Good on him: Dan Dennett has pulled out of the World Science Festival because they’re sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, a very good reason.
“I would be very happy to have the Templeton Foundation sponsor research on religion and science,” he said in a phone interview from Spain, where he is lecturing. “But what they are doing now is sponsoring some very fine science with no strings attached and then using their sponsorship of that to try and win prestige for other projects that are not in the same league.”
He pointed specifically to the Darwin Festival held in Cambridge, England, in 2009, which was also funded in part by Templeton. He wrote that some of the presentations there were “full of earnest gobbledegook.”
We wouldn’t respect an astronomer who went to an event promoting astrology; no biologist is going to help a creationist get his message out; a doctor speaking for homeopathy is going to be instantly discredited. Templeton shouldn’t be given a pass, either, simply because they dress up their daft religious message with a pseudoscientific false front.
And what’s wrong with the World Science Festival, anyway? Are they so desperate for money that they’d sell out to the god-botherers? If Answers in Genesis offered support, would they take it?