Darwin and religion - Darwin and Design

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In my ever expanding research of the topic of evolution, I ran across a resource which I would like to share with you as it helps understand, using access to primary resources, Darwin’s opinion on a variety of issues. It’s part of the Darwin Correspondence Project at the University of Cambridge and focuses on http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/cont[…]egory/36/63/.

Our aim is to provide a unique, complete, and reliable source of information on Darwin and religion. Darwin’s letters provide a unique resource for recovering the complexities of discussion in his own day, and for studying the impact of his theories on people from a wide range of backgrounds. The picture that Darwin’s letters present of his personal beliefs, and of the implications of his theory for religious belief generally, is much richer than that given in his published works, or indeed in most modern scholarship.

Enjoy

9 Comments

That site includes a nice overview article on Darwin’s religious beliefs: http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/cont[…]iew/130/125/

I enjoyed that very much Donnie - Thank you :-)

Oh - and PvM - Thank you too! :-)

Let’s not forget that the Darwin Project is funded by the Templeton Foundation. Britain’s equivalent to the Discovery Institute, more intelligently designed and more subtle but still religiously motivated

In 1999, The Templeton Foundation provided a grant to the Discovery Institute, and it also funded Guillermo Gonzalez to write “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery”

University of Cambridge it may be, but it’s the Theology department, which isn’t really a subject at all.

So while they have some academic integrity (a couple of orders of magnitude more than the Discovery Institute) don’t be fooled by the urbane veneer. As Bush wisely remarked: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

In 1999, The Templeton Foundation provided a grant to the Discovery Institute, and it also funded Guillermo Gonzalez to write “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery”

And regretted it ever since as they explained that they have no patience for ID nonsense.

We do not believe that the science underpinning the intelligent-design movement is sound, we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge, and the foundation is a nonpolitical entity and does not engage in or support political movements.

Let’s not paint anything that is religious with a broad brush. I have found Templeton’s resources to be quite reasonable. For similar reasons I also enjoy the Center for Inquiry’s contributions.

I was misled by the web site for The Templeton Foundation which prominently features their funding for the Darwin Correspondence Project. I thought they were the primary sponsors, but it seems they are merely one of many. It seems the Correspondence Project is clean with only a lingering smell of sole :)

If we’re going to quote Templeton Foundation then let’s go a bit further:

It is important to note that in the past we have given grants to scientists who have gone on to identify themselves as members of the Intelligent Design community. We understand that this could be misconstrued by some to suggest that we implicitly support the Intelligent Design movement, but, as outlined above, this was not our intention at the time nor is it today.

This suggests a surprising naivety for a body with millions of pounds to give away. Were they lied to? Or were they hoping that there was some substance to ID and have only distanced themselves after the embarrassing failure of ID to provide anything other than rhetoric.

Quidam:

Let’s not forget that the Darwin Project is funded by the Templeton Foundation. Britain’s equivalent to the Discovery Institute, more intelligently designed and more subtle but still religiously motivated

I think that one of the major differences between the DI and the Templeton Foundation is that Templeton is honest about its goals and motivation … there’s no pretense of “no religion here.”

This suggests a surprising naivety for a body with millions of pounds to give away. Were they lied to? Or were they hoping that there was some substance to ID and have only distanced themselves after the embarrassing failure of ID to provide anything other than rhetoric.

Speaking of rhetoric… If you distrust anything then you will see demons everywhere. The Templeton Foundation is no friend of ID, that is clear.

So what scares you about a foundation which has clearly stated religious/philosophical motivations?

The Templeton Foundation now distances itself from ID, it did not in the recent past. I suspect that if American cdesign proponentists had been a little less obviously Fundamentalist Creationists - and had won at Dover - they would have enjoyed support for much longer.

I am suspicious of a foundation that has large sums of money at its disposal and chooses to fund research that tries to inject religion into science.

I certainly agree that the TF is considerably more intelligent and subtle than the Discovery Institute, but I’m sure that we can all think of more sensible use of £2 than giving it to the Ian Ramsey Center (part of the theology faculty) to study why people believe in God.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 6, 2008 6:26 PM.

Explore the strengths and weaknesses of Florida’s “Academic Freedom” bill was the previous entry in this blog.

Dembski Confused and a new graduate program in science education is the next entry in this blog.

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