I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Funding ID research: Templeton Foundation and Discovery Institute

In an article titled "Templeton Foundation Blasts ID", "Fatheaded Ed" Brayton posted a Los Angeles Times letter -- which he triumphantly described as "a blistering public rebuke to the intelligent design movement" -- in which the Templeton Foundation disavows that it ever supported intelligent design:

In the past we have given grants to scientists who have gone on to identify themselves as members of the intelligent-design community. We understand that this could be misconstrued by some to suggest that we implicitly support the movement, but this was not our intention at the time, nor is it today.

However, a Dec. 2005 NY Times article that Ed also cites said that the Templeton Foundation offered to fund ID research projects in the past and actually provided grants for conferences and courses to debate ID:

The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said.

Fatheaded Ed and the toadies whom he allows to post comments on his blog are too dense to see the glaring ambiguities and inconsistencies in the Templeton Foundation's statements about its position on ID.

Discovery Institute's Jonathan Witt said that the Templeton Foundation's above statements in the Dec. 2005 NY Times article are inaccurate and that pro-ID researchers have applied for and received research funding from Templeton. Darwinists have often cited Templeton's above Dec. 2005 statements in the NY Times as supposed evidence that pro-ID scientists do not do research or are not interested in doing research.

Discovery Institute has often been criticized for supposedly spending all of its pro-ID funds on PR and none on ID research. However, DI has recently been funding ID research and has even established an ID research lab.

However, I think it is a bad idea for research to be funded by an organization that has an ax to grind -- the funded researchers obviously would want to please their sponsors and this could bias the research. For example, there was recently a controversy -- discussed here and here -- over whether or not a DI-funded researcher, Doug Axe, believed that his research supported ID.

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