An Aquatic Invention & Mission

On September 6, 1776, the first American submarine called Turtle attempted a military maneuver in an effort to help George Washington turn the tide of battle.

Invented by David Bushnell, the submersible Turtle had a maximum speed of 3 knots (a little less than 3.5 miles per hour). It consisted of a wooden barrel-like body, a brass & glass cap, navigation instruments, oars, and a treadle-powered screw propeller. The three bombs on board were planned to sink the British ship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.

Not having a lot of experience operating the submarine, Ezra Lee launched aboard the Turtle around 11 pm on September 6, 1776. Reaching his target about two-and-a-half hours later, he attempted to bore through the Eagle and deposit the bombs. The hull, however, had a copper layer and Lee was unsuccessful.

Forced to retreat with malfunctioning navigation equipment, Lee was pursued and dropped the bombs into the harbor during his retreat. His escape was made possible because the British broke off pursuit. The bombs later exploded with no damage to the British fleet.

George Washington spoke about Bushnell’s submarine in a 1785 letter to Thomas Jefferson:

That he [Bushnell] had a machine which was so contrived as to carry a man under water at any depth he chose, and for a considerable time & distance, with an apparatus charged with powder which he could fasten to a ship’s bottom or side & give fire in any give time ([sufficient] for him to retire) by means where of a ship could be blown up, or sunk, are facts which I believe admit of little doubt.

Even though Turtle did not have any successful missions and was sunk in October 1776 during transport, it is still viewed today as a military marvel.

Darwin and Race

When Charles Darwin released his famous book, On the Origin of Species, in 1859, a jolt shook the scientific world with seemingly innumerable consequences. One such result was the notable increase of radical propositions justifying racism veiled in the language of science.

Darwin hints at his own racist views within the sub-title of his monolithic book which reads in full:

On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life1

Interestingly, modern editions, like the one published by the American Museum of Natural History, dispense with the majority of Darwin’s title, preferring instead to cut everything beyond “On the Origin of Species.”2

Readers of Darwin will note, however, that the scientist was an ardent abolitionist. In his younger days he followed closely the efforts of Wilberforce and the anti-slavery forces, writing in 1833:

I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery. What a proud thing for England if she is the first European nation which utterly abolishes it! I was told before leaving England that after living in slave countries all my opinions would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the negro character. It is impossible to see a negro and not feel kindly towards him; such cheerful, open, honest expressions and such fine muscular bodies.3

With such being the case, the question becomes, “how much higher did Darwin’s estimate become?” It is good that he did not consider slavery to be justified, but did he consider the enslaved to be equal to himself? The answer is a clear “no.”

In his book The Descent of Man, which explores the theory of natural selection and its implications upon humanity, Darwin offers an explanation for the “great break in the organic chain,” which some pointed to as evidence contradicting his theories, saying that, “these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct.” He then proceeds to give an illustration making his meaning clear:

At some future period, not very distant from as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world….The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some apes as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.4

Darwin has presented a scale displaying his perceptions of the graduated development of species. He hoped that, by means of the “preservation of favored races,” the biological gap between species will be more like the distance between the white man and baboon, instead of the closely related (as he views it) black man and gorilla. When discussing the way that the different “races” or “sub-species” of man have developed, he posits that:

Some of these, for instance the Negro and European, are so distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a naturalist without any further information, they would undoubtedly have been considered by him as good and true species.5

In accordance with this view of the natural supremacy of white people over black, he did not refrain from employing derogatory vocabulary when writing to his peers. In a discussion concerning the manner of certain ants which seemingly enslaved some of their fellow ants, he remarks:

I have now seen a defeated marauding party, and I have seen a migration from one nest to another of the slave-makers, carrying their slaves (who are HOUSE, and not field n—-rs) in their mouths!6

And he even would refer to his own editorial labors he spent on his books with the same baneful analogy:

But on my life no n—-r with lash over him could have worked harder at clearness than I have done.7

Galton

So we see that even though Darwin was personally against the institution of slavery, he still fully considered his own “race” to be widely superior to blacks, and employed the vernacular of the plantation when speaking in the safety of his letters. He viewed the world through racist eyes and his theory reflects that truth.

No one best exemplifies the inherent racism found in the  Darwin’s Preservation of the Favored Races than his cousin and fellow scientist, Francis Galton. Galton was a man who applied himself widely to the various scientific fields, but most of all to theories of racial development which he termed “eugenics.” Much of his work is based off that of Darwin, and the two conversed through letters until the latter passed. In Galton’s major work, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development, he advocated for the gradual extermination of the “lower races” through deliberate breeding of the higher “stock.” He concludes that:

The question then arises as to the way in which man can assist in the order of events. I reply, by furthering the course of evolution. He may use his intelligence to discover and expedite the changes that are necessary to adapt circumstance to race and race to circumstance, and his kindly sympathy will urge him to effect them mercifully.8

Galton himself attempted to “further the course of evolution” through a variety of means and methods. Most outrageously, he proposed colonizing Africa with the Chinese in hopes that the latter would breed-out the former, extinguishing the inhabitants of that continent entirely. He writes:

My proposal is to make the encouragement of the Chinese settlements at one or more suitable places on the East Coast of Africa a par of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race. I should expect the large part of the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages…might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order loving Chinese…9

In the same year, Darwin wrote to Galton praising another one of his incredible plans for genetically improving the world through selective breeding of humans in tones of intellectual agreement (if some doubt of its practicability):

Though I see so much difficulty, the object seems a grand one; and you have pointed out the sole feasible, yet I fear utopian, plan of procedure in improving the human race.10

With so much having been done by Darwin, which was then expounded upon by Galton, it should come as no surprise that the Southern apologists and white supremacists in America readily took to the writings of the two cousins as certain vindication of their position. One such piece of writing, out of the many which exist, is the 1905 essay by Benjamin K. Hays entitled, Natural Selection and the Race Problem.11 After breaking down the way Darwin’s theory applies to humanity, Hays turns his attention to the American situation:

And the black man—what of him?

As he was known to the ancient Egyptians, to the Greek and to the  Roman, even so is he found in his African home today. At the dawn of history he was fully developed, and during the past three thousand years he has not made one step of progress. Independently, he has shown no power to advance. The superiority of the American negro to his African brother, who is a savage and cannibal, is due to slavery, and could have been acquired in no other way. Men who ascribe debased characteristics of the negro to slavery show a short-sightedness that is pitiable. The present attainment of the American negro has been solely the result of his close personal contact with the white man.

Nor should it be forgotten that most of the leaders in the negro race are men with Anglo-Saxon blood in their veins who partake more of their Caucasian than of their Ethiopian lineage. Some of these are splendid men, who are making heroic efforts to elevate the negro race. Others of mixed blood are vicious and turbulent. These are the men who create trouble.

Left to itself, a negro population lapses into barbarism….The negro has been domesticated, but the question is, will he ever become an integral part of Anglo-American civilization….The black man has never been a competitor, but has always been subservient to the white race. And just so long as he remains subservient his position is secure, and just so soon as he becomes a competitor his fate is sealed.12

Hays very simply applies the Darwinian theory to his perception of America, drawing the same conclusions which Galton and Darwin himself reached. In the latter half of the essay, Hays turns his attention to how the racial tension in American could be resolved. He concludes only two options exist for African-Americans; submission or destruction. Hays synthesizes the natural extension of Darwin’s beliefs saying:

The weak has ever been dominated by the strong, and where the strong cannot control it will destroy. As long as a weaker race will render service, it will be protected by the stronger.

But whenever and wherever the weaker becomes a competitor of the stronger, the Struggle for Existence will be brief, and the relentless hand of Natural Selection will place the weaker in the list of those that are numbered with the past13

Clearly, the work of Darwin and his successors lead toward racist and destructive conclusions which have been used since their inception to justify oppression. Southern slaveholders and their later apologists used Darwinism as a balm for their consciences, vindicating their actions with the words of the “Father of Evolution.”


Endnotes

1 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (London: John Murray, 1859).
2 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species: A digital edition of the 1859 London Origin of Species, ed. Adam M. Goldstein (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2011).
3 Charles Darwin to Miss C. Darwin, May 22, 1833, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin (London: John Murray, 1888), I:246.
4 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (London: John Murray, 1871), I:201.
5 Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871), II:388.
6 Charles Darwin to J.D. Hooker, July 13, 1858, Life and Letters, ed. Darwin (1888), II:129.
7 Charles Darwin to J.D. Hooker, May 11, 1859, Life and Letters, ed. Darwin (1888), II:156.
8 Francis Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development (London: MacMillan and Co., 1883) , 334-335.
9 “Africa for the Chinese,” The Times, June 5, 1873.
10 Charles Darwin to Francis Galton, January 4, 1873, “Correspondence between Charles Darwin and Francis Galton,” Galton.org.
11 Benjamin K. Hays, Natural Selection and the Race Problem (Charlotte: Charlotte Medical Journal, 1905).
12 Hays, Natural Selection (1905), 8-10.
13 Hays, Natural Selection (1905), 20-21.

