Sunday, May 09, 2010
Francisco J Ayala: Don't confuse Dawkins with God Almighty
Francisco J Ayala
Among the very few spokespersons for global sanity is Francisco J Ayala, recent winner of the Templeton Prize and its £1m (donated to charity).
An evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist, a former scientific adviser to Bill Clinton in the '90s - who has battled with deluded Christian creationists and intelligent designers for years - Ayala argues that spiritual faith and science ought to co-exist. As he says, "[They] are two windows through which we look at the world."
He has no time for Richard Dawkins who has misled a generation into thinking that the issue of God and science is an either/or. By way of example, Ayala refers to Picasso’s Guernica: "While science can assess the painting’s massive dimensions and pigments, only a spiritual view imparts the horror of the subject matter. Together... these two separate analyses reveal the totality of the masterpiece." (To quote the Templeton website)
In an interview Ayala further explains: "Science has to do with the expansion of galaxies and movement of the continents and the origin of organisms and adaptations. Religion has to do with our relationship to our creator and to each other, with the purpose and meaning of life, with moral values that govern our lives. So, they deal with different subjects... there's no need to contradict each other."
Ayala's is a large mind and a refreshing change from the juvenile, materialistic inanities of Dawkins and the Sun's favourite professor, Dr Brian Cox - the smiling rock star host of the Wonders of the Solar System.