Saturday, December 31, 2016


Prometheus stealing fire from Mount Olympus and giving it to humans.

 Zeus' Eternal Punishment of Prometheus
An Eagle Feeding Daily on His Liver
{Eventually Hercules Slays the Eagle, Freeing Prometheus} 

A few of you will recognize his face; many of you will not.  Similarly, some of you will recognize his name while many will not - J. Robert Oppenheimer.  You can hear an interview here.

Given the picayune, punitive and paravanimitous nature of the panjandrum that is Trump and his minions, I think that it is important that everyone, particularly scientists, have an understanding of the story of Oppenheimer.  One of the best ways to do this is to read American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer, or, since it is a lengthy tome, at least read some of the reviews, one linked above the picture and others at Amazon, such as this:

"In American Prometheus, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin delve deep into J. Robert Oppenheimer's life and deliver a thorough and devastatingly sad biography of the man whose very name has come to represent the culmination of 20th century physics and the irrevocable soiling of science by governments eager to exploit its products. Rich in historical detail and personal narratives, the book paints a picture of Oppenheimer as both a controlling force and victim of the mechanisms of power. 

By the time the story reaches Oppenheimer's fateful Manhattan Project work, readers have been swept along much as the project's young physicists were by fate and enormous pressure. The authors allow the scientists to speak for themselves about their reactions to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, avoiding any sort of preacherly tone while revealing the utter, horrible ambiguity of the situation. For instance, Oppenheimer wrote in a letter to a friend, "The thing had to be done," then, "Circumstances are heavy with misgiving." 

Many biographies of Oppenheimer end here, with the seeds of his later pacifism sown and the dangers of mixing science with politics clearly outlined. But Bird and Sherwin devote the second half of this hefty book to what happened to Oppenheimer after the bomb. For a short time, he was lionized as the ultimate patriot by a victorious nation, but things soured as the Cold War crept forward and anti-communist witchhunts focused paranoia and anti-Semitism onto Oppenheimer, destroying his career and disillusioning him about his life's work. Devastated by the atom bomb's legacy of fear, he became a vocal and passionate opponent of the Strangelovian madness that gripped the world because of the weapons he helped develop.

The coming administration includes folks who believe among other things, that global warming is a hoax, that creationism is equally as valid as evolution, that science is biased, that public education should be dismantled, and that billionaires know best.  Such moral, ethical and intellectual vacuity coupled with militaristic jingoism and not-so-veiled threats that dissidents should 'watch what they say', should give pause to us all.  Sadly, it won't.  Nevertheless, we should be ready to speak out against a return to the days of Joe McCarthy, when the government could destroy via innuendo and accusation.  If they can do it to Oppenheimer, who I believe was more patriotic than any of the Make America Great Again crowd, they can do it to anyone.  So, my challenge to you is to read American Prometheus, and ponder if we are going to see a repeat of the Tragedy portion of Oppy's story. The Tragedy portion is summarized very well by a quote from Erwin Chargaff:

 "That in our day such pygmies throw such giant shadows only shows how late in the day it has become."

It is not surprising that a man of such great intellect would have Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles as his funeral music.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


The Goshen (IN) News recently published a nice glossy magazine - 50 IN 50 - CELEBRATING 50 OUTSTANDING ATHLETES.  A panel of sports writers compiled the list of 50 of the top athletic performers of the last 50 years in Elkhart County.  Naturally, they had a hard time deciding who was on the list and who was not, but I do not think that they had too much to discuss when it came to including my New Paris High School classmate, teammate, and long time friend, Phil Weybright.

A Young Phil in High School Days 

I cannot find a copy of the 50 In 50 magazine on line, so I reproduce below what panelist Stu Swartz wrote about Phil:

A basketball legend at the New Paris Cubs and Argos Dragons - Phil Weybright dedicated his coaching career to creating memorable experiences for his players.

Weybright graduated from New Paris High School in 1964 [enrollment 237] and coached basketball for 14 years at Argos [enrollment 247].

Weybright started 69 consecutive games for the New Paris Cubs and finished as the school's career scoring leader with 831 points.

The Cubs, coached by Jim Hettler, were 60-9 in those three seasons with two Elkhart County small-school tournament championships.

After graduating from Manchester College, Weybright became a teacher and coach at Argos in Marshall County.

He had a 227-94 record in 13 seasons, capped by a 132-17 mark over a six-year stretch from 1976-82.

The Dragons enjoyed a state-record 76-game regular season winning streak, won four consecutive sectional titles and capped it off with a single-class Final Four appearance in 1979.

Key Argos players that winter were Bill O'Dell, Doug Jennings, Mark Malone, Dave Calhoun, Don O'Dell, Mike Scheetz and Rich Tuttle.

The long Argos winning streak ended December 17,1981 with a loss to John Glenn High School.
Weybright told Bob Williams, author of Hoosier Hysteria, "I did not mind losing to Glenn.  Their coach, Jim Waller, is a friend of mine and showed a lot of class."

"It's hard to believe that all this could happen at such a small school.  I'll never forget that experience and I'm sure our players feel the same way."

Weybright often credited playing for Hettler at New Paris as laying the foundation for his career.
He had single-game scoring highs of 20 points as a sophomore against Wakarusa, 18 against Middlebury as a junior and 28 against Concord as a senior.

His Cubs teammates during those three seasons included Everett Maurer, Don Metzler, Chuck Stille, Rich Hoffman, Fred Schrock, Tom Hoffman, Wayne Snider, Lonnie Clem, Keith Hummel, Bob Lundy and Steve Hoffman.  

Weybright is an inductee of the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame and the gymnasium at Argos High School is named in his honor.

Phil During His Coaching Years at Argos [back, right]

Kudos Phil!

I should add that the 50 IN 50 magazine was mailed to me by my aunt Anna Belle Emmert.  My late uncle Red was a mainstay at the scorer's table at the New Paris High School basketball games.  Red, Paul T, also signed many of our draft cards since he was a member of the county's draft board.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016


Seventy five years ago, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor lead to Roosevelt's speech the following day which included the historical quote "A date which will live in infamy."  Story, video and transcript here.

However, what I want to focus on today is Camp Amache.

