Ayala, Francisco J. 1934- (Francisco Jose Ayala)
Ayala, Francisco J. 1934- (Francisco Jose Ayala)
Born March 12, 1934, in Madrid, Spain; came to United States in 1961, naturalized citizen, 1971; son of Francisco (in business) and Soledad Ayala; married Mary Henderson, May 27, 1968 (divorced); married Hana Lostakova, March 8, 1985; children: (from first marriage) Francisco Jose, Carlos Alberto. Education: University of Madrid, B.S., 1955; Columbia University, M.A., 1963, Ph.D., 1964. Hobbies and other interests: Winemaking.
Home—Irvine, CA. Office—University of California, Irvine, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 321 Steinhaus Hall, Mail Code: 2525, Irvine, CA 92697; fax: (919) 824-2474. E-mail—[email protected]
Providence College, Providence, RI, research associate, 1964-65, assistant professor of biology, 1965-67; Rockefeller University, New York, NY, assistant professor of biology, 1967-71; University of California, Davis, associate professor, 1971-74, professor of genetics, 1974-87, director of Institute of Ecology and associate dean of environmental studies, both 1977-81; University of California, Irvine, distinguished professor of biology, 1987-89, Donald Bren professor of biological sciences, 1989—. Member, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, 1994-2001. Member of National Advisory Council for the Human Genome Project.
Society for the Study of Evolution (vice-president, 1973), American Society of Naturalists (secretary, 1973-76), Genetics Society of America, Ecological Society of America, American Genetics Association, Society for the Study of Evolution (president, 1979-80), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Royal Academy of Sciences, Spain (foreign member), Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (foreign member), National Research Council (board of directors for committee on basic science, 1982-91; committee on life sciences, 1982-91; chairman, 1984-91), National advisory council of National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Environmental Protection Agency (executive committee, 1979-80), National Science Foundation (advisory committee directorate for science and engineering education, 1989-90), National Institutes of Health (national advisory council for human genome research, 1990-93), American Association for the Advancement of Science (board of directors, 1989-93; president-elect, 1993-94; president, 1994-95; chairman of the board, 1995-96; chairman of committee on health of scientific enterprise, 1991—; member of national council for science and education for phase II, project 2061, 1990—); National Academy of Science (secretary, population biology evolution and ecology chairman, 1983-86; councillor, 1986-89; board of directors for National Academy Corporation, 1990—); Presidential Committee of Advisors for Science and Technology, 1994—.
Johns Hopkins University centennial scholar, 1975; Guggenheim fellow, 1977; American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, 1977; Fulbright fellow; Medal of the Collège de France, 1979; Gold Honorary Gregor Mendel Medal, Czech Academy of Sciences, 1994; American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow; Gold Medal of the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei; Gold Medal of the Stazione Zoologica, Naples; President's Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences; Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award and 150th Anniversary Leadership Medal, AAAS, 1987; American Genetics Association honorary lifetime Wilhelmine E. Key award; UCI Medal, University of California; 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award, SACNAS; Sigma Xi's William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, 2000; National Medal of Science, 2002; honorary degrees from Universities of Athens, Bologna, Barcelona, Las Islas Baleares, Leon, Madrid, Valencia, and Vigo, Far East National University, Masaryk University, and Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
(Editor, with Theodosius Dobzhansky) Studies in the Philosophy of Biology: Reduction and Related Problems, Macmillan (London, UK), 1974.
(Editor) Molecular Evolution, Sinauer Associates (Sunderland, MA), 1976.
(With James W. Valentine) Evolving: The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing (Menlo Park, CA), 1979.
(With John A. Kiger, Jr.) Modern Genetics, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing (Menlo Park, CA), 1980, 2nd edition, 1984.
Origen y evolución del hombre, Alianza (Madrid, Spain), 1980.
Population and Evolutionary Genetics: A Primer, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing (Menlo Park, CA), 1982.
Biologie moléculaire et évolution, Masson (Paris, France), 1982.
(Editor, with J. Perry Gustafson and G. Ledyard Stebbins) Genetics, Development, and Evolution: 17th Stadler Genetics Symposium, Plenum Press (New York, NY), 1986.
(Editor, with Walter M. Fitch) Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years after Simpson, National Academy Press (Washington, DC), 1995.
(With others) Desafíos del conocimiento ante el tercer milenio, Fundación Central Hispano (Madrid, Spain), 1998.
(Editor, with Robert John Russell and William R. Stoeger) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, Vatican Observatory (Vatican City State), 1998.
La teoría de la evolución: De Darwin a los últimos avances de la genética, Temas de Hoy (Madrid, Spain), 1999.
(Editor, with Walter M. Fitch and Machael T. Clegg) Variation and Evolution in Plants and Microorganisms: Toward a New Synthesis 50 Years after Stebbins, National Academy Press (Washington, DC), 2000.
(With Ana Barahona and Susana Pinar) La genética en México: Institucionalización de una disciplina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City, Mexico), 2003.
(Editor, with Jody Hey and Walter M. Fitch) Systematics and the Origin of Species: On Ernst Mayr's 100th Anniversary, National Academies Press (Washington, DC), 2005.
(And editor, with Franz M. Wuketits) Handbook of Evolution: The Evolution of Living Systems, Volume 2, Wiley (New York, NY), 2005.
