll now explain the necessity this god saw for the existence of evil and other people-friendly things like disease.
You are right. Just because you're Christian doesn't mean you can't apply science and engineering principles. However, the reason you still are a Christian knowing those principles is because you have never applied the process that have proven those scientific principles to your beliefs or you live with a severe case of cognitive dissidence.
@Scientist – I don't know Adam looked about 30, I said "probably". He could have looked 12, he could have looked 50, but, point being I don't think God made him a baby and had to wait for him to grow up. And I surely don't think God made a monkey named Adam and had to wait thousands of years for him to evolve.
@blaqbox – Obviously, you mistakenly believe that all science revolves around the THEORY of Evolution – which it doesn't. I can turn the same concept on you – if you can't see the lack of evidence, flaws, and failures in many so-called scientific methods in this Theory, then you have not applied truth to your beliefs either. You just sit nodding your head to everything your Prof. says.
Well the reason he was fired (as I see it) is because he openly admiited that he believes in fairy tales over evidence. That seems like it would lead to a lack of confidence in the scientific findings of this individual in the eyes of his superiors. The overwhelming evidence in support of evolution as the explanation for life as we know it will never be enough for the willfully ignorant. Religion is a toy (credit for the analogy to the late Christopher Hitchens) that should be played with at home. It should not be played with or discussed anywhere else (politics and the workplace included). I do not understand why people wish to diminish the wonder of nature and the immense statistical improbability of our existence by giving credit to a powerful imaginary friend. Not to mention the incredible arrogance of assuming that you know all of the answers because of an over 2000 year old societal control mechanism (some call it the bible). I will be the first to admit, as you should, that I do not know all of the answers, but I think the journey of trying to discover them is far more fascinating than saying "well god did it, so thats it".
Nicely put, TAA. I no longer need to add my own comments!
Thank you Chris, that is very gracious.
Chris, you should go on YouTube and look up "Tim Minchin, Storm", I know you will enjoy it if you have not seen it.
Work is for working. Bourbon Street is for handing out religious propaganda.
Ok...it's very simple concept. One cannot create what has always existed. When there is no creation point in a multi-dimensional universe, there is no creator. It seems that this particular scientist may have been discriminated against, yes...but he obviously didn't pay attention in his physics class when he needed to.
"...what has always existed."
So what you're saying is the universe is infinity years old? Why does everyone else, even those that agree with your worldview, disagree with that statement?
There is more than one universe, and multiple dimensions to existence. There is no defined creation point. You cannot create matter, it can only change form or convert to energy. Our universe's creation is only possible via "spill-over" from other dimensions. This explains a transfer of energy to matter...
You failed physics didn't you?
I don't know what kind of third rate website you get your info from, but methinks you would have been better off going to USF.
Calling gravity a theory n saying religion is psychosis is one of the reasons I tell atheists that their religion is unscientific. Gravity is a law. Evolution is a theory. If u don't know de difference don't lie. If religion was psychosis scientists wud've declared it but they approve of it.
Somebody must have slept through the part of science class when they went over the scientific method.
Any credible scientist will tell you that gravity is a theory, as is evolution.
Look it up, there is the Law of Gravity, and the Theory of Gravity. The theory attempts to explain the law.
And religion is a fairytale, admitted to even by your own scholars.....
The Bible stories were retold for 90 years before being commited to paper. In a language that the Jesus didn't even speak. If you want to call Evolution a theory, what can you call the bible?
Scientific laws explain things, but they do not describe them. The laws of gravity explain what will happen, but not why. Theories explain why. Gravity is a theory that has laws. Evolution is a theory that has laws. Intelligent Design is NOT a scientific theory, and it has no laws.
@scientis – Although scientist easily admit that their constructs are 'theories' and agree that evidence can displace them. Intelligent Design itself dictates that a conclusion has been reached with no evidence. It's not proposed to be one of many theories, these religious nuts put it above the scope of science.
Actually gravity is a theory because the mechanism has not been fully explained.
Atheism is not a religion. And if you claim it is, then "off" is a TV channel.
Atheism isn't a religion its the absence of believing in any religion.
However, as an agnostic I believe atheists are still just as bigoted as theists simply because they refuse to still take up the idea they might be wrong. There might actually be a creator. However, he/she/it may not be anything like we've been designing for the past several thousand years.
@ rob– I apologize for the confusion I may have caused you. I use the term theory as a well-established scientific concept based on multiple lines of evidence (as stated in a previous post). I agree with you entirely.
