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Darwinian philosopher Daniel Dennett withdraws from science festival

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Because the Templeton Foundation is a sponsor:

As Darwin’s man Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne tells it,

Once again the World Science Festival (WSF) will take place in New York City in May, the brainchild of Brian Greene and Tracy Day. Let me begin by affirming that I’m all in favor of the Festival as a way to excite the public about science. Greene and Day have put enormous effort into this event, which has been a live affair, and a successful one, since 2008.

But there’s a fly in the ointment: one of the big sponsors of the WSF is the John Templeton Foundation (JTF), which was also one of its founding benefactors. This is shown on the 2015 Festival Website:

Templeton has done its best to pretend there is no design in nature, but that is not enough for many of Darwin’s followers. Templeton folk aren’t even allowed to sort of accept the possibility of something like the god(s) of Churches No One Goes To Any More.

As a courtesy, I informed Dan and my other friends mentioned here that I was going to put up this post, but Dan had already decided to withdraw from the World Science Festival because of Templeton funding. Kudos to him! More.

There is now pressure to force Darwinian cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker to withdraw.

That is what intellectual freedom means in a progressive world. The whole post and the comments are worth reading, for what they tell us on that score.

The irony is that, slowly but surely, the Darwinism these people live for and swear by is coming unglued. See for example, New origin theory for cells that gave rise to vertebrates: If the neural crest cells did not have to evolve, but rather the “incredible properties” were there all along, is that not an argument for design in nature?

Blather for Darwin now imperfectly conceals the fact that many bright lights do not believe in him any more. The fourth rate high school science teacher, the soon-to-be-retired Darwin prof, and Zack Kopplin still believe of course.

But soon no one will bother asking the Darwin profs to come to a science festival. Both sides should then be happy. Right?

