Ex-NASA Worker's Lawsuit: Belief in Intelligent Design Got Him Fired

Date: 12 March 2012 Time: 02:53 PM ET

A former NASA employee who was fired last year is suing the space agency, claiming he was let go because he believes in intelligent design, according to news reports.

The employee, David Coppedge, was a computer specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and served as team leader for the Cassini orbiter mission around Saturn. He was demoted in 2009, and eventually lost his job in 2011, after 15 years of working on the mission.

Coppedge is now claiming he was wrongfully terminated, based on the fact that he talked to co-workers about intelligent design and passed out DVDs espousing the philosophy at work.

You can read the rest of the article here..

http://www.space.com/14868-nasa-employee-lawsuit-intelligent-design...


For me though, I don't think it was so much about the intelligent design belief as much as it would have been about passing out DVDs and espousing the belief at work. The work place isn't the location for that, unless you work for a group whose purpose is to deseminate that message.

Views: 73

Comment by Arcus on March 12, 2012 at 4:58pm

Heh.. handing out religious shit at NASA would be extremely unpopular. I know a few people who work there; all of them are very much atheist with little penchant or patience for religious bullcrap.

Comment by willard bakeman on March 13, 2012 at 1:23pm

I am an attorney and have seen many of these. In every case the plaintiff presents iself as a victim, when in fact he victimized countless people t this work who were sick and tired of his worn out worthless nonsense and sked him  to stop preaching many times before he was eventually fired from is job. When they had a chance to prove their stuff at the trial in Dover, the Republican cosnervative judge (which they had chosen) called their "evidence" breathtakingly inane. And yet they claim they are persecuted.

Comment by Raymond Baker on March 13, 2012 at 6:50pm

I think workplace harassment is more along the lines of what this chap probably got fired over by the sounds of it.  That being said, I might be incentivized to let go of a person who spouts illogical garbage in a workplace that necessitates logical and analytical capacities. 

(willard bakeman might want to check that his letter 'A' is working properly on his keyboard)

Comment by kris feenstra on March 13, 2012 at 9:04pm

Let's say that, hypothetically, Coppedge largely kept his views to himself at the workplace, happened to reveal that he's an intelligent design advocate in casual conversation, and as a result was fired for it.  Sure, I would agree with his wrongful termination suit.  I think most people would.

Oddly enough, however, the argument from his own team is that he was inappropriate with his beliefs in a professional environment to the point that other staff members had to file complaints.  Sure, maybe they don't see it that way, but some one on his team must understand that his actions will look unprofessional and inappropriate.

The company's claim is that it was a matter of budget cuts.  I'd think the company would want to distance itself from criticism on Coppedge's beliefs altogether in that scenario.  It sounds like the person damaging Mr. Coppedge the most is Mr. Coppedge.

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