The common thread for religion is belief in a supernatural actor. Science does not fit within that paradigm. Claims of supernatural causality cannot advance scientific enquiry. Science is not religion, it is a method of enquiry based upon direct observation which transcends religion (the laws of physics are the same for everyone, no matter how you name God or even whether you believe).
Gravity is both a theory and a fact. The fact is the observation itself, and the theory is a model that explains the observation.
Evolution is both a theory and a fact. The fact is the observation itself, and the theory is a model that explains the observation.
@scientist, the apology is all mine. Comments are brief and taken out of context can be confusing.
Not to be overly pedantic in regards to the appalling grammar used here, but if you wish to put forth a cogent argument in favor of irrationality, (which is really a contradiction in terms, but I will stick with it), it would benefit you to use complete words and sentences, so as to more effectively disseminate your "thoughts".
Hard to use "intelligent design" and scientist to talk about the same person.
Unless a scientist used intelligence to design something! I think that "intelligent design" was used in my iPod 4! But the fans of religion would just give god the credit as well. That is the unique characteristic of religious "thinking" (I use the term thinking loosely), that anything and everything, no matter how ludicrous, has one explanation.
Wrongfully terminated from a science position because he announced he believed in a wizard behind the curtain?! Good riddance to people like him that drag the hope of science down. The world is not flat, the sun does not orbit the earth, and there is no intelligent design.
Sure, tell that to a NASA scientist who worked there for 15 years. I am sure he is infinitely smarter than you will ever be.
@Brad – Infinitely? A little hysterical there. And working somewhere for 15 years? Have you seen the average government employee of 30 years? And as far as 'smarter' than me. Perhaps. Perhaps not. More skilled at his job? Definitely. More educated, almost certainly. But more 'correct' or 'better' than I will ever be? Nah. You're just a snob.
" The world is not flat..."
Isn't that what the bible says, too? Isaiah 40:22.
Beats me about that book Greg but I'm pretty sure that Isaac Asimov, Greg Bear, and Orson Scot Card, amongst many other great writers have come to the same conclusion. So as far as great fiction is concerned, you have no argument from me.
Rob – I guess my point was you can't claim Christians believed the world was flat based on what the bible says. Did Christians deviate from scripture and take on the beliefs of scientists of the time? Yes. But you can't use that argument saying Christians got it wrong then, so they have it wrong now.
In regards to Brad:
I feel for this man and his family, especially in economic times such as these. Losing your career regardless of the belief system to which you adhere is unfortunate. But spouting the idea that god created and designed everything in an environment such as NASA means that you are intentionally suspending rational thought, and in this kind of environment that seems, to me at least, unacceptable. And pretentious and frankly childish comments such as the one so ineloquently written by Brad really are counter to your argument, however futile it ultimately is.
He's probably already been offered an IT job at the Creation Museum. He might enjoy living in Kentucky more anyway. I wonder what he'll find that he knows-it-all about to proselytize those new coworkers about!?
Greg – My comment wasn't intended to claim that christians believe the world is flat. My flat-world comment was to point out the illogic of believing something to be true without evidence, and using that belief to displace scientific theories that do have supportive evidence. As 'Scientist' pointed out in his comments, Christians can participate in the study of science but they put their faith aside while applying the scientific approach to understanding the physical world and universe in which we live.
I started a new job a while back and first day started getting these daily emails from this crazy Christian guy preaching Jeeeeezus to me. I dealt with it for a long time and finally just told him to stop. He seemed all offended but he finally got the message after a couple more "stop sending this drivel to me" messages. He saw me as fresh meat and a new victim. You have to shut these crazies down right away and then report them if they keep harassing you.
Intelligent design is insulting to both science and religion. The affront to science is that it claims to be a theory yet it is untestable and much less elegant, less simple than evolution. The offense against religion is that it promotes a God that has poorly designed humans to have too small a birth canal, too large a cranium (pushing wisdom teeth into often painful positions), and since roughly 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, is responsible for more abortions than anyone. I am a scientist and believe in God. ID is just wrong!
But when you believe in god, your mind is not doing science. You compartmentalize your experience so that you are reason and evidenced based when you work, or indeed almost everywhere else in your life, except for whatever time you spend in the church or other area of religious observance and then you believe in myths.
Interesting- so if you're against intelligent design, but you're a scientist AND believe in God, what is your view on how life began?
Belief in truth and acceptance of truth are not mutually exclusive.
I don't know how life began. I believe life was created by God.
@Scientist: You believe life was created by God- isn't that what Intelligent Design believes??
I am a Christian Darwinist myself. I agree entirely. Having people tack unsupportable notions like Intelligent Design, together with the intellectual dishonesty it requires, onto Christianity benefits no one.
