Templeton Foundation Bashes Intelligent Design
The Templeton Foundation is well known for its attempts to harmonize science and religion. It has also been criticized recently for 'supporting the intelligent design movement'. In an editorial letter to the LA times, Pamela Thompson rejects the assertions. Here is a copy of the letter:
"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.
Vice president, communications
John Templeton Foundation
I have been criticized repeatedly by ID supporters who argue that ID is not a political or social reform movement. I don't appear to be alone! No matter how they spin it, this has to be an embarrassment to the ID folk. I would be happy to 'teach the controversy' around Intelligent Design. I would phrase the controversy as follows:
Should we support political movements aimed at social reform via the establishment of a theocracy?