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For Evolutionists, Crime Does Pay

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Why is there no debate over evolution? Why does everyone believe in the Epicurean vision that the world arose spontaneously? Just ask David Coppedge, the IT guy at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who dared question evolution. Coppedge was an excellent employee who enjoyed his job, but when he openly questioned … Read more

KN @ 25
Firstly, the idea that materialists have no reason to deceive or lie strikes me as pretty so ridiculous. There were arguments to that effect raised throughout the 17th and 18th centuries — see Locke’s “A Letter Concerning Toleration” as to why atheists should not be tolerated — but frankly, I’m stunned that anyone still takes those arguments at all seriously.
You misunderstood me. I'm not saying that atheists should not be tolerated, but I am questioning whether there would have been any good reason for them to tell the truth in this hypothetical scenario where: 1) They were guilty 2) They are materialists(meaning they do not believe there is such a thing as absolute morality or a "god" to whom they are responsible to. Can you give me a good reason they should tell the truth when doing so would/could encourage anti-science creationists and incriminate themselves and hinder the work of real science? Seems pretty easy to rationalize a lie here in light of the "greater good" that will come out of it in their minds. I can't say for sure, but it does give pause for thought. tjguy
OK, I apologize. I was giving a hypothetical case - while admitting the court made a decision vindicating them. My question in this hypothetical scenario is this: IF they really did break the law and assuming they are materialists( I should have added that in the previous post)and were guilty of discriminating against Coppedge, why should they bother telling the truth in the trial? KN, would you tell the truth? Why? Just curious. I guess it is really hard to say what you would actually do for sure until you are actually in the situation yourself. Anyway, the decision is what it is. I will have to trust the judge in this case and hope he made a good decision, but I have my doubts. We have plenty of examples of wrong decisions being made in the past - and those decisions are not always the fault of the judge. My guess it was just hard to prove the discrimination. An innocent verdict does not mean they are innocent, just that there was not enough evidence to convict them and so were pronounced innocent. I'm biased I'm sure, but I tend to go with that scenario. tjguy
Firstly, the idea that materialists have no reason to deceive or lie strikes me as pretty so ridiculous. There were arguments to that effect raised throughout the 17th and 18th centuries -- see Locke's "A Letter Concerning Toleration" as to why atheists should not be tolerated -- but frankly, I'm stunned that anyone still takes those arguments at all seriously. Secondly, there's no evidence at all whatsoever that Coppedge's superiors and colleagues at JPL were atheists, materialists, naturalists, etc. Thirdly, even if there were such evidence, it has no bearing on the case, which concerns whether or not JPL broke the law by discriminating against Coppedge for his religious and political views. Fourthly, it's the job of Coppedge and his lawyers to establish that JPL did break the law. Hiroshige ruled that the prosecution didn't do it's job, and the defense did. Fifthly and finally, while of course Coppedge has the right to appeal, and maybe they will, I really can't see on what basis this ruling would be overturned. Still, what do I know? I'm no lawyer, and rulings are overturned all the time. Kantian Naturalist
@JWT: 23 OK, perhaps there were some other Christians that work at JPL, but I would be very surprised if they were the people who complained about him or his bosses who reprimanded him or fired him. I basically meant this as a case study on the ethics of materialists. You always hear them claim they can be good without God and I'm wondering what it is that would motivate them to tell the truth in this case - assuming they were in the wrong. I can think of no good reason to tell the truth thinking from a materialist point of view. Like I said, "For the most part, they do not believe in God..." That is an assumption, granted, but the presence of two co-workers who were "Christians" (whatever that means to them) wouldn't necessarily invalidate what I said, but really it was more of a hypothetical situation that I was proposing because I said "Assuming they were guilty..." I didn't mean to imply that everyone at JPL are materialists. I guess I wasn't very clear with my wording. Thanks for pointing that out. tjguy
Remember their worldview. For the most part, they do not believe in a God to whom we humans are morally accountable to, so in their eyes, there is no such thing as a “sin”.
