Brantley claims Barton is wrong about darwinism pt 3

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 third part of the series that I started a few days ago 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.)…

Significantly, then, the history of this controversy through recent years and even previous centuries makes clear that subsequent scientific discovery across the centuries has not yet significantly altered any of these four views. Therefore, it was not in the absence of knowledge about the debate over evolution but rather in its presence, that our Framers made the decision to incorporate in our governing documents the principle of a creator. One example affirming the Framers’ view on this subject is provided by Thomas Paine. Although Paine was the most openly and aggressively anti-religious of the Founders, in his 1787 “Discourse at the Society of Theophilanthropists in Paris,” Paine nevertheless forcefully denounced the French educational system which taught students that man was the result of prehistoric cosmic accidents, or had developed from some other species:

It has been the error of schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the Author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles; he can only discover them, and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author. When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well-executed statue, or a highly-finished painting where life and action are imitated, and habit only prevents our mistaking a surface of light and shade for cubical solidity, our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talent of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How, then, is it that when we study the works of God in creation, we stop short and do not think of God? It is from the error of the schools in having taught those subjects as accomplishments only and thereby separated the study of them from the Being who is the Author of them. . . . The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator Himself, they stop short and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter and jump over all the rest by saying that matter is eternal. And when we speak of looking through nature up to nature’s God, we speak philosophically the same rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power that ordained them. God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon. But infidelity, by ascribing every phenomenon to properties of matter, conceives a system for which it cannot account and yet it pretends to demonstrate. 17

Paine certainly did not advocate this position as a result of religious beliefs or of any teaching in the Bible, for he believed that “the Bible is spurious” and “a book of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy.” 18 Yet, this anti-Bible founder was nevertheless a strong supporter of teaching the theistic origins of man. Many other Founding Fathers also held clear positions on this issue.17. Thomas Paine, Life and Writings of Thomas Paine, Daniel Edwin Wheeler, editor (New York: Printed by Vincent Parke and Company, 1908), Vol. 7, pp. 2-8, “The Existence of God,” A Discourse at the Society of Theophilanthropists, Paris. (Return)

18. Thomas Paine, Life and Writings of Thomas Paine, Daniel Edwin Wheeler, editor (New York: Vincent Parke and Company, 1908), Vol. 6, p. 132, from his “Age of Reason Part Second,” January 27, 1794.

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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