The camp, also known as the Granada War Relocation Center, was located a few miles to the southwest of the small community of Granada in the southeastern plains of Colorado on US 50 between Lamar and Holly.  The links above provide ample information about the camp, but I want to highlight two recent articles in the Denver Post related to the camp.
Granada Students

You can read the first article, by Kevin Simpson, here.  It tells the story of one teacher, John Hopper, who has worked with his students for 20 years to keep the memories of the camp alive.  “I think it’s important that the younger generation understands what happened,” Hopper says of what’s now regarded as a dark period of American history, “so it doesn’t happen again.”  What started as an exercise in living history has expanded into preservation and restoration of the site, collection of artifacts from the camp, and recording personal stories of the Japanese-Americans who were held there.  After reading this story, we have put this internment camp on our to-do list.
 Governor Carr

The second article, by Jesse Paul, can be read here.  It is the story of Colorado Governor Ralph Carr who both accepted the directive of President Roosevelt to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps as well as demanding and insuring that the camp residents would be treated with respect and dignity.  Carr was pretty much a lone voice at the time - “If you harm them,” the Republican said in 1942, “you must first harm me” - and it likely cost him what was considered to be a very promising political career.

Personal note - December 7th, 1941, was a Sunday, and my parents along with their 6-month old daughter were having noon-time dinner with relatives in Pigeon, Michigan, when the news of the attack came on the radio.  My mother vividly remembers the dark feeling that she had, thinking that she might soon be left alone without a husband and father for Kay.  As it turned out, dad got an agricultural deferment for the durance of the war as did many in the farming community.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


November 22 - a day that many of us will distinctly remember for the rest of our lives.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016


Most of you know that former Attorney General and first female AG Janet Reno recently died.  Here is a nice write-up from the New York Times.  However, some of the funniest memories of Reno are the sketches on Saturday Night Live with Will Farrell as Reno.   Here is a link to 8 sketches.

I could not locate the sketch in which Reno herself busts through the wall as Farrell usually did.  Reno was a tall woman and thus she and Farrell saw nearly eye to eye, so to speak!  Farrel is 6'3" and Reno, 6'1".  Be sure to watch the Reno Talks Tough at Clinton Press Conference - still makes me laugh!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Baseball season's underway
Well, you'd better get ready for a brand new day
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

They're singing
Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

They got the power
They got the speed
To be the best in the National League

Well this is the year
And the Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field

(We're singing, now)
Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Baseball time is here again
You can catch it all on WGN
So stamp your feet and clap your hands
Chicago Cubs have got the greatest fans

(Keep on singing, now)
Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

(Let's go!)
Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

(Take charge!)
Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?

How about it - let's sing it one more time tonight!!  C'mon!!

Win it for Steve

Friday, October 28, 2016


At one of our recent Tuesday evening gatherings for playing basketball in Nederland, the talk of the town was "Did you hear about the bomb?"  We did not know if it was a hoax or for real, but it turned out to be very much the latter.  Fortunately the bomber was incapable of setting it off.  Here is the detailed Denver Post report of the whole story which dates back to a grudge that began in 1971:

A Nederland marshal murdered a man’s friend in 1971. Two weeks ago, the man allegedly planted a bomb to avenge the death. 

An old STP sticker, the memory of a cap-gun-toting hippie, a rogue marshal and a 45-year-old grudge all came together earlier this month in a bizarre event that shook the small mountain town of Nederland.

Forty-five years after former Nederland Marshal Renner Forbes killed Guy “Deputy Dawg” Gaughnor, who he considered a nuisance, and then dumped his body near a gold mine shaft, the victim’s friend is accused of seeking vengeance by trying to blow up the Nederland police station, sources familiar with the investigation say.

They say that on Oct. 11, David Ansberry, 64, left a backpack containing an improvised explosive device in a village shopping center where the small police station sits beneath a massage and acupuncture parlor.

They say he allegedly tried — using a prepaid cellphone — but failed 11 times to set off the bomb in an event that would have killed bystanders who likely knew nothing about the 1971 execution of his 19-year-old buddy, Gaughnor.

By then, Forbes had been in his grave for 15 years.

Ansberry, of San Rafael, Calif., now faces a federal charge of attempted malicious destruction of a business following his arrest in Chicago days after the bombing attempt. A source said that state and federal investigators are “100 percent” certain that Ansberry planted the bomb to avenge Deputy Dawg’s death. The official spoke in confidence because they were not authorized to release the information.

 Nederland resident Richard "Rick" Bertschinger, right, talks about members of the STP family from the 1970's as he smokes a cigarette outside of Pioneer Inn in Nederland on October 20, 2016 in Nederland, Colorado. The Nederland Marshal's office is helping the FBI to continue its investigation of the recent bomb that was discovered outside of their offices . David Michael Ansberry, 64, the California man suspected of leaving the homemade explosive outside the police station, was associated with the STP family. One of the law enforcement officials said the device was designed to be remotely detonated using a cellphone but failed.
Photo - Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
Nederland resident Richard “Rick” Bertschinger, right, talks about members of the STP family from the 1970’s as he smokes a cigarette outside of Pioneer Inn in Nederland on October 20, 2016 in Nederland, Colorado. The Nederland Marshal’s office is helping the FBI to continue its investigation of the recent bomb that was discovered outside of their offices . David Michael Ansberry, 64, the California man suspected of leaving the homemade explosive outside the police station, was associated with the STP family. One of the law enforcement officials said the device was designed to be remotely detonated using a cellphone but failed.
An STP oil sticker with a note scrawled on it and stuck to the front window of The Laundry Room, a laundromat about 20 feet to the right of the police station, was a telling clue, the source said.

When asked last week about the sticker and its significance, Boulder County Undersheriff Kirk Long shook his head in disgust.


Unwelcome newcomers


The STP sticker was the adopted symbol of an edgy, hygienically challenged group of hippies called the STP Family, who migrated in Volkswagen vans painted with flowers from New York City and San Francisco. The newcomers, reviled by miners living at the time in the Rockies, invaded the mountain town 16 miles west of Boulder in the late 1960s and early 1970s during an era of anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, “free love” lasciviousness and unfettered use of hallucinogenic drugs.

“They were openly defiant, argumentative and intentionally antagonistic,” Long said. “They would panhandle aggressively and steal. They were constantly in trouble. They had lice. When we arrested them, jail deputies would hose them down.”

