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Terminated employee claims bias against intelligent design
NASA's Cassini space probe snapped this photo of jets spewing from Saturn's moons.
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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Culture & Science • Science

soundoff (2,244 Responses)
  1. Nate

    First off, this guy isn't a scientist, so CNN should appropriately modify the headline. As Bill points out he was a network administrator.

    Secondly, he wasn't fired for his beliefs he was fired because he was harassing his co-workers endlessly. It doesn't matter the context...when coworkers tell you that your dialogue is unwanted and you keep pressing the issue of course you're going to be let go as you're creating a hostile work environment. Pushing ideological or political ideas onto other people in a professional environment should never be tolerated. Kudos to NASA.

    This of course will blow up as it relates to intelligent design – a hot button issue – but the core of this story is the man was fired for harassment, plain and simple. If I came into my marketing research company and continued to discuss atheist ideas despite my coworkers telling me they aren't interested I'd of course expect to be reprimanded. That's just common sense.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Jeff

      You're so right. Keep religion out of the workplace.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Nick

      Good post Nate.
      Jeff, I think you missed the point.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  2. Amom

    Only the Lord knows this guy's heart and exactly why he was fired. One thing is for certain, though, "In the beginning God..."

    March 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • albie

      Why don't you just say "Once upon a time ..."

      March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      One thing is for for certain though ..'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit"

      March 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  3. Duwayne Anderson

    Religious fanatics want to write their religious mumbojumbo into law - and now they want the right to harass their coworkers and proselytize on government property, and government time. That's what this is about - some guy wants to use his workplace as a venue for promoting his religion.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  4. Don

    There is an intolerant, bigot, and hostile environment in the scientific community in general ... anti-God, anti-religion, anti-Christian.
    The anti-God crowd needs to "lighten-up" and keep the vitriolic venom to themselves.
    Hey, where are the American Civil Liberties Union / ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center / SPLC when Christians need them? Oh yeah sure ... they always seem to be on the WRONG side of anything ... anything right, pure, wholesome, loving, holy, sane...

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • seattlesaint

      god has no business being in the office. people shouldn't be lectured to on the job. just bcause you've been brainwashed doesn't mean your coworkers have to suffer.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Aezel

      Scientists are taught to think, and only say things that they have evidence to support. Religion is the exact opposite of this. Doesn't it occur to you to ever ask why the majority of the most brilliant minds in the world are atheists? Oh but your preacher dun be smarter huh?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • albie

      I just hope that one day this country can educate the religion out - it is high time to remove the christian influence and grow up

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • seattlesaint

      god has no business being in the office. people shouldn't be lectured to on the job. just bcause you've been brainwashed doesn't mean your coworkers have to suffer. the idea that a guy who works in rockets should be evangelizing in the office is ridiculous. keep it to yourself indeed.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • justme

      aezel; so only the truth comes out of these guys? how is that piltdown man working out for you guys. many more are doing and saying whatever they can to get their gov't grants and don't ever think they don't. from someone who knows.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • kso

      So Don, you're asserting that people who don't believe in your cult are not loving, humane, etc? so ignorant

      March 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "anything right, pure, wholesome, loving, holy, sane..."

      but what have any of those got to do with religion?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  5. ThereIsNodGodSAVETHEFUNDING

    THERE IS NO GOD. NO INTELLIGENCE. JUST EVOLUTIONARY NATURAL SELECTION. NOW – RE-CHANNEL NASA FUNDING INTO CLEANING UP OUR BROKEN AND CORRUPT JUDICIAL SYSTEM – RIGHT HERE ON EARTH. IDIOTS. IT'S CONDUCTING IT'S BUSINESS LIKE AN AUCTION HOUSE. IT'S UNACCEPTABLE and DESTROYING AMERICAN LIVES.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • NeonKnight

      STOP YELLING!

      March 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  6. seattlesaint

    Why's he discussing religion at work anyway. Regardless of how stupid his beliefs are, NO ONE should discuss religion or politics on the job. And it sounds like he was actively promoting this religious "theory". Doubly worse. I'd fire him too.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • JewDome

      Yeah... You'd prefer to operate like the jews... silently discriminating against qualified goyim.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Amom

      Just like the sign reads, "No praying on the job unless during an earthquake, a terrorist attack, or crazed shooter enters the building."

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  7. RSFan

    The only people who believe in intelligent design are the unintelligent. Ironic isn't it?

