Nathan Schneider profiles the Templeton Foundation:
John Templeton built a place where the right's hardened partisans, like Dreher and Rosen, can settle down and turn to life's real Big Questions, in peace, for all mankind. But the foundation meanwhile has associated itself with political and religious forces that cause it to be perceived as threatening the integrity of science and protecting the religious status quo. This is quite the reverse of the founder's most alluring hope: a spirituality finally worthy of our scientific achievements. As a result of such alliances, though, the foundation is also better positioned than most to foster a conservatismand a culture generallythat holds the old habits of religions and business responsible to good evidence, while helping scientists better speak to people's deepest concerns.
On issues that range from climatology to stem cells, science has too often taken a back seat to the whims of politics, and Templeton's peculiar vision offers a welcome antidote to that. To live up to this calling, Big Questions are one thing; but the foundation will have to stand up for tough answers, too, as it did when announcing the findings of a major study that intercessory prayer doesn't improve medical outcomes, or when rebuking intelligent design.