The new Templeton Prize winner speaks

Read and see how you too can get a million pounds. It’s not that hard!

Yes, one can believe in both evolution and God. Evolution is a well-confirmed scientific theory. Christians and other people of faith need not see evolution as a threat to their beliefs.

This is like saying “Gazelles and other antelopes need not see lions as a threat to their lives.”

20 Comments

  1. litchik
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but – more frequently than not – struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”

    That about sums it up for me. I take the side of reason.

    • MadScientist
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Was that Martin Luther or John Calvin? At any rate, Augustine beat them to it by a little over 1000 years. Knowledge is evil – god says so in the book of Genesis.

  2. James
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I think it is more akin to saying that African antelope and gazelles have nothing to fear from jaguars; if they ever confronted one they’d be screwed, but their chance of actually encountering one is infinitesimal

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    But that is an ideological magazine, do we need to read and respond to that any more than creationist publications?

    “The Social Affairs Unit” is a libertarian rather than reactionary charity: “The Social Affairs Unit addresses social, economic and cultural issues with an emphasis on the value of personal responsibility. […] It does not favour the historic over the modern, nor the well-established over the innovative, nor the enduring over the fashionable, nor the traditional over the progressive.”

    astronomy teaches us that the galaxies expand in space

    Ayala is slipping over the stones in his haste to make a short piece of it. In reality astronomy teaches us that space itself expands. The non-expanding galaxies are positioned, as everything else, in the observed expansion.

    This could perhaps better be: “astronomy teaches us that the galaxy clusters expand with space”. (Yes, with better tools even the local group is now observable to be moved apart by big bang. “Resistance is futile.” Eventually we will all be alone in the observable universe, on an Milky Way- Andromeda merged “Milkomeda” galaxy.)

  4. Jonn Mero
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Ayala, the latest quisling in the scientific fraternity. But when you have little integrity it is easy to sell the remains for £1,000,000!

    • MadScientist
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, as Tom Lehrer put it:

      It’s so nice to have integrity,
      I’ll tell you why:
      If you really have integrity,
      It means your price is very high!

  5. Sigmund
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    On a related note there was an interview with liberal Christian Michael Dowd on the infidel guy show yesterday. In contrast to many of his type he was actually full of praise for the ‘New Atheist’ approach to religion (there goes his chance for an interview on Point of Inquiry!)
    He made plenty of sense when talking about evolution – in contrast to last weeks guest, Jerry Fodor (who made a bet that natural selection will be abandoned by science as a significant force in evolution within the next ten years!)

  6. Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    As long as they don’t *understand* evolution there will be no threat. Ignorance is a 50 pound flashlight without batteries.

  7. Tacroy
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Yes, one can believe in both evolution and God. Evolution is a well-confirmed scientific theory. Christians and other people of faith need not see evolution as a threat to their beliefs.

    I love this – the structure of these sentences leaves the other truth statement hanging. You can believe in both evolution and God; evolution because it’s real, and God because…?

  8. Rawandi
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Francisco J. Ayala is an atheist. He tells it in an interview for the spanish scientific magazine ‘Arbor’ (september 2000).

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Is there a reference for that? As far as I know he’s always refused to disclose his beliefs to reporters.

      • Rawandi
        Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        The reference is the number of september 2000 of the magazine ‘Arbor’. As far as I know, it is the only interview where Ayala shows his beliefs to a reporter (the biologist Ana Barahona, a friend of Ayala).

        • Michael Kingsford Gray
          Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

          Was it this one?

          “Francisco J. Ayala: el hombre renacentista de la evolución. Conversaciones con Ana Barahona. Arbor. Sept.-Oct. 2000. Vol. 657:1-30.”

          I cannot find it on-line, and I doubt that even my state library has a copy. (It being in Spanish. Not very popular in South Australia!)

    • Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Has he ever commented on “The Fall”? I would expect him to believe it, as it deals explicitly with God’s relationship to his creation.

  9. NewEnglandBob
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I laughed quite hardily at Ayala’s doublespeak and apologetics and his attempt to whisk away reason with lame excuses for the biblical nonsense text.

    What a tool he is, and apparently he has no integrity, so he prostitutes himself for Templeton’s filthy lucre.

  10. Insightful Ape
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Yeah, try telling that to the hundreds of trolls that we had tight here on this blog, who were enraged at Dr Coyne’s comments on homeschooling material. The common thread among them was that it clashed with their faith.
    I just don’t see how the apologists can be so blind.

  11. Neil
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I agree with Ayala’s quoted statement. The first sentence is true because we know there are such people. The second sentence is also true–the threat to the beliefs of Christians and others is their own absurdity and the conflict with facts and reason, not evolution.

  12. justsearching
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “Evolution is not the enemy of religion but, rather, it can be its friend, because it accounts for disease, death, and the dysfunctions and cruelties of living organisms as the result of natural processes, not as the specific design of God. The God of revelation and of faith is a God of love and mercy, and of wisdom.”

    I never understand how this kind of thinking makes sense to people. If I push a huge ball down a hill that I know will kill some people and cause some suffering (but have no idea who will be get hurt, or what sort of suffering will happen) I’m still an evil cruel being. My level of cruelty would be exponentially higher if I had the ability to stop the ball, or change the ball’s course, but chose not to.

    For me it boils down to this: If God exists, he is either evil or impotent to stop evil.

  13. stvs
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    “Gazelles and other antelopes need not see lions as a threat to their lives.”

    Well, of course, before the fall. Answers in creation tells it straight:

    if animals were not able to die, it would imply things like the following. If a twenty-ton meteor, moving at 20 kilometers per second were to smash onto the head of a fox in the field, then in a cartoon-like manner, the fox would get up and run away after this event. An ant, crawling on grass which was eaten by a cow, would have had to have been able to withstand the crushing of the cow’s teeth, and a passage through the ruminant’s four stomachs. It would be able to resume its life after elimination from the cow no matter how far from home the cow had taken it.

    Jerry finally sees the light.


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