Friday, March 14, 2008

Templeton 2008

The Templeton Prize ("For Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities") purports to be a science prize but it is nothing of the sort. The stated aim of the Templeton Foundation is to reconcile science and religion, it entirely discounts the possibility that there are serious tensions between scientific and religious views of the world. (There are also direct contradictions when religious texts are interpreted stirctly instead of metaphorically, exactly what the vast majority of religious people do). The Templeton Prize, in my (and Dawkins') view, distorts science and comes close to being a bribe for scientists to say nice things about religion.

It also thrusts manifest silliness into the public spotlight. The winner of the 2008 Templeton Prize is one Michael Heller, who has some seriously daft ideas. His musings about evolution and intelligent design are particularly annoying.

See also: Controversies at the Templeton Foundation Wikipedia article.

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