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It looks to me that the Templeton Foundation has been involved in this all along and things have gone fine. Why this publicity stunt all of a sudden? Why not from the very beginning when JTF got the idea to begin hosting a festival like this? The Darwin bullies want more publicity. They want to bring more attention to the horror that anyone could even begin to conceive of religion and science co-existing. This belief seems incredible to me given what we now KNOW - TRULY KNOW - about life! I just read this today here: http://crev.info/2015/05/cell-machines/
One might compare this discovery [of thousands of nano molecular machines working in our cells] to zooming in on what happens when a building is built. Perhaps you’ve watched one of those time-lapse films of a construction project. From a distance, you see just the major features taking shape. If you had never seen such a process before, you might assume this is “just what happens” from time to time. Then, as you are given a series of telescopes with higher and higher resolution, with the ability to stop individual frames of the sequence, the true picture becomes increasingly clear. You find hundreds of people down there operating cranes, bulldozers, ropes, pulleys, ramps and trucks. As you zoom in closer, you see them working in squads, communicating with phones, shaking hands, pointing and responding to each other’s actions. Undoubtedly, your appreciation of what’s involved in construction of a building would grow dramatically. Now shrink that down a billion-fold. Since the first humans opened their eyes and beheld the living world, there was plenty to show design. But we were like the viewer of the construction project from miles away, unaware of the actual way things work. People understood their bodies and the actions of animals or growth of plants at a macro level only: the running of a deer through a forest, the joy of eating good food and the necessity of disposing of waste, the act of sex and the birth of a child. When layers inside the body became exposed on the hunt, or through injury, a little more of the complexity would be apparent. But without detailed knowledge of what makes a heart beat, or what a liver or kidney actually does, these still might be taken for granted. Except for occasional insights from classical scholars like Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen, the history of modern medicine and physiology only goes back a few centuries out of the thousands of years man has existed. Modern science starting the zoom-in view on the construction view. Leeuwenhoek opened the world’s eyes to the microbial world; he was astonished to see some of them dancing about with elegant motions. Fast-forward to about 1995 to the present. We are privileged to live in an age of unprecedented discovery, where our view has zoomed in to the range of billionths of a meter. What did we find? Just fluids jostling about, undergoing chemical reactions? No! A thousand times no! We found machines at work in factories, interacting with incredible efficiency. We found libraries of digital code. We found machines reading the code, translating it, and converting it into other machines. We found thermostats, walking robots, rotary engines, emergency response squads, and long-distance communication networks. We found temperature sensors, volume sensors, disposal services, packaging services, and defense systems. Sex was no longer the transfer of a featureless fluid from the male to the female, but a process of unbelievable complexity involving swimming robots carrying gigabytes of information to be joined to a very complex egg cell with more gigabytes of information, triggering a cascade of machines building machines all the way to a complete baby. The growth of a seedling into a plant is no longer to be shrugged off as something that happens from time to time in nature, but a complex interplay of hormones triggering changes to thousands of molecular machines in plant cells. It’s a planet of machinery! Look around and consider how every living organism, from the worm in the soil, to the bee pollinating a flower, to the hummingbird in the garden, to the tree growing higher and higher in your back yard, operates through the action of thousands of molecular machines that we have begun to understand only in the last tenth of 1% of recorded human history. If the wonder of what we have discovered doesn’t make you shout “Praise the Lord!” as never before, you might be asleep or dead. Tragically, praise has been the last thing on the minds of many scientists studying these things. A century and a half of Darwinian dogma has blinded their minds to the obvious inference to intelligent design from molecular machines. We find, however, some curious things in these papers. One is the frequent use of “remarkable” by the authors when they uncover something wonderful. Another is the increasing silence about Darwinism as more details come to light. (There’s an inverse relationship between the frequency of evolution-words to the amount of detail in scientific papers about molecular machines.) A third curious thing is biomimetics: i.e., how cellular machines inspire thoughts of copying those designs for human applications. Together, these curiosities in PNAS and other journals hint that the consciences of evolutionary biologists are not completely dead. A flicker of the design inference still burns and may catch fire some day. When it does, it could burn away the Darwinian chaff, liberate philosophy to once again celebrate natural design as real and pervasive, and provide rational grounds for people of understanding in academia to shout unrestrained, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!” Any of us can be ahead of our time and do that right now.
I guess we can forgive them though. Because, after all, they can't help themselves! They are prisoners of their evolved monkey minds and have been blinded to this beauty and design by the random processes of evolution to which they owe their existence. The god of Chance did not see fit to bless them with eyes to see these things or brains to properly process these things. tjguy
If only the atheists were just humble enough to know their, all our, sorry limitations. Didn't one atheist remind his audience that we don't even know if the universe is a tiny fraction of a nanosecond old, never mind New Earth or Old Earth. Evidently fear prevented his own acceptance of the implications of that truth, discovered by what else but QM, and making the metaphysical adjustment to an agnostic world-view. Axel
Jerry is wrong about JTF being a mere "Sponsor" or even a more important "Major Supporter". JTF is one of two "Founding Benefactors". http://www.worldsciencefestival.com/sponsors/ Get your facts straight Jerry. Evolution is true lol. And what are Pinker & Dennett doing at a Science Festival? Who's next, Dawkins? Science lol again. ppolish
What would medical professionals presenting at a conference do if they discovered that, this year, rather than being hosted by the NSF or John Hopkins, it was now funded/hosted by the National Center for Homeopathy? Even if you are free to present real science and real medicine, there's a problem in doing so under the aegis (or perhaps in this case, literally under the banner/log of) the NCH. If you take scientific medicine seriously, that would be a problem. Similarly, in biology, if one takes the integrity of science seriously, JTF funding for the event is problematic, in the same way funding of it by, say, the Discovery Institute would. These are just transparent conflicts of interest. It's not the apocalypse, but rather just creeping conflicts of interests that are either accepted or not in practice of science. If one is intent on keeping science as free as possible of the kinds of conflicted interested and agenda-based activism groups like JTF and the Disco Institute represent, this might be a practical way to discourage those arrangements, and the "looking the other way" when these conflicts of interest are pursued by these groups. eigenstate

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