Francisco José Ayala Pereda is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former Dominican Priest, ordained in 1960, but left the priesthood that same year. After graduating from the University of Salamanca, he moved to the US in 1961 to study for a PhD at Columbia University. There, he studied for his doctorate under Theodosius Dobzhansky, graduating in 1964. He became a US citizen in 1971.

He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At University of California, Irvine, his academic appointments include University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (School of Biological Sciences), Professor of Philosophy, (School of Humanities), and Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science (School of Social Sciences).


Ayala has published 950 publications and 30 books. Recently published books include:

Ayala, F.J. Am I a Monkey: Six Big Questions About Evolution. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, MD, USA 2010.
Ayala, F.J. and Robert Arp, eds. Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell: London, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4051-5998-2
Avise, J.C. and F.J. Ayala, eds. In the Light of Evolution: Adaptation and Complex Design. National Academy Press: Washington, DC. 2007. ISBN 978-0-309-10405-0
Cela Conde, C.J. and F.J. Ayala. Human Evolution. Trails from the Past. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2007.
Ayala, F.J. Darwin y el Diseño Inteligente. Creacionismo, Cristianismo y Evolución. Alianza Editorial: Madrid, Spain, 231 pp. 2007.
Ayala, F.J. Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, DC, xi + 237 pp. 2007
Ayala, F.J. La Evolución de un Evolucionista. Escritos Seleccionados. University of Valencia: Valencia, Spain, 441 pp. 2006. ISBN 84-370-6526-7
Ayala, F.J. Darwin and Intelligent Design. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN, xi + 116 pp. 2006.
Ayala, F.J. and C.J. Cela Conde. La piedra que se volvió palabra. Las claves evolutivas de la humanidad. Alianza Editorial: Madrid, Spain. 184 pp. 2006 ISBN 84-206-4783-7
Hey, J., W.M. Fitch and F.J. Ayala, eds. Systematics and the Origin of Species. On Ernst Mayr’s 100th Anniversary. National Academies Press: Washington, DC. xiii + 367 pp. 2005 ISBN 0-309-09536-0
Wuketits, F.M. and F.J. Ayala, eds. Handbook of Evolution: The Evolution of Living Systems (Including Hominids), Volume 2. Wiley-VCH: Weinheim, Germany. 292 pp. 2005. ISBN 978-3-527-61971-9
Ayala, F.J. Le Ragioni dell’ Evoluzione. Di Renzo Editore: Rome. 109 pp. 2005.
Ayala, F.J. Human Evolution: Biology, Culture, Ethics. In: J.B. Miller, ed., The Epic of Evolution. Science and Religion in Dialogue (Pearson Education, Inc.: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey), pp. 166–180.