Intelligent Design

Correction to the Templeton Foundation’s latest about ID

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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 “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.

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):

http://www.esssat.org/oldnews/1999/9-2.html

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”?

13 Replies to “Correction to the Templeton Foundation’s latest about ID

  1. 1
    jb says:

    “Fortunately Google still has it cached.”

    It’s also on the WayBackMachine. Even if the Google cache clears, it will probably remain in the archive:

    http://www.archive.org/index.php

    (plug the original url into the “WayBackMachine” blank)

  2. 2

    Thanks. I did try using the WayBackMachine before making my post, but without success. I then tried it again (at your instance), and this time with success. Go figure. It would be interesting if Templeton’s original announcement on its website is available at the WayBackMachine.

  3. 3
    SCheesman says:

    And the proposal itself is subtitled:

    Proposal ID#266.

    Is this not a single mutation away from

    I.D. Proposal #266 !?

    Coincidence? I say not!

  4. 4

    […] Joey Campana’s exposé of the errors in the coverage of intelligent design by the New York Times has really been making some waves. The Templeton Foundation has released a statement confirming Joey’s discovery that contrary to what the New York Times claimed, Templeton never made a call-for-proposals to ID supporters, while taking issue with his describtion of Schaefer’s and Dembski’s projects. Check out Uncommon Descent for Dembski’s response. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  5. 5
    Michaels7 says:

    Wayback… ESSSAT:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200.....9/9-2.html

    The problem with many foundations, is they get taken over by people who misdirect their original intentions so often in favor or secular, progressive and socialist values.

    The person responsible for that press release rebuttal is coming off closely to being a Charlatan, more politically driven and propagandizing than Pravda.

    Clicking on the link above gives the exact title that Bill gave at the top of awards listed:
    “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”

    Now, I was not born yesterday. So when a title has “science” and “information” in it, I would not associate it or limit it to “Orthodox Theology” and think any who would are either clueless, or intentionally misleading others if they say so for devious reaons.

    Templeton is the study of science and theology and how they intertwine. Therefore, the title is about both. Now a press release by someone who claims it is only about theology. They do this out of intentional misdirection and it is a sleezy attempt to hide the truth.

    If they’re not misleading, then cough up the original proposal where Templeton states the book was to be specifically about “Orthodox Theology” ONLY, or make a correction on your press release:

    “Dembski was given funds to write another book on Orthodox Theology, which was not on ID, however he has never written the book.”

    This is not true, he was given funds to write a book on Science and Metaphysics of Information.

    It is a pity to see such pettiness.
    Considering some of the bizarre papers Templeton does support. Many are quite rubbish.

    Just look at this:


    Construction of the Interstellar Messages Describing the Evolution of Altruistic Behavior

    “Dr. Douglas A. Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition
    This grant supported research on the possibility of translating spiritual information through interstellar messages. The project identified key principles of altruism that can be translated for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence. This translation, in turn, provides the foundation for a dialogue with theologians to capture the essence of altruistic love from a theological perspective.”

    What a load of horse hockey!

    Honestly, Templeton claims ID is not science?

    Templeton is supporting psuedoscience of extraterrestial intelligence messages being sent to Father Boni Maroni with $120,000 grant for Bogosity!!!

    Hypocrites!!!!

    Meanwhile, elements of real science utilizing what I consider to be Intelligent Deisgn, pattern detection and predictive modeling proceed despite the cluelessness of Templeton.

    Pattern Detection has been utilized in a scientific paper to model spacial organization within a cell.
    Unlike Templeton’s grant to communicate messages of love from ET, science, utilizing statistcal methods and analysis is opening up real information on how cells and component parts relate spatially are not random. It shows organization proceeds based upon predictable models and this kills accidental mutations as an information builder.

    OoooeeeeOOOO, Templeton, this is a message of love from ET – phone home now, phone Bill and say you’re sorry for paying $120,000 to a nutjob. Real science utilizing pattern detection algorithms is being done on your earth. OoooeeeeOOOO.

    If information is not organized randomly in a cell, but shows spatial proximity, it is predictable, quantifiable and is open to statistical modeling concepts, much like any engineering model produced by intelligent designers.

    If templeton cannot recognize the brilliance of Demski’s groundbreaking work, then they’re far off of this planet picking daffodils with ET.

    How can anyone with a straigh face say ID is not science and support rubbish like that grant I found on their site?

    Sigh, pardon my rant…

  6. 6
    Michaels7 says:

    ooops, here is the Templeton link for interstellar messages of altruism from extraterrestials…

    http://www.templeton.org/fundi.....robiology/

    ET, ET, what is love?

    Father Boni Maroni, love is never having to say your sorry.

    ET? But, that’s a line in a movie.

    Father Boni Maroni, yes true, we extraterrestials send secret messages of “altruism” thru your actors in hollywood. We recommend all believers watch hollywood movies for truth. We will send more messages like these. Look for the next message to be something like, Love is never having to repent to the ones you love, including us extraterrestials – formerly known as God. See, we extended the message so you can better understand the true intent.

    ET! Ohhhh ET! Wow! And all this time I thought that message was a load of drivel! But now that ET speaks! Bless you for this divine message of interstellar inspiration! I will do as you say. So all people can be free!
    ——————-

    This message made available to you by the generous donations of Templeton Foundation where ID is not science and ET is god.

  7. 7
    Joseph says:

    1) we do not believe the science underpinning the “Intelligent Design” movement is sound,

    Observation-> hypothesis-> testing-> inference. It is as sound as any ‘science’ the NDE offers.

