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A Glimpse into the Godracket April 24, 2005 by RedStar2000


When you think "religion", you think churches or seminaries or perhaps private schools, right?

In the U.S., there's a lot more to it than that!


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The godracket works in many ways that ordinarily go unnoticed by the general public.

I was reading the San Francisco Chronicle while the board was down...and came across this...

quote:

UC physicist honored for bridging science, religion
Templeton Prize given to man who paved way for laser


A famous UC Berkeley physicist has won the celebrated Templeton Prize for his efforts to improve understanding between scientists and the religious.

Charles Townes, who received the 1964 Nobel Prize for inventing the "maser" and paving scientists' path to its now-ubiquitous descendant, the laser, will receive the $1.5 million award -- the world's best-known religion prize -- from the Duke of Edinburgh in a ceremony to be conducted at Buckingham Palace in England on May 4, UC Berkeley officials said Wednesday.

The prize money will benefit religion scholars and religious groups and charities in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Townes, 89, plans to give substantial shares of the prize to the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, the Berkeley-based Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, and the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, university officials said.

In addition, he plans to give a major share of the money to his alma mater, Furman University, a Baptist college in his hometown of Greenville, S.C.

The prize was announced Wednesday at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. Formally known as the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities, the award was founded in 1972 by investor-philanthropist Sir John Templeton and is "given each year to a living person to encourage and honor those who advance knowledge in spiritual matters," says a statement issued by the John Templeton Foundation, in West Conshohocken, Pa.

He first began publicly discussing the convergence of science and religion in a 1966 article for the IBM magazine Think -- the same year that Time magazine ran a famous cover story that asked: "Is God Dead?" In Townes' article, he proposed that, contrary to widespread perception, science and religion have a great deal in common: "Their differences are largely superficial, and ... the two become almost indistinguishable if we look at the real nature of each."

In recent years, many Templeton awards have been given to high-profile scientist-authors such as the physicists Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies and John Polkinghorne.

The John Templeton Foundation Web site poses this question: "If even one- tenth of world research were focused on spiritual realities, could benefits be even more vast than the benefits in the latest two centuries from research in food, travel, medicine or electronics, and cosmology?"

The foundation also supports programs to promote "a greater appreciation of the importance of the free enterprise system."

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/03/10/MNG9BBN70C1.DTL
--italics added

Ok, I'll bet, like me, you never heard of the "John Templeton Foundation".

Here they are: http://www.templeton.org/

And here is Sir John Templeton himself...

http://www.templeton.org/sir_john_templeton/index.asp

Quite a sweetheart, right?

Well, not exactly. *laughs*

quote:

Templeton and the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has a problem. For the last four years it has been promoting a study known as the "Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion." Naturally this involves a lot of deep thinking. But that's not the problem.

No, the problem is this: Over those four years the biggest contributor, in terms of cash, has been the John Templeton Foundation, an organization devoted to building and smoothing "a path of cooperation" between science and religion. To help smooth the path, each year the John Templeton people award $1,000,000--the largest award amount there is in science given as a prize--to the person who, in their opinion, has been the year's most outstanding science/religion road builder and path smoother.

During the last four years the Foundation has given over $1 million to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Just recently (the end of February) it occurred to the AAAS's physics section that getting a lot of money from the John Templeton Foundation may not be entirely a good thing. It has struck them that the Program's independence and consistency might, just possibly be--how can I put it?--compromised. How, you ask? Well, for example, several people serve on the advisory boards of both the AAAS's Program and the Foundation. It also turns out that many speakers at meetings of the AAAS's Program were associated with the Foundation. Reluctantly, the physics section at the AAAS have concluded there is something of a conflict of interest here and that the John Templeton Foundation is putting a bit too much of its mouth where its money is.

