Thursday, 25 March 2010

2010 Templeton Prize

Francisco Ayala, an evolutionary geneticist, molecular biologist, and former Dominican priest, is the 2010 Templeton Prize winner. Worth $1.53 million, 'The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works'.

He's an interesting man.
To Ayala, there is no natural hostility between evolution and faith and the theory of evolution is more consistent with belief in a benevolent God than creationism or “intelligent design.” As he explains:
The point should be valid for those people of faith who believe in a personal God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent, as Christians, Muslims, and Jews do believe. The natural world abounds in catastrophes, disasters, imperfections, dysfunctions, suffering, and cruelty. Tsunamis and earthquakes bring destruction and death to hundreds of thousands of citizens; floods and droughts bring ruin to farmers. The human jaw is poorly designed; lions devour their prey; malaria parasites kill millions of humans every year and make 500 million people very sick; about 20 percent of all human pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion because of the flawed design of the human reproductive system*.

People of faith should not attribute all this misery, cruelty, and destruction to the specific design of the Creator. I rather see it as a consequence of the clumsy ways of nature and the evolutionary process./

(*Hmmm, it seems that Gord is history's most active abortionist.)

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