Some say the STP Family name originated from a potent hallucinogenic drug they preferred called STP. Others say it was related to the zodiac signs of the group’s three founders: Sagittarius, Taurus and Pisces. Not so, said Long, who arrested Gaughnor and scores of STP members in Boulder County in the early 1970s. Members told Long the acronym really stood for Serenity, Tranquility and Peace.

“This bombing really brought back memories,” said a bearded, long-haired Richard “Rick” Bertschinger, 67, a retired construction worker who lives in a motor home with friends.

Thursday morning, Bertschinger was sitting on a stool at the Pioneer Inn, a bar that once featured rock-and-roll upstarts like future legend Dan Fogelberg, who was staying at the nearby Caribou Ranch. Bertschinger drank coffee as he reminisced.

“I arrived during the Summer of Love in 1967. There was a lot of peace and free love. It was a great time,” the self-described hippie said. But he didn’t particularly like the STPs. “They were a cult. They gave us hippies a bad name. I thought about throwing a few of them down a mine shaft myself.”
Bertschinger said he would come across their makeshift encampments with tepees constructed with tarps, blankets and sticks in the mountains near Ruby Gulch. He once saw Ansberry, who stands 3-feet-6 and was known by fellow STPs as “Midget Jesse,” panhandling in town. He wore torn clothing and was filthy.

“I didn’t give him any spare change and he was angry and belligerent,” he said.

John Callahan, 70, who now operates the “Carousel of Happiness” in the same shopping center as the police station, said people in Nederland were afraid of the STPs in the early 1970s.
“They called themselves the STP Family. That was very close to the Manson Family,” Callahan said, referring to a communal hippie group led by Charles Manson, who was found guilty of killing seven people including actress Sharon Tate in the summer of 1969. “Many of the STP Family members carried machetes on their belts. The machetes looked heavier than they were. They were emaciated.”
Vigilantes made threats and then carried them out, raiding an STP camp and ripping their tents apart, Denver Post reporters wrote in the early 1970s.

In early 1971, the Nederland City Council hired Forbes, an Air Force pilot who flew an F-86 during the Korean War, as the town marshal. He had a face and temperament like a bulldog, Long said. After a military career in which airmen were well-groomed and disciplined, the disorder caused by drunken miners and lawless hippies tested Forbes’ patience, Long said.

“He was the kind of guy who could clean up the town,” said George Epp, former Boulder County sheriff from 1991 to 2003, who was a deputy and shared a Nederland apartment with Long in the early 1970s.


Multiple arrests


Epp said there was one STP member who was particularly troublesome — Guy Gaughnor. He was a 19-year-old who wore a kid’s gun belt holstered with a cap gun. Epp said he took his nickname from a 1960s cartoon character, “Deputy Dawg.”

Long said he arrested Gaughnor several times for stealing and disruptive behavior. But whenever Forbes, who was the only one in the marshal’s office, had to deal with Gaughnor, he’d have to take him down to Boulder to process him, Epps said. It was a chaotic time and Forbes was run ragged.
On the night of July 17, 1971, Gaughnor was causing a ruckus at the Pioneer Inn.

“He was abusive, antagonistic and hostile. Police work is done at the bad-breath and body-odor distance from criminals,” Undersheriff Long said of Gaughnor’s attitude. “Forbes had a military mind-set. He was direct and sometimes confrontational. One man can only take so much.”

Forbes put Gaughnor in his gold 1969 Plymouth and drove away. It was the last time anyone in Nederland ever saw Gaughnor alive.

About a month later, hunters discovered Gaughnor’s skull near abandoned gold mines just off Oh My God Road, which is 25 miles from Nederland in northeastern Clear Creek County. Long was assigned to investigate the case. The head had only pieces of skin and long strands of hairs. Animals had likely scavenged the body and carried pieces deep in the woods, Long said.

“Even though we only had his head, I had no problem identifying him,” Long said. “He had a distinctive look. He had a missing tooth and one tooth overlapped another one.”

When Long interviewed Forbes twice in the following weeks, Forbes admitted that he had driven Gaughnor to his tepee, but that was the last he saw him. Despite abundant circumstantial evidence, there were no eyewitnesses to the murder and no physical evidence.
Nederland resident Richard "Rick" Bertschinger
Photo - Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
Nederland resident Richard “Rick” Bertschinger talks about members of the STP family from the 1970s at the Pioneer Inn on Oct. 20, 2016 in Nederland. The Nederland Marshal’s office is helping the FBI to continue its investigation of the recent bomb that was discovered outside of their offices. David Michael Ansberry, 64, of California, who has ties with the STP family, is suspected of leaving the homemade explosive outside the police station in the parking lot. A law enforcement official said the device was designed to be remotely detonated using a cellphone but failed. Authorities provided few other details about the bomb or what kind of destruction it might have caused in the town of Nederland. Sitting at the bar with Bertschinger is his friend Donald O’Connell, right.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation forensic experts couldn’t match a bullet taken from Gaughnor’s skull to a .22-caliber pistol he found in Forbes’ house because the slug was too damaged, Long said. It was a thorough, lengthy investigation aimed at Forbes.

“It really didn’t matter that he was Deputy Dawg, the local miscreant,” Long said. “A murder is a murder and you work them all the same.”

Epp said Long was afraid that Forbes might shoot them because of the investigation.
On the last page of his report, Long wrote: “This crime will be solved when Renner Forbes confesses.”


Forbes confesses


Epp recalls the day in 1997 that former Capt. Bill McCaa walked into his office and said, “Hey, George, does the name Renner Forbes ring a bell?”

McCaa had just seen Forbes’ name on the door of a nursing home he was checking out for a relative. Forbes had been living in Kansas and Florida, but had moved back to Colorado. Epp ordered a new investigation.

At first, Forbes, who had severe medical issues including major coronary disease, denied killing Gaughnor during an interview in the nursing home. Sheriff’s investigators drove him to Ruby Gulch, where Forbes claimed he had left Gaughnor 26 years earlier. When Forbes got out of the car, he immediately vomited, Long said.

Forbes soon confessed to shooting Gaughnor and was charged with second-degree murder. Forbes spent a week in jail, which officials resisted because of Forbes’ extremely poor health, Epp said.
“He escaped justice for 26 years, and I thought he should see the inside of a jail despite the complaints of the jailers,” he said.

