Excerpts from WEIT (and don’t forget to check out the comments):
So you’re an organization whose mission is to blur the lines between faith and science, and you have huge wads of cash to do this. What’s the best strategy?
The Temple Foundation is wily, but they’re not exactly honest. Look at this:
After decades during which leading voices from science and religion viewed each other with suspicion and little sense of how the two areas might relate, recent years have brought an active pursuit of understanding how science may deepen theological awareness, for example, or how religious traditions might illuminate the scientific realm. Fellowship organizers note that rigorous journalistic examination of the region where science and theology overlap – as well as understanding the reasoning of many who assert the two disciplines are without common ground – can effectively promote a deeper understanding of the emerging dialogue.
Now if you’re interested in seeing how science and religion “illuminate” one another, what’s the first thing you think of? How about this: is there any empirical truth in the claims of faith? After all, if you’re trying to “reconcile” two areas of thought, and look at their interactions, surely you’d be interested if there’s any empirical truth in them. After all, why “reconcile” two areas if one of them might be only baseless superstition? Is the evidence for God as strong as it is for evolution? Does the “fine-tuning” of physical constants prove Jesus? Was the evolution of humans inevitable, thereby showing that we were part of God’s plan?
These journalism fellowships are nothing more than a bribe—a bribe to get journalists to favor a certain point of view. The Foundation’s success at recruiting reputable candidates proves one thing: it doesn’t cost much to buy a journalist’s integrity. Fifteen thousand bucks, a “book allowance,” and a fancy title will do it.