    ID takes the data, looks at the options, compares the data to those options and makes the best inference accordingly.

    2) we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge,

    I would love to see the supporting documentation for that claim!

    3) the Foundation is a non-political entity and does not engage in, or support, political movements.

    How about movements that seek out the reality behind our existence ? You know like what science should be doing…

  8. 8
    Michaels7 says:

    Joseph, good, patient, calm response 🙂

    That $120,000 grant for phoning ET? It produced this article for SETI by a social scientist titled, “Telling ET We Care”

    http://www.seti.org/site/apps/.....;ct=220961

    They complain about No Free Lunch?

    The original link at Templton is posted under “Planetary Science and Astrobiology” If you follow thru on the link, the SETI link appears and they say the work was distributed in sever other academic venues.

    I’d be very curious to read the work by a social scientist to phone ET for $120,000. It must be spectacular and brilliant effort to put symbols together for another intelligence can understand how we communicate. A 21st century Rosetta Stone.

    http://www.templeton.org/fundi...../1840.html

  9. 9
    Rude says:

    Leprosy indeed!! Yes, the more you think about it the more you’ll see that the cutting edge of the culture war is Intelligent Design—for what good is religion that concedes to materialism the domain of objective reality? what good is faith when erudition means Losing Faith? With Purim upon us I thought maybe y’all would be interested in this take on the spirit of Amalek from Rabbi Avi Shafran: “And it lurks … in the contemporary insistence that chance-based evolutionary theory is the only explanation for the diversity of species.”

  10. 10
    mentok says:

    1) we do not believe the science underpinning the “Intelligent Design” movement is sound,

    A foundation which claims to seek to use science to illuminate spiritual truth rejects pretty much the only scientific movement which is using science which illuminates spiritual truth. They say the ID position is “unsound” while they fully support macro-evolutionary theory which has never been seen in the process of occurring, which should be the case (if macro evolution was true we should see the various stages of species transformation everywhere, but we don’t see it anywhere, we don’t see any creature in any species in the process of growing novel limbs or organs). There is no fossil record of it ever happening (as Steven Gould and many others have pointed out the fossil record shows no record of macro-evolution, all species suddenly show up in the fossil record fully formed and do not show macro-evolution throughout their history, all they show is micro-evolution which is the result of breeding patterns or environmental factors, there is no sign of species transmutation). There is no proof for an evolutionary mechanism to cause cellular information, which evolutionary theory requires. How did DNA and RNA come into existence? Non ID evolutionary theory requires the chance combination of chemicals to produce sophisticated information processing and storage systems. That IS sound science according to the Templeton Foundation. Of course there is not even the slightest hint of that being able to occur even in highly controlled laboratory conditions. Plus it flies in the face of reason and logic to expect such a thing to occur in any condition. But reason and logic are of no concern to the Templeton Foundation. They are, after all, not “political”, unlike ID which by exposing the absurdity of Neo-Darwinism is showing itself to be “political”. In this instance “political” means telling the establishment that their emperor wears no clothes.

    2) we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge,

    And what “areas of well-documented scientific knowledge” does ID deny? ID accepts every piece of well documented scientific knowledge, no one can prove to the contrary. Anyone can make glib claims to the contrary, but they cannot prove it. The so-called “well documented scientific knowledge” which ID disagrees with is exposed rather easily as nothing more then fanciful speculations without real concrete scientific evidence to back it up. This is has been shown time and time again to be the case. But of course ID is all about “politics”, not the Templeton Foundation who are busy telling us about the emperors shiny new magical shirts, they have no “political” motivation in going along with an establishment who will excoriate anyone who stands up to their childish shenanigans and money grubbing power hungry exploitative agenda.

    3) the Foundation is a non-political entity and does not engage in, or support, political movements.

    Maybe, maybe not. But you do engage in and support ad hominem straw man attacks in pursuit of your own political and “spiritual” agenda in the name of science, religion, and altruism. To claim that theorizing that an intelliegent agency is the cause for life as we know it as a political cause, is in itself the height of hypocrisy. Such a claim is a blatant political statement in support of an establishment position which is generating income and power and prestige for an elite. Such statements are political in nature by supporting the power structure of an elite propaganda corp who use their power for the politicizing of science to the detriment of honest scholarship and the integrity of the scientific establishment You should be ashamed. Rather then aid in the spiritual revolution you so self congraulatory tell us all about i.e. your heroic role in bringing the light of knowledge to open the eyes of those blinded by materialism, instead you are in reality working to furthur the world’s and your own descent into the darkness of ignorance. You have the gall to get on your soapbox and preach down to honest scientists about political motivations. Your entire endeavor is nothing more then an attempt to revel in your own supposed glory amongst the politically and socially connected.

  11. 11
    nullasalus says:

    Incidentally:

    I don’t think it’s been noted here yet, but the latest issue of The Farms Review (A Mormon/LDS journal, I believe the main one that comes out of BYU) has an article that gives an overview of Intelligent Design, and is rather favorable.

    Maybe worth a link on this site. (And for the record – I’m not mormon, and never have been. But, I like to keep up on various faiths.)

  12. 12
    Patrick says:

    The problem with many foundations, is they get taken over by people who misdirect their original intentions so often in favor or secular, progressive and socialist values.

    (Unless my memory is going fuzzy) I remember reading that one of the original founders of the NCSE was a creationist. Interesting, eh?

    EDIT: Definitely mixing up acronyms…here is a history on the NCSE:

    http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....hp/id/1199

  13. 13
    Michaels7 says:

    Patrick, truly?

    Now that would be interesting to say the least.

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