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4m project, “Free Will: Empirical and Philosophical

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buy canada goose jacket Templeton invades the World Science Festival again; Dan Dennett withdraws from the fieldOnce again the World Science Festival (WSF) will goose outlet canada take place in New York City in May, the brainchild of Brian Greene and Tracy Day. Let me begin by affirming that I in favor of the Festival as a way to excite the public about science. Greene and Day haveput enormouseffort into this event, which has been a live affair, and a successful one, since 2008.But there a fly in the canada goose outlet in toronto ointment: one of the big sponsors of the WSF is the John Templeton Foundation(JTF), which was also one of its founding benefactors. This is shown on the 2015 Festival Website:Let us now remind ourselves of the JTF ongoing mission, as stated on its site:Herewe see that the Questions that Templeton funds involve purpose and ultimate reality questions which of course cannot be investigated by science. (If reality refers simply to a reality about which we know everything, then that not science but something numinous or godly.) In fact Sir John purpose in endowing the Foundation appears to be his notion that science could tell us something about God, which is confirmed by the second paragraph statement that Sir John believedthat science could give us spiritual information. aims of the JTF to blur the boundaries between science and the spiritual haven changed, although they have realized that also funding real science havingno obvious connection toGod gives the Foundation a special And so they do fund (as they do in the WSF) some projects and programs that are neither spiritual nor religious. But, given the Foundation statement, I suspect they do this to corral famous scientists into their paddock of thoroughbreds, hoping that their glory will illuminate JTF scientific and more religious endeavors.We can see this mixture of science and spirituality and Templeton stable mentality inseveral symposia in this year Templet0n sponsored Ideas Series. Experiencehas taught me that at Templeton sponsored events we likely to find people who are or have been given money by the Foundation. And indeed, a bit of digging shows that all four of the participants fall into this class:Alfred Mele was the sponsor of$4.4 million grant on Free Will canada goose outlet jackets from Templeton running through 2013.Tamar Kushnir issupported by a Templeton grantthat startedin 2015. Her curriculum vitaedescribes the grant:Christof Kochgave three Templeton sponsored lectures on free will at Vanderbilt University in 2007, including one on Consciousness, and Free Will canada goose parka outlet uk (he appears to be a determinist and perhaps a very weak compatibilist).Azim Shariff was also funded by Templeton as a co project leader (from 2012 2014) on the JTF sponsored project, canada goose outlet ottawa Complex Religion Make canada goose factory outlet toronto location Good People? four out of four participants in the Templeton stable. canada goose outlet in vancouver And that par for the course. (The moderator, Emily Senay, appears to have no Templeton connection.) canada goose outlet online uk These participants will likely be handsomely remunerated for their efforts, though I can be sure about that. But what I like to know is this: did Templeton decide or suggest who got to speakat thissymposium? If so, that a canada goose jacket outlet uk severe conflict of interest, compromising the scientific objectivity of such a canada goose shop uk panel. government organizations like the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation fund symposia, working groups, or meetings, the participantsare chosen by scientists, not the funding organizations.If Templeton had no say about who spoke, thenit a remarkable canada goose outlet seattle coincidence that all four participants have received money from the Foundation.My friend Dan Dennett has been a persistent critic of Templeton. Even in hislargely favorable review of Alfred Mele book Free: Why Science Hasn Disproved Free Will in Prospect Magazine, Dan had some choice words about Templeton, suggesting that although Mele work was good, he appears to be a bitcompromisedby his association with the JTF (my emphasis):[I]tis important to note that Mele’s research, as he scrupulously announces, and not canada goose outlet toronto factory in fine print, is supported by the Templeton Foundation. In fact, Mele is the director of a $4.4m project, “Free Will: Empirical and Philosophical Investigations,” funded by the Templeton Foundation, almost certainly the most munificent canada goose outlet legit funding of any philosopher in history. The Templeton Foundation has a stated aim of asking canada goose outlet ontario and answering the “Big Questions,” and its programmes include both science and theology. In fact, yoking its support of science with its support of theology (and “individual freedom and free markets”) is the very core of its strategy. The Templeton Foundation supports, with no strings attached, a great deal of excellent science that is otherwise hard to fund. The Foundation supports theological and ideological explorations as well, and it uses the prestige it garners from its canada goose outlet sale even handed and generous support of non ideological science to bolster the prestige of its ideological forays. It could easily divide itself into two (or three) foundations, with different names, and fund the same research I know, because I challenged a Templeton director on this canada goose outlet store near me score and was told that they could indeed, but would not, do this.Alfred Mele is in an unenviable position, and there is really nothing he can do about it. Was his decision to stay strictly neutral on the compatibilism issue a wise philosophical tactic, permitting him to tackle a more modest project, demonstrating the weakness of the scientific argument to date, or canada goose outlet authentic was it a case of simply postponing the more difficult issue: if, as science seems to show, our decision making is not accomplished canada goose outlet with the help of any quantum magic, do we still canada goose jacket outlet store have a variety of free will that can support morality and responsibility? The Templeton Foundation insists that it is not anti science, and demonstrates this with the bulk of its https://www.canadagooseisverige.com largesse, but it also has an invested interest in keeping science from subverting some of its ideological aspirations, and it just happens that Mele’s work fits handsomely with that goal. And that, as I persist in telling my friends in science whenever they canada goose outlet eu raise the issue, is why I advise them not to get too close to Templeton.See also a post I wrote in 2009, in which both Dan and philosopher Anthony Grayling refused to cooperate with a journalist who canada goose outlet in chicago was working on a Templeton sponsored canada goose outlet canada project on materialism. As Dan wrote to the journalist:The only reason I am replying is to let you know that I disapprove of the Templeton Foundation’s attempt to tie theologians to canada goose outlet online reviews the coat canada goose outlet paypal tails of scientists and philosophers who actually do have expertise on this topic. It is for this reason I don take part in Templeton associatedmatters.So I was saddened to see that not just Dan, but another friend, Steve Pinker, are also participating in another Big Questions symposium,one with woo ish overtones (see update below; Dan has withdrawn):Note the question at hand: we get here through numerous canada goose outlet miami baby steps or in one giant leap? Seriously? One giant leap? This is not Apollo 11, but human evolution we talking about. The question is already answered. According to the email, Dan wasn toldthat Templeton was sponsoring the session, and I consider that both derelict and deliberate:I have just learned of the Templeton Foundation’s funding role in the session I was to be participating in, and I don’t do Templeton funded events, as I canada goose sale uk have often made clear in public and in print. I wish I had been told of this when first invited. It would have saved us both a lot of time and effort. I canada goose outlet store montreal remember all too well the appalling sessions curated by The Templeton Foundation at the Cambridge University Darwin Bicentennial in 2009, which were an embarrassment to science and to Cambridge. I don’t know the extent of the advising or consulting role of the Templeton Foundation in the World Science Foundation’s plans, but since I was not informed from the outset about the Templeton Fundation’s role, I consider this in itself to be more than adequate grounds for declining, at this late date, your kind invitation.I would very much appreciate it if you would forward this email to the other scheduled participants on the panel, and to the people in charge of the book talk session I had scheduled on Saturday afternoon. I apologize to THEM for backing out at this late date, but I made my decision as soon as I had confirmed what I had been told: that the session was one of those sponsored by the Templeton Foundation.Please cancel my hotel reservations and airline tickets.Finally, I want to be even handed here. JTF does sponsor some symposia that do appear to be pure science, but of course that has been the case for some time. Here is one of them from this year WSF: buy canada goose jacket.

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