Monday, July 7, 2008

Jefferson and intelligent design

Nobody would argue against the existence of meteorites on the grounds that Thomas Jefferson didn't believe in them, right? As Arthur C. Clarke once noted:
We have come a long way since President Jefferson remarked, "I would sooner believe that two Yankee professors lied, than that stones fell from the sky," for now we know that mountains can indeed fall from the sky.
But here is the Discovery Institute citing Thomas Jefferson as a defender of intelligent design, because he wrote this:

I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it's parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it's composition.
Jefferson, however, didn't weigh in on Darwin's Origin of Species, because he had been dead 33 years when it was published.

In other news, no word yet on the Discovery Institute's position regarding Arthur Conan Doyle and fairies.

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