Misquoting Jefferson?

February 1, 2009

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial - Mr. Lant's HIstory page

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial, Rudulph Evans, sculptor – Library of Congress photo by Carol Highsmith, who graciously puts her photos in the public domain

A commentary from Cal Thomas caught my eye — little more than a few quotes from Thomas Jefferson strung together.  Jefferson seems oddly prescient in these quotes, and, also oddly, rather endorsing the views of the right wing.

From the way the text is laid out, and the brevity of the piece, I’m guessing it’s a radio commentary.

I read Jefferson often.  I’ve read Jefferson a lot.  I don’t recognize any of the quotes.

So I plugged them into the Jefferson collection at Liberty Fund’s Online Library of Liberty, which has a lot of Jefferson ready for full-text searching.

Oops.  None of the quotes scored a hit.

Couldn’t find them in the Library of Congress’s on-line list of quotes, either.

It looks as though Jefferson didn’t say these things that are being attributed to him.

Cal, is that you?

Cal, can you give us citations on these quotes?

How about you, Dear Reader?  Can you save Cal Thomas’s bacon by providing a citation for any of the quotes below, alleged to be from Thomas Jefferson?

AS WE LISTEN TO TALK OF BAILOUTS AND ENDLESS DEBT, THINK ON THESE THOUGHTS FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON:

“THE DEMOCRACY WILL CEASE TO EXIST WHEN YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO WORK AND GIVE TO THOSE WHO WOULD NOT.”

HERE’S ANOTHER: “IT IS INCUMBENT ON EVERY GENERATION TO PAY ITS OWN DEBTS AS IT GOES. A PRINCIPLE WHICH IF ACTED ON WOULD SAVE ONE-HALF THE WARS OF THE WORLD.”

AND ANOTHER: “I PREDICT FUTURE HAPPINESS FOR AMERICANS IF THEY CAN PREVENT THE GOVERNMENT FROM WASTING THE LABORS OF THE PEOPLE UNDER THE PRETENSE OF TAKING CARE OF THEM.”

AND ONE MORE:  “MY READING OF HISTORY CONVINCES ME THAT MOST BAD GOVERNMENT RESULTS FROM TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.”

There you have ’em, Dear Readers.  Did somebody hoodwink Cal Thomas into thinking these are Jefferson’s bon mots, when they are not?

Shake of the wet scrub brush to Truthseeker.

Below the fold, the complete Cal Thomas commentary.
Read the rest of this entry »

Looking for answers, here they are

February 1, 2009

Answers to Steve Bratteng’s quiz, “13 things evolution can answer that intelligent design cannot,” are back up, at that post.


Darwinian medicine works; should we tell the children?

February 1, 2009

The indomitable  and always informative Coturnix at Blog Around the Clock pointed to this excerpt from an interview Richard Dawkins did with Randolph Nesse.  Randy Nesse is one of the most visible exponents of Darwinian medicine.  Nesse argues that much of modern medicine, especially the treatments and cures, is incomprehensible except in the light of evolution theory.

In short, Nesse is saying that the ability of physicians to diagnose and treat disease depends on accurate understandings and applications of evolution theory.

Does this sound familiar?  Sure — this is just a deeper understanding of the principles behind Austin biologist Steve Bratteng’s 13 Questions.

Creationists are working to be sure that Nesse’s points are kept from Texas high school students in science classes.  From this interview,  you can see why scientists ask the State Board of Education to ask Texas educators to teach science instead.  Actions of creationists are directed at preventing information such as this from getting to Texas students, to keep them in the dark.

Texas Citizens for Science, the Texas Freedom Network, and Teach Them Science.org are three organizations working to make sure Texas students get straight science that they need.

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