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Templeton Report: 2015

The Templeton Report is a twice monthly electronic newsletter featuring items on current research, initiatives, and events supported by the Foundation. The Templeton Report is available online and by email subscription.

August 20, 2015

Evolution and Faith in Harmony at BioLogos Conference

Photo: Evolution and Faith in Harmony at BioLogos Conference

Are the biological sciences and religion in perpetual conflict with one another? Not necessarily, some believe, although the question remains a challenging one. Yet, this did not stop over 400 people who gathered to explore and discuss the topic in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and online from June 30-July 2 for the Evolution and Christian Faith Conference, the culmination of a 3-year program supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

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August 6, 2015

New Discovery Raises Big Question of Life’s Cosmic Uniqueness

Photo: New Discovery Raises Big Question of Life’s Cosmic Uniqueness

An important new discovery has been announced by a team of astrophysicists based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), through work funded by the John Templeton Foundation’s Alien Earths Initiative. The CfA is a major partner with the Geneva Observatory and the researchers have found the closest known exoplanet to Earth that transits its star. The discovery could lead to new breakthroughs in advancing one of the most profound big questions: does life exist elsewhere in the universe?

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July 22, 2015

Heather Templeton Dill Appointed President of the John Templeton Foundation

Photo: Heather Templeton Dill Appointed President of the John Templeton Foundation

Heather Templeton Dill, daughter of the late Dr. Jack Templeton and granddaughter of the late Sir John Templeton, has been appointed president of the John Templeton Foundation by the board of trustees.

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June 25, 2015

Hudson Institute Publishes First Study on Philanthropic Freedom

Photo: Hudson Institute Publishes First Study on Philanthropic Freedom

After measuring, ranking, and comparing countries on their ease of giving, the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (CGP) argues in a new study that developed countries do not necessarily have the most conducive laws and regulations on philanthropy. The Index of Philanthropic Freedom 2015, supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, shows that over a third of surveyed countries with low per capita income (less than $25,000) earned philanthropic freedom scores in the top half of the study.

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June 11, 2015

2015 World Science Festival Explores the Big Ideas

Photo: 2015 World Science Festival Explores the Big Ideas

This year marks the centenary of Einstein’s discovery of the general theory of relativity, an anniversary that was celebrated at the 2015 World Science Festival. The debates, talks, and presentations that were held in New York City from May 27-May 31, which can now be viewed online, opened with a sound and light spectacular. Professor Brian Greene, who serves as chairman of the festival board, deployed special effects and orchestral music to open up the mysteries of Einstein’s insight to a sold-out audience.

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May 28, 2015

In Memoriam: Dr. Jack Templeton, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation

Photo: In Memoriam: Dr. Jack Templeton, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation

John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D., the president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation and formerly a pediatric surgeon and director of the trauma program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, died on Saturday, May 16 at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He was 75 years old.

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May 14, 2015

Liberty Bell Rings for Winners of SELMA Speech and Essay Contest

Photo: Liberty Bell Rings for Winners of SELMA Speech and Essay Contest

The winners of the National Liberty Museum’s SELMA Speech and Essay Contest, supported by the John Templeton Foundation in partnership with Paramount Pictures, were announced on April 21, 2015. In the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the Selma march, the top prize was awarded jointly to two teens, who each received the $5,000 Grand Prize at a ceremony in Philadelphia.

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April 30, 2015

Lessons in Resilience, from a Navy SEAL

Photo: Lessons in Resilience, from a Navy SEAL

Eric Greitens begins his new book, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, with a powerful story. Greitens, a Navy SEAL, was contacted by a fellow combat veteran who was facing a personal crisis and reached out to Greitens, seeking some kind of help. In a series of letters, twenty-three of which make up the book, Greitens drew on his research, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, which centers on the development of resilient moral character.

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April 9, 2015

Research Projects Key Changes in Global Religion by 2050

Photo: Research Projects Key Changes in Global Religion by 2050

By 2050, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims around the world is projected to nearly equal the number of Christians. Over the same period, the number of atheists, agnostics, and other people who do not affiliate with any religion—though increasing in countries such as the United States and France—will make up a declining share of the world’s total population. These are two of the key findings in a major new report, The Future of Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, from the nonpartisan think tank Pew Research Center.

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March 19, 2015

Jean Vanier Wins 2015 Templeton Prize

Photo: Jean Vanier Wins 2015 Templeton Prize

The 2015 Templeton Prize has been awarded to Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a revolutionary network of communities in which people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. Vanier embodies the three key qualities celebrated by the award, explained Jennifer Simpson, the granddaughter of Sir John Templeton, when the announcement was made at the British Academy in London on March 11: he is an entrepreneur of the spirit whose accomplishments include insight, discovery, and practical works.

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February 26, 2015

Aging and Retelling the Story of Our Lives

Photo: Aging and Retelling the Story of Our Lives

We are living longer. By some estimates, two thirds of the humans who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive today. So what is the purpose of a longer life? The Milken Institute, with support from the John Templeton Foundation, convened a group of experts at the Successful Aging Innovation Summit to discuss the way society views aging, to understand the connection between successful aging and beneficial purpose, and to consider a call to action.

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February 11, 2015

Remembering the Energetic Contributions of Templeton Prize Winner Charles Townes, 1915-2015

Photo: Remembering the Energetic Contributions of Templeton Prize Winner Charles Townes, 1915-2015

Charles Townes, the Nobel laureate best known for his work on the invention of the laser, died on January 27, 2015 at the age of 99. “Wonderful things in both science and religion come from our efforts based on observations, thoughtful assumptions, faith, and logic,” he explained when he received the Templeton Prize in 2005 for his contribution in the field of science and religion. “I feel very humble at being thought to have contributed to such critically important fields as spirituality and the purpose of life.”

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January 22, 2015

A Science of Spirituality for the 21st Century

Photo: A Science of Spirituality for the 21st Century

A new report from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) in London, titled “Spiritualize: revitalizing spirituality to address 21st century challenges,” gathers together the research of an extensive two-year project, “Spirituality, Tools of the Mind, and the Social Brain,” funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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