    March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • albie

      That made me laugh – nice

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  8. JJ Jukebox

    This guy that got fired....not to bright. He works at NASA with scientists. What percentage of scientists believe in intelligent design? I willing to bet it is very low. What kind of consequences did this guy expect from pushing his Jesus ideas on some of the most intelligent people in America....many of whom are not "hip" on intelligent design. Let me guess, his convictions led him to hand out DVD's and literature on intelligent design to a bunch of atheists. What did he expect?????? Like I said, not to bright.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  9. serdich

    Crazy never gets tiered...just sweats a lot..

    March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • serdich

      tired..curse you autoincorect..

      March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  10. Jon

    He sounds like a typical Creationist. So sure about their beliefs that they actually believe them to be facts. No matter how you reason with them, they can't seem to accept the truth. I am sure that David Coppedge is a brillant scientist but you can see here the effects of the dangers of a mind virus called religion.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Nick

      Creationism and intelligent design are two completely different things. Creationism is a fundamentalist Protestant position claiming the Earth to only be a few thousand years old. It ignores all scientific evidence to the contrary. Intelligent design is philosophical argument pointing to the existence of a master designer, first mover, or whatever you want to call it. It makes no claim on the age of the Earth or whether or not evolution is real, nor does it ever claim that this first mover is God. It is a valid, rational, ontological argument supported by many leading scientists, and I'm not quite sure why this board is having such a tremendously negative reaction to it in this story. Except that, maybe they don't know what they're talking about?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "Intelligent design is philosophical argument pointing to the existence of a master designer, first mover, or whatever you want to call it........ nor does it ever claim that this first mover is God"

      rubbish, of course it does, thats the whole point of the 'intelligent' part, to try to claim otherwise is just outright lying.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Nick

      @Cedar Rapids:
      Incorrect. An argument pointing at intelligence does not require that intelligence to be the Christian God. It could just as easily be space aliens looking at us through a microscope. Arguing this is a futile effort on your part. It doesn't make the claim, period!

      March 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Jon

      @Nick-Thanks for the clarification but from what I have seen and the people I have talked to, Creationism and I.D. are one in the same. They are unprovable scientific concepts and more of a metaphysical concept. ID and Creationism are not valid arguments because their position is based on ignorance. They “know” that God designed the world and created humans fully formed because they are mentioned in a 2,000 year old text. There is no way to prove or disprove that so this falls in the realm of faith and not fact and Science. There are some believers of this in the scientific community but they are very few. The majority of Scientists are atheists and agnostics. If they are atheists and agnostics because of their scientific work or from some other source remains to be seen.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Nick

      @Jon:
      That may be your experience, but they simply are not the same. Creationism claims a scientific position, one that, based on evidence, almost everyone would agree is false. Intelligent design does not, it is a valid philosophical argument. Yes it is based on an assumption, but so is science (see response to Scientech below for more on that). These assumptions do not make arguments invalid, but they do present a point for disagreement.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Jon

      @Nick

      But the thing with science is that even when there are assumptions made, there is tangible, physical evidence to support your theory or opinion. It is impossible to prove that there was an intelligent designer behind the creation of the universe. First, science can’t answer that because if such an agent existed, it would be outside of realm of existence and could not be proven or disproven using the methods of sciee. Second, faith is involved with I.D. and faith is just a feeling or belief without evidence. How can I prove or disprove that there is a pink unicorn living in my bathroom? I can’t, I can only refer to my faith that there is one. Faith is not the same as fact.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  11. Scientech

    Science is a religion in and of itself. Science is based on circular reasoning and empirical assumptions. Show me one experiment where evolution can be proved using the scientific method. So many are quick to think the theory of evolution is fact, however no one has ever observed it first hand. Kind of reminds me of another religion where no one currently has seen the beginning. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion are often confused and taken as the same thing. Stop sharing science as anything other than religion, and accept the Evolution diety as it is.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • ohnugget001

      You've got to be a troll...

      March 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I don't think you understand science or evolution in the least.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • JJ Jukebox

      ?????????????????????? I don't agree with you. I feel sorry you feel that way. You are mislead.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • SpacePhD

      Go read a science book and learn something before you start arguing things you don't understand.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Jon

      @Scientech Do you even understand what the Scientific Method is? Belief can cloud judgment and that is why we have a methodology like Science to reveal the truth in nature, aka Evolution. Some examples of Evolution, DNA and the Fossil Record. Both show clear signs that life evolved from the simple to the complex. That is the beauty of Evolution, it can and does explain how something can go from the simple to the complex. Creationism tries to explain how the complex can go to the more complex. That just leads to another set of problems. Evolution is true even if you don't believe it.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • roger

      sure they have....viruses are observed all the time. They've also done observations with lizards in remote islands to see how they evolve. You are more than welcome to try and disprove evolution. If science becomes dogmatic then it is dogmatism that becomes the issue i.e. more like religion. Science encourages that dogmatism be challenged, religion however has no such safety mechanism.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Aezel

