Whilst rank corruption, mining all within, infects unseen
Dan Jones, also in the Guardian, also reacting to the atheist reaction to the Templeton prize, is slightly less belligerent than Michael White. Only slightly though.
Unlike Coyne, however, I don’t see a bogeymen round every religious corner, and I don’t feel compelled to denounce the Templeton Foundation as a enemy of science.
Only very slightly. It’s not a matter of bogeymen and it’s not every corner.
I say to Coyne: “Show me the money!” – where is the evidence that the mere existence of Templeton, and the facts of its funding activities, have corrupted science in any sense?
I offered some evidence in a comment.
Take a good close look at Templeton-funded BioLogos, for a start. Or the Templeton-funded “Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion,” which is “part of the Theology Faculty at the University of Oxford.” Or the Templeton-funded and created “Faraday Institute for Science and Religion” which is based at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
Templeton money has done a lot to create a pretend “discipline” of “Science & Religion” (never Religion & Science, because that would give the game away) which in turn has done a lot to create new dogma about how compatible the two have been through history and still are today. Check out The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion, edited by Peter Harrison, director of the aforementioned Ian Ramsey Centre. Harrison says in the intro that the book is about the compatability of the two and that incompatibility won’t even be addressed in the book, because that notion has been so thoroughly rejected.
We talked about all this last October. We talked about that Cambridge Companion, for instance, and Harrison’s claim that the “conflict model” of religion and science is totally out of fashion and stale and icky.
This kind of thing does look like corruption to me – not necessarily in the criminal sense, but in the sense of spoilage, taint, pollution; an admixture of something alien that undermines or destroys the host substance. I don’t think the scholars doing it are corrupt, but I think what they’re doing tends to corrupt the subject. I think they have an agenda, whether they know it or not, and I think Templeton money makes it possible for them to forward that agenda. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I wonder what Dan Jones would think if he were aware of any of this, which he pretty clearly isn’t.