ID states that an intelligent being (presumed God) bypasses evolution by providing pre-made (designed) parts. It is important to note that evolution has nothing to do with the beginning of life. It is, as Darwin stated: "on the origin of species" not 'on the origin of life'.
Scientist. Please spare me your pithy statements about acceptance, belief and truth. If you believe in god, as you have stated, and you live in the west, which you likely do given your good command of english, then you are almost surely christian. And if you believe in virgin births, raising of the dead, etc, then you believe a whole slew of propositions without a shred of evidence. You might as well be a scientist monday through friday and talk to unicorns on sunday.
If I may interject...
You said "...then you believe a whole slew of propositions without a shred of evidence."
Do verified written accounts pass as evidence? Given the technology of the age, I don't know what other options they had.
CJ– Belief in things without evidence (things which are hoped for but not seen) is called faith. Perhaps if I could understand how unicorns might inspire hope, I would believe... Apparently, you have just as much faith that God does not exist.
Scientist. So you state that if unicorns could inspire hope you might believe? Well that is at least an honest admission that you believe because it just makes you feel better. And I do not have 'faith' that 'no gods exist'. What I have is a proper understanding of the burden of proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And those stating that people walked on water, raised the dead, or flew to heaven on a horse, are making the extraordinary claim and need to provide evidence. As you claim you are a scientist you should understand that.
Dominic. You lack imagination if you think there was no way for evidence of miracles to persist. For example, if jesus really could say to a mountain move from this place to that, then he could have transported one to north america and made it pop up in a plane state where there are no mountains. And he could have had hebrew script written on it which was unknown to anyone in that part of the world. And things could have been done with many impartial witnesses such that roman historians would comment on it and explain their amazement. Indeed, none of the miracle claims are commented on by independent, uninterested parties. How would you feel if some branch davidians told you david koresh is back and they saw him walking by the road but no one else was there to see it and he only appears to the devoted?
CJ– "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" This is true in science and this is the standard to which I would hold ID as it claims to be a theory. However, belief (as I stated previously) is independent of proof. If I had evidence and proof as you suggest of the existence of God, then it would be fact and no faith would be required. Scientifically, I cannot prove–and you cannot disprove–the existence of God (that is why ID belongs in a religion course and not a scientific discussion). I could counter your incredulity with my faith all day, but neither of us has proof. At least I will admit this and can move on.
Scientist. But it is your position as the believer who bears the burden of proof. As I stated previously. You talk as if both positions are equally valid by placing the situation as a binary – either you believe or you don't, and both positions require equal evidence to prove their claims. That is absolutely not true. Would you believe a branch davidian who told you that david koresh is back and talked to them yesterday? If you reply 'no' then they could utter your rejoinder that you were not there and cannot disprove them and your position of disbelief is no more valid than theirs. I sure hope your mind is more reasonable when you are doing the science part of your job.
And so long as we are postulating non-falsifiable claims about life and its origins, I submit that this universe is merely a virtual reality construct of an alien species, a la The Matrix. But these aliens are outside space and time so they cannot be detected, hence they are beyond science. Yet I know in my heart that it is true. Further I demand that my view be taken seriously and to question it is to belittle my beliefs which is an infringement of my religious liberty. And I will be setting up organizations devoted to understanding this alien species and I want tax exempt status!
nice. So sad but you described religions perfectly.
Its true...fat people get reincarnated as pigs...and then we eat them and then they are reincarnated as flies. And then...(feel free to chime in here)
Evolution is a theory the way that aerodynamics and gravity are theories – there is an enormous mountain of evidence supporting it.
Intelligent Design is a theory that same way that homicidal picklemen from Planet Playtex is a theory – there is absolutely NO evidence supporting it.
That's is the core of atheists' inability to believe in gods or religions -there is no evidence. None. Not a bit. No evidence.
If you believe in something that has absolutely no evidence to support it even exists, all the while aggressively rejecting things that clearly do have solid evidence because they don't match your grroundless belief, well that is pretty much a definition of psychosis.
The medical definition of psychosis: "Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, usually including false beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions) and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)."
Religion = psychosis
You can't prove that there is a god or that there is no god. You can only make a leap of faith based of which scenario makes more sense and fits the evidence. There are good arguments on both sides.
If he harassed his fellow workers then he should have been recommended for psychological help. If they didn't then he did not deserve the sack. Being in favour of one theory over another happens. Particulate light theory and wave light theory have been debated for centuries. These shud be allowed.