What Hath God Wrought

On May 24, 1844, a seismic breakthrough occurred: the first telegraphic message was transmitted between cities. People in two separate and distant geographic locations could instantly communicate with each other!

What was that first message? It was a Bible verse: Numbers 23:23 “What hath God wrought!” Such a message today likely would be met with much criticism, but for most of history–especially most of American history–religion was not seen as a hindrance to scientific thought but rather just the opposite.

This particular scientific breakthrough came at the hands of dedicated Christian inventor Samuel F. B. Morse. Morse (developer of the famous Morse Code) was also a celebrated painter, and while painting a portrait in Washington, D.C. in 1825, he received word that his wife in New England was seriously ill. He quickly returned home but found his wife had not only died but had already been buried.

Frustrated at the length of time it had taken the message to reach him, he sought a better and faster method of long distance communication. Morse initially developed a single strand telegraph which could transmit messages only over a short distance. He continued to perfect his invention until finally developing a means of transmitting magnetic signals over long distances.

Morse demonstrated his invention at the U. S. Capitol, and in 1843 Congress appropriated money to construct a telegraph line between the Capitol and Baltimore. That first telegraphic message (pictured below) from Numbers 23 was sent from the basement of the U.S. Capitol the following year. (That message had been suggested by the daughter of a friend.)

Many years later, looking back over that invention, Morse reflected:

If not a sparrow falls to the ground without a definite purpose in the plans of infinite wisdom [Matthew 10:29], can the creation of the instrumentality so vitally affecting the interests of the whole human race have an origin less humble than the Father of every good and perfect gift [James 1:17]? . . . I use the words of inspiration [that is, the Bible] in ascribing honor and praise to Him to Whom first of all and most of all it is pre-eminently due. “Not unto us, not unto us, but to God be all the glory” [Psalm 115:1]. Not what hath man, but “What hath God wrought!” [Numbers 23:23]

(You can read more about Samuel F. B. Morse’s invention in the Numbers 23 article in The Founders Bible.)

Biblical faith permeated Morse’s life. For example, in an 1830 letter (from WallBuilders’ collection, a page of which is pictured on the right), Samuel included a religious poem he had written earlier in life:

Yield then thy pen to God to draw
On the next leaf His perfect law
So when thy book of life is done
Cleans’d by the blood of God’s own Son.
From sin’s dark blots and folly’s stain
A purer volume shall remain
And rest (to grace a splendid prize)
In Heaven’s alcoves in the skies.

The use of Morse’s telegraphic invention grew rapidly and expanded not only across America but also the globe. (See, for example, an 1858 sermon from WallBuilders’ library, The Atlantic Telegraph: As Illustrating the Providence and Benevolent Designs of God, was preached after the laying of a trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.) Today we enjoy the modern technological blessings that sprang from what Christian inventor Samuel F. B. Morse began on May 24, 1844.

Samuel F.B. Morse – “What Hath God Wrought!”

Samuel Finley Breese (F.B.) Morse (1791-1872) is best remembered for being the inventor of the American telegraph system and the Morse Code alphabet which is still widely used today. It was his development and perfection of an instantaneous method of electronic communication over long distances which contributed to the rapid expansion of the West during the late 1800’s and laid the groundwork for today’s 24/7 mass media culture.

Something which history widely forgets today about Morse’s great inventions, however, is the role God played throughout the process. Educated on religious matters from birth by his father, the notable Rev. Jedidiah Morse, Samuel developed a deep and sincere faith in God. In the two volume work, Samuel F.B. Morse: His Letters and Journals, his own son describes the inventor’s character:

The dominant note was an almost childlike religious faith; a triumphant trust in the goodness of God even when his hand was wielding the rod; a sincere belief in the literal truth of the Bible, which may seem strange to us of the twentieth century; a conviction that he was destined in some way to accomplish a great good for his fellow men.

Next to love of God came love of country. He was patriotic in the best sense of the word. While abroad he stoutly upheld the honor of his native land, and at home he threw himself with vigor into the political discussions of the day, fighting stoutly for what he considered the right….

A favorite Bible quotation of his was “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you.” He deeply deplored the necessity of making enemies, but he early in his career became convinced that no man could accomplish anything of value in this world without running counter either to the opinions of honest men, who were as sincere as he, or to the self-seeking of the dishonest and the unscrupulous.1

Morse’s pious character clearly exhibits itself in the historic message relayed during the public demonstration of the telegraph on May 24, 1844. Morse had promised Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of the Commissioner of Patents that she would get to decide what would be said. After talking with her mother, Annie decided to send a portion from Numbers 23:23: “What hath God wrought!”

Early that morning, Morse and his guests gathered in the chamber of the Supreme Court while his assistant prepared to receive the fateful transmission in Baltimore. Then, at 8:45 a.m. on May 24, 1844, the electricity flowed through the line:

| . – – | . . . . | . – | – |
|   W       H      A    T |

| . . . . | . – | – | . . . . |
|   H      A    T     H   |

| – – . | . . | – . . |
|   G     O     D    |

| . – – | . . . | . . | . . – | – – . | . . . . | – |
|    W       R     O    U       G       H     T |

That message inaugurated the beginning of electronic media in America, setting off a chain of technological advancements which continues to this day nearly two-hundred years later. From the telegraph to the telephone to the internet, we all have good reason to declare, “What hath God wrought!”

Samuel Morse never forgot the role that God had in the development and success of the telegraph, always bearing in mind the powerful phrase selected by Annie Ellsworth. Later in life Morse explained that the telegraph was not merely an example of American ingenuity, but rather an example of God’s gracious providence:

Yet in tracing the birth and pedigree of the modern Telegraph, ‘American’ is not the highest term of the series that connects the past with the present; there is at least one higher term, the highest of all, which cannot and must not be ignored. If not a sparrow falls to the ground without a definite purpose in the plans of infinite wisdom, can the creation of an instrumentality so vitally affecting the interests of the whole human race have an origin less humble than the Father of every good and perfect gift?

I am sure I have the sympathy of such an assembly as is here gathered if, in all humility and in the sincerity of a grateful heart, I use the words of inspiration in ascribing honor and praise to Him whom first of all and most of all it is preeminently due. ‘Not unto us, not unto us, but to God be all the glory.’ Not what hath man, but ‘What hath God wrought?’2

The WallBuilders’ Library is home to a handwritten letter from Samuel Morse composed in 1836, a full eight years before the triumph of the telegraph. In this personal letter to Miss Mary Pattison we get a glimpse into artistic side Morse’s mind through the portions of poetry he records, which also exhibit his deep devotion to God. Below is the transcript of the WallBuilders’ letter followed by pictures of the document itself.


Miss Mary Pattison, Troy

New York, Sept. 14th, 1836

My dear friend Mary,

I comply with my promise and send you the lines which I wrote a few years ago for an Album in the possession of a young lady on the North river. If you remember I was struck with the train of thought a Mr. Adams’ piece in Mr. Taylor’s Album, and told you, that I had embodied the same thought, or nearly resembling it. I had it not in my memory, but this morning in searching my desk I found them and transcribe them for you.

What’s our Life but an Album fair
Outwardly deck’d with gilding name
With many leaves of white within
Where virtue writes, but oft’mes sin
With many leaves all written o’er
While every day turns one leaf more?
This breathes the hopes of younger years
That tells of sorrows and of fears.
Black eaves between Where naught has been
But blots perchance of Folly’s pen
And some remain, (at most but few,)
Where Sin will write: Shall Virtue too?
Yield then thy pen to God to draw
On the next leaf his perfect law
To when thy book of life is done
Cleans’d by the blood of God’s own son
From Sin’s dark blots, and Folly’s stain
A purer volume shall remain
And rest, (to Grace a splendid prize,)
In Heaven’s alcoves in the skies.

The moral is better than the poetry, you may destroy if you will the latter, but cherish the former.

I don’t know whether I am better for my last visit to Troy. My pleasure of your house was in excess, and like all excess is producing a corresponding depression. Your lovely sister is a most destructive enemy of one’s peace, and the worst of it is that she is innocently cruel. She wounds, yet knows it not. Well, Happiness, happiness to her, and to you all. Tell Catharine I am expecting my Philippina. I am wishing time away until the 1st of October.

I send by this opportunity some “Sketches” which were popular when they were published, I don’t know whether they were copied into the Troy papers. You will find in them where you have an idle hour, some of the incidents more in detail, which I told you verbally.

Remember I hold you all engaged for the Commencement of the University, in the first week of October.

With sincere regard,
Affectionately your friend & servant
Sam. F.B. Morse

I have just met with another trifle, which since I am in the mood of transcribing I send for Catherine’s album. It was written at the request of a young lady, who asked me to write something for her. I consented if she would give me a subject. She gave me the word “Farewell.”

Farewell! Farewell? No ‘tis a word of earth
A fraud seen there, ‘tis not of heavenly birth.
It wishes joy, yet instant clouds the ray
And give the pang, it feigns to take away.
Let not so false a word, thy tongue ‘ere tell
If well then wish thy friends, say not farewell.



