Brantley claims Barton is wrong about darwinism pt 2

On June 9th Max Brantley on the Arkansas Times Blog referred to a Mother Jones Article that noted:

On Wednesday, Right Wing Watch flagged a recent interview Barton gave with an evangelcial talk show, in which he argues that the Founding Fathers had explicitly rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yes, that Darwin. The one whose seminal work, On the Origin of Species, wasn’t even published until 1859. Barton declared, “As far as the Founding Fathers were concerned, they’d already had the entire debate over creation and evolution, and you get Thomas Paine, who is the least religious Founding Father, saying you’ve got to teach Creation science in the classroom. Scientific method demands that!” Paine died in 1809, the same year Darwin was born.

Here is the second part of the series that I am starting today about the founding fathers’ views on the origin of man. Below is an portion of an article by David Barton, “The Founding Fathers on Creation and Evolution.” 

While uninformed laymen erroneously believe the theory of evolution to be a product of Charles Darwin in his first major work of 1859 (The Origin of Species), the historical records are exceedingly clear that the evolution-creation-intelligent design debate was largely formulated well before the birth of Christ. Numerous famous writings have appeared on the topic for almost two thousand years; in fact, our Founding Fathers were well-acquainted with these writings and therefore the principle theories and teachings of evolution – as well as the science and philosophy both for and against that thesis – well before Darwin synthesized those centuries-old teachings in his writings.

Nobel-Prize winner Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) explains: “The general idea of evolution is very old; it is already to be found in Anaximander (sixth century B.C.). . . . [and] Descartes [1596-1650], Kant [1724-1804], and Laplace [1749-1827] had advocated a gradual origin for the solar system in place of sudden creation.” 1  ( Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948), pp. 33-34.)…

John Dewey, an ardent 20th century proponent of Darwinism, explained why the intelligent design position – scientifically speaking – was reasonable:

The marvelous adaptation of organisms to their environment, of organs to the organism, of unlike parts of a complex organ (like the eye) to the organ itself; the foreshadowing by lower forms of the higher; the preparation in earlier stages of growth for organs that only later had their functioning – these things are increasingly recognized with the progress of botany, zoology, paleontology, and embryology. Together, they added such prestige to the design argument that by the later eighteenth century it was, as approved by the sciences of organic life, the central point of theistic and idealistic philosophy.9

(This position of intelligent design, also called the anthropic or teleological view, is now embraced by an increasing number of contemporary distinguished scientists, non-religious though many of them claim to be.10 )

The second camp within the theistic approach is theistic evolution, which was first propounded by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). Other prominent expositors of this view included Gregory of Nyssa (331-396 A.D.), Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), St. Gregory the First (540-604 A.D.), St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Leibnitz (1646-1716), Swedenborg (1688-1772), Bonnet (1720-1793), and numerous contemporary scientists. In fact, many of Darwin’s contemporaries embraced this view, believing that “natural selection could be the means by which God has chosen to make man.” 11

As confirmed by Dr. James Rachels, professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham: Mivart [1827-1900, a professor in Belgium] became the leader of a group of dissident evolutionists who held that although man’s body might have evolved by natural selection, his rational and spiritual soul did not. At some point God had interrupted the course of human history to implant man’s soul in him, making him something more than merely a former ape. . . . Wallace [1823-1913, who advocated natural selection prior to Darwin] took a view very similar to that of Mivart: he held that the theory of natural selection applies to humans, but only up to a point. Our bodies can be explained in this way, but not our brains. Our brains, he said, have powers that far outstrip anything that could have been produced by natural selection. Thus he concluded that God had intervened in the course of human history to give man the “extra push” that would enable him to reach the pinnacle on which he now stands. . . . Natural selection, while it explained much, could not explain everything; in the end God must be brought in to complete the picture. 12

In fact, Clarence Darrow himself (the lead attorney during the famous Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 13 ), admitted during the trial that this was a prominent position of many in that day; 14 and Dudley Malone, Darrow’s co-counsel, even declared:

We shall show by the testimony of men learned in science and theology that there are millions of people who believe in evolution and in the stories of creation as set forth in the Bible and who find no conflict between the two. 15

Interestingly, writers who chronicle the centuries-long history of the evolution debate16 confirm that there have always been numerous evolutionists in both the theistic and the non-theistic camps, and much of the proceedings in the Scopes trial reaffirmed that a belief in evolution was not incompatible with teaching theistic origins and a belief in a divine creator.