Do you have evidence for this claim? At least two of the co-workers have been identified as "Christians" in the statement of decision. There is no need to lie for anyone. Humans have different, subjective, accounts of situtations. JWTruthInLove
Of related note: On the Fundamental Difference Between Darwin-Inspired and Intelligent Design-Inspired Lawsuits - September 2011 Excerpt: Darwin lobby litigation: In every Darwin-inspired case listed above, the Darwin lobby sought to shut down free speech, stopping people from talking about non-evolutionary views, and seeking to restrict freedom of intellectual inquiry. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/09/on_the_fundamental_difference_050451.html bornagain77
Ironically: "Intelligent Design Supporter Expelled from Civil Liberties Organization" - podcast http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2013-01-18T19_01_00-08_00 bornagain77
Waiting for Socrates Meets Aquinas, lol. Mung
lol! I can't wait to come across that one. Mung
Mung, I'm currently working through that series too, right now on Socrates meets Hume. A funny exchange: :)
Hume: You shock and insult me, Socrates. First you call me a Thomist and then you call me a Cartesian. That is positively inHumean. Socractes: If the label fits, you must wear it.
Kantian Naturalist, OT, but I've really been enjoying Peter Kreeft's Socrates Meets Descartes. In that volume at least he speaks kindly of Kant. But before I get to Socrates Meets Kant I'll probably read Socrates Meets Hume. I love how he (Kreeft) makes philosophy accessible. Let us know if you ever get around to Oderberg's Real Essentialism Mung
New book: America’s Blessings How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists Templeton Press, 2012 A few years ago, a debate between atheists and religious believers spilled out from the halls of academia and the pews of America’s churches and into the public spotlight. A crop of atheist manifestos led the charge, surmounting and holding the tops of the nonfiction bestseller lists. This offensive brought on an outpouring of religious rebuttals. As both sides exchanged spirited volleys, accusations were leveled; myths, stereotypes, and strawmen arguments were perpetuated; and bitter hostility filled the air. Today many of these misconceptions and myths linger on, along with the generally acrimonious spirit of the debate. In America’s Blessings, distinguished researcher Rodney Stark seeks to clear the air of this hostility and debunk many of the debate’s most widely perpetuated misconceptions by drawing from an expansive pool of sociological findings. Looking at the measurable effects of religious faith and practice on American society, Stark rises above the fray and focuses exclusively on facts. His findings may surprise many, atheists and believers alike. Starting with a historical overview, Stark traces America’s religious roots from the founding of the country up through the present day, showing that religiosity in America has never been consistent, static, or monolithic. Interestingly, he finds that religious practice is now more prevalent than ever in America, despite any claims to the contrary. From here, Stark devotes whole chapters to unpacking the latest research on how religion affects different facets of modern American life, including crime, family life, sexuality, mental and physical health, sophistication, charity, and overall prosperity. The cumulative effect is that when translated into comparisons with western European nations, the United States comes out on top again and again. Thanks in no small part to America’s rich religious culture, the nation has far lower crime rates, much higher levels of charitable giving, better health, stronger marriages, and less suicide, to note only a few of the benefits. In the final chapter, Stark assesses the financial impact of these religious realities. It turns out that belief benefits the American economy—and all 300 million citizens, believer and nonbeliever alike—by a conservative estimate of $2.6 trillion a year. Despite the atheist outcry against religion, the remarkable conclusion is clear: all Americans, from the most religious among us to our secular neighbors, really ought to count our blessings. buffalo
Well, of course Coppedge and JPL are going to have different sides to the story — that’s what the case was about! The judge’s role was to decide if JPL had broken the law — had committed a crime — by letting Coppedege go. If the ruling was wrongly decided, then what law did JPL break?
