In laughably typical fashion today, Jerry Coyne attacks the Templeton Foundation for — gasp — paying contributors to write for a new publication it will be sponsoring, Big Questions Online. P.Z. Myers immediately chimed in. Ophelia Benson had her say too. The alleged crime is paying for a given conclusion: “The John Templeton Foundation… has announced that, if you’re willing to toe the party line, Templeton has big simoleons for writers….”
Meanwhile, The Nation reports that “[Richard] Dawkins and [Harry] Kroto, with eight other advisory board members of Project Reason [which includes Coyne], founded by New Atheist author Sam Harris in 2007 to promote secularism, are at work on another offensive. Project Reason hired British science journalist Sunny Bains to investigate Templeton [the Templeton Foundation] and build a case against it.” Not surprisingly, Bains “uncovered” exactly what her handlers paid for.
Her unpublished findings include evidence of pervasive cronyism: more than half of the past dozen Templeton Prize winners were connected to the foundation before their win, and board members do well obtaining grant money and speaking gigs. Bains also argues that the true atheistic tendencies of leading scientists were misrepresented in the foundation’s Big Questions advertisements. Templeton’s mission, Bains concludes, is to promote religion, and its overtures to science are an insidious trick with the purpose of sneaking in God.
Could Coyne and his cronies possibly be more predictable or more hypocritical? Well, tomorrow is another day so we’ll have to wait and see….