We’ve long thought that Francisco J. Ayala is one of the most interesting participants in The Controversy between evolution and creationism. A former Dominican priest, he left the priesthood and earned a doctorate in biology at Columbia. He now teaches at the University of California, Irvine.
We’ve written about Ayala a few times before. See Francisco Ayala: Evolution and Creationism, and Charles Darwin, Francisco Ayala, and the Problem of Evil, and Discovery Institute: Francisco Ayala’s Templeton Prize (a Klinghoffer slime attack), and Answers in Genesis on Ayala’s Templeton Prize (they say he doesn’t know the bible).
“When Charles Darwin introduced the concept of evolution by natural selection, he provided a solution to explain the presence of evil in the world.”
This was the thesis presented by Dr. Francisco J. Ayala during the John Calvin McNair Lecture on Science and Theology at St. Andrews Presbyterian College held on Oct. 19 in the William Henry Belk College.
Most of you know about the problem of evil, which has long bedeviled theology. In a nutshell, it’s this: If God is all good, all powerful, and all knowing, then why (aside from tales about a God-defying Satan) is there evil in the world? Ayala says that evolution solves the problem. Let’s read on:
After sharing a variety of evidence to support evolution, Ayala turned briefly to the argument of Intelligent Design. “Intelligent Design as a critique of evolution is wrong,” he said. “Intelligent Design is not science and is contrary to religion as it implies that God is incompetent and amounts to blasphemy.
“Intelligent Design cannot be tested as we do not know what the intentions of the designer were and we therefore cannot create an experiment to test the theory,” Ayala added. “Intelligent Design is contrary to religion as it is incompatible with an omnipotent, wise and benevolent creator. It implies an imperfect, incompetent, dysfunctional design and does not explain cruelty, oddities or sadism.”
Guess what? Creationists don’t like Ayala. We continue:
“Darwin’s gift to religion is that evolution explains why there is suffering and modern evil,” he said. “It is not because God is not benevolent, it is because of natural forces at play.
Ayala is definitely one of the good guys — and he drives the Discovery Institute crazy. Click over to the Laurinburg Exchange and read the whole article.
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