Disturbances in the field
Well naturally – Chris Mooney has attained the apotheosis of a Templeton Fellowship – one of the ‘Templeton–Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science & Religion.’ Well of course he has. It’s not as if they were going to overlook him, is it!
In the fellowship program, a diverse group of eminent journalists examine key areas in the broad field of science and religion through independent research as well as seminars and discussion groups, led by some of the world’s foremost physicists, cosmologists, philosophers, biologists, and theologians, at the University of Cambridge.
The broad field of science and religion – there is no such ‘field.’ They mean subject, but if they call it a field, that gives unwary people the impression that there is a genuine, respectable, established academic discipline of ScienceandReligion. There isn’t. There are lots of ‘institutes’ and conferences funded by Templeton, but that’s a different thing. And then look at that bizarre pile-up – ‘the world’s foremost physicists, cosmologists, philosophers, biologists, and theologians’ – four genuine items and then a joker at the end, wham.
After decades during which leading voices from science and religion viewed each other with suspicion and little sense of how the two areas might relate, recent years have brought an active pursuit of understanding how science may deepen theological awareness, for example, or how religious traditions might illuminate the scientific realm.
Because Templeton has been energetically shoveling money into that ‘pursuit’! Not because it’s a serious subject or an interesting branch of inquiry, but because a financier made a lot of money and the money is being used to fund the pursuit of bullshit.
Fellowship organizers note that rigorous journalistic examination of the region where science and theology overlap – as well as understanding the reasoning of many who assert the two disciplines are without common ground – can effectively promote a deeper understanding of the emerging dialogue.
How does one go about rigorous journalistic examination of something that doesn’t exist? How does one examine the region where science and theology overlap when there is no such region? Well, one doesn’t, of course, one just pockets the large sum of money and enjoys one’s visit to Cambridge.
At any rate – this is Mooney, and Mooney is this, and that’s that story.