Robert Hinde refuses to speak at Templeton-sponsored event

Well, I’m no longer alone in having refused to speak at an event sponsored by the insidious John Templeton Foundation.  Several of us got a report from Richard Dawkins this morning, who is at the Darwin bicentenary celebration at Cambridge University:

Robert Hinde is the elder statesman of the science of Ethology and one one of the most respected figures in British biology. I just met him at the big Cambridge Darwin Festival. Robert had agreed to speak in one of the sessions on ‘Religion and Science’ but withdrew on learning that it was sponsored by the Templeton Foundation. He is now even more respected among British biologists.

Hinde is indeed a famous guy, author of several well respected books on animal behavior, and well known to me as the guy who, with J. Fisher,  first described how British tits learned to open milk bottles, and how that behavior spread through learning.

Yes, those religion symposia (there were two, one for scientists, the other for theology types) sounded a bit fishy to me, peopled as they were with accommodationists. You can bet your bippy that while there were several talks adumbrating compatibility between Darwinism and faith, there were none saying the opposite.  Thanks, Templeton — you’ve done it again.
The curious thing, as P. Z. Myers reports on Pharyngula, is that while the sponsorship of this symposium by Templeton was well known, it wasn’t advertised on the Cambridge University conference site.  Is this “stealth sponsorship”? Does Templeton have something to be ashamed of?

7 Comments

  1. newenglandbob
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to Robert Hinde for refusing to contribute to the attempts tp pollute the science community with the odor of religious dogma.

    An example of this pollution:

    Theology in Darwinian Context

    In this session we will examine implications of Darwin’s theory of evolution for theology. The focus will be Christianity, as Darwinism has provided a particularly fruitful context for the rethinking of Christian theology. For example, the engagement of God with the world envisaged in Christianity can be coordinated with Darwinims*. We will take stock of Darwinian theology, and see how it can be carried forward.

    *Yes, that misspelling is from the University of Cambridge web site.

    • Peter E Dant
      Posted July 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      newenglandbob has (unwittingly) mis-spelled ‘Odor’ should, I think, have been ‘ordure’.

    • newenglandbob
      Posted July 9, 2009 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      I like that, Peter.

      Odor is equivalent to odour in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odor).

      I intended to mean ‘stench’ but from the dictionary:

      ordure:
      1 : excrement
      2 : something that is morally degrading

      And both apply!

  2. Posted July 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “The curious thing, as P. Z. Myers reports on Pharyngula, is that while the sponsorship of this symposium by Templeton was well known, it wasn’t advertised on the Cambridge University conference site.”

    That’s interesting. Is that anomalous? Are other sponsors advertised?

  3. Posted July 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m told it is indeed anomalous. Well that’s very telling then. Cambridge – pull your socks up. Remember who you are.

  4. Flea
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    English is a very rich language. Why not use “templetonize” instead of “accommodate”. The former is more precise… just an idea.

    • Michael K Gray
      Posted July 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Splitter!


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Robert Hinde refuses to speak at Templeton-sponsored event […]

  2. […] and sent us this report from the two symposia on faith and religion — symposia that, as I reported earlier, were sponsored by The John Templeton Foundation.  On to Dan’s report, which he kindly gave […]

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