“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind,” Albert Einstein once remarked. But where can the resonances he discerned be found? Can we take the genius of general relativity at his word, in a world often dominated by narratives of conflict between science and religion? Think-Write-Publish Science and Religion, a new project at Arizona State University, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will explore how the two domains describe reality in ways that are mutually reinforcing.
Azhar Aslam, a London-based plastic surgeon originally from Pakistan, developed a remarkable literacy program. He had proved it worked in small pilots of a few dozen children. In just six months, they gained the basics of reading and writing with a couple of hours of teaching each day. By starting small, he came to realize a bigger question: how might the program be scaled up so that it could benefit his country of origin, a place in which illiteracy is correlated with poverty, intolerance, and violence?
The winner of the 2014 Templeton Prize will be announced online tomorrow, Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:30 am EDT. The Prize, which will be formally awarded in London in May, annually honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.
How did Einstein make his breakthroughs? Was the genius of Marie Curie a matter of nature or nurture or both? Leading thinkers will debate, discuss, and illuminate the big question of the nature and origins of genius as part of a festival hosted by 92nd Street Y beginning on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Are we insignificant? Does living on a small planet around an average star leave us lost in the unfathomable vastness of space? Or do our self-conscious minds and complex brains, able to contemplate the vastness from whence we came, actually make us the most noteworthy feature of the cosmos that we know of to date? It’s a set of questions often answered negatively and pessimistically, notes Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT and scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
The human drama of scientific discovery was a focus for Krista Tippett’s recent conversation with physicist Brian Greene, a John Templeton Foundation grantee and co-founder of the World Science Festival. The interview, “Reimagining the Cosmos,” was broadcast on January 30 as an episode of Tippett’s radio show On Being and was sponsored by the Foundation.
How should humanity steer the future? This question is to be addressed in a new essay competition from the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), supported by partial funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
American evangelical practices of prayer can train the mind to experience God, explains Tanya Luhrmann, winner of the 2014 Grawemeyer Award in Religion from the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Luhrmann, a Stanford University psychological anthropologist, received the prize after four years of fieldwork in Chicago and Northern California with Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Her research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.