The idea that individuals and organizations that donate large sums of money to some worthy cause might thereafter feel somewhat inclined to seek to influence that cause will come as a great shock to those of us who have spent all our lives locked in an attic. If I were not as shy and diffident as I am and loath to offer unsolicited advice, I would advise the American Association for the Advancement of Science to get the hell out from under the John Templeton Foundation--publishers of Progress in Theology magazine and promoters of something called the "Freedom Project," which is "a study of the benefits of private enterprise"--and do so immediately and entirely.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_4_24/ai_63693026


And more...

quote:

An Article of Faith: Science and Religion Don't Mix

Courses that study science and religion together are springing up on campuses around the United States, and professional meetings and books devoted to that combination of fields are multiplying. Is intellectual excitement over profound new ideas responsible for this blossoming of interest? No. Money is.

Sir John Templeton, a multimillionaire financier, has decided that science and religion should be connected more closely, and he has the wherewithal to insure that that happens. First among the carrots he offers academics is the annual Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. At over $1.2-million dollars, it is the largest scholarly prize in the world -- the Nobel is worth $960,000 -- and it is awarded at Buckingham Palace, by Prince Philip.

But Templeton's overall program is ill conceived, and so is the field of study that he wants to promote in our colleges and universities. When faced with ready cash to support research and attend conferences, academics -- including this academic, to be fair -- often rush with too little thought to the trough. But it is significant that higher education did not broadly connect science and religion before Sir John's largesse -- and for a good reason: Combining the two fields is an intellectually uninteresting exercise.

One need not feel as strongly as the Nobel laureate Steven L. Weinberg -- who went against the tide at the Templeton-A.A.A.S. conference, calling religion "an insult to human dignity" -- to recognize that whether or not the earth orbits the sun is a matter to be settled not by theological debate, but rather by observation and experiment.

Perhaps most important, science has discovered absolutely nothing in the past century of remarkable activity that has any spiritual implications. As far as we can tell, simple laws of nature explain every event that has happened since the big bang.

In spite of that polite coexistence, however, the current effort to increase the bonds between religion and science can present a problem, because it reinforces scientists' concern about offending religious sensibilities. Some sensibilities need to be offended.

There is a war going on for the hearts and minds of the U.S. public, and science -- the driving force behind the technology that makes the modern world possible -- is losing because scientists often are too timid to attack nonsense whenever and wherever it appears.

http://www.phys.cwru.edu/~krauss/14a08801.htm
--emphasis added

"Too timid to attack nonsense whenever and wherever it appears" -- how many times have I expressed that on this board and especially in this subforum?

Meanwhile, Sir John the Divine is purchasing journalists too...

quote:

Leading journalists named for new Templeton-Cambridge fellowships

NEW YORK, February 28--Ten journalists with distinguished careers covering topics ranging from science and the environment to ethics and religion have been named as the first recipients of the annual Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science & Religion...The fellowships include a program of scholarship and research at the University of Cambridge in England. Fellows also receive a book allowance, travel expenses, and a $15,000 stipend.

Among the inaugural Templeton-Cambridge Journalism fellows are journalists, editors, and correspondents from the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, New Scientist, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Newsday, and news producers at NPR, ABC, and the BBC.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/jtf-ljn030305.php


It will not surprise you to learn that Sir John is on public record for $620,000 in gifts to the godly Republicans...

http://www.publicintegrity.org/527/searchform.aspx?act=con&sec=searchind

All this is just from the first 300 sites about this distinguished charlatan and his foundation -- there are more than 33,000 listed. Most of them are press releases from bible "colleges" and such -- "funded by a generous grant from you-know-who". Some prestigious universities turn up on the list though. And he does get a well-deserved mention on crank.com.

And there are job listings and even essay contests...atheists need not apply, of course. *laughs* But if some of the faithful on this board want to pick up some easy money...

Thus it stands: one "small" part of the godracket that you probably never even heard of. When you read of some scientist speaking favorably of "god" in terms of a scientific discovery -- the "god particle", the "god module", etc. -- you know what they're really thinking of...that $1.5 million Templeton prize.

One thing you can say for the godracket: it does pay its really important servants very well.
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First posted at RevLeft on March 22, 2005
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