The third camp, special (or literal) creation, was championed by Francisco Suarez (1548-1617) and later by Pasteur (1822-1895) as well as by subsequent contemporary scientists.1. Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948), pp. 33-34.(Return)

2. Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924), p. 1. (Return)

3. Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924), p. 6. (Return)

4. Edward Clodd, Pioneers of Evolution From Thales to Huxley (New York: Books for Libraries Press), p. 3.(Return)

5. Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924), pp. 10-11. (Return)

6. Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924), p. 11. (Return)

7. James Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 10. (Return)

8. Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, Nora Barlow, editor (London: Collins, 1958), pp. 92-93. (Return)

9. John Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on Contemporary Thought (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1910), p. 11. (Return)

10. Some of the contemporary academics and researchers embracing this position include Dr. Mike Behe of Lehigh University, Dr. Walter Bradley of Texas A & M, Dr. Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer of Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Phillip Johnson and Dr. Jonathan Wells of the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Robert Kaita of Princeton, Dr. Steven Meyer of Whitworth, Dr. Heinz Oberhummer of Vienna University, Dr. Siegfried Scherer of the Technical University of Munich, Dr. Jeff Schloss of Westmont, etc. There are numerous others that, to varying degrees, embrace the anthropic position, including Dr. Brandon Carter of Cambridge, Dr. Frank Tipler of Tulane, Dr. Peter Berticci of Michigan State, Dr. George Gale of University of Missouri Kansas City, Dr. John Barrow of Sussux University, Dr. John Leslie of the University of Guelph, Dr. Heinz Pagels of Rockefeller University, Dr. John Earman of University of Pittsburgh, and many others. (Return)

11. James Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 3. (Return)

12. James Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 57-58. (Return)

13. Scopes v. State, 289 S. W. 363 (1927). (Return)

14. The World’s Most Famous Court Trial: Tennessee Evolution Case; A Word for Word Report of the Famous Court Test of the Tennessee Anti-Evolution Act, at Dayton, July 10 to 21, 1925 . . . (Cincinnati: National Book Company, 1925), pp. 83-84, Clarence Darrow, July 13, 1925. (Return)

15. The World’s Most Famous Court Trial: Tennessee Evolution Case; A Word for Word Report of the Famous Court Test of the Tennessee Anti-Evolution Act, at Dayton, July 10 to 21, 1925 . . . (Cincinnati: National Book Company, 1925), p. 113, Dudley Malone, July 15, 1925.(Return)

16. See Henry Fairfield Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924); see also Peter J. Bowler, Evolution: The History of an Idea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984); see also Edward Clodd, Pioneers of Evolution From Thales to Huxley (New York: Books for Libraries Press); see also Robert Clark,Darwin: Before and After, and Examination and Assessment (London: The Paternoster Press, 1958),(Return)

Here are some other posts about David Barton’s word on the unconfirmed quotes that have been attributed to the Founding Father and Barton’s effort to stop the Righteous Right for using these quotes in the future:

Unconfirmed Quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 6 David Barton:Were the Founding Fathers Deists? In 1988 only 25% of Christians voted but that doubled in 1994. Christians are the salt of the world. The last few days I have been  looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding Fathers actually said and the historical evidence [...]

Two Unconfirmed quotes attributed to Noah Webster

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 5 David Barton: Were the Founding Fathers Deists? First Bible printed in USA was printed by our founding fathers for use in the public schools. 20,000 Bibles. 10 commandments hanging in our courthouses. The last few days I have been  looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding [...]

Unconfirmed Quote attibuted to Patrick Henry

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 4 David Barton: Were Founding Fathers Deists? Only 5% of the original 250 founding fathers were not Christians (Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, Joe Barlow, Charles Lee, Henry Dearborn, ect) In the next few weeks I will be looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think [...]

Samuel Adams Unconfirmed Quote was Confirmed Eventually

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 3 David Barton: Were Founding Fathers Deists? American Bible Society filled with Founding Fathers Here is another in the series of  unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding Fathers actually said and the historical evidence concerning them. David Barton has collected these quotes and tried to confirm them over the last 20 [...]

Unconfirmed Quote attributed to Ben Franklin

HALT:HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 2 David Barton on Founding Fathers were they deists? Not James Wilson and William Samuel Johnson In the next few weeks I will be looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding Fathers actually said and the historical evidence concerning them. David Barton has collected these quotes and [...]

Unconfirmed Quote attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

HALT: HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com Part 1 David Barton: Were the Founding Fathers Deists? Religious holidays, Court cases, punishing kids in school for praying in Jesus name In the next few weeks I will be looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding Fathers actually said and the historical evidence concerning them. David [...]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in David Barton | Edit | Comments (0)

Supreme Court never said It.

Halting Arkansas Liberals with Truth David Barton goes through American History and looks at some of the obscure names in our history and how prayer and Bible Study affected some of our founding fathers In the next few weeks I will be looking at this issue of unconfirmed quotes that people think that the Founding [...]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in David Barton | Edit | Comments (0)

Lots of Fake Quotes of Founding Fathers in Circulation

HALT: Halting Arkansas Liberals with Truth   ___ I wanted to thank Gene Lyons for bringing this issue of fake quotes of the Founding Fathers to our attention because it should be addressed. In April 8, 2010 article “Facts Drowning in Disinformation,” he rightly notes that Thomas Jefferson never said, “The democracy will cease to [

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