UPDATED 01-27-2011 It’s an outrage that JPL employee David Coppedge was harassed and discriminated against for his pro-intelligent design views, but you can help him. If you want to stand up for academic freedom, this man needs to hear from you: Get ready now to call (preferably) or at least email Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator, to express your outrage at the fact that Coppedge was fired this week. Here’s that contact information: phone: 202-358-1010; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice has an impact in this debate — make sure it gets heard!
Supervisors at NASA’s prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) illegally harassed and demoted a high-level computer system administrator for expressing support of intelligent design to co-workers, according to a discrimination lawsuit filed in California Superior Court. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys on behalf of David Coppedge, an information technology specialist and system administrator on JPL’s Cassini mission to Saturn, the most ambitious interplanetary exploration ever launched. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a NASA laboratory managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where robotic planetary spacecraft, such as the Mars Rovers, are built and operated. Coppedge was a “Team Lead” Systems Administrator on the Cassini mission until JPL demoted him for allegedly “pushing religion” by loaning interested co-workers DVDs supportive Read More ›
Last week’s New York Times article on academic freedom legislation makes a false assertion that the Selman v. Cobb County Board of Education claimed it was illegal to single out evolution in a curricular policy. The NY Times article wrongly states: The legal incentive to pair global warming with evolution in curriculum battles stems in part from a 2005 ruling by a United States District Court judge in Atlanta that the Cobb County Board of Education, which had placed stickers on certain textbooks encouraging students to view evolution as only a theory, had violated First Amendment strictures on the separation of church and state. Although the sticker was not overtly religious, the judge said, its use was unconstitutional because evolution Read More ›
Links to our 8-Part Series, “The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Citation Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information”: • Part 1 (This Article): Judge Jones’s Misguided NCSE-Scripted Kitzmiller Ruling and the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information • Part 2: The Evolution-Lobby’s Useless Definition of Biological Information • Part 3: The Evolution-Lobby’s Misguided Definition of “New” • Part 4: Finding Darwin in All the Wrong Places • Part 5: How to Play the Gene Evolution Game • Part 6: Asking the Right Questions about the Evolutionary Origin of New Biological Information • Part 7: Assessing the NCSE’s Citation Bluffs on the Evolution of New Genetic Information • Part 8: The NCSE’s Citation Bluffs Reveal Little About the Evolutionary Read More ›
In this LeVake v. Independent School District, the Minnesota Court of Appeals did NOT find it was illegal to offer scientific critiques of evolution. What they did find is that administrators may exercise tight control over the curriculum, and may discipline teachers who would express doubts Darwin in the classroom. Cases like this show the need for academic freedom legislation to protect the rights of teachers to discuss both the evidence for and against evolution in the classroom. For podcast interviews with the plaintiff in this case, Rodney LeVake, see here and here. 1. Summary In LeVake v. Independent School District, high school biology teacher Rodney LeVake was reassigned after he allegedly failed to adequately cover the curriculum requirements for Read More ›