1 Edward Lind Morse, Samuel F.B. Morse: His Letters and Journals (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1914), I:438-439.

2 Edward Lind Morse, Samuel F.B. Morse: His Letters and Journals (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1914), Vol. II, 472.

Science and the Glory of God

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
(Psalm 19:1)

science-and-the-glory-of-god-1Several WallBuilders speakers just returned from engagements in Alaska, where they witnessed the incomprehensible wonder of the Northern Lights, the breathtaking beauty of the majestic mountain ranges, and the creative uniqueness of its wildlife. Throughout American history, those who believed Psalms 19 and explored God’s marvelous creation have had great impact on our science.

science-and-the-glory-of-god-2For example, U.S. Navy Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury1 became known as “Father of Oceanography”2 and  “Pathfinder of the Seas”3 because of what he discovered from reading Psalm 8 and Ecclesiastes 1. When criticized for his reliance on the Bible, Maury responded:

I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. . . . The Bible is true, and science is true. . . . They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it: the fault is not with the Witness or His records [that is, God], but with the “worm” [sinful human] who essays [attempts] to interpret evidence which he does not understand.4

science-and-the-glory-of-god-3

Thomas Jefferson, a diligent student of history, observed that:

The Christian religion…is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind. 5

In fact, Jefferson said that  “Bacon, Newton and Locke . . . [are] my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced.” 6 While Locke was a Christian philosopher, both Bacon and Newton were Christian scientists. Notice the philosophy of these two.

science-and-the-glory-of-god-4Francis Bacon, known as the “Father of Modern Science,” 7 developed the process of inductive thinking and created the scientific method. He also penned several books on religion, such as On the Unity in Religion (1612), On Atheism (1612), and Of Praise (1612), as well as a translation of Biblical psalms (1625).

science-and-the-glory-of-god-5 Sir Isaac Newton as an English mathematician and scientist credited with birthing modern calculus and discovering the laws of universal gravitation. But he actually wrote more on theology than he did on science!

There are many other examples, making clear that science as we know it today would not exist had it not been for those who used the Bible to lay the foundations of modern science.

(For more information on the Bible and Science, see the commentary for Daniel 1 in The Founders’ Bible).


Endnotes

1 For information about Matthew Fontaine Maury, see: Captain Miles P. DuVal, Jr., “Matthew Fontaine Maury,” Naval History and Heritage Command, December 11, 2015; Diane Fontaine Maury Corbin, A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1888).
2 Howard J. Cohen, “Tributes to M. F. Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas,” Matthew Fontaine Maury (National Imagery and Mapping Agency, 2003), 4.
3 Charles Lee Lewis, Matthew Fontaine Maury: The Pathfinder of the Seas (Annapolis: The United States Naval Institute, 1927).
4 Corbin, Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1888), 178, “Maury’s Address at the Laying of the Corner-stone of the University of the South, on the Sewanee Mountains in East Tennessee, was delivered at the request of Bishop Otey on Nov. 30th, 1860.” See also Stephen McDowell, Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Pathfinder of the Seas (Charlottesville, VA: Providence Biblical Worldview University, 2011).
5 Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, March 23, 1801, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, ed. Thomas Jefferson Randolph (Charlottesville: F. Carr and Co., 1829), III:463.
6 Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, January 16, 1811, The Works of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul Leicester Ford (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905), XI:168.
4 The Works of Francis Bacon, ed. James Spedding (London: Longmans & Co., 1870), III:509, “Preface to the De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium”; John Timbs, Stories of Inventors and Discoverers in Science and the Useful Arts (London: Kent and Co., 1860), 91, “Lord Bacon’s ‘New Philosophy”; David C. Innes, “The Novelty and Genius of Francis Bacon,” Piety and Humanity, February 11, 2010.

Flying High

flying-high-2
Henry Arnold at the controls of an aircraft in the Wright Flying School

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed August 19th — the birthday of flight pioneer Orville Wright — as National Aviation Day.

Orville and his brother Wilbur were the pioneers of powered, controlled flight, and instituted the practice of training pilots before allowing them to fly. The Wright’s flight school was originally located in a field outside of Montgomery, Alabama (now Maxwell AFB), before relocating to a field outside of Dayton, Ohio.

Among the 119 flight students they trained was Lieutenant Henry “Hap” Arnold, who would later become the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and the only person to hold the rank of five-star General in two military branches.

Few today know that the Wright Brothers were raised in a devoutly Christian family and were themselves devout and pious. Learn about the remarkable faith and accomplishments of this duo.

Did you know?
WallBuilders Library has a collection of artifacts from American history.Here are just a few of the WWII aviation related artifacts from our library:flying-high
flying-high-4

Evolution and the Law: “A Death Struggle Between Two Civilizations”

The Trial of the Century

The 1925 State v. Scopes[1] evolution-creation trial in Dayton, Tennessee, has been called “the world’s most famous court trial,” [2] and it was a trial that certainly did arrest the world’s attention. As William Jennings Bryan, the special prosecutor in the trial, noted,

We are told that more words have been sent across the ocean by cable to Europe and Australia about this trial than has been sent by cable in regard to anything else happening in the United States. [3]

Indeed, few other trials have produced such crowded courtrooms and worldwide media attention or have resulted in as many full-length movies and reenactments of its proceedings as has this trial.

Bryan believed that the trial had “stirred the world” because

this cause . . . goes deep. It is because it extends wide, and because it reaches into the future beyond the power of man to see. Here has been fought out a little case of little consequence as a case, but the world is interested because it raises an issue. [4]

Award-winning historian Henry Steele Commager described how that “issue” became a sensationalized spectacle:

The religious question—the wisdom of the State law forbidding the teaching of evolution in public schools—was, to be sure, confused by the legal one—the right of the State to enact such a law. Both public opinion and counsel largely ignored the legal and concentrated on the religious issue. It was appropriate that [William Jennings] Bryan should have appeared as counsel for the prosecution, for he was not only the most distinguished and eloquent of American fundamentalists but largely responsible for the enactment of anti-evolution laws in several southern States. It was less appropriate, perhaps, that Clarence Darrow should have been chief counsel for the defense, for in the eyes of most Americans he represented not modernist religion but irreligion, and his advocacy of evolution and assault upon fundamentalism enabled the prosecution to identify science with atheism. . . . Constitutionally, Bryan’s case was unimpeachable, for in a democracy, as Justice Holmes never tired of pointing out, the people have a right to make fools of themselves. Bryan, however, did not adopt this logical but embarrassing position. Neither he nor Darrow argued the constitutional issue, and their evasion was encouraged by the Court, the press, and public opinion. It was not young John T. Scopes, after all, who was on trial, but fundamentalism itself. To the delight of the newspapermen and the chagrin of the devout, the trial degenerated into a circus and a brawl. [5]

The trial had revolved around a 1925 Tennessee law which stated that “it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” [6]

When substitute teacher John Scopes taught a biology class that he “classified man along with cats and dogs, cows, horses, monkeys, lions, horses and all
that,” [7] he was charged with violating that law.

At the trial level, district judge John Raulston allowed only the introduction of evidence and arguments which pertained to whether the law as written had been violated by John Scopes. The jury believed that it had been, and found Scopes guilty. The jury, however, requested the judge to levy the fine, [8] so the judge imposed on Scopes the minimum fine specified by the law for a conviction. On appeal to the State Supreme Court, the jury verdict was upheld but the fine was overturned, for the law had stipulated that the jury, not the judge, must determine the amount of the fine. [9]

The district court, in examining only whether Scopes had violated the law, had refused to consider either of two objections raised by Clarence Darrow and the Scopes defense team: (1) that the law prohibited teaching the scientific theory of evolution and therefore violated the State’s requirement “to cherish . . . science”; [10] and (2) that the law violated the constitutional prohibition against an establishment of religion.

