Thomas Jefferson Believed in Intelligent Design
Thomas Jefferson was not only the third president of the United States but also the author of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence. It is clear that he believed in a creator of the universe, even though his religious views would not be acceptable to biblical Christians today.
Yet, he wrote in the Declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Jefferson believed that there is scientific evidence for design in nature. In a letter to John Adams, he wrote, “I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its 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 its composition.”
He added: “It is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion.”
Darwinian scientists do not agree with Jefferson’s acceptance of design in nature. Evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson has said that Darwinism denies evidence of design and has shown that humans are the product of a “purposeless process.”
However, the discovery in the 1950s of the structure of the DNA molecule is strongly supporting the idea of design. DNA is known to store information in the form of a four-character digital code, similar to a computer code. Bill Gates has said, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.”
The origin of this digital information in DNA cannot be explained by any theory of mindless chemical evolution. So how could the first living cell on earth have evolved? Our observations of nature indicate information always flows from intelligent minds, not from material processes.
Whether in the form of software programs, hieroglyphics, radio signals, etc., information always has an intelligent mind as its source. Thus, the discovery of digital code in DNA points to an intelligent designer of the information in living cells.
Comments: We can be grateful for the work Thomas Jefferson did on the Declaration of Independence. We can also be appreciatethe fact that he wisely came to the conclusion there is a Divine Designer of the universe. Yet, he has been called a “deist,” as havesome of the other Founding Fathers. According to The Free Dictionary, deismis “A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation.” Jefferson did not believe in the Trinity or in the divinity of Jesus. Yet, he believed what his eyes were telling him—nature has a Designer, whom biblical Christians call the Triune God.
Evidence of design in nature ranges from something as small as DNA to the universe itself. So, it is no wonder that a group of scientists in the 1990s got together to form an organization known today as the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. These scientists believe in an Intelligent Designer, but do not necessarily identify Him as the Christian God. Perhaps they want to keep a distance from creationists, but if they hope this distance is making the Intelligent Design (ID) movement more acceptable to mainstream science, it doesn’t seem to be happening.
Dr. Terry Mortensen, in an Answers in Genesis video on the ID movement points to both strengths and weaknesses. Among the ID positives, he mentions: “It is refuting scientific ‘evidences’ of Darwinian evolution; it is increasing the sophistication of design arguments; it is highlighting the critical issue of genetic information; and it is exposing naturalism’s control of biology.”
But among the negatives of the Intelligent Design movement, Mortensen lists: “It intentionally ignores the age of the earth and naturalism’s control of geology and astronomy; it intentionally ignores Scripture (especially Genesis), leading Christians astray; it ignores or rejects the curse on creation; and it doesn’t point to the Bible but only to a vaguely defined “intelligent designer.” Leaders of ID include everybody from an agnostic to a secular Jew to a member of the Unification Church to a Baptist to Roman Catholics and others. So evolutionists are in error when they claim ID advocates are just disguised creationists.
While we can be happy for those comments by Thomas Jefferson and the Intelligent Design scientists which, despite their errors, support the truth that our universe was designed by a superior mind, we know where to turn for the facts regarding the Creation of our world and the cosmos. And If we don’t believe Genesis, we may have a hard time believing John 3:16 and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard and no human mind has conceived— that is what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
By Warren Krug
Reference: Stephen C. Meyer, “Thomas Jefferson’s Embrace of Intelligent Design,”Evolution News [July 4, 2021]. Evolution News is published by the Discovery Institute. (“Free to share and use” portrait of Thomas Jefferson, from Historia y Biografía via Bing.)
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
Why do humans blink so much?
There are two main reasons. First, blinking clears away particles from the eye. Secondly, blinking lubricates the eyeballs. Blinking releases a tear film which helps keep the surface smooth and prevents the eye from drying out. It also supplies oxygen to the eye.
Source: Tara Santora, “Why do we blink?” Lived Science [July 6, 2021]
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