Prestigious science organization hiring someone to make nice with evangelicals

December 20, 2012 • 10:24 am

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), America’s premier science organization (and publisher of the prestigious journal Science) has for several years run an accommodationist program called the “Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion” (DoSER). I’ve written about DoSER before (e.g., here, here and here), detailing its unholy crusade to wed science and faith. The program is, of course, funded by Templeton: a huge 5.3 million-dollar grant lasting eighteen years!

Have a look at the DoSER site (especially their upcoming Christmas lecture), and tell me that you don’t find it embarrassing: something that a scientific organization has no business doing. If you’re a member of the AAAS, or subscribe to Science, be aware of what your organization is up to. Science organizations shouldn’t be pushing an approved brand of theology, for that’s precisely what DoSER is doing. It’s endorsing, in effect, that rare brand of evangelical Christianity which nevertheless accepts evolution. It doesn’t, for instance, try to prescribe an accommodationist brand of Islam.

Anyway, thanks to the largesse of Templeton, you too can become a Professional Accommodationist, for the AAAS has three jobs up for grabs in the DoSER program. Here’s a screenshot of one:

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 11.38.38 AM

Yes, apply now, but be aware that your job is to make nice to evangelical Christians. There “potential for renewal,” too, which means that Templeton may throw another pot of cash at DoSER when their grant expires in a year.

So here we have America’s premier science organization pushing a special theological point of view. It’s embarrassing, and I’m sure Britain’s Royal Society doesn’t have anything like this. That’s especially telling because the UK has an official state Church and the U.S. mandates separation of church and state (granted, the AAAS isn’t a government organization).

h/t: To the author of the website No Cross, No Crescent, who called my attention to the ad and has now written his own post on the matter with the straightforward title, “A word to Science: stop kissing the butt of evangelicals.”

38 thoughts on “Prestigious science organization hiring someone to make nice with evangelicals

  1. Hmmm, I fit a lot of that description but I think my version of “experience” with Christianity and my “interest” isn’t what I’m sure that they are looking for. It’s should read: “looking for someone who is able to put their morals in a box and not tell the Christians that they are at best willfully ignorant and at worst intentional liars.”

    1. Perzackly. I actually meet all of the qualifications except for the one about experience with web design software and social media programs, but I have absolutely no interest in the position (no, I did not intend a double entendre, but if you want to imagine one, I won’t stop you ;-)) because, as was posted here a while ago (I’m quoting from memory), “The only thing science has to do with religion is to prove its tenets wrong.” Or, as Ben just posted in the “Three Easy Pieces” thread, “All we’re doing is observing that it is a lie to claim that science and religion are compatible, and that we will not lie.”

      1. These days, it is easy to tell you have entered a zone of hypocrisy and extremely soft thinking – all you need to do is see the word “dialogue.” That seems to be a token honest signal that the organization or writer has failed to examine exactly how religion contributes to the “dialogue”, and everything that follows will be woo-laden.

        1. Cancelling a subscription – with an explanation of why you’ve cancelled – is the slap in the face that is likely to be more effective. Sorry, but I can’t help there : I stopped paying them money some years ago. Despite their (generally good) editorial practices, I can’t bring myself to pay their fees. They’re American ; enough said. Let them die.

            1. If you don’t like what $Organisation$ are doing (AAAS in this case), then stopping paying them money and explaining why you’re stopping is a good way of getting $Organisation$ to pay attention. As customers, it’s one of the greatest powers that we’ve got.

  2. Why not take an optimistic viewpoint: all these examples of religious involvement and intrusions into the territory of the rational science will provide fascinating objects of study for future generations of historians of science.

  3. Actually, DoSER does have some contact with the Jewish and Islamic and Buddhist communities, as evidenced
    here (Jewish)
    here (Islam)
    and here (scroll to bottom to see Buddhist talk)

    so they aren’t just endorsing pro-Darwin evangelical Christians.

    Personally, I’m wayyy more interested in the documentary they did on the social effects of losing the night sky due to industrial lighting

    but as long as these aren’t religious folk trying to rationalize racism, homophobia, and state-sponsored religion, unlike most of the folks who post here (& JAC with his impeccable tastes in music, cats & other pleasures of life), I can’t really get very worked up about this sort of thing.

    1. Well that is not the same thing, don’t you think? The extent to which AAAS is trying to reach out to evangelicals dwarfs any other religion. Are they offering a full time position for someone to work with Muslims/Buddhists? And why aren’t they trying to reach out to the religiously unaffiliated?

    2. Certainly, no sense in giving a damned christian doG about the bullshit they are blowing into the minds of children.

    1. Global warming isn’t any more a religion than evolution, plate tectonics, relativity, the Big Bang, or any other firmly-established scientific fact.