The charge was reduced to manslaughter and he was sentenced to probation, Epp said. Forbes died three years later.

Another 20 years go by. At 6:17 p.m. on Oct. 3, a little person walked into Dan Harrow’s laundromat just as he was closing the store for the day. Harrow answered the man’s questions patiently about laundry hours and cost of machines even though he was eager to get home and see Monday Night Football.

Harrow said his daughter is also a little person and it’s rare to see little people in Nederland. He noticed that the man was staring at his surveillance cameras.

“He didn’t give me any red flags,” Harrow said. “In hindsight, it’s easy to see what was going on.”

Eight days later, Harrow arrived for work around 8 a.m. and saw an STP oil sticker on his shiny front window. Harrow washes the window every day and his store is immaculate. He immediately peeled it off. On the back of the sticker was a note.

The sticker appeared to be decades old, Harrow said. On the back of the note was writing that blamed a marshal for a murder in the early 1970s. The note also said: “Rest In Peace Deputy Dawg July 17, 1971,” a source said.

That same morning, a Nederland police officer picked up a backpack from the parking lot in front of the station and carried it inside. When he opened the bag, he saw the IED and took the backpack outside. The shopping center was evacuated. Local, county, state and federal law enforcement swarmed the shopping center and began a nationwide manhunt.

After the incident, Harrow recalled the odd sticker he had found that morning and gave it to investigators. The sticker had been left in a corner of the window, out of the range of his surveillance camera.

FBI agents traced the cellphone used as the trigger mechanism to a Black Hawk cellular phone company and then to a King Soopers store. They reviewed video tapes of the King Soopers and identified a small person as the buyer of the cellphone, court records say.
The Nederland Marshal's office
Photo - Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
The Nederland Marshal’s office is helping the FBI to continue its investigation of the recent bomb that was discovered outside of their offices on Oct. 20, 2016 in Nederland. David Michael Ansberry, 64, of California, is suspected of leaving the homemade explosive outside the police station in the parking lot.
When federal agents arrested Ansberry in Chicago, he had the same STP stickers in his possession that were found on Harrow’s window, a source says. Ansberry also admitted that Deputy Dawg had been a close friend in the early 1970s, the source said.

In the early-morning hours of Oct. 17, FBI agents gave Harrow another visit. They showed him a picture of a man and asked him if he recognized the person. When Harrow realized it was a small person, he looked closer and recognized the man who had visited him within the past 10 days.

By 2:30 a.m., he was reviewing his surveillance tapes with the FBI agents and found the video of Ansberry as he stared directly at the camera and spoke with Harrow. FBI agents measured how high the sticker was on the window. It was 44 inches off the ground.
“Low enough for a little person to reach,” Harrow said.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Another h/t [hat tip] to Charlie D for calling attention to Chris Smither - good stuff!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


I am fully supportive a person's right to choose when and how to die when faced with a terminal illness or severely debilitating condition. Thus, I urge any of you Colorado folks to read the proposition and give it your support.

Shall there be a change to the Colorado revised statutes to permit any mentally capable adult Colorado resident who has a medical prognosis of death by terminal illness within six months to receive a prescription from a willing licensed physician for medication that can be self-administered to bring about death; and in connection therewith, requiring two licensed physicians to confirm the medical prognosis, that the terminally-ill patient has received information about other care and treatment options, and that the patient is making a voluntary and informed decision in requesting the medication; requiring evaluation by a licensed mental health professional if either physician believes the patient may not be mentally capable; granting immunity from civil and criminal liability and professional discipline to any person who in good faith assists in providing access to or is present when a patient self-administers the medication; and establishing criminal penalties for persons who knowingly violate statutes relating to the request for the medication?
Read more here.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Most advertisements are so bad that I often tune them out, and if I do listen, often cannot remember what it is they are trying to sell.  Some are repeated so often that they can induce nausea.  However, I have seen this ad many times, and it still makes me chuckle whenever I see it - let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Image result for Bun Ryan pitcher

We lived in Los Alamos, NM from 1974 to 1980. I could not find a basketball group, but there was a fast-pitch softball league in town. With the advent and growth of slow-pitch, fast-pitch was loosing its preeminence in the softball world.  We purists scoffed at slow-pitch, noting that any beer-guzzling lard-butt could play slow-pitch, but fast-pitch required real talent.  Also, it is fairly well accepted that pitchers dominate in fast-pitch, with many games decided by only a run or two.  I made it on to a team with pitcher Tony Lujan, a most excellent pitcher.  However, our league of just six teams had a team with an even better pitcher, Bun Ryan.  I had heard anecdotes about Bun, but never really did any research on his background.  With a couple of outstanding pitchers in my family, Claude and Larry Swartzendruber, I had been given some inside tips on hitting.  Having played a lot of baseball, I was used to seeing curves and sliders, all of which go down.  Good fast-pitch revolves around the rise-ball.  Claude said "Roll over your wrists when you swing and that will raise your bat to the ball."  It works really well.  I think that I hit around .500 in fast pitch, and every time that I got a hit against Bun, he would scowl because he often threw no-hitters.  As will be noted below, he could throw over 100 mph, which is amazing for softball - plus the mound is 30 feet closer than in baseball!!  After each game, Bun was always a gracious gentleman, even on the rare occasions that we would win.

Several folks have written about Bun, so I will just cut and paste here. This is from the Leadville-Lake County Hall of Fame page - Bun was a native of Leadville, and is an inductee:

Bernard Bullet Bun Ryan was known nationally as one of the fastest softball pitchers in the country. He had been clocked throwing a softball faster than 100 miles per hour. Raised in Leadville, Bun was a 1941 graduate of Leadville High School. He started his playing days on Leiter Field during Leadville's infamous fast-pitchdays.

Pitching for the Varsity Cleaners in 1947 and 1948, Bun's team won the district tournament and advanced to the Colorado State tournament both seasons. Bun pitched in about 35 games per year from the age of 18 to the age of 65. He pitched in seven World Softball Tournaments, every State Tournament in New Mexico from 1949 to 1988, and he played in twelve different states.