      "however no one has ever observed it first hand. " Actually you are wrong about that, we have.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyRA807djLc&w=640&h=360]

      March 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Dutchman

      A good example is any drug resistant bacteria. When the bacteria is introduced to a new environment (the drug permeated fluids surrounding it) it undergoes selective pressure in that most of the population is killed off but around .1 to 1% survive usually due to a mutation that changes the shape of the attack site of the drug rendering it useless. This subset of the population has a reproductive advantage over the subset without the mutation and multiplies rapidly to fill the gap the die off has created. You now have a bacteria able to live in an environment with the drug present. This is how we get continual adaptation of the flu and cold bugs, as well as some of the more virulent bacteria which transition from animals to humans due to mutations. The same thing goes for any change in a specie's environment which puts pressure on certain traits causing die offs and ascension of new branches of species. Adaptation in a nutshell.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Jason

      No evidence of evolution? You sure about that? Just do a little research about the flu and why vaccines change from sesaon-to-season.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Ed

      False – see multi-year observation/experiment with ecoli bacteria at the University of Michigan. 12 colonies from the same parent we're given two foods, one the bacteria could digest, the other it could not. After some 50k generations, 1 collony began digesting both sources and greatly increased in size. It is dramatic and it has been confirmed. We already knew strains can become resistant to antibiotics, so this should come as no surprise.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Mark

      Evolution has indeed been observed in great detail. Please read up on current science before making such a claim. Here is a very clear hallmark paper that measured the microevolutionary changes of plants over a 50+ year period.

      Roose and Gottlieb, 1976, Genetic and Biochemical Consequences of Polyploidy in Tragopogon, Evolution 30: 818 – 830.

      The paper tracks the evolution of two new species, Tragopogon mirus and Tragopogon miscellus.

      The origin of intelligent design posits this: since we don't understand how evolution happened, we fall back on faith as the sole plausible explanation.
      Scientific methodology posits this: since we don't understand how something happened, we recognize our scientific understanding is still incomplete and further study is needed.

      So miracle v. mundane (yet not understood). When in doubt, follow Occam's Razor – the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • catcher24

      I have many examples of evolution; you, me, everybody that has lived. We evolve from a single cell, a zygote, to develop (evolve) into the person we are. A living being evolving from a single cell organism; is that not what evolution is? Whether there is a designer of all this, who knows; we will find out when we leave this planet.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Kyle

      All of the forms of evolution that can be seen today is only within a species. With the Scientific Method we have not seen an amiba become a jawless fish, a jawless fish become a jawed fish, a jawed fish become a frog, a frog become a crocodile, a crocodile become a mammal, and a mammal become a human. At this point this is where Science does become a religion. On the same foot Intelligent Design nor Creationism can show what it wishes it could show and thus fits into the same category as Evolution. Some say, "Given enough time Science will prove everything." To me that looks like a strong statement of faith not science. If you want too see science gone wrong just go look up the people called the Logical Positavists most of the people in that group were the leading mathmatians and scientists of their age. Everyone is suseptable to dogma even people who profess to be unbias sciencetists.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Nick

      I think was Scientech is talking about is, what I'll call, metascience, or how science works. When we assume that science is always right and can answer any question, it does become a sort of religion. We put all our faith in it.

      The reality is that science is wrong all the time. Eggs are good for you, eggs are bad for you, eggs are good for you again. The so-called scientific method (of which there are many) is an imperfect tool, just like everything else humans create. It is subject to the breadth of our knowledge at the time of the experiment, and so could only ever be absolute if we had perfect knowledge, which we likely never will.

      This is why there is no such thing as actual "proof" in science. Even our most fundamental scientific laws, like gravity, are considered to be unproven. They have extremely strong evidence, but never proof. At some point, in order to progress in science, we have to take this strong evidence and start making assumptions that it is true and that our understanding of it is correct. And maybe this is what Scientech was trying to get at.

      Science only answers the "how," and it does it imperfectly. It does not address the "why" and so is inherently an incomplete answer. Science is an amazing tool, but there are other aspects of this universe to consider.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Jon

      @Nick The role of science is to get through what is wrong to what is right. It isn’t perfect but it is the only tool we have to uncover the secrets of the universe. Science is a self-correcting enterprise and forces you to be honest with yourself. It won’t let you project your own beliefs onto the facts (which is what Creationists and ID folks do) science CAN and DOES answer the how and when. How did we get here? When did it happen?

