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White House to honor prominent evolutionist
Orange County Register ^ | May 9, 02 | Gary Robbins

Posted on 05/09/2002 3:18:41 PM PDT by laureldrive

UCI's Ayala wins National Medal of Science

Researcher famous for work in genetics, evolutionary biology.


The Orange County Register

May 9, 02


The National Medal of Science – the most prestigious award given for lifetime achievement – will be bestowed upon a University of California, Irvine, researcher who has done pioneering work in genetics and evolutionary biology, the White House announced today.

Francisco Ayala, 68, is one of 15 scientists and engineers who will receive the medal from President George W. Bush during a ceremony expected to be held in mid-June in Washington, D.C.

Ayala will receive the medal along with such eminent figures as Harold Varmus, the Nobel laureate who formerly headed the National Institutes of Health, and Charles Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, a leader in global warming research.

"Each one of these individuals has helped advance our country's place as a leader in discovery, creativity and technology," President Bush said in a statement. "Their contributions have touched all of our lives and will continue to do so."

Ayala is the second UCI professor to win the National Science Medal. The late Frederick Reines, the "father of neutrino physics", was honored in 1983. A medal also was given to Corona del Mar instrument inventor Arnold O. Beckman in 1989.

Ayala is a former Dominican priest who left the clergy to study evolution and genetics. He achieved fame partly because of his work on the "molecular clock," a field in which scientists can date when some species diverged from a common ancestor. The timing of the clock involves analysis of DNA.

The Spanish-born biologist also is well-known for determining that some organisms have more genetic variation than predicted by sophisticated mathematical models.

Ayala was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980. A year later, he and famed Harvard scholar Stephen Jay Gould testified for the defense in McLean v. the Arkansas Board of Education, the so-called "balanced-treatment law." A federal judge ruled on behalf of the plaintiff, saying that it was unconstitutional for Arkansas to require teachers to devote equal class time to creationism and evolution.

He joined the UCI faculty in 1987, raising the university's profile in evolutionary science. Fellow biologist Walter Fitch says Ayala's presence was a main reason that he joined the faculty the following year.

More recently, Ayala helped recruit Douglas Wallace, a world-renowned geneticist from Emory University. Irvine recruited Wallace with a $3 million package in February.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist; culture; religion; science
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To: gcruse
superstitious poltroonery

Off point, but I had to point out that I'm swiping this phrase and will use it at the first possible moment. Has a wonderful, Mencken-ish feel to it.

41 posted on 05/09/2002 5:44:33 PM PDT by Iota
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To: Iota
Blush. Why certainly, and thank you.
42 posted on 05/09/2002 5:47:45 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: laureldrive
I am quite confident our President is not in any way involved in the selection of these people. He just presents the awards.

This is just another way for the liberals to spit on his Christianity, so to speak!

43 posted on 05/09/2002 5:51:32 PM PDT by CyberAnt
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To: dpwiener
44 posted on 05/09/2002 6:02:30 PM PDT by Bogey78O
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To: Born to Conserve
The sad thing is what they are doing to their children. The children's warped scientific knowledge will keep them from participating in science after their parents have taken the creation dogma to the grave

Just be aware that some who believe in intelligent design have advanced degrees other have college degrees. I personally majored in chemistry with a minor in biology. (undergrad so I am no authority.) I did learn to question the liberal establishment, such as the media and academia, and public(government) schools; all which promote the THEORY of evolution.

45 posted on 05/09/2002 6:08:00 PM PDT by week 71
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Without implicitly acknowledging some supra-natural reality, not even "superstition" can be condemned; and truth is no better than lies.

So... the real world provides no basis for truth vs. untruth, therefore we must invent a magical "supernatural" realm (where cause & effect are not related) & simply assert that truth lives there?

Ohhhhh kaaaaay.

46 posted on 05/09/2002 6:08:37 PM PDT by jennyp
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To: Gumlegs
Because there's another head before the baby's that prefers the canal to be smaller ... ?

