Science and Religion in harmony

Templeton-funded essay competition on ‘The Dialogue Between Science & Religion’

Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology will award two prizes to original essays on the compatibility of science and religion – a best essay prize of $10,000, and a $5,000 runner-up prize – and up to five honorable mentions, each with a $500 prize.

The two winning essays will be published in the fall 2017 issues of both magazines; honorable mentions will also be considered for publication in one or both magazines and/or online.

The competition, part of a larger effort to facilitate dialogue between science and religion – the TWP Science & Religion project of Arizona State University – is seeking original narratives illustrating and exploring the relationships, tensions, and harmonies between science and religion.

“Above all, we are looking for narratives – true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice – that provide a nuanced, thoughtful consideration of the complex interplay and unexplored interdependencies and synergies between science and religion.”

TWP Science & Religion is made possible through a $871,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

I am a big fan of the John Templeton Foundation’s work, and the harmony between science and religion is my primary focus, so I will certainly submit an essay. If my essay is not selected, I will publish it elsewhere or keep it for my book. I wish to encourage all readers to support this initiative and submit essays – if your essay is not selected, you will probably publish it elsewhere (for example, you are are welcome to submit it for publication in the Turing Church magazine) for readers to enjoy.

The prizes are big enough to motivate many good writers to make their best effort to write a good, insightful, and inspiring essay. Regardless of who wins the prize, most essays will be out on the internet for us all to enjoy. Some essays could go viral and have an impact, and perhaps make a positive change in the life of a few readers. Which then will go out and create more positive change…

This will be the important effect of the competition. With only $17,500, the initiative will create a wave of positive change. This is what I call money well spent.

The fun thing is that I found this via a Google search on totally unrelated things, and none of my search keywords apply. Serendipity? Or should I take it as a small encouragement from God, hidden with full plausible deniability in a Google search glitch? You never know.

The post I stumbled upon is this, which links to this, which links to this.

These posts are written by militant atheists who don’t like the Templeton Foundation (the first, written by a respected physicist, makes some effort at objectivity). One gets the impression that the Templeton Foundation should be demonized for funding this essay competition and scientific research projects like the Physics of the Observer and Emergent Gravity.

A quick reality check for militant atheists: the Templeton Foundation is a private foundation that has been established with private money to promote harmony between science and religion, and that’s what they do, and they do it well. Just live with it.

What really enrages the militant atheists, is that the Templeton Foundation works well and makes an impact.

Advice to militant atheists: 1) Make a lot of money like Sir John Templeton (difficult) and establish a foundation to promote your agenda; 2) Hire smart, hard working people who will advance the foundation’s agenda instead of pocketing the foundation’s money (also difficult).

Science and Religion in harmony
Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890) (Credit: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Happy about this. Thank you.

  • spud100

    The Templeton Foundation also is entangled with the FQXI, the foundational questions institute, which hosts a few lectures. Just out today, Max Tegmark discusses measuring consciousness in a lab, for example.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Templeton funding enables the FQXi to do very important research and outreach work on key issues in fundamental physics, including topics that are poorly funded from other public or private bodies. Both Templeton and the FQXi should be praised for that, regardless of petty jealousies and philosophical differences.

      • spud100

        Petty jealousies and philosophical differences? Amongst physicists? Unthinkable. ;-) Here is what I have long, thought. Physicists need a goal, astronomers need a goal, biologists have steadily worked on goals as in medicine, chemists, engineers of course, but the ethereal scientists need a goal.

        “Ah! The Glories of the stars!” The stars don’t car whether we or our grandchildren live or die. So based on Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, we need them to ‘produce’ for the rest of us. They need to be harnessed to perform ‘applied sciences,’ to our species betterment.

        The selling of such goals, popularizing is where the Singularitarians can step in, the Transhumanists. This is my sense of things from a currently unhappy America (not everyone!).

        By the way, since you are a sci fi fan, there was a short story in Analog from Jan/Feb edition 2016, which is from aerospace engineer and writer Wil McCarthy. The story is called Wyatt Earp 2.0, and is a great, mentally entertaining continuation of “Fax teleportation” future 6 centuries from now. There is also The Medusa Chronicles from writers Stephen Baxter and Alistair Reynolds, writing an extenuation of a novella from Arthur C. Clarke, that I read decades ago (1970) about a dirigible voyage in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Very nice, and touches (not altogether well) about life extension. I gave it 5 stars on Amazon, anyway.

        from the States

  • magnus


    Religion and science …kind of co-workers.

    Sometimes, science is boring, for example “how to make the employes work harder without getting more money”, “how to brainwash another generation of young minds” and so on. ( I think such thing are beeing done)

    Sometimes religion is also boring “Did God read my thoughts when I saw the lady? Will SHE punish me?”

    We know this parts.

    The good for me in religion is to ask the question wheter man can live again, and this time much longer. The good part in science, for me, is to try to make this real.

    I think one can take one step away from the religion, and then stop and take a look at it from above, asking “What is it actually about?”

    Someday, I will share a declaration I almost finished (but it will still take some time because of everyday stuff) for comments to get the language work. Then I will invite translators. I think it should be translated to russian, german , japanese and arabic.
    It would be nice with a translation to Klingon. I let the software work and ask a skilled trekkie about the result, or maybe Marc Okrand himself…

    By the way, my way into transhumanism/cosmism/immortalism was also kind of hard for me to track. I tryed to track it a few times, but, no… There are interesting coincidences.

    Regards from the sinking ship called Sweden.

    • Giulio Prisco

      I look forward to reading your declaration!