On appeal, the State Supreme Court was willing to examine those two objections. On the first issue, the court upheld the law’s constitutionality, explaining:

Evolution, like prohibition, is a broad term. . . . [and i]t is only to the theory of the evolution of man from a lower type that the act before us was intended to apply, and much of the discussion we have heard is beside this case. [11]

Although the general characterization of the Scopes case was that of a legal showdown between the opposing beliefs of creation and evolution, as the court noted, it was not. The issue of the case actually was whether one specific variety of evolution teaching—and not all evolution teaching—might be banned. This was further confirmed in Justice Chambliss’ concurring opinion in which he pointed out that under the law, several theories of evolution, and even evolution in general, could still be taught:

Conceding that “the theory of evolution is altogether essential to the teaching of biology and its kindred sciences,” it will not be contended by Dr. [E. N.] Reinke [a professor of biology at Vanderbilt University relied upon by the defense team], or by learned counsel quoting from him, that the theory of evolution essentially involves the denial of the divine creation of man. . . . The theories of Drummond, Winchell, Fiske, Hibbens, Millikan, Kenn, Merriam, Angell, Cannon, Barnes, and a multitude of others, whose names are invoked in argument and brief, do not deny the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, evolutionists though they be. . . . Our laws approve no teaching of the Bible at all in the public schools, but require only that no theory shall be taught which denies that God is the Creator of man—that his origin is not thus to be traced. [12]

For these reasons, the Court rejected Darrow’s challenge to the law, and then added:

If the Legislature thinks that . . . the cause of education and the study of science generally will be promoted by forbidding the teaching of evolution in the schools of the state, we can conceive of no ground to justify the court’s interference. The courts cannot sit in judgment on such acts of the Legislature or its agents and determine whether or not the omission or addition of a particular course of study tends “to cherish science.” [13]

On the second objection raised against the law, the court rejected the argument that the law violated any constitutional prohibition against the establishment of religion, explaining:

We are not able to see how the prohibition of teaching the theory that man has descended from a lower order of animals gives preference to any religious establishment or mode of worship. So far as we know, there is no religious establishment or organized body that has in its creed or confession of faith any article denying or affirming such a theory. So far as we know, the denial or affirmation of such a theory does not enter into any recognized mode of worship. Since this cause has been pending in this court, we have been favored, in addition to briefs of counsel and various amici curiae, with a multitude of resolutions, addresses, and communications from scientific bodies, religious factions, and individuals giving us the benefit of their views upon the theory of evolution. Examination of these contributions indicates that Protestants, Catholics, and Jews are divided among themselves in their beliefs, and that there is no unanimity among the members of any religious establishment as to this subject. Belief or unbelief in the theory of evolution is no more a characteristic of any religious establishment or mode of worship than is belief or unbelief in the wisdom of the prohibition laws. It would appear that members of the same churches quite generally disagree as to these things. Furthermore, Chapter 277 of the Acts of 1925 requires the teaching of nothing. It only forbids the teaching of the evolution of man from a lower order of animals. [14]

Justice Chambliss, in his concurrence, further explained why nothing religious had been established:

Considering the caption and body of this act as a whole, it is seen to be clearly negative only, not affirmative. It requires nothing to be taught. It prohibits merely. And it prohibits, not the teaching of any theory of evolution, but that theory (of evolution) only that denies, takes issue with, positively disaffirms, the creation of man by God (as the Bible teaches), and that, instead of being so created, he is a product of, springs from, a lower order of animals. No authority is recognized or conferred by the laws of this state for the teaching in the public schools, on the one hand, of the Bible, or any of its doctrines or dogmas, and this act prohibits the teaching on the other hand of any denial thereof. It is purely an act of neutrality. Ceaseless and irreconcilable controversy exists among our citizens and taxpayers, having equal rights, touching matters of religious faith, and it is within the power of the Legislature to declare that the subject shall be excluded from the tax-supported institutions, that the state shall stand neutral, rendering “unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s,” and insuring the completeness of separation of church and state. [15]

Interestingly, while that court viewed upholding the law as an act of neutrality, contemporary courts have found State acts which are far more innocuous than that 1925 Tennessee law—acts expressly mandating neutrality—now to be unconstitutional establishments of religion. [16] For example, American Law Reports noted:

The Supreme Court held that the establishment clause was violated by Louisiana’s Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act, in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) 482 US 578, 96 L Ed 2d 510, 107 S Ct 2573. The Act declared that it was enacted to protect academic freedom; required public schools to give balanced treatment to the “sciences” of creation and evolution in classroom lectures, textbooks, library materials, or other programs to the extent that they dealt in any way with the origin of man, life, the earth, or the universe; decreed that when creation or evolution is taught, each shall be taught as a theory rather than proven scientific fact; defined “Creation-Science” and “Evolution-Science” as the scientific evidence for, respectively, creation or evolution, and inferences therefrom; forbid discrimination against any public school teacher who chooses to be a creation scientist or to teach scientific data pointing to creationist; provided that instruction in the subject of origins is not required, but insisted on instruction in both creationist and evolutionary models if public schools chose to teach either. [17]

Significantly, even though the Louisiana statute specifically mandated that instruction be limited to an examination of “scientific data” and the “scientific evidence for, respectively, creation or evolution” and never mentioned either God or the Bible, the Court nevertheless found it to be an unconstitutional establishment of religion. As one legal observer insightfully noted, “The courts. . . . apparently find creationism to be a religious doctrine, but will not make evident the definition of religion which underlies their decisions.” [18]

Yet, why did the earlier Tennessee court find that a State statute that specifically acknowledged God in relation to creation was not an unconstitutional establishment of religion? Because, as Justice Chambliss explained, the law reflected the provisions of . . .

. . . our Constitution, and the fundamental Declaration lying back of it, through all of which runs recognition of and appeal to “God” and a life to come. The Declaration of Independence opens with a reference to “the laws of nature and nature’s God,” and holds this truth “to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator,” etc., and concludes “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union read, “And whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the world . . . [19]

Because the state law was consistent with the explicit language in our federal governing documents, and because it negated only “the right to teach in the public schools a denial of the existence, recognized by our Constitution, of the Creator of all mankind,” [20] it was upheld by the Court. Based, therefore, on the wording in the founding documents, Chambliss had concluded:

That the Legislature may prohibit the teaching of the future citizens and office holders to the State a theory that denies the Divine Creator will hardly be denied. [21]

Significantly, to reach this conclusion, the decision had cited three of the four documents identified in the U. S. Code as “organic laws”[22]—those documents that establish and define the operation of our government. Since those organic laws specifically fuse into the American structure of government the concept of a divine creator, a probing question is: may the judiciary nullify, or rule to be unconstitutional, a teaching expressly set forth in the documents it is charged with upholding?

The Timelessness of the Conflict

The response to this question often comes in the form of an objection: science has acquired new information unknown to those who framed our government; based, therefore, on this new information, the courts must reach conclusions at variance with those stipulated by the founding documents. Or, as Vermont Law School Professor Steven Wise argues,

Facts change and with them the scientific theories that assume those facts. . . . When facts change, the law that assumes those facts should change. [23]

However, it is a mistake to believe that the arguments about evolution actually postdate the framers of our documents. While uninformed laymen erroneously believe the theory of evolution to be a product of Charles Darwin in his first major work of 1859, the historical records are exceedingly clear that our framers were well-acquainted with the theories and principle teachings of evolution—as well as the science and philosophy both for and against that thesis—well before Darwin synthesized those long-standing teachings in his writings.

For example, Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell explains: “The general idea of evolution is very old; it is already to be found in Anaximander (sixth century B.C.). . . . [and] Descartes, Kant, [and] Laplace had advocated a gradual origin for the solar system in place of sudden creation.” [24] Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn, a zoologist and paleontologist, agrees, declaring that there are “ancient pedigrees for all that we are apt to consider modern. Evolution has reached its present fullness by slow additions in twenty-four centuries.” [25] He continues,

Evolution as a natural explanation of the origin of the higher forms of life . . . developed from the teaching of Thales and Anaximander into those of Aristotle. . . . and it is startling to find him, over two thousand years ago, clearly stating, and then rejecting, the theory of the survival of the fittest as an explanation of the evolution of adaptive structures. [26]

And British anthropologist Edward Clodd similarly affirms that,

The pioneers of evolution—the first on record to doubt the truth of the theory of special creation, whether as the work of departmental gods or of one Supreme Deity, matters not—lived in Greece about the time already mentioned; six centuries before Christ. [27]

For example, Anaximander (600 b.c.) introduced the theory of spontaneous generation; Diogenes (550 b.c.) introduced the concept of the primordial slime; Empedocles (495-455 b.c.) introduced the theory of the survival of the fittest and of natural selection; Democritus (460-370 b.c.) advocated the mutability and adaptation of species; the writings of Lucretius, before the birth of Christ, announced that all life sprang from “mother earth” rather than from any specific deity; Bruno (1548-1600) published works arguing against creation and for evolution in 1584-85; Leibnitz (1646-1716) taught the theory of intermedial species; Buffon (1707-1788) taught that man was a quadruped ascended from the apes, about which Helvetius also wrote in 1758; Swedenborg (1688-1772) advocated and wrote on the nebular hypothesis (the early “big bang”) in 1734, as did Kant in 1755; etc. It is a simple fact that countless works for (and against) evolution had been written for over two millennia prior to the drafting of our governing documents and that much of today’s current phraseology surrounding the evolution debate was familiar rhetoric at the time our documents were framed.

In fact, Dr. Henry Osborn, curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, describes the third period in the history of evolution [28]—the period in which our framers lived—as a period which produced the evolution writings of

Linnaeus, Buffon, E[rasmus] Darwin, Lamarck, Goethe, Treviranus, Geof. St. Hilaire, St. Vincent, Is. St. Hilaire. Miscellaneous writers: Grant, Rafinesque, Virey, Dujardin, d’Halloy, Chevreul, Godron, Leidy, Unger, Carus, Lecoq, Schaafhausen, Wolff, Meckel, Von Baer, Serres, Herbert, Buch, Wells, Matthew, Naudin, Haldeman, Spencer, Chambers, Owen. [29]

Clearly, then, 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.

