Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True, certainly hates the Templeton Foundation:
If you didn’t already know it, the Templeton foundations, including the John Templeton Foundation (henceforth JTF), give tons of money not only to fund science, but also the kind of science that is friendly to religion, like work on consciousness and free will. …
It’s no surprise, then, that today’s Guardian describes how Templeton—most likely the John Templeton Foundation, identified as one of the donating organizations—has been caught out giving millions of dollars to right-wing British groups, funding causes like a hard Brexit, the privatization of schools and of UK medical care, and low taxes and light regulation of business. This should have implications for the pack of scientists who take money from the JTF.Jerry Coyne, “Templeton generously funds right-wing groups in the UK” at Why Evolution Is True
Here’s the story. Jerry makes it sound as if accepting money from Templeton is like accepting money from Jeffrey Epstein and as if the causes he personally opposes are equivalent to child sex abuse.
The odd thing is that one part of the Templeton group is also funding things that should interest Jerry, for example this one:
Quest for Consciousness: A Historic Contest Is Announced
The two theories to be tested pit “information processing” against “causal power” as a model of consciousness. One side must admit it is wrong
We can watch neurons fire and interact but we do not really know how human consciousness comes to exist. Now Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) is investing $20 million to discover the answer, first by holding a contest between two prominent theories of consciousness. Their model is the famous 1919 contest between Albert Einstein’s relativity theory and Isaac Newton’s gravity (Einstein won). The stakes, as explained at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago this week, sound high: “Proponents of each theory have agreed to admit it is flawed if the outcomes go against them.” “Mind Matters News“
The result may help the cause of pure naturalist atheism, which would doubtless delight Jerry.
Of course, based on past experience, there is a very good chance it won’t help that cause at all. But why should Jerry not think it wouldn’t?
If it doesn’t, the shade of the canny old Presbyterian John Templeton is chuckling somewhere in the shadows of the Ideas Exchange, having made a good investment this time out, better than he did with BioLogos. 😉
BioLogos? Oh yes, see “Will Templeton continue to fund. BioLogos? Is so, why?”
Also: Some key concepts in consciousness from Mind Matters News:
Four researchers whose work sheds light on the reality of the mind The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot, says Michael Egnor. The intellect and will are metaphysically simple
An Oxford neuroscientist explains mind vs. brain (Michael Egnor) Sharon Dirckx explains the fallacies of materialism and the logical and scientific strengths of dualism
Did consciousness “evolve”? (Michael Egnor) One neuroscientist doesn’t seem to understand the problems the idea raises
No materialist theory of consciousness is plausible (Eric Holloway) All such theories either deny the very thing they are trying to explain, result in absurd scenarios, or end up requiring an immaterial intervention
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