National Medal of Science laureate Francisco Ayala speaks at UTSA April 28

Ayala

UC Irvine Professor Francisco J. Ayala

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(April 26, 2010)--The UTSA Office of the Provost and the College of Sciences will host the Provost's Distinguished Lecture at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 28 in the Main Building Auditorium (0.104) on the Main Campus. National Medal of Science laureate and University of California, Irvine endowed professor Francisco J. Ayala will speak on "Darwin's Gift to Sciences and Religion." The lecture is free and open to the public.

As a former Dominican priest and the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Ayala has a unique understanding of the roles of science and religion in society. For more than 30 years, he has cautioned scientists and religious leaders about the dangers of battling over the meaning of evolution. Instead, he says the disciplines must recognize they are independent and that both can benefit from the explanations evolution has to offer. His views are explained in detail in his book, "Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion."

Recently, Ayala received the 2010 Templeton Prize, a $1.5 million award honoring individuals whose work supports the spiritual realm. Ayala will travel to England to accept the prize May 5 at Buckingham Palace.

While in San Antonio, Ayala also will deliver for scientists a technical lecture on the evolutionary origin of malaria. A 1964 alumnus of Columbia University, Ayala has devoted his life to researching topics in evolutionary genetics. His team is investigating the origin of parasitic diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and sleeping sickness.

Ayala's technical lecture will be 4 p.m., Thursday, April 29 in the Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (2.01.02) on the UTSA Main Campus.

Learn more about the lectures at the UTSA College of Sciences website.