OC’s A+ Team

We asked some of the smartest people we know to name the most impressive minds in OC, and one person was on every list – and at the top of most: Francisco Ayala. The UCI professor and National Medal of Science winner is one of the most esteemed evolutionary and molecular biologists in the world. As a former priest, he's often called upon to explain how evolution is consistent with faith in a divine creation of the universe, and intelligent design is not. As a philosopher, he defends reason and enlightenment from attack. And his business interests in wine making and other endeavors have allowed him to be beneficent toward UCI, including a $10 million gift and donation of the $1.5 million Templeton Prize.

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