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Francisco J. Ayala, formerly Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, is an evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist who has vigorously opposed the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two.

Ayala has equated efforts to block religious intrusions into science with “the survival of rationality in this country.” He has been a major voice on the ethical issues related to the study of human evolution and a frequent spokesperson in the debate between evolution and creationism.

The proper relationship between science and religion can be, for people of faith, mutually motivating and inspiring. Science may inspire religious beliefs and religious behavior, as we respond with awe to the immensity of the universe, the wondrous diversity and adaptations of organisms, and the marvels of the human brain and the human mind. Religion promotes reverence for creation, for humankind as well as the environment. Religion may be a motivating force and source of inspiration for scientific research and may move scientists to investigate the marvelous world of the creation and to solve the puzzles with which it confronts us.