In what I can only optimistically interpret as a sign of the tide continuing to turn against ID, the Templeton Foundation, an organization dedicated to reconciling the differences between science and religion, has publically distanced itself from the ID movement. Pamela Thompson, the Templeton Foundation's Vice President of Communications, sent the following letter the the LA Times:
"Testing the role of trust and values in financial decisions" (Jan. 21) incorrectly describes the John Templeton Foundation as having been an early supporter of the political movement known as "intelligent design."
We do not believe that the science underpinning the intelligent-design movement is sound, we do not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge, and the foundation is a nonpolitical entity and does not engage in or support political movements.
The foundation has provided tens of millions of dollars in support of research academics who are critical of the anti-evolution intelligent-design position.
For almost a decade, the foundation has been a major supporter of a substantial program of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. One of the program's chief activities has been to inform the public of the weakness of the intelligent-design position on modern evolutionary biology.
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.
The best part is how the Thompson labels the ID movement as a political one and not a scientific one (which is completely correct). I wonder how the ID community will react to this one? I can't wait to see the logical backflips it will take to spin this into a positive.
However, Thompson isn't completely honest in her letter, since Templeton was an early supporter of ID research. Obviously, that research has yet to happen, which explains why Templeton has washed their hands of the whole embarassing fiasco. Read more at Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars.
Now, excuse me while I take part in a science victory jig.