In “Getting to ‘You’re Fired: The Final Days of an Intelligent Design Advocate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab” (Evolution News & Views, March 27, 2012), David Klinghoffer notes,
After the ID hit the fan, Chin shouted at Coppedge and warned him to desist (“Stop pushing your religion!”). He emailed colleagues that “I informed [Coppedge] that Intelligent Design (ID) is a personal belief that should be kept to himself unless invited by other to discuss.” Chin followed this up by contributing a long nasty comment to Coppedge’s April 2009 ECAP (Employee Contribution Assessment and Planning), a yearly report card on job performance.
There’s no indication that Coppedge disregarded the veiled threat. He kept his mouth shut about ID after that. But he didn’t receive the demotion with passive acceptance. And that is what really spelled his doom, so cruelly delivered on a man approaching retirement, at JPL.
You can tell all this from a pattern of circumstantial evidence. JPL’s management was, of course, canny in how they went about it. They met with attorneys in March-April 2010, and depositions and emails show that Coppedge’s lawsuit was under discussion along with the question of how to handle this now “at risk” employee in a cunning, lawyerly fashion.
He kept his mouth shut about ID? But that makes no difference once they knew he wasn’t just a stooge.