Valid observation, NII the 'he'
Maybe you missed this part of the article where they detailed the biggest reason he was fired:
"JPL alleged that Coppedge "was seen as stubborn, unwilling to listen and always having to do things his way, which frustrated project members and resulted in errors."
Sounds reasonable enough to warrant termination to me, even with harassing people at work.
They detailed several misjudgements but said he was sacked as part of routine downsizing.
psychological help? He has his beliefs, not some disease. (I totally disagree with his beliefs, btw) but the workplace is not the appropriate place for these kinds of discussions and he's lucky his butt wasn't discharged long ago. what ever your beliefs, there should be no discussion at work. work is for work. period. and no person should feel trapped in their workplace , trying to do their job,but having to listen to someone else going on about their beliefs. I don't care if you are an atheist, or dedicated to god, whether you are pro democrat or pro republican or libertarian. pro gun control or a member of the NRA. he was cautioned, and the management has a responsibility to those employs feeling harassed. work is work. leave these discussions (and associated posters, literature, DVDs) at home.
Yes but you have to think his poor workplace performance helped him to be included among those fired.
You are all like the people that were laughing at Noah and critizing him when he went around trying to warn people of the the flood and teachings of the "Intellegent Designer"...his name is Jehovah by the way, the only true and real GOD. Soon your laughing will become sobbing and critizing will become regret. And you will be in the proverbial flooded oceans beating on the side of the ark, but it will be too late.
Your problem is you are using a myth to try to make a factual point. JWs have been predicting the End and missing it, of course, for a couple hundred years, yet no dent on your true believer idiocy.
Noah did not warn anyone about the flood – it's one of his creepier aspects. Noah did not say or think anything about intelligent design. Nobody laughed at Noah.
None of what you said is in the Bible. You made that up, just like everyone makes up their own religion.
I'm still laughing at Noah... because his story was nothing more than the re-telling of "The Epic of Gilgamesh."
Don't think so? Educate yourself and look it up.
Your ridiculous ancient Middle Eastern myths are still not science.
Oh no, not one of them Jehoover's Witnesses.
Tell me, When was Jerusalem destroyed by Babylon? 587/586 B.C.E. being the PROVEN date certainly puts a damper on your 1914 return of Jesus date.
Barking mad. Case that religion is a delusion closed.
Only a Jehova's Witness (or sadly many branches of Christianity) would take pleasure in the suffering of people, as you say you'd do in your post.
Noah? Their is as much proof for Noah as there is for ID. You can make yourself feel better by imagining other suffering for not believing in your bogus god, but it doesn't change the fact that you have no facts to back up anything you believe in.
Oh yeah? Well all the other humans in the world died in that story too, if you recall. God must be a jerk.
A world wide flood never happened. If such a flood had taken place the amount of water vapor in the air would have made it impossible for any air breathing creature to breathe.
Not to mention that Egypt was building pyramids, had a written language and recorded everything, and they were right next door to Noah. They have no written OR geological evidence of a flood on that scale…Nada…Nothing. And another thing, in the UK the druids were building Stonehenge at this time…no evidence there either
Who is Noah? I'ver heard of an 'Einstein', but no 'Noah'. In which field of science did he specialize?
Even if you will follow the cyclical logic that causes you to confuse fiction as fact, Genesis 6 is one of the most telling parts of the Old Testament. Look at verse 6 "The lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." How is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being able to feel regret over "his" actions? Oh, and if you read the flood story, you'll find Noah never warned anyone, and nobody laughed at him. This is fiction you add to your fiction. Funny, except that you use this fiction to condemn people. Disgusting!
Now this is, among many, one of the biggest problems with religion. I do not believe in god, but I also go a step further to say that I would not want there to be a god, at least not in the context of modern day religion. All of the destruction and misery that this supposedly omnipotent and benevolent god promotes and fosters is not in keeping with the type of universe I want to live in. You are asked to worship and love this god, and yet you are nothing but menial servants, pandering to him and flattering him at every turn. You are supposed to love this god more than your own family! Religious people always pose the question, "what if you are wrong?". Well I quite frankly don't give a damn because I will not give in to a master, no matter how hard he cracks the whip. And if I am wrong, I would hope that a god would respect my skepticism and my lack of willingness to be a sheep in the flock. The moment that people give up their blind faith and start asking some questions, the moment their lives will become more enriching and fulfilling.
Really...Noah?!? Any real evidence? Contrary to your peculiar belief system, most of us are grounded in scientific thought. That leads us to believe that the scientist in question is guilty of violating his employment contract. Any notion otherwise is not cognitive of his situation. Realize that you christians and all other religions are in the minority. This is the age of reason and science. Your beliefs are no longer relevant.