Francisco Ayala has taken an aggressive theological stance against intelligent design, even using words like “blasphemy” and “atrocity” to characterize it (go here). But if Ayala feels entitled to make such strong accusations against ID, one might wonder what Ayala’s own theological views are. I therefore emailed him and copied Michael Ruse:
Dear Prof. Ayala,
I’m writing to inquire whether in any of your writings you lay out your present religious faith (and, if so, where?). I’m copying my friend Michael Ruse because I find his criticisms of ID parallel your own, and yet he makes clear that he himself is an atheist. You, on the other hand, regularly cite your background in the Roman Catholic Church as a priest. Yet you left the priesthood and it’s not clear what aspects of the Christian faith you retain. Do you, for instance, believe in a personal God who created the world? Do you believe that humans experience continued conscious existence after they die? Do you believe that Jesus was God incarnate? I would appreciate any clarifications you can provide. Thank you.
Ruse got back to me first and suggested that Ayala would not be forthcoming about his religious views, whereupon Ayala got back to me, agreeing with Ruse: “What Michael Ruse told you about my not asserting publicly my religious convictions is correct. I have stated that on numerous occasions, quoted in all sorts of publications from The New York Times and Scientific American to religious journals and periodicals.”
Interesting that Ayala is willing publicly to acknowledge his former theological views as a Roman Catholic priest (presumably he embraced RCC dogma). And yet his present theological views are off limits. Perhaps when Dover II rolls around, Ayala will be an expert witness and under deposition be required to state his theological views. In the mean time, Ayala’s reticence about his present religious faith (or lack thereof) is at best a convenient ploy.