Thursday, 10 June 2010

An in-depth look at the Templeton Foundation

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Just a quick one to share this exemplary piece from The Nation, in which Nathan Schneider takes an in-depth look at the controversial Templeton Foundation, the organisation which, in its own words, "serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality" but which, in the eyes of its many high-profile critics, such as Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling, seeks to insert religion into scientific study using grants from its vast financial reserves.

Schneider looks at the history of the foundation, the views of both its defenders and critics, and considers the direction it may be taking in the wake of the death of its founder, John Templeton, in 2008. With his son, John Templeton Jr (known as Jack) – an evangelical Christian – now in charge, there are suggestions that the foundation may be taking a more conservative turn. Indeed, another of Jack Templeton's organisations, Let Freedom Ring, has links to the so-called Tea Party movement of grassroots US conservatives, and in the past has had ties to neoconservatism. Could the foundation's future lie down those paths?

It's an excellent piece of journalism, and I urge you to read it over at The Nation.