Home » Intelligent Design, Multiverse, News » Is the Templeton Foundation going to be the new NASA? The multiverse vs. space exploration?

Is the Templeton Foundation going to be the new NASA? The multiverse vs. space exploration?

In “Templeton Millions” (Not Even Wrong, March 16, 2012), Peter Woit, a multiverse skeptic, discusses the latest forays in Templeton funding of exploring the multiverse.

The Templeton Foundation has just announced a plan to honor the centenary of the birth of Sir John Templeton by giving $5.6 million dollars to physicists and astronomers willing to work on four “Big Questions” of a philosophical sort about cosmology. The multiverse is of course one of them. This program will be run out of the University of Chicago and led by astronomer Donald York, who surely was chosen for this partly because he’s an evangelical Christian:

Maybe. Maybe not. But is Templeton the new NASA?

In that case, we don’t go out and explore any more; we stay home and theorize?

Woit thinks universities listen to  Templeton because “public funding is drying up”:

At least in physics, some of those who can usually be counted on to do battle with the forces of religion have gone quiet. See for example Sean Carroll’s posting about this recent funding, where he discourages commenters from criticizing the source of this money, since it’s being spent on something he approves of.

Isn’t Carroll a recent convert to the multiverse? Well, Templeton awarded its 2011 prize to Martin Rees, who has advocated the multiverse.

Seems to me that people in this field need to start seriously talking about the implications of this large new funding stream and its source, not suppressing such discussion.

Woit seems to think that the big problem is that Templeton is “religious.” Actually, “religious” as such doesn’t matter. In this case, Templeton is helping a bunch of people upend themselves into a huge tank of madness, and call it science.

European space agency’s ExoMars project probably doomed too, along with NASA’s

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2 Responses to Is the Templeton Foundation going to be the new NASA? The multiverse vs. space exploration?

  1. Ummm. Templeton wanted to get science and religion to engage. This bit about multiverses is certainly religion, but of the sort that is disengaging from Christianity as fast as it can fly. I’m sure the elder Templeton is spinning in his grave.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the whole setup is like the Red-headed League. It’s cover for a scam to identify useful idiots for the next wave of “religion-science” ventures. You, know, like the ones CS Lewis named “the modern magician” and featured in one of his last novels. About academia.

  2. Templeton has fallen pretty far. Though I do love the about-face of people who used to be gung-ho about not supporting it, once they or projects they liked started getting funding.

    Ah, science.

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