 He rarely missed the opportunity to return to his hometown to play in the annual tournament in Leadville, where he often pitched for the Silver Dollar Saloon. Bun won numerous MVP awards throughout his career. 

On several occasions, games were called by the ten run rule in the fifth inning when he had struck out all fifteen opponents batters. During the 1951 New Mexico State Tournament, Bun pitched 29 straight innings for the S-Site; he gave up only one run and six single hits. At one time in his career, Bun held the lowest earned run average in the nation.

Perhaps the highlight of Bun's career was serving as the star pitcher of Pierotti's Clowns for 25 years. Known as the "Globetrotters of Softball", the five-man team toured the Rocky Mountain states in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable organizations.

The Clowns were recognized in several magazines, including the very first issue of Sports Illustrated on August 16, 1954. In 2002, the Town of Los Alamos erected a mural as a permanent memorial to the Clowns whom they consider the "Goodwill Ambassadors of Los Alamos".

Bun will forever be known as a life long historian and ambassador of the sport of softball. In 1984, the softball field in Los Alamos was named Bun Ryan Field in his honor. In addition, he is a 1991 New Mexico Softball Hall of Fame inductee. "It all started in the place that will always be my home town." states Bun.

Here is an extensive story about Bun and Pierotti's Clowns from Veterans Today some of which is copied below:

Over 25 years, The Clowns won 177 games and lost only 23. The success of the team was due in part to Bun’s exceptional pitching. During his heydey, “Bullet Bun” was one of the most feared pitchers in the nation. His fastball was clocked at better than 100 mph.

With Pierotti’s Clowns, Bun was nearly unhittable, so much so that Lou Pierotti, the team’s third baseman, and the other players would often be seen throwing dice in the infield to pass the time when batters were struggling to make contact with his pitches.

Bun said in an interview that the team would constantly have to recruit catchers for him. “I changed catchers like socks,” he quipped.

One of the final catchers to try to stop a Ryan fastball was Alan Kirby. Kirby caught for him for two years and said that, even in his 60s, he could fire pitches as hard as anyone, to the point where Kirby had to keep his hand in an ice bucket between innings.

“He was the best teammate you could ever have,” Kirby said. “He was a leader… everybody respected him. Not only our team, but on other teams.” Bun was honored to be named a Los Alamos Living Treasure in 1999.

In September 2014, Bun Ryan passed away. He is now a treasure for the ages and currently — we suspect — greatly “ups the game” on the heavenly Fast-pitch Softball Team. The community and his family, through the tears, celebrate and share our memories of his life… Erica P. Wissinger ]

One of our favorite and beloved residents since 1949, Bun Ryan has passed on to eternity. Known as a “full-blooded Irishman”, he was nicknamed “Bullet Bun” and became famous nationally as one of the fastest softball pitchers in the country, able to throw more than 100 mph.

During his softball career, he pitched in seven World Softball Tournaments; every State Tournament in New Mexico from 1949 to 1988; and played in twelve different states.

Born in Leadville Colorado, Bernard “Bun” Ryan was drafted in the US Army in 1943, serving in Field Artillery during the WWII Pacific campaign; he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service and promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant at the age of 22, something that was a rarity at the time.

In 1945, he was part of an invasion force on the island of Luzon in the Philippines that was occupied by Japan that made significant headway for the Allies before it was halted because the force was getting too near a POW camp that the Army feared would lead to the death of several American prisoners.

Despite his service in the Army, Bun was repulsed by the idea of war. “War is so stupid,” he was quoted in an interview. “Nobody wins. Everybody loses.”

After World War II, Bun returned to Colorado to work at the JC Penney Corporation. He married his wife, Jean, a nurse, and moved to Los Alamos in 1949.

Four years after moving to the small mountain town of Los Alamos, he became a pitcher for Pierrotti’s Clowns, a five-man exhibition all-star fast-pitch team created by Lou Pierotti. Their clown antics, performed during regulation softball games, became a favorite form of entertainment in the community.

Pierotti’s Clowns was featured in six national magazines, including the first issue of Sports Illustrated published in 1954. One of the few games Bun lost as a pitcher with the Clowns came the day Sports Illustrated snapped a photo of him and his teammates for the first edition of the magazine, making the Clowns among the first victims of the SI Curse.

Bun was inducted into the New Mexico Softball Hall of Fame, and the Leadville Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

He was an active member of the Democratic Party, and played a pivotal role in bringing President John F. Kennedy and President Bill Clinton to visit and speak in Los Alamos during their terms. Mr. Ryan was the Democratic candidate for State Representative in 1994.

In retirement, and volunteering as a member of the non-profit Los Alamos Education Group, Bun worked to bring the Army veterans, the Navajo Code Talkers, to a conference in Los Alamos, where the town honored the Code Talkers by officially declaring it as “Los Alamos Navajo Code Talkers Day.”

This occasion ended up being an indelible and dignified community event honoring all WWII veterans — a rediscovery of so many unheralded men and women living among us, who had put their lives on the line in contributing their diverse skills to the American war effort.


If you get knocked down … Get back up

Bun joined Alcoholics Anonymous in February, 1966. He served as a substance abuse counselor and public speaker throughout his life and was dedicated to assisting others on their road to sobriety.

Bun’s son, Michael, related that when he was ten years old, he wasn’t sure if Bun was going to live. “Dad rescued himself from alcoholism, and then spent the rest of his life rescuing other people from alcoholism.”
During the latter part of his career, he received a Distinguished Performance Award from Los Alamos National Laboratory for his work in establishing their Employee Assistance Program — a confidential and structured program which focused on individuals’ recovery from substance abuse.

He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 40 years, from 1949 until his retirement in 1990.
Bun was a published author, having written a book “My Cat-Skills,” which chronicled the adventures of his adopted cat, Big-A-Boy, and donated the proceeds from the sales of the 2009 book to Felines and Friends. Bun was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Ryan. He is survived by his son and daughter and a large and loving extended family. Always a soft touch for animals, Bun requested that any memorial contributions be made to an animal rescue service of the reader’s choice.