Thomas Paine provides one example affirming this. 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 demonstration. [30]

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.” [31] Yet, this anti-Bible Founder was nevertheless a strong supporter of teaching the theistic origins of man.

Theistic v. Non-Theistic Approaches

For the past twenty-five centuries, the debate has divided itself along two primary approaches. As Justice Chambliss noted:

Two theories of organic evolution are well recognized, one the theistic. . . . [and t]he other theory is known as the materialistic, which denies that God created man, that He was the first cause. [32]

Confirming this general distinction between approaches, Dr. Robert Clark from Cambridge notes:

Haeckel [1834-1919] claimed that spontaneous generation must be true, not because its truth could be confirmed in the laboratory, but because, otherwise, it would be necessary to believe in a Creator. . . . Compare the remark of Sir Charles Lyell [1797-1875, author of several works that influenced Darwin], “The German critics have attacked me vigorously, saying that by the impugning of the doctrine of spontaneous generation, I have left them nothing but the direct and miraculous intervention of the First Cause.” [33]

Yet, despite the fact that the arguments about evolution are frequently drawn toward religion, John Dewey accurately observed:

The vivid and popular features of the anti-Darwinian row tended to leave the impression that the issue was between science on one side and theology on the other. Such was not the case—the issue lay primarily within science itself, as Darwin himself early recognized. [34]

Indeed, this has always been, and still is, a hotly contested debate among highly credentialed scientists from both sides; and these debates over evolution continue to prove that establishing the origin of man is, scientifically speaking, an inquiry still surrounded by much hypothetical conjecture and debate. That is, while science is settled among all scientists on issues like gravity, fluid dynamics, heliocentricity, the laws of motion, etc., there still is no clear consensus—or anything approaching it—among scientists on the issue of the origins of man.

While the debate over the origins of man has always been between a theistic and a non-theistic explanation, among those who embrace the theistic view have been found—and still are found—three distinct approaches (although the latter two are not incompatible with the first): (1) intelligent-design (that which exists came into being by divine guidance, but the period of time required or the specifics of the process are unsettled, possibly unprovable, and therefore remain debatable); (2) theistic evolution (that which exists came into being over a long, slow passing of time through natural laws and processes but under divine guidance); and (3) special creation (that which exists came into being in six literal days). This, then, makes four separate historical approaches to the origins of man: three theistic, and one non-theistic.

In the non-theistic camp, [35] Empedocles (495-435 b.c.) was the father and original proponent of the evolution theory, followed by advocates such as Democritus (460-370 b.c.), Epicurus (342-270 b.c.), Lucretius (98-55 b.c.), Abubacer (1107-1185 a.d.), Bruno (1548-1600), Buffon (1707-1788), Helvetius (1715-1771), Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), Lamarck (1744-1829), Goethe (1749-1832), Lyell (1797-1875), etc.

In the theistic camp, Anaxigoras (500-428 b.c.) was the father of intelligent design; that same belief was also expounded by such distinguished scientists and philosophers Descartes (1596-1650), Harvey (1578-1657), Newton (1642-1727), Kant (1729-1804), Mendel (1822-1884), Cuvier (1769-1827), Agassiz (1807-1873), etc. Significantly, even Charles Darwin (1809-1882), strongly influenced by the writings of Paley (1743-1805), [36] embraced the intelligent design position at the time that he wrote his celebrated work, explaining:

Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty, or rather impossibility, of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species. [37]

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. [38]

(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. [39])

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.” [40] 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. [41]

In fact, Darrow himself, during the trial, admitted that this was a prominent position of many in that day, [42] and Dudley Malone, Darrow’s co-counsel, even declared:

[W]e 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. [43]

Interestingly, writers who chronicle the centuries-long history of the evolution debate [44] 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.

The history of this controversy through recent years and even previous centuries makes clear that scientific discovery has not significantly altered any of these four views. There have always been, and still continue to be, scientists in each group finding new scientific facts that they interpret to bolster their arguments. Remarkably, only judges seem comfortable in settling which side of an ongoing centuries-old scientific debate is correct.

Public Opinion on the Issue

Another noteworthy part of the Tennessee decision was the court’s desire to reach neutrality, as it explained, by teaching, on the one hand, neither the “Bible, or any of its doctrines or dogmas,” or, on the other hand, “teaching the denial of . . . divine creation,” because “it is too well established for argument that ‘the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible’ is accepted—not ‘denied’—by millions of men and women.” [45]

Today, nearly a century-and-a-half after Darwin’s original work, and following literally thousands of writings by scientists and philosophers on all sides of the evolution controversy, the courts’ characterization in the Scopes decision still seems accurately to reflect the public’s sentiment today.

For example, in the 1920s, twenty state legislatures considered measures to prohibit the teaching of anti-theistic evolution; in the 1990s, the number of states that considered such measures was identical—twenty. [46] Polls also confirm that there has not been much shift in public opinion in recent decades. For example, in 1982, 9 percent of the nation believed in non-theistic origins, 38 percent in theistic evolution, and 44 percent in theistic special creation. [47] In 1998, an average was compiled of polls from the 1980s and 1990s, finding that during that period, 10 percent believed in non-theistic origins, 40 percent in theistic evolution, and 45 percent believed in theistic special creation. [48] Then a subsequent 1999 poll found that 9 percent believed in non-theistic origins, 40 percent in theistic evolution, and 47 percent in theistic special creation. [49]

Numerous other polls regularly confirm that from 85 to 90 percent of Americans embrace a theistic view, yet the courts simply do not permit this view to be presented, [50]
preferring instead what the Tennessee court had described as the “teaching of the denial” of the belief accepted “by millions of men and women.” The Supreme Court has indeed become a self-described “super board of education for every school district in the nation” [51] by prescribing non-theistic origins as the state orthodoxy throughout all public school classrooms.

An Informed Decision

Significantly, each provision of our governing documents reflects a deliberate choice based on specific reasoning, and as previously demonstrated, the evolution controversy was well developed at the time our founding documents were drafted. The framers therefore deliberately chose to incorporate into those documents not only the belief in theistic origins over that of non-theistic origins but also a belief in elected representation over hereditary leadership, the consent of the governed over monarchy, separation of powers over consolidation, bicameralism over unicameralism, republicanism over democracy, etc.

Consequently, the fact that a position for a divine creator is officially made a part of our founding documents—documents of government and not documents of religion—makes theistic origins a part of our political, not merely religious or even scientific, theory. Under our founding documents, therefore, the judiciary can no more disallow theism than it can disallow republicanism or separation of powers.

Yet, if the contemporary courts are correct that either the acknowledgment of God or the teaching of a divine creator is an unconstitutional establishment of religion under the First Amendment, then evidently one of the purposes for the First Amendment was to keep specific principles in the Declaration of Independence from being taught. While such a conclusion is illogical, it is nevertheless defended by asserting that the belief of a creator is incorporated into the Declaration rather than the Constitution, and that the Declaration is a separate document from, and is not to affect the interpretation of, the Constitution.

This argument is of recent origin, however, for well into the twentieth century, the Declaration and the Constitution were viewed as interdependent rather than as independent documents. In fact, the U. S. Supreme Court declared:

[T]he latter [the Constitution] is but the body and the letter of which the former [the Declaration of Independence] is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. [52]

No other conclusion logically can be reached since the Constitution directly attaches itself to the Declaration in Article VII by declaring:

Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the States present the seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. (emphasis added)

Additional evidence that the framers viewed the Declaration as inseparable from the Constitution is seen by the fact that Presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al., dated their government acts under the Constitution from the Declaration rather than the Constitution. [53]

Furthermore, the admission of territories as States into the Union was often predicated on an assurance by the State that the State’s. . .

. . . constitution, when formed, shall be republican, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. [54]

The framers believed that the Declaration provided the core values by which the Constitution was to operate, and that the Constitution was not to be interpreted apart from those values. As John Quincy Adams explained in his famous oration, The Jubilee of the Constitution:

[T]he virtue which had been infused into the Constitution of the United States . . . was no other than the concretion of those abstract principles which had been first proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. . . . This was the platform upon which the Constitution of the United States had been erected. Its virtues, its republican character, consisted in its conformity to the principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and as its administration . . . was to depend upon the . . . virtue, or in other words, of those principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Constitution of the United States. [55]

The framers never imagined that the Constitution could be interpreted to violate the values they had erected in the Declaration; for, under America’s government as originally established, a violation of the principles of the Declaration was just as serious as a violation of the provisions of the Constitution. Nonetheless, courts over the past half-century have isolated the two documents, now making them mutually exclusive.

A Battle of Civilizations

Returning to an examination of the Scopes case; since the point in question was not whether evolution teaching could be banned but rather whether evolution teaching that denied the principles of the founding documents could be banned, what, then, did the participants of the Scopes case see as the real issue? Strikingly, both sides believed that the case actually represented a struggle for society itself.

