Correction to the Templeton Foundation’s latest about ID
|March 2, 2007||Posted by William Dembski under Intelligent Design|
In response to the post at ResearchID.org on Templeton’s funding of ID (go here), their Newsroom put up the following on its website:
In response to errors and misrepresentations stated in the February 28, 2007 ResearchID.com blog post:
The John Templeton Foundation has never made a call-for-proposals to the ID Community.
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.
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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent Design.Ã¢â‚¬Â This is for three reasons 1) we do not believe the science underpinning the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent DesignÃ¢â‚¬Â 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.
SOURCE: go here.
With regard to my proposal to the Templeton Foundation for which I was awarded a $100,000 book prize, it is quite a stretch to say it was to be a book on “Orthodox Theology.” The proposal was titled BEING AS COMMUNION: THE SCIENCE AND METAPHYSICS OF INFORMATION. A full half of the proposal was ID-related (in particular, half the proposal was about “specified complexity”). I published that half separately in 2002 with Rowman and Littlefield as NO FREE LUNCH: WHY SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY CANNOT BE PURCHASED WITHOUT INTELLIGENCE. I did this because the project became too unwieldy and required two books. I’m still working on completing the second half of the project. Indeed, I have a contract to write a book with the original title that focuses on that other half.
But don’t take my word for it. Go here for my actual proposal to the Templeton Foundation and read it for yourself. By the way, of the 400-plus applicants for this $100,000 book grant, mine was ranked #1 — not tied but actually ahead of all the rest (as Charles Harper told my boss Bruce Chapman at Discovery Institute while Templeton and Discovery were still on speaking terms circa 1999-2000).
Finally, I find it interesting that Templeton keeps no online record of the book prize that I won. Seven people won the prize in 1999, including Darwinist Michael Ruse. Yet the only reference one can find to that award is not on the Templeton Foundation website (which otherwise seems meticulous about maintaining a record of its past funding and accomplishments) but rather on the ESSSAT website (European Society for the Study of Science and Theology):
Well, actually, one can’t even find it on the ESSSAT site any more. The problem is that this link was recently deactivated. Fortunately, Google still has it cached (I’ve also made a copy): go here (scroll down). Here is the relevant portion:
ESSSAT News News|Books|Prizes/ESSSAT News
From ESSSAT-News 9:2 (September 1999)
Dear ESSSAT-members, . . .
Templeton awards for writing books
Seven $100,000 grants for research and writing on the constructive engagement of science and religion have been awarded by the Templeton foundation. Out of almost 400 submissions the following projects/proposed book titles were selected:
Being as Communion: The Science and Metaphysics of Information; by William Dembski, Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Scicne and Culture, Irving, Texas
Darwin and Design: Science, Philosophy, and Religion; by Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Golem, God and Man: Divine and Human in an Age of Biotechnology; by Noah J. Efron, Bar Ilan University, Israel
The Emergence of Spirit: God Beyond Theism and Physicalism; by Philip Clayton, California State University
The Self-Organization of Meaning: A New Paradigm for Science and Religion; by David J. Krieger, Institute for Communication Research, Meggen, Switzerland
Theology and the Sciences of Complexity; by Niels Henrik Gregersen, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Time in Eternity: Theology and Science in Mutual Interaction; by Robert J. Russell, CTNS, Berkeley, CA
Warm congratulations especially to ESSSAT members Bob Russell and Niels Henrik Gregersen, our vice president for publications!
You’d think that anti-ID pundits, like the Newsroom’s Pamela Thompson, want to distance the Templeton Foundation from ID in the worst possible way. Can you say “leprosy”?