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02.12.: Templeton Foundation wehrt ID-Vorwurf ab

"Templeton Foundation money has supported critics rather than proponents of the anti-evolution ID position"
Charles L. Harper jun., Senior Vize Präsident der John Templeton Foundation, weist mit einem offiziellen Statement die Unterstellung des Wall Street Journal zurück, die Foundation sei ein kooperierender Schirmherr und Sponsor der Intelligent Design Bewegung.

Am 14.11. wurde in einem Artikel des Wall Street Journal u.a. behauptet, dass einige Verfechter der Intelligent Design Bewegung bei der Templeton Foundation ein offenes Ohr gefunden und Fördergelder erhalten hätten.




Charles L. Harper jun. "This is false information. In fact, quite the opposite is true."

Gegendarstellung in Auszügen

Official statement on the false and misleading information published in the Wall Street Journal November 14.*

By Charles L. Harper, Jr., Senior Vice President, John Templeton Foundation.

*[Monday November 14th, 2005. Article by Daniel Golden:
At Some Colleges, Classes Questioning Evolution Take Hold.]

On November 14, the WSJ ran a front page story mentioning the John Templeton Foundation in a way suggesting that the Foundation has been a concerted patron and sponsor of the so-called Intelligent Design (“ID”) position (such as is associated with the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and the writers Philip Johnson, William Dembski, Michael Behe and others). This is false information. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The John Templeton Foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in support to research academics who are critical of the anti-evolution ID position. Any careful and factual analysis of actual events will find that the John Templeton Foundation has been in fact the chief sponsor of university courses, lectures and academic research which variously have argued against the anti-evolution “ID” position. It is scandalous for a distinguished paper to misinform the public in this way.

We currently are preparing a further appendix to this statement to document a number of major programs of the John Templeton Foundation which are fundamentally critical of the characteristic “ID” position of critique of the basic scientific facts and logics of modern evolutionary biology. For example, for almost a decade the John Templeton Foundation has been the major supporter of a substantial program at the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the chief focus activities of which has been informing the public of the weakness of the ID position on modern evolutionary biology. (see: http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/ ) This program was founded under the advice and guidance of the prominent evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala when he was President of the AAAS, and was also supported by Stephen Jay Gould under his Presidency.

The membership of the John Templeton Foundation’s Advisory Boards and Board of Trustees read as an international honor roll of the distinguished critics of the ID position. The Templeton Foundation employs rigorous processes of review using standard peer review and judging panels by distinguished experts. However, the Templeton Foundation refuses in its programs to blacklist scholars based on their ideological positions. We sponsor research and teaching across a very wide range of positions, believing in the value of widespread debate and engagement with important and controversial issues, including that of modern evolutionary biology and the debates over its meaning and philosophical significance such as are particularly intense in this country at this time.
...

What is entirely false and misleading is the way in which the Foundation has been portrayed to have been in basic support of the ID position, when on balance the precise opposite is actually the case.

The Templeton Foundation has made several thousand grants to university researchers, the vast majority of whom have been critical of the anti-science aspect of ID’s critique of modern evolutionary biology. The author selectively represented only about one tenth of one percent of these awards. It would have been responsible for the author of today’s WSJ article to have reported actual and contextually accurate facts to the public. The WSJ has contributed to misinformation and public misunderstanding of an important national debate by selective, biased reporting.
...

We emphatically oppose any impact of this article, whether intended or not, to fan into flame a politicized ethos on university campuses. It matters not at all that the Foundation itself vigorously disagrees with the ID position. We fully support the fundamental right of university faculty to differ from mainstream views. University campuses are precisely the place where important debates involving minority views should be aired.

Indeed, it should clearly be recognized that some perspectives that scholars associated with the ID movement have brought to scholarly attention involve matters of very considerable public importance. ID scholars have been prominent critics of the abuse of evolutionary biology today by prominent philosophical interpreters arguing for modern science to be considered as if it provided a clear coherent scientific foundation for philosophical atheism. (Which it most certainly is not: such grandstanding does science a grave disservice in the United States). They also have most unfashionably, but importantly, brought to attention the catastrophic abuse of evolutionary biology by Nazi intellectuals in the 1930’s and 1940’s in support of racist “master race” eugenics, leading clearly and directly to the justification of genocide against the Jews. Such debates are important. They should not be suppressed. And we at the John Templeton Foundation will hold to our no-blacklisting policy. We will not distort standard proper open and fair philanthropic practices in the direction of ideological policing.

We believe the public is best served when it has the opportunity to be informed accurately of the actual state of affairs and debate. We deeply regret the negative implications about the John Templeton Foundation that were created by the WSJ article. The facts will show that in nearly every case, Templeton Foundation money has supported critics rather than proponents of the anti-evolution ID position. The John Templeton Foundation invites any responsible and honest scholar or journalistic reporter to check this assertion.




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