      If you sincerely think otherwise, there’s a pie chart you haven’t seen:

      Tony Watts is a crank, right up there with Uri Geller and the Pope. He might as well be blathering about Elvis’s two-headed Martian love child that a Yeti is rearing on the sound stage where the Moon landing was faked.


      1. Ben, your comment/assertion about (presumably anthropogenic) global warming’s being a “firmly established scientific fact” is an illustration of corio37’s point.

        1. When almost 14,000 papers have passed the peer review process over a couple decades and a mere two dozen find fault with the consensus position, that is the very definition of established fact.

          Anybody who has a problem with global warming is, again, a crank on a par with Flat Earthers, Young Earth Creationists, Moon landing hoaxers, and the guys who chase after crop circles.

          And none of them deserve any more respect than you’d give to a medium or somebody peddling a perpetual motion machine. They’re either running a scam or they’re deluded fools who’re the victims of a scam.

          The scientific consensus has been most solidly established by those 14,000 papers. Come back when you’ve got more than 24 outliers.



        2. thh1859, the absorption spectrum of carbon dioxide is a “firmly established scientific fact”. And if you look at said spectrum, you find that carbon dioxide absorbs very little energy from photons in the visible range of the EM spectrum, while at the same time, carbon dioxide absorbs lots of energy from photon in the infrared range of the EM spectrum.

          So visible-wavelength photons from the sun… and the energy which is carried by those photons… slips through the atmosphere, largely unaffected and unabsorbed by CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. The energy which was carried by those photons is transferred to whatever objects those photons are absorbed by; this is why things get hotter when they’re left out in the sun. And when objects get hotter, they radiate energy away, largely in the infrared range. And this IR radiation is largely absorbed by whatever CO2 molecules said radiation encounters in the atmosphere.

          The upshot is, CO2 in the atmosphere traps thermal energy, and the more CO2 there is, the more effectively thermal energy is trapped. If you don’t agree, fine: Where’s the flaw in the chain of events I outlined? Is CO2 not transparent to visible wavelengths, and opaque to IR wavelengths? Do hotter objects not radiate energy away on IR-wavelength photons? Since you cast doubt on the notion of anthropogenic global warming, is it not true that human activities are pumping mass quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere? Is it not true that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been more-or-less steadily rising for the past several decades?

          Tell me, thh1859: How the hell do you pump mass quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, thus raising the atmosphere’s CO2 content, without trapping more heat in the atmosphere than would otherwise have been the case?

          1. Great post Cubism. Exactly, the argument that I found convincing enough to take AGW seriously (a long time ago), and very succinctly expressed. Of course there’s stacks of other data too now.

            AGW deniers (don’t call them skeptics!) are worse than creationists. David Attenborough, said the only thing that would convince them was disaster, but my guess is that most of them would go to their graves denying AGW even if the oceans evaporated entirely.

        3. Even if global warming due to human over indulgence wasn’t a fact, the prescription amounts to being good stewards of the planet. What’s your problem?

    2. Really, you couldn’t come up with a better source than a denialist blog like Watts?
      In case you missed it the Royal Society is not the only scientific body endorsing climate change. Why don’t you come up with one rejecting it?
      Hint: there are none.

    3. I think it is high time you stopped trolling WEIT with your climate science denying crap. The last time you offered any specific claims (again, via Watts’s propaganda outlet), it was concerning Antarctic sea ice. At that time, I refuted your bullshit by linking to decadal plots contrasting trends in Arctic and Antarctic ice areas. You never responded, you never acknowledged that Watts was LYING. Basically, your argumentation (failure to acknowledge evidence that totally refutes your claims) is indistinguishable from the style of creationists.

      It’s Jerry’s website, so it’s Jerry’s call, but if it me were applying Jerry’s rules, you’d be asked to either respond to the evidence, STFU, or be banned.

  4. I see no reason why an actual accommodationist needs to be hired to fill these positions. Rather than hire someone who will promote harmony between science and religion, fully qualified applicants could be found who would actually use the position to promote the historical and scientific facts about religion and science. There are many former evangelicals who could fill that position.

  5. This is totally deplorable. It’s like playing into the hands of creationists and proponents of ID. They’ll trumpet how religion is being accommodated by science citing this example.

  6. I’ve belonged for a few years now and expressed my dissatisfaction in letter form a few days ago. As you said – why must such a distinguished science organization pander to the religious?

  7. Well, I was an evangelical Christian. But my doctorate (Optometry) was in a science (undergraduate in Spanish) and I must admit, a rapprochement between the two seems as likely as stuffing a butterfly back into the body of a caterpillar, but just how much does that position pay? ;).

    The stink from the Templeton group reminds me of a two word phrase from Christopher Hitchens which easily would apply to any such cash for accommodation scam…”reliably terrible”.

  8. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am going
    through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

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