      Gravity is proven; we are experiencing it right now. The proof of gravity was probably the first experiment done. Now that we have science, we can not only prove gravity as a force in nature but also demonstrate it. Evolution is also something that can be demonstrated in the lab and has empirical evidence to support it. Creationism and ID does not. They simply rely on revelation as to their insights about nature, not observation, which is exactly how science works.

      If there are other aspects or assumptions of the Universe that science can’t answer, then that falls into the realm of belief and faith and what is faith? Faith is simply belief in the absence of evidence. There is no need for faith in gravity, we have proof. The same goes with Evolution, both cosmic and biological. Faith is not a part of science.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • indyreader

      Ignoring for now all the ponderous factual wrongness of the whole "science is just a religion, too" argument, I'd like to point out how amused I am that when someone wants to insult or deride something, they call it a religion.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  12. Sam

    This is why you need to keep your religous beliefs to yourself. One should not launch a campaign in workplace to spread these personal beliefs or to use them in governing like those Republicans try to do.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  13. jimtanker

    This person is not a scientist if he believes in "intelligent design". There is no proposed mechanism for ID and no way that it can be tested by falsification. NOT science.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  14. BehavioristSherpa

    We can clear this up really quickly.

    If you ask an ID proponent for evidence of an "intelligent designer", they will offer you one thing:
    Something evolution currently doesn't explain or (as we saw in Kitzmiller v. Dover), things that are explained by evolution but the person was unaware of those findings.

    In short, "you can't explain this, therefore god did it" or ignorance.

    That's all it is. COME ON! Don't you think if someone actually had evidence that an "intelligent designer" (aka god) existed, we'd know? That would be a "stop the presses", earth-shattering news event.

    The judge can get to the bottom of this real quick as well: Ask him if he's okay with the "intelligent designer" being referred to as Allah, Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Of course not. ID proponents have a radical christian agenda, the same one they've had for 1800 years: Drag mankind back into the Bronze Age.

    It needs to stop.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • BlatantAtheist

      My beef with Intelligent Design is simply that– IF one believes man is too complex and was therefore created by an Intelligent Designer, who the hell created this complex Intelligent Designer? Unless the ID supporter is arguing that the ID itself was not complex. And then you might as well argue that... oh, I don't know, we were created through evolution as we HAVE seen evidence for. 🙂

      March 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  15. Gay God

    Humans are obviously not intelligently designed. If God designed humans, God would have to be gay:

    http://syncmyworld.blogspot.com/p/contents.html

    It's obviously gravity that designed humans.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    The way he chose to express his point of view is what did him in, coupled with the fact he was affecting others around him. Frankly, I don't care what you believe, but if you become a distraction in the workplace you have no right to expect them to keep you.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Willie James

      Exactly. Evangelics take heed. Folks don't want to hear it or see it.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • JJ Jukebox

      Thank you and well said! Thomas Paine was a true Patriot. Common sense brutha!

      March 14, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  17. B

    If you try to push your religion on your coworkers, you get fired. Learn from your mistake Mr. Coppedge. There's religion and there's science. Keep them separate. The only exception is how religion very slowly comes to accept science when it can no longer deny it, e.g. the Earth is not the center of the universe. The Catholic church now accepts evolution. However, science must never be influenced by religion.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  18. TWH

    People can believe whatever they want. Haters gonna hate.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • ohnugget001

      How true. Those religious haters will keep on hating as long as there are people who believe differently than them.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  19. Political Gods

    one thing is for sure, it became more important to let him go then to keep him <- that speaks volumes.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  20. Don in Iowa

    There is no bias against intelligent design, there is only bias against ignorance and stupidity which intelligent design is a definite sign of. If you are too stupid to understand intelligent design is just a fantasy of someone believing in make believe people who supposedly profess to be god then you truly have no right working in a position that requires the ability to think and to do so without prejudice and bias which you are unable to do if you believe in a totally unproven and incapable of being proven fantasy associated with the unintelligent and uneducated. If however you want to practice voodoo or be a medicine man than intelligent design is acceptable. But NASA needs people who are smart and intelligent and who are NOT ignorant, and they have the right to remove people who prove themselves to be none of these which this person has done in so many many ways. Ignorance and stupidity have no place in Science and thus this person was removed because he is incapable of thinking logically and intelligently.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Willis

      It's ignorant and stupid of you to assume that all those who believe in intelligent design are ignorant and stupid. It's one thing to say this employee was disruptive and should be let go for that, but another thing for you to do the ignorant and stupid thing I just pointed out. Science cannot instantly display all the the answers we are seeking, and neither can religion. Until otherwise, you can remain ignorant and stupid.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
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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.