You may have a point there ;-D

47 posted on 05/09/2002 6:17:29 PM PDT by BMCDA
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To: Ken H
A quick look at Democrat presidential hopefuls pretty much refutes ID and confirms Darwin, IMO.

I tend to agree, but then, maybe Shakespeare had it right 400 years ago.
"The strain of man's bred out into baboon and monkey"
(Tim. of Athens I.i)

See this. Strange.

48 posted on 05/09/2002 6:19:56 PM PDT by Hornetsrule
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Thanks. I think that at the very least you have to admit that it's a plausible hypothesis.
49 posted on 05/09/2002 6:21:19 PM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: All

RadioFR on NOW!

"Unspun" with AnnaZ and Mercuria!



Click HERE to listen while you FReep!

50 posted on 05/09/2002 6:21:52 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: jennyp
Actually Jenny, the creation provides a basis for the knowledge of a creator, though only in a general sense. This has been accepted as "truth" by countless thinking individuals down through the centuries, if not millenia.

Some would call it an unmistakable/undeniable truth.

The modern skeptic, with his/her committment to philosophic naturalism [nature is all there is] is faced with the unfortunate, and ironic dilemma, of having to sustain their belief system by, or on, sheer faith. This, after presumably rejecting faith as an attribute of the less educated masses.

"The LORD confounds the wisdom of the wise".


51 posted on 05/09/2002 6:25:20 PM PDT by bzrd
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To: Gumlegs
Certainly, but on the other hand our um... heads could have become bigger over time so they would better match the wider birth canal.
52 posted on 05/09/2002 6:27:26 PM PDT by BMCDA
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I'm sure that in your case this is merely an abstraction.
53 posted on 05/09/2002 6:30:56 PM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: PatrickHenry
54 posted on 05/09/2002 6:44:46 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: Seeking the truth
Why hasn't evolution changed the size of the birth canal? Because evolution selects what works. It works well enough in enough cases, the survival rate of the babies and the mothers is high enough. You just don't understand evolution. It is not teleological, it has no 'goal' in mind, certainly not perfection. It just means that what works, is selected. What is fit, is selected. It doesn't have to perfect, painless, or error-free, as long as it functions well enough.
55 posted on 05/09/2002 7:08:55 PM PDT by equus
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To: equus
You are wrong.

I understand evolution very well.

It is quite simply whatever its adherents want it to be.

However, you are correct in your statement re: the imperfection of evolution theory.

56 posted on 05/09/2002 7:26:21 PM PDT by Seeking the truth
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To: equus
Evolution should have changed the birth canal by now one would think. Especially considering the fact that it is closely linked to survival of the mother [many women have died trying to birth a baby that would not fit through the canal] and her ability to pass on genetic information to her offspring.

Why haven't all of the narrow birth canal genes been selected out by now?


57 posted on 05/09/2002 7:31:57 PM PDT by bzrd
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To: bzrd
Once the mother has given birth her genes are irrelevent. Socialization has made sure the child is taken care of well enough withought a mother. But the previous post was right. Evolution simply passes along that which works well enough.
58 posted on 05/09/2002 7:52:47 PM PDT by Bogey78O
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To: Belial
Of course in those days everyone lived a thousand years.

Yeah, right! Of course in those days it may have seemed like a thousand years. A whole lifetime and never going more than twenty miles from home. Doing the same thing, day after day after day. Having your parents pick out your wife, not in terms of someone that would be compatible to you but who would bring political stability or biggest dowry. Yeah it only seemed like a thousand years.

59 posted on 05/09/2002 7:55:52 PM PDT by Dave S
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To: Bogey78O
I mispoke. Countless pre-natal infants have perished prior to birth as the result of a too narrow birth canal. You would have to presume that many of them were females who carried the allele for the narrow canal themselves.

Simply saying evolution passes along that which works well well...weak.


60 posted on 05/09/2002 7:59:37 PM PDT by bzrd
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