Monday, May 16, 2016

Time to Re-Write History . . . Again

A few years have past so now it's time for the Discovery Institute (DI) to resurrect David Coppedge and paint him as another martyr for the cause.  The post by the toothless chihuahua davey 'klingy' klinghoffer is "World Magazine Tells David Coppedge's Powerful Story" and, as I recall, it wasn't a very powerful story, actually it was pretty dull.

Let me nutshell it for you, if you aren't familiar.  Coppedge preaches to co-workers about Intelligent Design and his personal homophobia to the point of Human Resource complaints and does a poor job in an unpaid leadership position.  He gets counseled and relieved of his leadership position . . which was an unofficial position, an additional duty.  He sues claiming religious discrimination for his 'demotion'.  During the run up to his trial, he gets downsized because he wasn't keeping his skills up-to-date and . . . as you can guess . . . adds that to his lawsuit.  He loses his lawsuit and so the DI paints him as yet another victim, like John Freshwater, Guillermo Gonzales, Catherine Coker, and a few select others.

While klingy likes to paint him in the most positive light possible, Coppedge's co-workers painted him in a very different light.  Klingy repeated Coppedge's claims that his advocacy of Intelligent Design (ID) was always done in "the most respectful, appropriate manner" and "If anyone expressed disinterest, he says, he immediately backed down" and yet the complaints by his co-workers, multiple co-workers and managers, not only about his advocacy, but his job performance painted a very different picture.  They used terms like 'unwelcome' and 'disruptive'.  Eventually he was fired as part of a downsizing event, but you know that the DI can't just leave it at that.

Just to contrast, Since 1996, the year Coppedge was hired as a system administrator, I have been a Delphi programmer, Web Developer, Programming Instructor, Program Manager, Project Lead, and a Java Programmer.  What all Information Technologists learn quickly is that the key to continuous employment is constant upgrade of skills.  The field changes so quickly that your expertise can become obsolete much faster than many people will believe.  So the idea of Coppedge being downsized when his skillset was no longer needed is easily believable.

As a matter of fact, I think I have heard this tune before.  Yes, I had to check, but in 2011 the same psuedo-news organization reported about Coppedge only that DI write-up was by Anika Smith instead of klingy say pretty much the same sort of things.  I haven't noticed anything from Smith lately, so I guess it's up to klingy to re-write things.

Bottom line for Coppedge, he lost his lawsuit, you can read the statement of decision here.  Coppedge and his lawyers had a bunch of objections to the proposed statement, but it was approved by the Court. This decision certainly showed Coppedge was not the respectful and appropriate co-worker the DI likes to claim he is, nor is he one who backed down when disinterest was shown to his religious ideas.  What he was doing was preaching during work, he was also performing his additional duty poorly, and refused to keep his skills current and eventually got fired during a downsizing.  The DI likes to claim that as a senior person, he normally wouldn't be part of being downsized, but when you factor in not keeping his skills current -- that makes him an obvious candidate.  Here is a quote form the decision:

" . . . the evidence reflects that Coppedge was less skilled than those retained, regarding the skills needed on Cassini going forward; Coppedge himself testified that the other SAs [System Administrators] were more expert in these areas."

In another light, this also demonstrates how quickly the DI is to try and re-write history.  In Stephen C. Meyer's book "The Signature in the Cell" Meyer completely rewrote the 'Sternberg Peer Review Controversy' until it was nearly unrecognizable from the reality.  Every once in a while they bring this subject up again and keep trying to peddle their revisionist history.

They repeated attack the Dover Decision, most recently here, even after claiming that it wasn't particularly binding nor had any lasting effect.  How many times will they attempt and re-try the trial?  I guess we'll find out pretty much every December.  They literally repeat the testimony they would have wanted to give if they had the intestinal fortitude to do so during the trial.

Often their history re-writes take historical figures and re-baptize them as Intelligent Design proponents, like Alfred Russel Wallace, Thomas Jefferson, and even Anaxagoras, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.  Of course these folks are safely dead and cannot refute their re-baptismal.

The history re-write they most often use is to try and blame Darwin for pretty much everything under the sun that they disagree with.  'Darwinism' is the blame for social ills, Hitler and the Holocaust, and even the decline of church attendance.  If it weren't for Darwin we would all be living happy, religious lives . . . as though there were no problems before the advent of Charles Darwin.  Sure, our history books show the world was all happiness and light before Darwin was born, right?

Well, that's enough today.  It's 'nice' to know that the DI will continue to re-write history.  I am glad that most of us don't fall for their foolishness.  In fact is there a difference between the DI and an old-fashioned snake oil salesman peddling his wares from a traveling wagon?  I don't see much of one, at least not philosophically.

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