Bun in has latter years

Image result for Bun Ryan pitcher

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I recently learned about M. Ward via Charlie D, one of the regulars at Herm's Breakfast Gang gatherings on Saturday mornings at the Sundance in Ned.  Interestingly, the Conejo Valley is not far from where we lived in California.  Learn more about M. Ward here.  Be sure to watch Slow Driving Man.

h/t Charlie D


As I mentioned, Led Zepplin won their court case re this tune - so crank up your speakers and enjoy!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Or maybe the Templeton Tango, or the Templeton Run-Around or the Templeton One Step Forward Two Steps Back. Regardless, this is a rather lengthy account of my interactions with the Templeton Foundation's funding bureaucracy. It was neither particularly pleasant nor fruitful, but it was enlightening. At the time of the saga, thought was given to writing an exposé on the experience but my colleagues and I decided to cool off for a while. Occasionally during the past several years, thought was once again given about writing it up, but I never got around to it. Having recently received some encouragement to put 'pen to paper', here it is. Many of you regulars here may want to hang it up now - this will be fairly long, and like many of my posts, interesting to me and uninteresting to most - thus you have been warned!!

Prologue - this all got started with some fairly random personal associations. Me - [not this guy or this guy] biology professor retired from research and teaching [Los Alamos National Lab, MD Anderson, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs] to enjoy some time on the Southern California beaches; serendipitously employed for several years by Pepperdine University in Malibu. Joe - neighbor in Colorado Springs [not a friendly place to teach or discuss evolution], good friend and colleague; formerly the Director of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, an independent publisher of biology textbooks that make evolution the organizing principle [Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Theodosius Dobzhansky]. Francis - friend and colleague of Joe, mainly via their expertise in genetics and education; high-profile physician/scientist; Francis established BioLogos. Darrel - friend of Francis, initially via the books that they wrote; Francis' The Language of God and Darrel's Coming to Peace with Science. Darrel was a biology professor at Point Loma, and soon became deeply involved with BioLogos, serving as President for several years. Pete was brought in to BioLogos as the resident Biblical Scholar, likely because his edgy scholarship fit fairly well with the concept of theistic evolution/evolutionary creationism. Lastly, a quick overview of our perspectives on Christianity: Me - Marginal Mennonite; Joe - Staunch Ex-Catholic; Francis - adult acceptance of the evangelical Christian faith; Darrel - evangelical Christian in the Nazarene tradition; Pete - hard for me to classify - maybe you can figure it out from his website.
Of course each of these folks has their own opinion regarding the JTF, and thus it should be noted that this narrative is solely mine.


After we all figured out how we knew each other, we decided that perhaps there could be a collaborative project concerning evolution and faith, specifically a project to help evangelical students come to grips with the incontrovertible reality of evolution. The John Templeton Foundation had funded the establishment of BioLogos, and the organization was looking for projects and programs for possible additional funding by the JTF. After considerable discussion, the group decided to focus on the fact that that the vast majority of university biology professors were not well prepared for dealing with students and parents who did not accept evolution because of their young-earth creationist beliefs. Thus, the project would basically assemble easily-accessible resources for faculty to use for directing students to various thoughtful perspectives on science and faith. Title - “Integrating Evolution and Faith: Resources for College Biology Professors”.

Granting agencies often request a pre-proposal to determine if a project fits their funding goals. We did that and were invited to submit a full proposal. In addition to the usual narrative of a project [rationale, scope of work, expected results, etc.], the Foundation required a considerable amount of supporting information such as "Cost Effectiveness," "Theory of Change," "Benchmarks of Success," "Audience and Dissemination Strategies," "Enduring Impact," and a potpourri of additional information that is not a part of the typical NIH or NSF type of proposal. Completion of the proposal took a fair amount of time and effort, but the result was what we believed to be a reasonable three-year project with a total budget of a modest $260,303 to support the part-time efforts of me, Joe, and Darrel, with Francis as a consultant. Because the four of us were at different institutions, we concluded that either Pepperdine or Point Loma would be a reasonable host institution for grant submission. Ultimately we chose Pepperdine, primarily because Darrel's book had caused quite a ruckus at Point Loma, and in fact nearly cost him his job.

As one would expect, the Foundation took several months to complete their internal and external reviews. We received the following correspondence.

Thank you for the opportunity to review your proposal Integrating Evolution and Faith: Resources for College Biology Professors. We have completed the expert review phase of our process. In general, reviewers were supportive of the project. However, before we render a decision, we request your responses to several concerns and constructive comments raised by reviewers. These comments are on the pages to follow and also include a selection of the endorsements.

We would appreciate your response to these comments and look forward to hearing further from you regarding this interesting project. You are welcome to respond with a point-by-point response to each critical or constructive comment (or clusters of comments). Naturally, due to the nature of our review process, we cannot guarantee any particular outcome at this time. But we can say that we remain very interested in this project.

The "Selected Reviewer Comments" were quite detailed. This comment was fairly representative of the positive reviews, some of which explicitly recommended funding:

“My enthusiasm for this idea, which is so clearly explained and thoughtfully conceived, comes from the following aspects of the proposal. First, the authors have identified a genuine need; they have defined it precisely and given the right reasons for its significance. Their analysis of the actual classroom situation, relative to evangelical students, is highly accurate, and they understand one of the important things that needs to be done to help those students be more receptive to evolution. Second, I cannot conceive of people more qualified to carry out this particular plan."

This particular comment was fairly representative of the 'concerns':

"This project is built on a speculation—namely that biology profs are willing to put in efforts to learn how to overcome objections that their students have to learning evolution. Supposedly, if materials are readily available, these profs will learn how to use them and incorporate them into their teaching. I think this speculation is reasonable, but I wish the proposal had something resembling an incentive for these busy profs to take advantage of the new materials."

The group decided that as suggested, we would prepare a point-by-point response to the criticisms and concerns. However, at this juncture, there was a departure from the standard granting process that Joe and I were familiar with, e.g. submit a grant, receive reviews, address concerns, get secondary reviews, receive a funding priority score and wait to see if the score qualifies for funding. Because Francis/Biologos had an established relationship with the JTF, Francis had a chat with Foundation representatives about the proposal and was told that there was great interest in funding the project and that perhaps some of the concerns could be addressed by including some teacher training/incentives. Thus, in addition to preparing a nine-point, four-page response, we included the suggested component, and revised the budget upward to $499,166 for the three year period. This prompted the following response from the JTF:

"We have a few questions about the new elements you added to the project. We are still generally supportive, but have some questions about some of the project changes that you have added in response to the expert reviewer comments."

