Monday, May 05, 2008

Does science make belief in God obsolete? Part 1: Templeton Foundation ad in New Scientist

The Templeton Foundation, the group that awards the annual Templeton Prize has placed a one page ad in New Scientist (26 April 2008 issue). The Templeton Prize was first awarded in 1973 and monetary amount is adjusted to always be slightly higher than the Nobel Prize. In 2008 the prize was $1.6 million. According to the Foundation, it gives away about $60 million a year in research grants and programs.[3]
The ad asks "Does science make belief in God obsolete?"
Prof. Steven Pinker (psychologist) says "Yes if by science we mean the entire enterprise of secular reason and knowledge (including history and philosophy) ...." Pinker concludes "Science, in the broadest sense, is making belief in God obsolete, and we are the better for it."

Others who answer broadly in the negative in the ad are:- William Phillips (Nobel laureate physicist), Pervez Hondbboy (physicist) and Prof. Jerome Goodman (medicine).

Other scientists answer the question (including some who answer broadly in the affirmative) on the Templeton website and my favourite replies are on our blog here.

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