Just in case you entertained the notion–one promoted by the John Templeton Foundation–that the JTF is becoming less attached to its goal of fusing science and religion (Sir John thought that science could give evidence for God), here’s a piece from Religion News reporting that the JTF has given the Religious News Foundation a lot of dosh to promote the compatibility of science and faith:
The two-year reporting project will analyze how science and religion intertwine to shine new light on the big questions of purpose and reality.
WASHINGTON – Religion News Foundation has received a two-year $210,000 grant from the West Conshohocken, Pa.-based John Templeton Foundation to help inform the public about how science and religion intersect.
The “Double Helix” reporting project will result in at least 40 original news and feature story packages produced by the Religion News Foundation’s subsidiary, Religion News Service, published at religionnews.com and distributed to some 100 subscribing and partner news outlets for republication. Stories will investigate the religious, spiritual, ethical and philosophical implications of today’s most talked about developments in science, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and deep-space exploration.
And here we go with the “theology and extraterrestrial life” nonsense again. Remember that Templeton joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in funding a project on theology and space exploration:
The Religion News Foundation will also produce four ReligionLink source guides to enhance journalistic coverage of complex issues surrounding science and religion on such topics as religion’s role in the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life, the religious and moral implications of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and religion, and animal faith. Each new resource will be directly distributed to our network of journalists and editors in the U.S. and abroad.
There’s not much here that couldn’t be discussed in terms of secular philosophy rather than religion. Why waste your time trying to comport the effects of scientific and technological advances on outmoded fairy tales? But, despite being warned, Templeton persists:
The successful completion of this series will enhance RNS’s reporting on science and religion, raising the bar for other media outlets to improve their coverage while educating them how best to do so with the aid of ReligionLink source guides.
This necessary improvement of mainstream media coverage will help our diverse readers and the general public better understand how science, religion, spirituality and belief impact notions of purpose and reality. The partnership aligns with RNS’ mission to inform, illuminate and inspire public discourse on matters of faith and belief.
Religion and spirituality impact purpose by telling us false stories about the “purpose” of the universe, as well as giving us “purpose” in our life that’s grounded on fiction and false hopes of an afterlife; and they impact reality by distorting our notion of what is real and true by heaping respect on faith, which is the opposite of rationality.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Templeton is by no means abandoning its primary mission of blurring the lines between faith and rationality. Shame on those money-grubbing scientists who continue to take money from the Foundation!