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Ocean
03-25-2010, 07:39 PM
I just received this news (http://notes.nap.edu/2010/03/25/francisco-j-ayala-awarded-2010-templeton-prize/?utm_medium=etmail&utm_source=National+Academies+Press&utm_campaign=NAP+mail+CB+02.25.10+-+energy&utm_content=web&utm_term) ( I subscribe to NAP communications).

I'll be looking forward to other commenters' thoughts on this.

bjkeefe
03-25-2010, 08:04 PM
I just received this news (http://notes.nap.edu/2010/03/25/francisco-j-ayala-awarded-2010-templeton-prize/?utm_medium=etmail&utm_source=National+Academies+Press&utm_campaign=NAP+mail+CB+02.25.10+-+energy&utm_content=web&utm_term) ( I subscribe to NAP communications).

I'll be looking forward to other commenters' thoughts on this.

Especially given that Ayala used to be a priest (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/science/26templeton.html), I view this mostly as a positive. I was reminded when reading the above of Georges Lemaître (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre).

I am not really happy with the TF's efforts most of the time, as you know, but I do think one productive intermediate step to be pursued in the further maturing of humanity is to convince people that they needn't give up all of their religious beliefs in one fell swoop to accept scientific explanations for natural phenomena.

Ocean
03-25-2010, 08:17 PM
Especially given that Ayala used to be a priest (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/science/26templeton.html), I view this mostly as a positive. I was reminded when reading the above of Georges Lemaître (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre).

I am not really happy with the TF's efforts most of the time, as you know, but I do think one productive intermediate step to be pursued in the further maturing of humanity is to convince people that they needn't give up all of their religious beliefs in one fell swoop to accept scientific explanations for natural phenomena.

There are two very important pieces from the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism:

The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes.

Mindful of school board battles and recent court decisions, Science, Evolution, and Creationism shows that science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith.

As you said, it may be an intermediate step only, but certainly a very important one in order to advance the scientific framework among the more entrenched religious groups who see incompatibility between the two.

Wonderment
03-25-2010, 09:17 PM
What about Bob? :(

At first glance Ayala seems to be a bad choice. His main claim to fame is that he's a Catholic priest who finds evolution compatible with religion. Why is that even a big deal within Catholicism? I thought the Pope was all cool with Galileo, Darwin and the Big Bang now.

Of course I don't dispute Brendan's idea that "one productive intermediate step to be pursued in the further maturing of humanity is to convince people that they needn't give up all of their religious beliefs in one fell swoop to accept scientific explanations for natural phenomena," but that still seems like a trivial point to be making. And since when is the purpose of the TP didactic? Is it just about weaning believers from literalism?

Bob is way more worthy of the prize because his books -- like those of former nun Karen Armstrong -- are thought-provoking for both religious and secular readers. Also, Bob has creatively applied his philosophy to current political conflicts (see his most recent "Against 'Pro-Israel'" (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/against-pro-israel/?src=me) in the NYT, among many other brilliant commentaries on secular/religious affairs.)

Peter Singer is another thinker I'd love to see get this award, but they'd never give it to him because he's an out-of-the-closet atheist.

Ocean
03-25-2010, 09:28 PM
What about Bob? :(


Yes, what about Bob?

;)

At first glance Ayala seems to be a bad choice. His main claim to fame is that he's a Catholic priest who finds evolution compatible with religion. Why is that even a big deal within Catholicism? I thought the Pope was all cool with Galileo, Darwin and the Big Bang now.

Of course I don't dispute Brendan's idea that "one productive intermediate step to be pursued in the further maturing of humanity is to convince people that they needn't give up all of their religious beliefs in one fell swoop to accept scientific explanations for natural phenomena," but that still seems like a trivial point to be making. And since when is the purpose of the TP didactic? Is it just about weaning believers from literalism?

I don't know what the TP has in mind, but certainly weaning believers from literalism appears to be a much needed task, especially in the U.S.

Bob is way more worthy of the prize because his books -- like those of former nun Karen Armstrong -- are thought-provoking for both religious and secular readers. Also, Bob has creatively applied his philosophy to current political conflicts (see his most recent "Against 'Pro-Israel'" (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/against-pro-israel/?src=me) in the NYT, among many other brilliant commentaries on secular/religious affairs.)

Boy, Bob got a fan! Is that due to the Aryeh award you just got?

Peter Singer is another thinker I'd love to see get this award, but they'd never give it to him because he's an out-of-the-closet atheist.

OK, OK, you have my permission to nominate Bob and Peter for next year. What else?

Wonderment
03-25-2010, 09:32 PM
Boy, Bob got a fan! Is that due to the Aryeh award you just got?

No. I am nominating Aryeh for a Nobel Peace Prize. Separate issue entirely.

Ocean
03-25-2010, 09:38 PM
No. I am nominating Aryeh for a Nobel Peace Prize. Separate issue entirely.

How about a Nobel Patience Prize?

Wonderment
03-25-2010, 10:02 PM
How about a Nobel Patience Prize?

I am nominating myself for reading the instruction manual for my new camera. How am I doing?

Ocean
03-25-2010, 10:05 PM
I am nominating myself for reading the instruction manual for my new camera. How am I doing?

Wonderfully!

bjkeefe
03-25-2010, 10:23 PM
What about Bob? :(

For all that we militant atheists grumble about his being an mystic and/or an accommodationist, I suspect the TF does not love Bob's views of religion as a human-made thing that evolves, and does so largely in response to market forces, social pressures, individuals' pushes, etc.

At first glance Ayala seems to be a bad choice. His main claim to fame is that he's a Catholic priest who finds evolution compatible with religion. Why is that even a big deal within Catholicism? I thought the Pope was all cool with Galileo, Darwin and the Big Bang now.

As I understand the TF, they care very little what the Pope or any of the official Catholic Church thinks. They are Protestants, historically, and still. And, if you take them at their word, they're all about blending religion and science harmoniously. From the two articles I've read about Ayala, it would appear he tries to do just that.

Bob is way more worthy of the prize ...

Actually, word 'round the campfire is he was first on their list. But he told them he was making way more money with Bh.tv, so they could take their measly $1.5 mill and give it to someone else.

. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif)

Ocean
03-25-2010, 10:27 PM
Actually, word 'round the campfire is he was first on their list. But he told them he was making way more money with Bh.tv, so they could take their measly $1.5 mill and give it to someone else.

. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif)

Yes, I agree. Besides, he may have told them that he didn't want to ruin the prospects of getting Sean, Carl and PZ back!

bjkeefe
03-25-2010, 10:40 PM
Yes, I agree. Besides, he may have told them that he didn't want to ruin the prospects of getting Sean, Carl and PZ back!

LOL! Good point. He definitely has a strong pitch to get them back now!