From Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True:
Templeton wastes $ 630,791 on “biology” research, finally making its anti-evolution agenda explicit
The John Templeton Foundation has announced yet another big grant for “biology” research, except that its principal investigators are a theologian (Christopher Southgate) as well as a biologist (Niles Lehman). Click on the screenshot to go to the announcement. As you see, the grant, which just started, will last 32 months, and eat up over half a million dollars: …
Relax, people, it is not your tax money anyhow.
In other words, because the Templeton foundation doesn’t like competition (although of course Sir John made his money as a mutual fund manager) or nonteleological—i.e., naturalistic—explanations, they have to attack the evil instantiation of those paradigms: modern evolutionary biology. Clearly, Templeton is trying to buttress Sir John’s original agenda, which was to find evidence for God in science, and to finally answer those Big Questions of meaning and purpose. And such evidence would be teleology in biology: non-materialistic evidence of “purpose” or directionality in evolution. Ergo, this grant sets out to find it:More.
Coyne seems to be relying on Suzan Mazur’s work in developing this story here, not that you would know it.
One wonders why Templeton is doing this.
See also: Has origin of life become a Templeton and NASA cash cow?