Dr. Francisco Ayala, a former Catholic priest and “highly respected evolutionary biologist,” has won the 2010 Templeton Prize. The prize is awarded annually to a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming lifeâ€™s spiritual dimension.
In making the prize announcement, the Templeton organization noted that Ayala has “has vigorously opposedÂ the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two”Â and “served as an expert witness in a pivotal U.S. federal court challenge that led to the overturning of an Arkansas law mandating the teaching of creationism alongside evolution.”
Previous prize recipients include former Nixon aide Charles Colson, Rev. Billy Graham, Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Mother Theresa.