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January 04, 2004

Science & religion, a marriage of money?

Article on "bridging" science and religion. It acknowledges one major fact, over the past 10 years a lot of the elite push for this sort of thinking has come from the John Templeton Foundation, which throws dollars toward Intelligent Design (as an example). But, it also gives funds to scientists who are pretty nonreligious and a bit confused as to what it's all about. I think *confused* is the key word.

Update: Dyson confused:

In the world of condensed matter physics, Freeman Dyson is an international superstar. But in the spiritual realm, he is virtually unknown. So it came as a surprise to Mr. Dyson yesterday that he won the 2000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the biggest award for works advancing the understanding of God or spirituality.

"I don't understand," Dyson says. "It usually goes either to a saint or a theologian, and I don't qualify as either of those. It is a mystery." But along his 54 years as a scientist, Dyson's colleagues say, he has greatly contributed to the often-heated discussion over science and religion. As a physicist, he has tried to inject ethics into the realm of science. As a writer, Dyson has worked on setting principles to guide both skeptics and believers in their work together.
In winning the prize, Dyson has joined the company of Mother Teresa, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and the Rev. Billy Graham, who are previous recipients. Asked how it feels to join such a famous group, he once again shrugs.

"I'm totally unworthy," he says. "I find it kind of absurd that I should be put into that class."

Posted by razib at 04:07 PM