Scopes’ defense counsel Arthur Hays described the case as a “duel to the death,” [56] and prosecutor Gen. Thomas Stewart confirmed that it was an issue that “strikes at the very vitals of civilization.” [57] William Jennings Bryan called it “a duel between two great ideas,” [58] and Darrow, shortly after the trial started, deprecatingly acknowledged that he was arguing the case as if it were “a death struggle between two civilizations.” [59]

The participants on each side—like so many before and after them—understood that the ramifications of the question of theistic origins went far beyond any alleged scientific dispute and focused rather on what type of civilization America would experience. Interestingly, much of the debate in the trial actually addressed the societal ramifications that would be realized under each viewpoint.

Yet, how does a conflict between a theistic and a non-theistic view of the origins of man actually affect civilization? Because the view embraced determines a culture’s approach to the meaning of life, and therefore subsequently will define both the purpose of government and the manner in which it will interact with its citizens. As Princeton Professor Peter Singer explains:

In what sense does rejection of belief in a god imply rejection of the view that life has any meaning? If this world had been created by some divine being with a particular goal in mind, it could be said to have meaning, at least for that divine being. If we could know what the divine being’s purpose in creating us was, we could then know what the meaning of our life was for our creator. If we accepted our creator’s purpose (though why we should do that would need to be explained), we could claim to know the meaning of life.

When we reject belief in a god we must give up the idea that life on this planet has some preordained meaning. Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of molecules; it then evolved through random mutations and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen for any overall purpose. Now that it has resulted in the existence of beings who prefer some states of affairs to others, however, it may be possible for particular lives to be meaningful. [60]

As Singer observes, if there is a creator, then there can be a purpose and meaning—even an intrinsic value—to life; however, if there is no creator, then there is meaning only for “particular” lives. Thus, how government touches the lives of its citizens will be radically different, depending on which view is adopted.

For example, will all lives have intrinsic worth and therefore be protected equally by government, or will just “particular” lives have worth and therefore receive special protection and treatment? And if not all lives have equal worth, then who determines which lives will have worth—and what criteria will be used to make that determination? And if there is no creator, then there is no special purpose for a life—or a society—and in place of order and design instead will be policies reflecting chance and variableness; and if there is no design, then even morality itself must become relative, dependent upon time, place, and circumstances.

John Dewey, a strong supporter of Darwin, recognized the difference that a belief in design made to a society. As he acknowledged, a society that embraced the “design argument” was characterized by “purposefulness,” and “this purposefulness gave sanction and worth to the moral and religious endeavors of man.” [61] However, as he also recognized, “the Origin of Species introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion.” [62]

In short, to embrace Darwin’s principles would result in a paradigm shift throughout the whole of society. As Commager confirmed:

The impact of Darwin. . . . repudiated the philosophical implications of the Newtonian system, substituted for the neat orderly universe governed by fixed laws, a universe in constant flux whose beginnings were incomprehensible and whose ends were unimaginable, reduced man to a passive role, and by subjecting moral concepts to its implacable laws deprived them of that authority which had for so long furnished consolation and refuge to bewildered man. [63]

Darrow recognized—and Dewey, Singer, and others subsequently confirmed—that Darwinism would result in a new approach to civilization. [64]

However, this difference in the societal—that is, the civilizational—effects proceeding from which view of the origins of man was adopted was already understood and articulated centuries ago both by the framers and by the political theorists on whom they relied. Therefore, their decision to invoke the belief in a creator into our form of government was willfully to establish an approach that would distinguish the American philosophy of a civilized society from the non-theistic approaches to civilization present in so many other nations of that day. [65]

The remainder of this work will document the various manners in which the judiciary’s rejection of theistic origins has dramatically altered the American civilization—her approach to law, morality, crime and punishment, and even the role, and the form, of government.

(Note: Whereas evolution in past generations could mean either theistic or non-theistic origins, as a result of court decisions over the past three decades, evolution is now understood to mean only the non-theistic view. In fact, even theistic evolution is currently called creationism and is seen to be “religious,” notwithstanding the fact that many of its proponents—including Darwin, Paine, Dewey, etc.—were not even remotely religious. Therefore, for the remainder of this work, the terms “evolution”
and “Darwinism” will, according to their contemporary usage, refer to the non-theistic approach to the origins of man.)

Uniqueness v. Speciesism

From the belief that a creator made human life (that, according to the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created”), and that human life was made with design or purpose, proceeded the ancillary belief that human life was therefore distinct. Consequently, not only was all human life equal in value (“all men are created equal”) [66] but also all human life was unique from and more important than other life; and so man must be a good steward of the world in which he is placed. [67] More, therefore, would be expected from man than from any other being in creation.

Pufendorf, [68] one of the chief political theorists on whom the framers relied and whom they highly recommended to following generations, [69] encapsulated this belief in these words:

[T]he word humanity import[s] that condition in which man is placed by his creator, who hath been pleased to endue him with excellencies and advantages in a high degree above all other animate beings. . . . and that ‘tis expected that he should maintain a course of life far different from that of brutes. [70]

William Blackstone, [71] in his famous Commentaries on the Laws, [72] similarly explained:

In the beginning of the world . . . the all-bountiful creator gave to man, “dominion over all the earth; and over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is the only true and solid foundation of man’s dominion over external things, whatever airy metaphysical notions may have been started by fanciful writers upon this subject. The earth therefore, and all things therein, are the general property of all mankind, exclusive of other beings, from the immediate gift of the creator. [73]

Thus, from the belief in a creator came the ensuing belief that man was a unique species, alone endowed with superior rational and moral capacities, and that he held intrinsic worth surpassing that of what John Locke [74] had called “all inferior creatures,” [75] or all other species. Man’s life, therefore, had purpose—or, in the words of
John Dewey, “the classic notion of species carried with it the idea of purpose.” [76]

Darwin changed that view, asserting that man actually was not very special after all. As he explained, “Man, in his arrogance, thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble and, I believe, true, to consider him created from animals.” [77] Regarding this statement, Dr. James Rachels observed:

Darwin wrote these words in 1838, twenty-one years before he was to publish The Origin of Species. He would go on to support this idea with overwhelming evidence, and in doing so he would bring about a profound change in our conception of ourselves. [78]

Independent observers had quickly grasped the ramifications of this change in the value of man. In fact, one critic challenged Sir Charles Lyell (a writer who strongly influenced Darwin) on this very point. As Lyell reported, “one of Darwin’s reviewers put the alternative strongly by asking ‘whether we are to believe that man is modified mud or modified monkey.’ The mud is a great comedown from the ‘archangel ruined’.” [79] Because of Darwin, man was now just one of the animals, and as Commager noted:

The impact of Darwin. . . . was a blow to man rather than to God who, in any event, was better able to bear it, for if it relegated God to a dim first cause, it toppled Man from his exalted position as the end and purpose of creation, the crown of nature, and the image of God, and classified him prosaically with the anthropoids. [80]

Consequently, since man was now just one of the animals, English scholar Henry Salt urged in 1892 that

we must get rid of the antiquated notion of a ‘great gulf’ fixed between them [animals] and mankind and must recognize the common bond of humanity that unites all living beings in one universal brotherhood. [81]

And since man had now become part of one “universal brotherhood” with all other animals, then all shared the same future. That is, if man had a soul and a spirit, so did the animals; if they did not, neither did he. As Salt explained, “mankind and the lower animals have the same destiny before them, whether that destiny be for immortality or for annihilation.” [82] As Dr. Rachels so well summarized:

After Darwin, we can no longer think of ourselves as occupying a special place in creation—instead, we must realize that we are products of the same evolutionary forces, working blindly and without purpose, that shaped the rest of the animal kingdom. [83]

Dr. Margot Norris, professor at the University of California at Irvine, confirms, “Darwin collapsed the cardinal distinctions between animal and human.” [84] Princeton Professor Peter Singer agrees, observing that because of Darwin’s proposals, “Human beings now knew that they were not the special creation of God, made in the divine image and set apart from the animals; on the contrary, human beings came to realize that they were animals themselves.” [85] Therefore, as Henry Salt pointed out, “the term ‘animals,’ as applied to the lower races, is incorrect . . . since it ignores the fact that man is an animal no less than they.” [86]

Today, the belief that man is in any way different from, or superior to, other animal species is known as “speciesism” [87]—a term coined in 1920 by Oxford psychologist Richard Ryder. [88] Peter Singer, a founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) calls speciesism “a form of prejudice, immoral and indefensible in the same way that discrimination on the basis of race is immoral and indefensible.” [89] Just as a racist considers those from another race as inferior, a speciesist considers those from another species as inferior. A speciesist is simply a more universal form of a racist.

