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Templeton Foundation and ID Research

Here’s a just released report that gives the lie to claims that the Templeton Foundation has uniformly eschewed support of ID research:

In the past few years, the media has created confusion about the scholarly track record of the intelligent design (ID) research community, as related to funding from the John Templeton Foundation (JTF). The JTF is a philanthropic organization that funds research exploring science, philosophy, spirituality, theology, and their interplay. Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president of the JTF, was a central figure in this media drama, as he was falsely reported in the New York Times as claiming that ID scholars failed to respond to requests for grant proposals from the JTF. This false claim has been circulated around the internet, and even cited on Wikipedia,[1] to promote a myth that members of the ID research community do not do research. The facts reveal that the media has badly misreported the alleged unresponsiveness of the ID research community and that ID scholars have indeed received funding from the JTF for scientific research, including research that is explicitly related to intelligent design.

MORE: ResearchID.org.

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4 Responses to Templeton Foundation and ID Research

  1. Umm Bill,

    http://www.latimes.com/busines.....;cset=true

    Stance is misconstrued on ‘intelligent design’
    February 4, 2007

    “Testing the role of trust and values in financial decisions” (Jan. 21) 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.

    The foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in support of research academics who are critical of the anti-evolution intelligent-design position.

    For almost a decade, the foundation has been a major supporter of a substantial program of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. One of the program’s chief activities has been to inform the public of the weakness of the intelligent-design position on modern evolutionary biology.

    In the past we have given grants to scientists who have gone on to identify themselves as members of the intelligent-design community. We understand that this could be misconstrued by some to suggest that we implicitly support the movement, but this was not our intention at the time, nor is it today.

    Pamela Thompson

    Vice president, communications

    John Templeton Foundation

    West Conshohocken, Pa.

  2. Pamela Thompson was responding to an LA Times editorial regarding free enterprise, economics, a UCLA research project observing how people (and even monkeys) work under varying conditions, and how that relates to current and conjectural corporate policies.

    Thompson’s objection was to the writer’s comment regarding Templeton’s “early support of intelligent design”, which may have been a little off track, since the foundation takes no political views, according to her.

    http://www.latimes.com/busines.....1293.story

    But what the above journal entry is saying primarily, is that there has been funding for ID research in the past, pointing out misstatements in the Times article, and subsequent misconstruances by others regarding ID research.

  3. Wikipedia is notoriously biased.
    I have even had professors in the past that would refuse a paper if a student cited Wikipedia as a source.

  4. http://www.templeton.org/newsr.....%5FDesign/

    Well, Bill, you got them to respond:

    In response to errors and misrepresentations stated in the February 28, 2007 ResearchID.com blog post:

    1. The John Templeton Foundation has never made a call-for-proposals to the ID Community.
    2. The Henry Schaefer grant was from the Origins of Biological Complexity program. Schaefer is a world�s leading chemist, and his research has nothing whatsoever to do with ID.
    3. Bill Dembski�s grant was not for the book �Free Lunch�. Dembski was given funds to write another book on Orthodox Theology, which was not on ID, however he has never written the book.

    From our FAQ…

    Does the Foundation support I.D.?

    No. We do not support the political movement known as “Intelligent Design.” This is for three reasons 1) we do not believe the science underpinning the “Intelligent Design” movement is sound, 2) we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge, and 3) the Foundation is a non-political entity and does not engage in, or support, political movements.

    It is important to note that in the past we have given grants to scientists who have gone on to identify themselves as members of the Intelligent Design community. We understand that this could be misconstrued by some to suggest that we implicitly support the Intelligent Design movement, but, as outlined above, this was not our intention at the time nor is it today.

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