Friday, 8 April 2016

Templeton foundation gets into cultural evolution

The John Templeton Foundation has been funding research into cultural evolution for a while now. Past grant recipients include:

Recent news says Kevin Laland, Andrew Whiten, Richard Watson and others have landed a 8 million dollar Templeton Foundation grant to explore their proposed extended evolutionary synthesis - which includes 'extended inheritance' - one of the topics frequently discussed on this blog.

A Templeton foundation grant also helped to "incubate" the Cultural Evolution Society - as described here.

It's sad times for the field if researchers are reduced to taking Templeton Foundation money. Scientists getting involved with the Templeton Foundation seems as though it is generally bad news. It legitimizes the Foundation's theistic efforts - and tends to produce junk science, like the 2010 Templeton-funded Nowak, Wilson and Tarnita debacle. Of course scientists can choose to accept any source of grant money, but perhaps at the expense of their reputations.

Here's commentary from David Sloane Wilson, Jerry Coyne and Larry Moran.

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