David Coppedge has worked on the Cassini mission since 1997. In 2000 he earned recognition for excellence, receiving the important role of “Team Lead SA” (system administrator), a role he held until his demotion in 2009.
SAs oversee 200 Unix workstations, several high-capacity date storage units, networking equipment, and other specialized computing equipment across America and Europe. He has a wide breadth of knowledge about technical aspects of Cassini’s computers and networks and was heavily involved in all the mission operations. Coppedge has been a faithful and highly regarded JPL employee for many years, has led tours of the lab and has served as an outreach speaker presenting the Cassini findings to civic and astronomy clubs and school groups.
Now, though, this exemplary employee has been demoted. Why? Did he do something to jeopardize the mission? No. Was he guilty of incompetence? No. Was he lazy or just lackadaisical in his work? No. David Coppedge’s sin was a thought crime, the mere willingness to challenge the ruling authority of Darwinian evolution. In conversation he asked colleagues if they’d be interested in watching a documentary that dealt with evolution and intelligent design. For this he was harassed and discriminated against.
[…]In a blatant double-standard, JPL has restricted Coppedge from freely discussing his intelligent design views while at the same time allowing other employees to express themselves freely on a wide variety of topics in the workplace, including attacks on the intelligent design viewpoint.
Coppedge was punished for expressing support for intelligent design despite the fact that he never forced those views on anyone. When someone was not interested in watching one of his intelligent design videos, he dropped the matter.
Until Coppedge’s supervisor began harassing him, Coppedge never saw an indication that anyone resented his discussing intelligent design. In fact, Coppedge’s administrators eventually admitted that they had never received a single complaint about his sharing DVDs prior to targeting him for investigation.
You can read more about it in these related stories.
- Discrimination Lawsuit Filed against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
- What you can do to protect the liberty of NASA’s pro-ID employees
Don’t forget that NASA is the agency that investigates religious nonsense like global warming and aliens.