So - we now had to prepare a Response II to address the added proposal activities and the associated budget increases. We submitted that, and then received this:

Yesterday, the John Templeton Foundation announced some important news about a year-long initiative to restructure our grant-making system, with key changes in our deadlines and calendar. The overarching objective of this initiative is to align our grant-making system more fully with the Foundation’s long-range strategies.

I am writing today to assure you that our restructuring initiative will have no effect on the review of your funding requestor [sic] on our ultimate decision whether to fund this project. The Foundation is still committed to a careful, thorough review of your proposal, including, in most cases, asking experts in the fields related to your request to review the merits of your proposal.

As the time dragged out, Joe wrote:

In the old days, before one received grant scores and decisions via, NSF and NIH sent out rejection letters before grant letters, so no news was good news, at least in the short run. I'm not sure how it works with Templeton. In my experience it's unlikely that any granting agency would put an applicant through two rounds of questions -- program and budget -- and then deny funding.

Joe is seldom wrong. But there was yet another round coming. We had phone conversations with Templeton folks to discuss the project, particularly the budget. We were told that the JTF reorganization and significant fiscal restraints had put our project in the purgatory known as approved but not yet funded, but would be evaluated by a parallel Templeton foundation. Then after more waiting for a response, we received yet another letter requesting that we address five more issues.

The Grants and Programs Committee of the Templeton World Charity Foundation has now discussed your proposal Integrating Evolution and Faith: Resources for College Biology Professors. They have highlighted some addition information that will be very important as they work toward a final decision on the proposal at their next meeting, scheduled for early June.

Joe quipped that this process was certainly a roller coaster experience, but he remained optimistic as did Darrel. I was growing tired of responding, but respond we did, and the nature of the requests meant that the response required a fair amount of work. The JTF letter suggested that we add new components, which affected the budget; three year total was now $699,543. We sent in all of the material and again waited and waited. Then, we got this:

On behalf of the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton World Charities Foundation, thank you for the opportunity to review your request for support of the project entitled, Integrating Evolution and Faith: Resources for College Biology Professors.

After careful consideration and analysis led by our Executive Staff, and ultimately by the Trustees of the Templeton World Charities Foundation, I regret to inform you that we will not be able to fund your proposed project.

The letter went on and on about "why" but I really didn't care what they had to say. I responded with a one word email: Astonishing. Darrel pretty much felt the same. But Joe expressed what I was thinking:

This is among the worst processes I have experienced in more than 30 years of seeking funding from a wide variety of public and private agencies. It reminds me of the old joke about the game-show host who says to the contestant, "For $1M: I'm thinking of a color. What is it?" The contestant responds, "White." The host says, "Actually, I was thinking of an off-white." It seems to me that they don't know what they're doing so far as a coherent review process is concerned. I would be very cautious in applying to the TF again. This was really a pathetic process -- and more than a little offensive. Have a beer for me....

While Joe and I were discussing our interest or lack thereof in assisting Francis, Darrel and Karl with other BioLogos projects, I received this email from the JTF:

Dear Doug,

I would venture to guess that your experience with the Foundation has left a sour taste in your month. This is probably too little, too late, but I do want you to know that as we dive into our restructuring this summer – re-evaluating every aspect about how we receive proposals, review them and communicate decisions – your experience will be one of several case studies guiding our thinking about things we need to improve. As a result, we are committed to making sure that if you choose to pursue grant support from the Foundation in the future, it will be a better experience for you.


Well, ya. Case Study?  More like autopsy.  Feeling obliged to respond, I simply said

I sincerely believe that a unique opportunity was missed, and that the confluence of experience, interest, and expertise presented in the proposal will not pass this way again.

Buscaremos la luz. Buscaremos la paz. Danos nuevos ojos par ver el mundo.


Joe and I were quite certain that we did not want to deal with the JTF, but we did feel that we were still willing to assist BioLogos with projects that supported the teaching of accepted science, particularly evolution, in the context of evangelical Christianity. We knew that would be a tough task, but we might develop some generalized guidance that could help others if we could find ways to convince evangelicals to re-examine their theological positions in the face of scientific facts. We had had a good experience working with Darrel, and felt that we wanted to help him if we could. Francis and Darrel once again had conversations with the presumed Templeton poobahs, and were convinced that the Foundation was very interested in biology education in private Christian high schools and Christian home school settings. Darrel had secured some funding from another foundation, and thus,
with non-Templeton money, BioLogos was able to organize several focus group meetings with Christian school teachers and administrators and with home school-parents. Joe and I agreed to assist.

At the time of these discussions and activities, three significant things were going on. First, it was becoming clear that President Obama was going to nominate Francis to head the NIH. That appointment would necessarily remove the most prominent person at BioLogos [an aside - the JTF apparently has a proclivity for funding high-profile persons/institutions. One well-known person in the science/religion arena told me regarding our initial experience "If you all were from Harvard, or Yale, or Oxford and not Pepperdine, you would likely have been funded."] Second, the leadership of BioLogos was being transferred from Francis to Darrel and Karl. And third, Pete was becoming an integral part of the BioLogos team.

Again, considerable time and effort went in to collecting and organizing the responses of the focus groups, determining the problems that the biology teachers face, and formulating strategies to overcome the barriers to teaching good biology to fundamentalists.

Now - I am going to skip over many of the details of preparing a pre-proposal, a full proposal, reviews and responses, and so on. Just re-read FIRST STEP - FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU and you will understand what went on. Although the total three-year budget for "Curriculum Resources for Biology Education at Christian Schools"was $1,133,100, the JTF's underlying concerns were not about the dollars.  A confounding issue was that non-JTF funding was also being pursued which added another explanatory section to the JTF application.  Darrel and I actually made a trip to the Foundation headquarters to make sure that this proposal was not going to go down the same path as the first one.

As Joe and I worked and re-worked the proposal with Darrel and Pete, it became ever more clear to Joe and me that the barriers that teachers encounter in the Christian-education setting are not related to biology, but rather are dominated by theology. Indeed, we found that many teachers were using standard textbooks such as Biology by Miller and Levine. Very few teachers were using the noxious curricula published by Bob Jones University Press or A Beka Books although a fair number of home-schoolers used the young-earth creationist A Beka Book biology text. And virtually all of the teachers were anxious to have resources that addressed the interface of evolutionary science and Christian faith.

