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 Templeton vs. ID
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  10:28:42  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
The John Templeton Foundation is, in an oversimplified nutshell, a group devoted to trying to reconcile science and religion. You might think they would have a thing for Intelligent Design advocacy, yet none of the millions of dollars in grant money the Foundation has available for projects has gone towards any project by, for example, the Discovery Institute. And now comes this letter in the LA Times:
[A prior story] incorrectly describes the John Templeton Foundation as having been an early supporter of the political movement known as "intelligent design."

We do not believe that the science underpinning the intelligent-design movement is sound, we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge, and the foundation is a nonpolitical entity and does not engage in or support political movements...
Hattip to J-Dog on The Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread (page 389) at AntiEvolution.org.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  11:16:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

The John Templeton Foundation is, in an oversimplified nutshell, a group devoted to trying to reconcile science and religion. You might think they would have a thing for Intelligent Design advocacy, yet none of the millions of dollars in grant money the Foundation has available for projects has gone towards any project by, for example, the Discovery Institute.


I remember, but I can't remember where the Templeton Foundation had offered funding for intelligent design research but gave up on it a while agof because no one ever presented them with any proposal that was remotely scientific. Anyone have reference for this? According to the letter, it looks as if they were never interested in it.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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McQ
Skeptic Friend

USA
258 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  13:40:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send McQ a Private Message
Thanks Dave. I find this interesting because I was one of those people out there who thought that they were funding ID folks. I can't remember where I heard or read that though.


Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Gillette
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  17:13:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ghost_Skeptic
I remember, but I can't remember where the Templeton Foundation had offered funding for intelligent design research but gave up on it a while agof because no one ever presented them with any proposal that was remotely scientific. Anyone have reference for this? According to the letter, it looks as if they were never interested in it.


That is the story I remember too. Here I found some further information on it, albeit not much:
http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/templeton-foundation-responds-to-wsj.html

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  00:35:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
In this NTY article (archived, so no free access):
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D1EFB39550C778CDDAB0994DD404482

This quote can be found:
quote:
The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

“They never came in,” said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

“From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review,” he said.




A lot of this was around the time of the Dover trial, and there is some mention of it in the various blogs that covered that trial as well.


Here is an archived blog post from Strager Fruit by John Lynch:
http://darwin.bc.asu.edu/blog/2005/12/04/id-as-a-research-program/

I remember reading a few other blogs about Templeton at that time also. Seems that they are blatantly lying if they are denying past offers of support for ID. They certainly are on the record as willing to fund ID "research" in 2005.

Their new position does seem to be a change for the better though.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  05:55:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message
Seems to me that offering to fund research for a new idea, and providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate it, should not be construed as support for the idea itself. I think that an honest approach would be to look into the idea a bit before passing judgement. I know, ID is obviously a crock from the get-go, but I still think you should approach it like any other hypothesis and let it collapse under its own weight.

So I'm inclined to give Templeton the benefit-of-the-doubt on this one. Besides, considering their religious base, I can't imagine that they would want to reject it without at least appearing to give it a fair hearing.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  08:27:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
To have the ID crowd shouting things such as, "We're a real science, it's just that we can't get grants to do research because no institution will accept us!" then to offer grants and get no requests just reveals what a crock ID is.

In a sense, offering the ID movement money for research hurt them.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  09:21:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

To have the ID crowd shouting things such as, "We're a real science, it's just that we can't get grants to do research because no institution will accept us!" then to offer grants and get no requests just reveals what a crock ID is.

In a sense, offering the ID movement money for research hurt them.


Exactly. It will crumble under its own weight if given the chance. Only those determined to believe will persist.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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