Dr. Steve Sapontzis, a professor at Cal State, argues that since man is not superior to other species, it is therefore wrong to be a speciesist. He asserts:

[I]t is not membership in any particular species that confers higher value on one’s life. It is the possession of intellectual abilities, which could belong to a wide variety of life forms. It is an empirical accident, a fluke of evolution, that only the human species has developed these abilities. [90]

North Carolina State University Professor Tom Regan concurs:

[I]t has long seemed to me that far too much moral importance is attached to being a person. . . . That someone is a person is morally relevant, certainly. But that being a person makes one morally superior, or confers on that individual moral rights no other living being can possibly possess: these seem to me to be more in the nature of arrogant dogma than reasoned belief. [91]

Dr. Marc Hauser, professor at Harvard, agrees:

To admire our species for its qualities is natural. To place us with the gods and angels, above all the others, is both pompous and boring. It is pompous because it places us on top of an intellectual pyramid without articulating the criteria for evaluation. It is boring because it ignores differences in thinking, and fails to search for an understanding of how different shades of mind evolved. [92]

Steven Wise, instructor of animal law courses at four universities, therefore ridicules as ‘imbecilic’ the belief that human beings are superior to other animals and charged with dominion over them. [93]

Very simply, all species are equal—or, in the words of Ingrid Newkirk, director of a powerful animal rights group, “A rat is a pig is a boy is a dog.” [94]

If there is no significant difference in value between the species, then the death of a member of a non-human species is as great a tragedy as the death of one from the human species. As Singer explains:

[W]hether a being is or is not a member of our species is, in itself no more relevant to the wrongness of killing it than whether it is or is not a member of our race. The belief that mere membership of our species, irrespective of other characteristics, makes a great difference to the wrongness of killing a being is a legacy of religious doctrines. [95]

In fact, when Dr. Regan was asked, “If you were aboard a lifeboat with a baby and a dog, and the boat capsized, would you rescue the baby or the dog?” Regan responded, “If it were a retarded baby, and bright dog, I’d save the dog.” [96]

With the rejection of the theistic approach to origins, all other life forms are now elevated in value to that once uniquely held by humans. This view has resulted in an aggressive animal rights movement. Dr. Jack Albright, professor at Purdue, summarizes the main tenets of the animal-rights non-speciesists:

[P]roponents of animal rights hold that animals must not be exploited in any manner. In other words, the only interactions humans should have with animals are those that occur by happenstance or those that are initiated by an animal. Animal rights advocates believe that animals have basic rights—many say, the same as people—to be free from confinement, pain, suffering, use in experiments, and death for reason of consumption by other animals (including humans). Thus, animal rights advocates oppose the use of animals for food, for clothing, for entertainment, for medical research, for product testing, for seeing-eye dogs, and as pets. . . . The animal rights proponents believe that humans have evolved to a point where they can live without any animal products—meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, wool, fur, silk, by products, etc. These advocates offer a long list of concerns in support of the conclusion that neither medical researchers nor the cosmetic industry has the right to experiment on animals. They also conclude that the animal kingdom is exploited by hunters, zoos, circuses, rodeos, horse racing, horseback riding, the use of simians (small primates) to assist quadraplegics in wheelchairs, and by the keeping of animals as pets. [97]

Under this more “evolved” non-speciesist view, the alleged mistreatment of animals is often described in terms of human brutalities and compared to human atrocities. For example, the co-director of one national animal rights group declared: “Six million people died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughter houses.” [98] Others, like Peter Singer, a candidate from the Green Party, make similar comparisons:

You cannot write objectively about the experiments of the Nazi concentration camp “doctors” on those they considered “subhuman” without stirring emotions; and the same is true of a description of some of the experiments performed today on nonhumans in laboratories in America, Britain, and elsewhere. [99]

Long time Cal State professor Steve Sapontzis agrees:

Believing that the superior value of human life justifies sport hunting, luxury furs, or veal production presumes a hidden, feudalistic premise. That is an easy presumption, however, when we are sure that we are and will remain at the top of the feudal power pyramid. That is, of course, just what we are sure of in our relation to animals, and why we can with such clear consciences continue to be Nazis to our animals. [100]

Singer also finds similarities with African-American slavery, declaring that what animals have endured “can only be compared with that which resulted from the centuries of tyranny by white humans over black humans.” [101] In fact, Dr. Susan Finsen, professor at Cal State, believes that those human atrocities—and even the current “exploitation of women, gays, third world peoples, etc., is bound up with the exploitation of animals.” [102] Singer therefore asserts, “It can no longer be maintained by anyone but a religious fanatic that man is the special darling of the whole universe, or that other animals were created to provide us with food.” [103]

Believing, then, that the death of an animal is the equivalent of a Nazi murder, non-speciesists make every effort to bring to bear the full force of the law to protect animals.
So strong is the movement resulting from this non-theistic belief of origins that courses on animal law are now being offered at Harvard, the University of California, Vermont Law School, Georgetown, John Marshall Law School, Tufts University, the University of Oregon, and a number of other prominent schools.

Seeking to remove any and all distinctions between humans and animals, the effort is underway to obtain not only legal “personhood status” for animals but also to win for them “[m]any of the ‘rights’ that humans consider profoundly dear, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” [104] Professor Steven Wise of the John Marshall Law School sets forth the goal:

For centuries, a Great Legal Wall has divided humans from every other species of animal in the West. On one side, every human is a person with legal rights; on the other, every non-human is a thing with no legal rights. Every animal rights lawyer knows that this barrier must be breached. [105]

The difficulties faced in ultimately achieving these legal rights for non-human animals—according to Professor Wise— is that:

Since “animal law” is primarily a matter of state concern, the battle for the legal personhood of non-human animals will have to proceed on fifty state fronts. [106]

Recognizing that non-human animals “have no more power to bring their own claims [before a court] than do human incompetents,” [107] Wise therefore recommends several methods by which humans might sue in behalf of non-human animals, including the seeking of guardianship, the use of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, intervening in a forfeiture action against non-human animals, etc. [108] Significantly, his methods have proven successful.

For example, in 1994, Taro, an Akita dog, was sent to “death row” for attacking and marring a young child, but New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed an official state pardon for the dog on the basis of forfeiture intervention. [109] In 1998, the U. S. Court of Appeals for DC granted legal standing to a man suing on behalf of monkeys in a Long Island zoo. [110] And in 1993, the Federal Rules for Civil Procedures were extended to a dolphin, with the court declaring that the “rule could ‘apply to . . . non-human entities’.” [111]

With attorneys thus “fighting for the rights of the disenfranchised,” [112] an amazing cadre of suits now blurs the distinction between human animals and non-human animals. In fact, the rhetoric surrounding those cases increasingly describes non-human animals in terms that once were limited solely to humans.

For example, a family in Massachusetts, suing the owners of dogs that killed their sheep, is seeking more than just the traditional recovery for damages to their livestock. As they explain, because they were forced to watch “a lamb grow up without a mother” and to “live with this fear” of dogs, they are seeking “emotional damages and loss of companionship, just as if a child had been killed.” [113] In a separate case based on the injury of a pet at a kennel, a family sued for “emotional distress” because they “deem that animal as a part of their family [and] look at the animal as another person.” [114] In fact, damages were even awarded in one case because a dog “cried” when a vet worked on its teeth. [115]

Not only do such cases routinely employ once uniquely human rhetoric but also the cases now decide issues for animals based on how similar issues for humans would be determined. In fact, courts even acknowledge that in cases settling disputes over the possession of animals, they may “analogize it to a child custody case, inquiring into what was in the ‘best interests’ ” of the animal [116]—terms usually reserved for children in divorce proceedings. Therefore, in a “custody dispute” over a cat, the court made its determination based on what was in the “cat’s best interests,” thereby allowing it to remain where it had “lived, prospered, loved and been loved” for the previous four years.[117]

Also reflective of the use of traditional human descriptions is that of placing animals “in adoptive homes,” [118] of seeking damages for the loss of the “companionship, loyalty, security, and friendship” [119] of animals killed in “wrongful death” scenarios, and even of comparing the handling of a deceased pet in terms of “the anguish resulting from the mishandling of the body of a child.” [120]

Clearly, many distinctions between humans and animals, legally speaking, are blurring, as evidenced by the language in this ruling:

[Dogs] represent some of the best human traits, including loyalty, trust, courage, playfulness, and love. . . . At the same time, dogs typically lack the worst human traits, including avarice, apathy, pettiness, and hatred. Scientific research has provided a wealth of understanding to us that we cannot rightly ignore. We now know that mammals share with us a great many emotive and cognitive characteristics, and that the higher primates are very similar to humans neurologically and genetically. It is not simplistic, ill-informed sentiment that has led our society to observe with compassion the occasionally televised plights of stranded whales and dolphins. It is, on the contrary, a recognition of a kinship that reaches across species boundaries. The law must be informed by evolving knowledge and attitudes. [121]

Notice the adoption of the legal position that there is a “kinship” between man and other animals, and that the “kinship” reaches “across species boundaries” because of our “evolving knowledge and attitudes.”

This language diminishing legal distinctions between species—between “human animals” and “non-human” animals—is a direct result of the non-theistic approach to the origins of man. Clearly, Darwinism has changed the face of American law.

