…a politically brilliant choice, Francisco Ayala. He’s a former priest who has argued for respect for religion while not going quite as far as some of the other possibilities in endorsing it, he’s been fairly circumspect about not presenting ridiculous rationales for religion, but he’s also an excellent and reputable scientist.
It’s definitely an astute decision. The foundation went for someone whose primary claim to renown is as a scientist, not as an apologist. They are a canny bunch, those rascals — they avoided the obvious targets and picked someone who isn’t quite as easily mocked.