Why Evolution Is True

Templeton coopts National Academy of Sciences

UPDATE:  I’m asking everyone to guess this year’s Templeton recipient, even if other people have guessed the same person.  I’d like to know how close we come to the actual recipient. And be serious!

UPDATE 2. Richard Dawkins has a brief commentary on this incident here. He mentions someone I’d forgotten about: Simon Conway “Humans-are-Inevitable” Morris.

In its continuing drive to buy itself scientific respectability, the Templeton Foundation is going to announce the annual winner of its 1.5-million-dollar Templeton prize this Thursday. And guess where?

You guessed it: at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C.!

Yes, the National Academy has apparently rented the Foundation their hall so that, amidst the trappings of America’s most distinguished body of scientists, The Templeton Foundation can fete the person who most successfully conflated Science and Woo in the last few years.  The invitation is below.

This is an outrage, of course, and shame on the National Academy for its implicit endorsement of religion.  If they say, “Well, we rent our space to anybody,” then I look forward to seeing an adult film festival at the NAS.

I’m guessing that this year’s winner, based on the location, will be Francis Collins.  Dear readers, do post your guess, and we’ll see how close we get.  Runners-up may be Kenneth Miller, Karen Armstrong, John Haught, and Robert Wright.  But choose your favorite! One choice per person. And remember, according to the Foundation’s guidelines, “IF YOU GUESS THE WINNER, YOU CAN’T TELL ANYONE!” (What the hell does that mean?)

_______________

Templeton Prize Invitation

Dear Colleague,

Your presence is requested to join the Templeton Prize judges and the John Templeton Foundation Board of Trustees to celebrate the announcement of the 2010 Templeton Prize Laureate in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 25, 2010.

Please join the formal Templeton Prize Press Conference in the Lecture Room of the National Academy of Sciences building, 2100 C Street, North West, Washington, DC at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 25. We would be grateful for your reply by Tuesday March 23, 2010, please email RSVP@templetonprize.org. When you RSVP you will receive a confirmation response acknowledging receipt and providing details on entry into the event.

If you are unable to join us at the National Academy of Sciences, please register to watch the live webcast of the event at 11:00 a.m. EDT, by clicking here.

IF YOU GUESS THE WINNER, PLEASE HONOR A STRICT EMBARGO (YOU CAN’T TELL ANYONE) UNTIL 11:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2010.

The Templeton Prize (www.templetonprize.org) was established in 1972 by Sir John Templeton. The Prize has been awarded to physicists, biologists, theologians, ministers, philanthropists, writers, and reformers for work that has ranged from the creation of new religious orders and social movements to humanistic scholarship and research about the origins of the universe.

Thank you for your kind reply,

John M. Templeton Jr., M.D.

President and Chairman

John Templeton Foundation