Because Joe and I were firm in our position that the emphasis of the project should be on theology, clearly not our specialty, we suggested that the time commitments and thus the budget reflect the primary activities of the project personnel. Joe and I wrote a very extensive memo to BioLogos outlining issues that we felt had to be addressed, stating that we understood that BioLogos was "in a state of flux, practically and philosophically." We detailed the reasons for the proposed emphasis on theology. Pete added thoughtful commentary to our memo, especially regarding how to engage evangelicals in rethinking their theology in light of conflicting science. Joe and I recommended that we scale back our involvement and that Pete become the Project Leader. Pete found this acceptable. This approach became a basic component of our revised proposal [surprise - another revision]. Our first indication that this was going to be problematic was embedded in this request from the JTF:

Information Requested: In our December correspondence, requesting the revised proposal which we are currently reviewing, we asked you to consider the "theological credibility" of the program. The revised proposal offers some hints as to where that credibilty [sic] will come into play, specifically the advisory boards, but it does not name any individuals or institutions who might offer that additional credibility. Therefore, we would ask for greater detail as to who you would like to make up the various advisory boards for the project (or any other specific partnerships or plans you have to establish greater 'theological credibility'). Please note that we do not expect that you will have secured committments [sic] for this role, but if you have, please indicate as much. For any whom you have not secured, or not even asked, please simply provide the names of the top candidate or two you would ask to fill those roles if your grant application is successful. Please keep in mind that we are referring to scholars with credibility in the community you are seeking to reach, a group of people often too ready to dismiss good work as too “liberal” or whatever. Our concern is not about the intellectual quality of the project in itself, but about the likelihood it will be used extensively by your target audience.

In retrospect, this should have been translated as "Pete needs both guidance and a leash." Pete would likely admit that he is not the most diplomatic person, and often uses challenging and controversial ideas to generate meaningful discussions about important topics. The titles of his books indicate his positions: The Bible Tells Me So - Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read It; The Evolution Of Adam - What The Bible Does And Doesn't Say About Human Origins; The Sin Of Certainty - Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs. I think that it would be safe to say that these are not the types of things that many fundamentalist Christians want to hear, and certainly would not be inclined to accept; hence the Foundation's fixation on 'theological credibility.'

Also, in retrospect, it seems quite clear that JTF personnel had privately conveyed concern to BioLogos about how the details of Theist Evolution /Evolutionary Creation were going to be presented in a pastoral manner to the targeted evangelical community. Note my emphasis on 'pastoral'. The target community needed more pastoring than biblical scholarship, especially if that scholarship accepts the scientific evidence for human origins, not a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve. To accommodate this perceived need, the JTF proposed that we add personnel to the proposal to address the pastoral component, and that Pete's time and effort be cut back. Understandably, Pete was not pleased. The implicit message was that targeted evangelicals would likely not be particularly receptive to Pete's Old Testament scholarship regarding creation and Adam and Eve. As one Templeton official said: "They need an Adam and Eve."

This is when Joe and I said "Nope". We agreed that this is not how projects should be developed, reviewed, funded and managed. We had established a good working relationship with Pete and respected his theological positions in relationship to what we biologists accept as established science. We were not interested in being funded by an organization that appeared to be involved with micromanagement, control, and influence.  It seemed clear to Joe and me that the JTF had a  literalist/creationist bias regarding the project and its expected outcomes, e.g., many evangelicals need a real Adam and an Eve; thus promote any data and any experts that support such a notion.  Not possible from my and Joe's perspective. 

End of story regarding Joe and me. Darrel and Francis expressed their disappointment re our decision. As far as I know, the proposal was withdrawn, and BioLogos pursued other projects funded by the JTF. And as many know, when Pete's contract with BioLogos was up for renewal, it was not renewed.

Well, end of story is not quite accurate for me because there was one last bit of irony:

Dear Dr. Swartzendruber

As part of the John Templeton Foundation’s proposal review process, we typically solicit outside expert opinions to help us evaluate funding requests.

You have been identified as someone who could provide valuable feedback on a proposal we have received from xx entitled, "Science, faith and professional development in new teachers". We would greatly appreciate your input regarding this work.

In order for the Foundation to meet its promise to applicants of a timely decision of all Full Proposals, we need your completed review submitted back to us by xx. As compensation for your work, we will pay you an honorarium of $300.00 for your timely completion of an electronic review in accordance with the instructions and terms provided by the Foundation.


The Evolution of BioLogos - it is interesting to postulate what BioLogos might look like today if Francis had remained as President, Karl and Darrel as Vice-Presidents and Pete as Biblical Scholar.  I believe that it would be quite a bit different, particularly considering that Calvinists  and Calvin College folks now have considerable influence including holding the Presidency Among the myriad Protestant theologies, I find Calvinism particularly noisome.  But that's the subject of another post....

The Evolution of The John Templeton Foundation - I am no expert here, but I do believe that there was a significant shift in vision when Sir John died and his physician-son Jack became President.  As noted in this blurb, Sir John was nearly new-age in his views of religions, cultures and philosophies. He died in 2008, and Jack took over.  Necessarily the Foundation's bio of Jack is complementary, but others noted his right-wing, Republican brand of evangelical Christianity.   I happened to see Jack in action once in Heidelberg, and I think that it is safe to say that Jack's perspective influenced the Templeton staff who were responsible for vetting proposals before he had a look.  Jack died in 2015, and the current President is Jack's daughter Heather Templeton Dill, whose primary qualification seems to be that she is the daughter of Jack and grand-daughter of Sir John.  It would appear to be business as usual at the JTF, at least for the time being.

People - me; I remain mostly retired, teaching a course now and then, writing here about things that interest me and a few other folks, and keeping track of retired CU faculty; catch up with Joe here; Darrel is also mostly retired, but remains a Senior Advisor for Dialogue at BioLogos; Pete is a faculty member at Eastern University, Karl is affiliated with Stonehill College, and Francis is still the Director of the NIH - we will see what President Trump has to say about that!

Addendum - Over at WEIT, Jerry Coyne has written about this post.