Darwin and Intelligent Design, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.
La piedra que se Volvió Palabra: Las claves evolutivas de la humanidad, Alianza Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 2006.
(With Cela Conde) Human Evolution: Trails from the Past, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2007.
(Editor, with John C. Avise) In the Light of Evolution, National Academies Press (Washington, DC), 2007.
Contributor to Science and Religion in Search of Cosmic Purpose, edited by John F. Haught, Georgetown University Press (Washington, DC), 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including Gene, Infection, Genetics and Evolution, and Genetics.
Francisco J. Ayala is a Spanish-born scientist who became an American citizen in 1971. He is a longtime faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, and was presented with the National Medal of Science, which is the highest scientific honor in the United States, for his groundbreaking work in evolutionary biology. His work in the field includes the development of ways to use molecular biology to study evolutionary processes. His discoveries have led to new methods of preventing and treating diseases that present significant public health problems, including malaria. In addition to his National Medal of Science, Ayala has been honored by many scientific associations from around the world.
Ayala's position on evolution is made clear in his book Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion. This book "is a reasoned, well-documented argument for separating science from religion, without prejudice against either," stated Carol Van Strum in a review for the Department of Planet Earth. Citing copious factual evidence supporting the theory of evolution, Ayala goes on to say that religious and scientific beliefs can coexist, and in fact cannot really be contradictory, because they are completely different matters. Science, in his view, is about the processes of the natural world, while religion is about morals, values, and the meaning of life. Ayala, who once studied for the Catholic priesthood, is well qualified to try to reconcile the sometimes contradictory stances taken on evolution by scientific and religious entities. In an interview with Claudia Dreifus, Ayala pointed out that in 1996, Pope John Paul II endorsed evolutionary teachings, and many Protestant theologians also accept the theory of evolution. Furthermore, he believes that evolution excuses God from being responsible for all the sad and cruel genetic abnormalities that cause suffering and death. A Publishers Weekly reviewer said of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion: "This elegant book provides the single best introduction to Darwin and the development of evolutionary biology now available."
In addition to his own writing, Ayala has also edited numerous anthologies and other works. In Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, coedited by Ayala, William Stoeger, and Robert J. Russell, the subject of whether or not faith in God excludes belief in evolutionary theory is again examined. The content of the book is part of a decade-long cooperative project undertaken by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, in Berkeley, California, and the Vatican Observatory. According to reviewer Philip Clayton in the Christian Century: "The essays in this volume represent the real cutting edge in discussions between Christianity and biology. They provide a careful, sober assessment of the biological story in all its complexity."
Ayala told CA: "Evolution is an authoritative statement of the current theory of evolution that integrates modern biochemical as well as ecological studies of evolution, besides the more traditional approaches to the subject. It also contains a long chapter on philosophical issues related to biological evolution. My interest on the philosophical, ethical, and humanistic components of science are also reflected in the book I edited in 1974 and the book to be published by Harvard University Press."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, July 1, 1996, J.M. Carpenter, review of Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years after Simpson, p. 1819; October, 2000, H. Peebles, review of Science and Religion in Search of Cosmic Purpose, p. 349; October, 2007, D.A. Rintoul, review of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion, p. 306.
Christian Century, January 19, 2000, Philip Clayton, review of Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, p. 61.
Journal of Theological Studies, April, 2000, John Polkinghorne, review of Evolutionary and Molecular Biology, p. 421.
New York Times, April 27, 1999, Claudia Dreifus, interview with Francisco J. Ayala.
Publishers Weekly, April 2, 2007, review of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion, p. 48.
Quarterly Review of Biology, September, 1996, Robert L. Carroll, review of Tempo and Mode in Evolution, p. 406; December, 2006, Eugenie C. Scott, review of Handbook of Evolution: The Evolution of Living Systems, Volume 2, p. 396.
Science, February 23, 1996, Allan Larson, review of Tempo and Mode in Evolution, p. 1075.
Science Books & Films, January, 1981, review of Modern Genetics, p. 137; January, 1983, review of Population and Evolutionary Genetics: A Primer, p. 132; September, 1985, review of Modern Genetics, p. 22.
SciTech Book News, June, 2001, review of Variation and Evolution in Plants and Microorganisms: Toward a New Synthesis 50 Years after Stebbins, p. 74.
Times Higher Education Supplement, September 15, 1995, Thomas Sambrook, review of Tempo and Mode in Evolution, p. 23.
American Association for the Advancement of Science Web site,http://www.aaas.org/ (February 15, 2008), biographical information about Francisco J. Ayala.
California Council on Science and Technology Web site,http://www.ccst.us/ (February 15, 2008), biographical information about Francisco J. Ayala.
Counter Balance,http://www.counterbalance.net/ (February 15, 2008), biographical information about Francisco J.Ayala.
Department of Planet Earth,http://www.deptplanetearth.com/ (February 15, 2008), Carol Van Strum, review of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion.
Sigma Xi Web site,http://www.sigmaxi.org/ (February 15, 2008), biographical information about Francisco J. Ayala.
University of California, Irvine Web site,http://www.faculty.uci.edu/ (February 15, 2008), biographical information about Francisco J. Ayala.