KN, you are certainly right. JPN broke no law IF, but only IF, the ruling is correct. Any ruling can be mistaken and I think David and his lawyers are talking about whether to appeal or not. It costs money and so forth so I don't know if they will or not. But even if they decide against it, we still do not know for sure. However, that was the ruling of the judicial system and until overturned, we must respect it. But, I have a question for you. For the sake of argument, let's assume JPL broke the law in this case and discriminated against David unfairly. Can you tell me one good reason why JPL should tell the truth in court and admit their wrong? I can't think of one for the life of me. Remember their worldview. For the most part, they do not believe in a God to whom we humans are morally accountable to, so in their eyes, there is no such thing as a "sin". Granted, that does not mean that they lied in the trial to do this, but it certainly brings it into question in my mind. Here are some possible justifications that I am sure would have gone through their mind: We don't want to have to pay a fine and damage our finances. We don't want this anti-scientific religionist, whom we do not like at all, to win. Besides a little lie here to win the case will be a great victory for "Science" and a set back to those anti-science creationists. The end clearly justifies the means. In fact, it would almost be wrong not to lie. We are not accountable to any deity for lying and we don't believe in absolute morality anyway so lying really cannot be said to be wrong in any absolute sense of the word. In this case you could think of is as similar to lying to protect Jews the Nazis were after. Plus, it is normal for the defendant to try and defend themselves however possible. Protecting themselves is the same thing as protecting the valuable work and reputation of JPL so this is very important! Sure, ruining someone's career isn't normally a desirable thing, but this guy asked for it. He was pushing his anti-science religious views at work(their claim) and this made him very unpopular with certain people, namely his superiors. THis type of thing has to be nipped in the bud or who knows where it might lead to? I could go on, but given this scenario, why should JPL tell the truth and incriminate itself(assuming they were guilty)? Personally, I tend to believe Mr. Coppedge. I have corresponded with him a little and I have real respect for him. He is a Christian with a genuine desire to bring glory to God, the Creator and he works long hours to do that through his website crev.info For him, lying is a sin. He knows he will be held accountable to God for every word he speaks. He knows that a good reputation, a reputation of being trustworthy and honest, is worth more than winning a court case and whatever money he might have received. I doubt he did it for money as much as for the principle of the case which could effect others in the future. tjguy
Judge Lets NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Off the Hook for Discrimination against Intelligent Design Proponent - January 17, 2013 Excerpt: "JPL denied that it targeted Coppedge for his intelligent design views, but evidence from private emails, testimony, and other documents clearly showed otherwise," said Joshua Youngkin, an attorney and public policy and legal affairs analyst with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture. "JPL also tried to smear Coppedge as a bad employee. But the record shows that he received excellent job evaluations until after he was attacked for his intelligent design views." According to evidence revealed during the case, JPL gives free rein to employees who attack intelligent design in the workplace, even as the lab singled out and punished Coppedge. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/01/judge_lets_nasa068401.html bornagain77
Well, of course Coppedge and JPL are going to have different sides to the story -- that's what the case was about! The judge's role was to decide if JPL had broken the law -- had committed a crime -- by letting Coppedege go. If the ruling was wrongly decided, then what law did JPL break? Kantian Naturalist
OK, evolutionists: it’s time to face up to the fossil evidence. Here is another example of an animal phylum appearing suddenly in the oldest layers containing multicellular animals.
Yes, but it wasn't a rabbit. Mung
F/N: If it helps, confessors suffered for their confession, but not unto death itself; that status leading to being recorded as a martyr. KF kairosfocus
With both sides trying to spin the facts to put themselves in the best possible light, it is hard to know what the truth is. But I am aware that some people bring "martyrdom" upon themselves not because of their faith, but because of insensitive and argumentative proselytizing and failing to heed the admonitions to "be wise as serpents but harmless as doves" and "do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces". I don't know if there is a reasonable expectation of lifetime employment at JPL, but I am in a similar field where job security is always subject to the next budget cut no matter how long you have been in your position or how good of a job you have done. It is not uncommon for positions to be eliminated overnight, and everyone understands that's how it goes. You don't make a federal case about it, you just pick yourself up and move on with no hard feelings on either side. sagebrush gardener
Just up at crev.info Another Phylum Found in Cambrian Explosion Posted on January 17, 2013 http://crev.info/2013/01/another-phylum-found-in-cambrian-explosion/ or as PaV would say,, "another day, another bad day for Darwinism" bornagain77
as to the
"The conflation of the scientific with the religious."
And what 'science' would that be exactly that is being 'conflated' with religious views at JPL? The only conflict between science and 'religious' views at JPL that I can see is the 'science' conflicting very sharply with the materialistic views of some, apparently high ranking people at JPL, of life being possible on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.
Early Mars Water Was Salty, Toxic Stew – 2008 Excerpt: But data from the rover Opportunity is already suggesting that water on early Mars billions of years ago may have been fit for pickling—not supporting—life. That’s because the water was thick with salt and other minerals, making it far too briny for life as we know it, according to a new study. Nicholas Tosca of Harvard University and colleagues studied mineral clues from the surface of Mars sent back by the rover and used computers to turn back the clock. “Our sense has been that while Mars is a lousy environment for supporting life today, long ago it might have more closely resembled Earth,” said Andrew Knoll, a study co-author also from Harvard. But instead the team found that the soil’s mineral content would have made that liquid a salty, toxic stew. “No matter how far back we peer into Mars’s history, we may never see a point at which the planet really looked like Earth,” Knoll said. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080529-mars-salty.html Martian Lowlands are Old - Dr. Hugh Ross - June 2006 Excerpt: The scientists concluded that the northern lowlands formed within 500 million years of Mars’ formation. This puts the lowlands’ formation before the end of the late heavy bombardment (a time when the inner solar system was bombarded with numerous cometary and asteroidal impacts), essentially precluding significant resurfacing by liquid water. Without abundant liquid water, the possibility of Mars’ suitability for life dramatically diminishes and Earth looks even rarer as a suitable habitat for advanced life. http://www.reasons.org/articles/martian-lowlands-are-old Organic Carbon from Mars, but Not Biological - May 2012 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524143450.htm Curiosity finds no methane on Mars — not yet, anyway - Nov. 2, 2012 Excerpt: NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has detected no methane in its first analyses of the Martian atmosphere — news that will doubtless disappoint those who hope to find life on the Red Planet. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49664054/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.UJVJcoYsE30 Our Poisonous Moon: Better from a Distance - July, 2012 Excerpt: Even if the dust problems could be overcome, the moon remains unprotected from solar UV radiation, the solar wind, solar flares, micrometeorites and high-energy cosmic rays. The authors listed 34 remaining “knowledge gaps” about lunar toxicity. If any of these (many suspected to be high to very high risk) were to prove serious, it might cause a reconsideration of the wisdom of sending humans to the moon for extended stays. Since some of the risks apply to Mars as well (and since the moon would probably be a training base), these findings could put a damper on hopes for manned missions to Mars. http://crev.info/2012/07/our-poisonous-moon/
further notes: The following analysis really drives the point home:
Requirements to sustain bacteria for 90 days or less: http://www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_Part3_ver2.pdf
Now if JPL wants to do some real science instead of chasing their tail in a circle and wasting taxpayer money, here is one experiment, among many, that looks well worth pursuing:
Testing Einstein's E=mc2 in outer space - January 4, 2013 Excerpt: "The most important problem in physics is the Unifying Theory of Everything – a theory that can describe all forces observed in nature," said Lebed. "The main problem toward such a theory is how to unite relativistic quantum mechanics and gravity. I try to make a connection between quantum objects and General Relativity." The key to understand Lebed's reasoning is gravitation. On paper at least, he showed that while E=mc2 always holds true for inertial mass, it doesn't always for gravitational mass. "What this probably means is that gravitational mass is not the same as inertial," he said.,,, "Space has a curvature," Lebed said, "and when you move a mass in space, this curvature disturbs this motion." According to the UA physicist, the curvature of space is what makes gravitational mass different from inertial mass. Lebed suggested to test his idea by measuring the weight of the simplest quantum object: a single hydrogen atom, which only consists of a nucleus, a single proton and a lone electron orbiting the nucleus.,,, Lebed suggested the following experiment to test his hypothesis: Send a small spacecraft with a tank of hydrogen and a sensitive photo detector onto a journey into space. In outer space, the relationship between mass and energy is the same for the atom, but only because the flat space doesn't permit the electron to change energy levels. "When we're close to Earth, the curvature of space disturbs the atom, and there is a probability for the electron to jump, thereby emitting a photon that is registered by the detector," he said. Depending on the energy level, the relationship between mass and energy is no longer fixed under the influence of a gravitational field. Lebed said the spacecraft would not have to go very far. "We'd have to send the probe out two or three times the radius of Earth, and it will work." According to Lebed, his work is the first proposition to test the combination of quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of gravity in the solar system. http://phys.org/news/2013-01-einstein-emc2-outer-space.html
Music: Elton John - Rocket Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GAKOLOnfV4 bornagain77
Actually the truth of the matter and JPL's side of the story are not the same thing: Here are the details: Background on David Coppedge and the Lawsuit Against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory http://www.discovery.org/a/14511 bornagain77
JPL's side of the story is that (1) promoting design theory was not part of his job description; (2) in doing so, he annoyed his co-workers (though not just about ID); (3) he became passive-aggressive when asked to stop annoying his co-workers; (4) his skill-set was not needed at JPL once the Cassini mission was over. It's important to bear in mind the following in mind: suppose that JPL did fire Coppedge because he was promoting intelligent design. That is not illegal. Kantian Naturalist
"I think we need more persecution. Separate the wheat from the chaff." Really? Have you lost it? Okie Dokie, if that is what you want (more persecution at the hands of atheists) I'm sure some mission spots are now open in North Korea where you can enjoy all the unjust persecution you want and then some: as well, "Do you see the Coppedge incident as a case of religious persecution?" I see it as a clear clash between the materialistic and Theistic worldviews, so yes it was a clear case of 'religious' persecution. Mung, I really think you take the danger inherent in unrestrained atheism much to lightly. i.e. would you let your children play with pet snakes? bornagain77
... just how much unjust persecution by atheists against Christians is OK in your book?
I think we need more persecution. Separate the wheat from the chaff. "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church." - Tertullian By the way, this is a great example of what Gregory is always harping on here. The conflation of the scientific with the religious. Do you see the Coppedge incident as a case of religious persecution? Mung
So Mung, nor to belittle those who give their life defending the truth, but just how much unjust persecution by atheists against Christians is OK in your book? ,,, Being fired for holding an ID view is OK for you? Denied tenure OK for you? Being forced to pay for someone else's abortions OK for you? Sorry Mung, but ANY persecution of Christians, especially in America, is not OK in my book. bornagain77
sigh. really ba77? Is David a modern day martyr? This while real Christians are actually being killed for their faith. [you'll have to pardon me, but I juts hit a little button on my toolbar by mistake that I had apparently never even tried before. I was like, oh my gosh, what is that. You mean I can do that? I didn't know that. And I've been using this computer with it's Vista OS for years now. too funny.] The Voice of the Martyrs Mung
Atheists have proven that they are more than willing, if given a free hand, to fill the annals of history with Christian martyrs, or anyone else who gets in their way for that matter: Atheist Atrocities Frightening Stats About Atheists - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP1KpNEeRYU "Christian" Atrocities compared to Atheists Atrocities - Dinesh D'Souza - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmrRC6zD4Zk Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions By David Berlinski - list of genocides by atheists http://books.google.com/books?id=Wlr6xOa64t4C&pg=PA23&dq=the+devil%27s+delusion+Tibet&hl=en&ei=1Jq1S_aSKofc8QTN3o3sAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false Here is the background of the case: Background on David Coppedge and the Lawsuit Against NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory http://www.discovery.org/a/14511 bornagain77

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