Uncle Karl departs Biologos

I am informed that Karl Giberson, formerly Executive Vice President of The BioLogos Foundation, has left the organization.  He has disappeared from their posted list of “team members,” hasn’t yet been replaced, and confirmed to me by email that he resigned.

If you’ve followed this site, you’ll know that I often crossed swords with Karl, including an online debate for USA Today and many writtten exchanges on this site, BioLogos, and PuffHo.  Despite our very strong disagreements about science and faith, I grew to like the guy, bestowing on him the affectionate title of “Uncle Karl.”  I wish him luck.

The fact that he’s gone makes me think that there’s big trouble at BioLogos.  In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and predict the ultimate demise of the Foundation—and good riddance to their science-polluting ways!  BioLogos seems to be increasingly courting evangelical Christians, becoming obsessed with futile and nonsensical tasks like reconciling Adam and Eve with modern knowledge of genetics.   If I know the Templeton Foundation, which is committed to supporting BioLogos until 2012, they’re going to see this as a losing proposition and not renew their support.

23 Comments

  1. Posted May 3, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Alas, poor Unkle Karl, I knew him not well. A man of infinite jest …

    Is it just me or did Karl appear to be straying from the reservation in his most recent writings? Could be he was catching Spong-itis and he may end up tied to the same stake by his fellow loving Christians.

    Or, perhaps Karl has finally learned to think for himself and had a Ruh-Roh experience.

    Join us, Unkle Karl, we have cake!

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      .. and cats!

    • Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      In fact, we have pake!

    • TrineBM
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      And boots and fun (Not necessarily related topics .. and yet? (I think I need to stop this train of thoughts right now))

  2. Sigmund
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    He “left”?
    Ha! A likely story.
    Come on Jerry, if you won’t break the real story I guess I’ll have to.
    A team of highly trained atheist seals (or rather gnus) managed to track down the Biologos compound – suspiciously located right next to the Templeton Quisling Academy.
    Under cover of mockery the gnus burst into the compound and fired off a number of deadly shots directly at the Biologos leader. These included: “If Adam and Eve are simply a metaphor, why did Jesus need to die?
    and
    “Whats the solution to the problem of Evil?
    and finally the critical headshot,
    “Do you have evidence for any of this religious stuff?

    • astrokid.nj
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      🙂 Good one, Gnolbert.

    • Josh Slocum
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Oh, that was good. “Under cover of mockery” …brilliant.

    • Posted May 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Another great Sigmundism!

  3. Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    I think of Biologos as primary a religious enterprise, and these sorts of fallouts, splits and failures occur frequently, since there is no reality in their mission against which they can reach agreement. In this case, they can’t even refer to the Bible or Christian tradition as common ground, since both are contradicted by the scientific data and require considerable dilution to even appear to fit with reality.

    • Brian
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      No need for scientific data. Like Platonism, there’s just no measure. It incommensurable. No way to say who has found the good or ideal. No way to say who has understood the word of cod. It’s indistinguishable from delusion or self-preference. And probably inimical to a quantifiable and brilliant endeavour like science.

      Bringing science to bear on this would be cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. But it’d would be a rubbery nut, because no body would agree that we were using the correct sledgehammer.

  4. Posted May 3, 2011 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Splitter!

    • Max
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard he’s going to join the Popular People’s Front.

  5. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Giberson probably just needed a few weeks of free time to tie up loose ends before the rapture on May 21.

    • daveau
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Oh, my. Look at the time! Is it the rapture already? I need to get a haircut, so I’ll look nice for Jesus.

  6. NewEnglandBob
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    But is it the last of hearing his Gibberish? Unlikely.

  7. Kevin
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Well, I hope he lands on his feet doing science.

    We need more scientists. We do not need one more apologist for the failures of religion to demonstrate the accuracy of their truth claims.

    Yes, you can be a scientist and be a believer in religion.

    No, you can’t let your religion bias your science. Thankfully, we have a process called “peer review” that spots such bias. (BTW and before anyone complains: Peer review is ALSO the post-publication dissection of any article that makes it through the initial publication process. See the recent kerfuffle over EO Wilson. In fact, I’m quite sure that the post-publication peer review process is much more valuable and rigorous.)

  8. BigBob
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “I wish him luck”

    Say what?!

  9. Posted May 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Well done. A virtual handshake to U. Karl.

  10. Hempenstein
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Uncle Karl – since you have posted here in the past, did a non-disclosure agreement follow you out the door?

  11. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Templeton BioLogos strategy:

    “The invitation-only workshops will bring scientists and evangelical leaders together to seek a theology more accepting of science, specifically evolutionary biology. These projects will allow the BioLogos Foundation to build a reputation as a source of sympathetic, authoritative, and accessible thought on matters of science and faith.”

    Disco Wedge strategy:

    “Alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence’s that support the faith, as well as to “popularize” our ideas in the broader culture.”


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] former Vice President of the foundation disappeared from their list of “team members” and confirmed to Jerry Coyne by email that he […]

  2. […] departure from the BioLogos Foundation follows that of Dr. Karl Giberson who left earlier this year. Dr. Giberson wrote an article in April entitled, “My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution […]

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