Is Intelligent Design a Religion?

According to Center for Science and Culture , David Coppedge has been demoted and in other ways retaliated against without warning by NASA Jet Propulsion Lab after he loaned pro-intelligent design science videos to some of his colleagues. He was first demoted on his job and later fired.

David Coppedge was an information technology specialist and high level system administrator at NASA’s Jet Propulsio

David’s case has been picked up by Academic Freedom at the Center for Science and Culture and this organization is seeking to find those who will stand with Coppedge and support him in his defense.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a jury will decide whether NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) unlawfully discriminated against a former employee for discussing the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) at work.

The complaint filed in the case may be seen and read on-line.

The question that ultimately will decide the case seems to be:  Is Intelligent Design a religion? At first, the Court sided with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, but on reconsideration, it sided with Coppedge. Thus, the case is going to trial, unless the parties settle first.

The evolutionists are making a big deal out of Coppedge’s defense by saying that he is now agreeing that ID is a religion. I found the best explanation of this at Liberty University in a Legal Journal Education Department:

The case is peculiar because Coppedge holds, quite correctly, that ID is a scientific viewpoint and not a religious one, and yet he is alleging religious discrimination due to JPL’s restrictions on his pro-ID speech. But the epistemological status of ID is not at issue in the case; rather, the lawsuit looks into the mind of the employer, which openly charged Coppedge with “pushing religion” and creating a hostile work environment by discussing ID. In essence, since JPL deemed that ID is religion and then punished Coppedge on the basis of that belief, the suit argues that protections against religious discrimination under FEHA.

The case is not entirely dissimilar from an asymmetry in the law explored in a recent article I published in Liberty University Law Review:

If selective enforcement of the law is a hallmark of tyranny, then we should be exceedingly troubled by both the constitutional implications and hypocrisy of the evolution lobby – behavior that opposes advocating [views like] ID … on the grounds they are religious viewpoints, but expressly endorses public schools inhibiting, opposing, and disapproving of those purported religious viewpoints.(4)

While this case lies outside of the public school arena, one could likewise argue that when employers maintain that ID is religion, they cannot refuse to grant ID advocacy the full protections of laws prohibiting religious discrimination. Employers can’t label ID as “religion” and then expect to be exempt from religious discrimination laws.

What do you think?

My question for NASA-JPL would be this: If Intelligent Design is a religion, then what religion? The major religions of the world are clearly identified. People acknowledge their affiliations with Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc. Each religion has a doctrine or creed that members except. Why is this lacking in Intelligent Design if ID is a religion?

If ID isn’t a religion, why was Coppedge fired for distributing the videos? If it is ruled to be a religion, what happened to his protection under the 1st amendment?


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Creation (Evidences), evolution, Our World Today, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Is Intelligent Design a Religion?

  1. tarbo says:

    ID is not ‘a religion’ in and of itself, but as it is the belief that God created the universe it is a religious idea. Therefore, it is innapropriate to push it on co-workers unless in a private religious setting like a church service. That it is the search for the ‘Grand designer’ (that is God) it is not science.


    • jlue says:

      Do you think, then, that Mr. Coppedge’s job and the result of his lawsuit should be decided on whether or not he has the right to discuss a ‘religious’ idea or share a video after work hours that teaches a religious idea? Should every employee who discusses a religious idea be fired? There is no evidence that he “pushed” anything. His fellow employees have not complained according to the sources I have read.


  2. ID is not a religion because it is not specific on who or what created the universe, just the scientific evidence that indicates a higher intelligence. The Higher intelligence is not specifically associated with any God and can be applied to any super natural belief in the creation of the universe (except for evolution) using facts from science. In fact the belief of evolution is more of a religion than Intelligent Design because the evidence is based off faith in the universe doing super natural things on it’s own without any intelligence or evidence which is why it is called the THEORY of Evolution. There is a whole lot less evidence if any that proves evolution. However people believe in evolution out of faith, and they practice and preach it. It takes a lot more faith to believe in Evolution than God and this makes it a religion. People forget the the term Science is a name that was given to the study of the universe by Christians. It was and still is a tool used to study intelligent design. God invented science! Science didn’t invent itself!


  3. Pingback: Dissent from Darwinism | Jlue’s Weblog

    • jlue says:

      This is a definition according to
      intelligent design

      the theory that the universe and living things were designed and created by the purposeful action of an intelligent agent. Abbreviation: ID Compare scientific creationism.


  4. Carlos Del Prado says:

    Intelligent design can be thought, in many different ways. Is there a functional definition for “Intelligent design?”


  5. MOS says:

    ID is a cover name for creationism, invented to get around the US Supreme Court’s ban on teaching religion in public school science classes. This is clearly established in the Discovery Institute’s ‘Wedge Document’ (see and the decision in Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District.


  6. Cubist says:

    ID is a disguised version of the religious doctrine of Creationism, which is primarily held by Christians who make up a numerically small segment of Christendom. There is abundant evidence to support this proposition, including (but *not* limited to):

    The Discovery Institute created a document, the so-called Wedge Document, which explicitly describes what the Intelligent Design movement is trying to do. In the Introduction to the Wedge Document, it states that ID “seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies”; in the Goals section, it states that the ID movement’s two goals are “To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies”, and “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God”.

    Philip Johnson (Christian), author of the seminal ID book DARWIN ON TRIAL, is on record as saying “This isn’t really, and never has been a debate about science. It’s about religion and philosophy”, and “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.”

    William Dembski (also Christian), creator of the so-called Explanatory Filter which is alleged to be a valid and reliable protocol for detecting Design, is on record as stating that ID is “the Logos of John’s theology restated in the idiom of information theory”, that “any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient”, and that “what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed… Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done – and he’s not getting it.”

    Michael Behe (yet another Christian), author of ID books DARWIN’S BLACK BOX and THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION, testified in the ID trial Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District that ID is not a scientific theory unless one uses a definition of “scientific theory” under which astrology would qualify as a scientific theory; he has also stated that ID is more plausible to people who already believe in God.

    ID proponents often complain that ‘suppression’ of ID is a violation of *religious* freedom, a complaint which indicates that *ID proponents themselves* believe ID to be religious.

    Any questions?


  7. Patrick says:

    Shockingly, the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News & Views isn’t telling the whole story. Coppedge was demoted from an informal lead role not because of the nature of his religious and political views, but because he was harassing his colleagues. The NCSE has all the court documents related to this case available at See JPL’s filings from 7/1/11 and 10/18/11 for the other side of the story.


  8. Petrushka says:

    People have had many workplace rights removed in the name of promoting a non-hostile environment.

    I suspect this case will be argued on lines somewhat different than the headlines and will involve much besides one incident of offering DVDs.

    Just a guess.


  9. Pingback: Demoted for views, NASA specialist going to court « Trutherator's Weblog

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