Judge: Employee Not Let Go Over ' Intelligent Design'

Thursday, 01 Nov 2012 11:17 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

A former computer specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was not dismissed because he advocated his belief in intelligent design while at work, a Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled.

Judge Ernest Hiroshige said Thursday he is leaning in favor of JPL's argument that David Coppedge instead was let go because he was combative and did not keep his skills sharp.

Hiroshige, who presided over the lawsuit's trial in April, ordered a final ruling to that effect be drawn up and distributed within 30 days.

Coppedge's attorney, William Becker, declined to comment until the final ruling is issued. JPL officials also had no immediate comment.

Coppedge, a self-described evangelical Christian, had worked on NASA's Cassini mission to explore Saturn for 15 years until he was dismissed in 2011.

In his wrongful termination suit, Coppedge claimed he was demoted in 2009, then let go for engaging his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and for handing out DVDs on the topic while at work. Intelligent design is the belief that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.

Becker argued at trial that a supervisor told Coppedge to "stop pushing your religion," and that Coppedge was retaliated against for disputing a written warning and filing a lawsuit against the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

JPL attorney Cameron Fox, however, contended Coppedge was a stubborn and disconnected employee who decided not to heed warnings to get additional training, even when it became clear the Cassini mission would be downsized and computer specialist positions eliminated.

Coppedge often was confrontational and insensitive to customers and colleagues, who had complained about his behavior and his advocacy of intelligent design, Fox said.

Coppedge is active in the intelligent design sphere and runs a website that interprets scientific discoveries through the lens of intelligent design. His father wrote an anti-evolution book and founded a Christian outreach group.

Coppedge also is a board member for Illustra Media, a company that produces video documentaries examining the scientific evidence for intelligent design. The company produces the videos that Coppedge was handing out to co-workers, Becker said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Rep. Farenthold Says Contempt Bill Aimed at Restoring Power to Congress

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:29 AM

Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold said Thursday a bill he's introduced to withhold Attorney General Eric Holder's p . . .

Admiral McRaven: Suicide Among Special Forces at Record Levels

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:09 AM

Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, a U.S. . . .

Brent Bozell: Media Refuses to Cover Easter as Religious Holiday

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 21:45 PM

Media outlets are largely ignoring the religious side of holidays such as Easter and Christmas, says Media Research Cent . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved