In the Nation’s recent profile of the Templeton Foundation, I notice that A.C. Grayling and Michael Ruse are quoted. Here’s the relevant passage:
A.C. Grayling, a British philosopher and former columnist for New Scientist magazine . . . accuses the foundation of “borrowing respectability from science for religion.”
These critiques have taken a toll on the Templeton brand. “I don’t think Templeton money is dishonorable, and I have taken it myself,” says Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science at Florida State University. But Ruse expresses relief that his latest book wasn’t funded by any Templeton grants. “The whole business has become so politicized and open to attack by the New Atheists—they would claim that I am just a paid spokesman.”
In other words, Michael Ruse laments New Atheist meddling in his once cozy relationship with the Templeton Foundation: “The whole business has become . . . open to attack by the New Atheists.”
I think that Ruse’s comment provides evidence (at least to my mind) that New Atheist rhetorical strategies are valuable. In this case, they are bringing air and sunlight to a foundational emperor that may have no clothes.