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Jerry Coyne bashes the Templeton Foundation, based on new information

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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

and

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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11 Replies to “Jerry Coyne bashes the Templeton Foundation, based on new information

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    I hate Jerry Coyne I really do

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Jerry is old and irrelevant. This is how he responds to that.

  3. 3
    News says:

    AronS1978, please don’t hate Jerry. He is a man who has lived long enough to see the beliefs he based his life on crumbling. It’s still worth noting what he says, principally to identify new paths in the light of what he might say about them. Templeton interests may have funded a useful contest but his beliefs force him to hate the group anyway.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Sounds to me like a foreign power trying to influence a British election. Now here have we heard about that sort of thing happening before?

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    You’re right news

    He’s just one of those people that gets under my skin, He is like the guy that puts the turd in the punch bowl and ruins it for everybody else, And then turns around and justifies it, But if somebody else does it he is all over them.

    I understand his scientific insight, I understand his opinion, and I cannot agree with it in any which way but when he acts out and attacks a foundation for showing some consideration to something he very much doesn’t believe in, I get upset

    There’s no reason for him to care outside of his biased and he should allow his point of you to be challenged no differently than those he challenges.

    I guess that’s where I have my biggest problem with him, he is not what is good for the goose is good for the gander he is “what’s good for the goose is only good for the goose and everybody else can’t have any, science is only for me, not religion, now go away”

    Anyways I’m sorry

  6. 6
    Ed George says:

    AronS1977, you don’t have to apologize. I am not fond of the approaches taken by Coyne or Dawkins. Although I agree with many of their views, I find the way they deliver them to be unnecessarily confrontational and abusive. Much like one of the frequent posters here.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    LoL! Dawkins and Coyne are who they are because they are trying to defend a losing position. They have to attack because they don’t have an offence.

    On the other hand, I for one, only abuse the abusers. That is I only attack the people who spread lies, bluffs and equivocations. And what I do is expose them for what they are. For that I am attacked with whines of “me too”. Don’t change the fact that you lie, bluff and equivocate. Whine about the people who expose you.

    You are very special, Acartia Ed.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    AaronS1978 @1

    I hate Jerry Coyne I really do

    But alas there is no Jerry Coyne to hate. Jerry Coyne does not exist!

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    And even if there really were a Jerry Coyne to hate. he would not be responsible for his actions anyway since he, (if he existed), would have no free will:

    THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”
    – Jerry Coyne
    https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins…. two very frustrated guys …

    Every single word they ever said turned out to be wrong …. so terribly wrong…

  10. 10
    martin_r says:

    see also “Wealthy Scandinavian Benefactor Gives US$1.6 Million (Eqv.) To Promote ID”

    https://uncommondescent.com/education/wealthy-scandinavian-benefactor-gives-us1-6-million-eqv-to-promote-id/

  11. 11
    Kal says:

    Aaron – That image is difficult to undo – ‘He is like the guy that puts the turd in the punch bowl and ruins it for everybody else, And then turns around and justifies it, But if somebody else does it he is all over them.’

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