Each of the previous cases, and the new type of American civilization they represent, proceeds from acceptance of Darwin’s statement that “the differences between human beings and animals are not so great as is generally supposed.” [122] And science certainly seems to confirm Darwin’s thesis—as well as the position held by non-speciesists—for there is “scientific evidence suggesting that chimpanzees and humans diverged from the same evolutionary path and that their DNA is nearly 98.5 percent identical.” [123] Yet, as explained by Chapman University Professor Tibor Machan, it is not the similarities that are the most consequential element of the comparison between man and animals:

Indeed, while humans share about 97% of their DNA structure with some higher non-human animals, those last 3% are so vital that all of human civilization, religion, art, science, philosophy and, most importantly, their moral nature depends upon it. And this is attested to by most vegans [vegetarians]—e.g., when they appeal to human beings to deal with other animals in considerate ways rather than to other animals to do this. None of them turn to a lion, for example, to implore it not to kill the zebra or to do it more humanely. [124]

It is the three- percent that distinguishes the theistic view of man’s origin from the non-theistic view, as well as from the various societal and cultural consequences distinguishing each belief. As John Quincy Adams warned long ago, without a belief in theistic origins—in that three percent difference—“man will have no conscience. He will have no other law than that of the tiger and the shark.” [125]

Transcendency v. Relativism

If the human species is superior to other species, then,
morally speaking, more should be expected from him than from other species. But
what should be the standard for determining man’s morality? And what should be
the authority for establishing the moral standards for man? And should those
standards be established objectively or subjectively? The answers to these
questions vary dramatically depending on whether a theistic or non-theistic
approach is applied.

Under the theistic approach, man was not the source of
the moral standards by which his conduct was to be governed. As James Wilson [126]explained:

When we view the inanimate and irrational creation
around and above us, and contemplate the beautiful order observed in all its
motions and appearances, is not the supposition unnatural and improbable that
the rational and moral world should be abandoned to the frolics of chance or to
the ravage of disorder? What would be the fate of man and of society was every
one at full liberty to do as he listed without any fixed rule or principle of
conduct, without a helm to steer him—a sport of the fierce gusts of passion,
and the fluctuating billows of caprice? [127]

Blackstone had identified the source of what Wilson
termed the “fixed rules or principles of conduct” which were to “steer”
man:

Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be
subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependant being. A
being independent of any other has no rule to pursue but such as he prescribes
to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to
take the will of Him on whom he depends as the rule of his conduct. . . . And
consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is
necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will. This will
of his maker is called the law of nature. . . . This law of nature, being coeval
with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to
any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times:
no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are
valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately,
from this original. [128]

This “law of nature”—the “natural law” of which
our framers so often spoke, and which they incorporated into our founding
documents—was to be the basis for man’s moral standards. As Zephaniah Swift,
author of America’s first legal text, explained:

[T]he transcendent excellence and boundless power
of the Supreme Deity . . . impressed upon them [mankind] those general and
immutable laws that will regulate their operation through the endless ages of
eternity. . . . These general laws . . . are denominated the laws of nature. [129]

Others were equally succinct that man’s moral conduct
was to conform to the “natural law” established by the creator. For example:

In the supposed state of nature, all men are
equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the
creator. [130] Samuel Adams

[T]he laws of nature and of nature’s God . . . of
course presupposes the existence of a God, the moral ruler of the universe, and
a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all
institutions of human society and of government. [131]
John Quincy Adams

[The] “law of nature” is a rule of conduct
arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the creator
and existing prior to any positive precept [human law]. . . . These . . . have
been established by the creator. [132]
Noah Webster, legislator, judge

The natural law embodied transcendent values—values and
truths which our framers described with adjectives such as “immutable,”
“fixed,” “superior in obligation,” “paramount,” “binding upon
man,” etc. These were principles and truths that, according to Montesquieu, [133]
“do not change”; [134]
or as Declaration signer Dr. Benjamin Rush had described it, it was a set of
principles and laws “certain and universal in its operation upon all the
members of the community.” [135]
Commager summarized this view and its effect on American government and
civilization:

[T]he laws of England, happily transferred to
America, were patterned on the laws of nature. A generation bathed in the
Enlightenment pledged its lives, its fortunes, and its sacred honor to the
conviction that the laws of Nature and Nature’s God required American
independence and justified faith in the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness. It was not surprising that Americans wrote natural law
into their constitutions, enshrined it in their Bills of Rights, and pronounced
it from their judicial tribunals. According to the philosophy of natural law,
laws are discovered, not made. They are deduced from the nature of things rather
than patterned on the needs of man. [136]

Therefore, under transcendent values, there were
objective standards for morality: that is, murder (as opposed, for example, to
justifiable homicide or self-defense) was always wrong, as was theft, perjury,
and so many other immutable values enshrined in the traditional common law.
Darwin’s views, however, embodied a converse approach to values. As Professor
James Rachels explains, Darwinism poses . . .

. . . a problem for traditional morality.
Traditional morality, no less than traditional religion, assumes that man is a
“great work.” It grants to humans a moral status superior to that of any
other creatures on earth. It regards human life, and only human life, as sacred,
and it takes the love of mankind as its first and noblest virtue. What becomes
of all this, if man is but a modified ape? [137]

Dr. David Wigdor, an analyst at Human Sciences Research,
similarly affirms:

Natural law theorists argued that there were
absolute, unchanging principles to which temporal laws must correspond. This
doctrine of a higher law provided an alternative to the moral neutrality of the
command theory, which accepted the legitimacy of any existing pattern of legal
obligation. . . . Darwinism had undermined its [natural law’s] mechanical,
formalistic elements, and apologists for business had discredited its claims to
superior morality. [138]

Leading legal theorists who acknowledged their debt to
Darwin’s ideas quickly implemented into the legal arena (and therefore
throughout society and culture) a new approach which rejected transcendent
values. For example, Justice Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938), declared that law
must no longer “work from pre-established truths of universal and inflexible
validity” [139] because principles must
“vary with changing circumstances” and “must be declared to be essentially
relativistic.” [140]
And legal educator Roscoe Pound (1870-1964) similarly advocated that legal
“principles are not absolute but are relative to time and place” [141]
because “ ‘nature’ did not mean to antiquity what it means to us who are
under the influence of the idea of evolution.” [142]

Objective standards for morality were therefore replaced
by new values that, according to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935),
would now be based on “the felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral
and political theories . . . [and] the prejudices which judges share with their
fellowmen.” [143] Quite simply, under the
non-theistic paradigm, transcendent, immutable values do not exist because, as
explained by Singer, “they draw on presuppositions—religious, moral,
metaphysical—that are now obsolete.” [144]

So, if man is not a unique species superior to the other
species, and if there are no transcendent values to govern his behavior, what,
then, is the standard for measuring his morality? From what source are his
values to be derived? From the standards of behavior demonstrated by non-human
animals—at least so say psychologists such as Dr. David Buss of the University
of Texas, Dr. Randolph Neese of the University of Michigan, Dr. Douglas Kenrick
of Arizona State, et al., from the emerging field known as evolutionary
psychology. [145]

Robert Wright, an award-winning writer of The
Sciences
magazine who has studied in depth the works and writings of
evolutionary psychologists, summarizes their findings on what man can learn
about his own behavior based, for example, on the sexual behavior of animals:

By studying how the process of natural selection
shaped the mind, evolutionary psychologists are painting a new portrait of human
nature, with fresh detail about the feelings and thoughts that draw us into
marriage—or push us out. . . . According to evolutionary psychology, it is
“natural” for both men and women—at some times, under some
circumstances—to commit adultery or to sour on a mate, to suddenly find a
spouse unattractive, irritating, wholly unreasonable. . . . The premise of
evolutionary psychology is simple. The human mind, like any other organ, was
designed for the purpose of transmitting genes to the next generation; the
feelings and thoughts it creates are best understood in these terms. . . .
Feelings of lust, no less than the sex organs, are here because they aided
reproduction directly. . . . According to evolutionary psychologists, our
everyday, ever shifting attitudes toward a mate or prospective mate—trust,
suspicion, rhapsody, revulsion, warmth, iciness—are the handiwork of natural
selection that remain with us today because in the past they led to behaviors
that helped spread genes. . . . [And] while both sexes are prone under the right
circumstances to infidelity, men seem much more deeply inclined to actually
acquire a second or third mate—to keep a harem. They are also more inclined
toward the casual fling. Men are less finicky about sex partners. . . . There is
no dispute among evolutionary psychologists over the basic source of this male
open-mindedness. A woman, regardless of how many sex partners she has, can
generally have only one offspring a year. For a man, each new mate offers a real
chance for pumping genes into the future. . . . Lifelong monogamous devotion
just isn’t natural. [146]

Darwin, by lowering the status of man to that of the
animals, lowered the standard for human morality. As acknowledged by Professor
James Rachels of UAB, “The whole idea of using animals as psychological models
for humans is a consequence of Darwinism. Before Darwin, no one could have taken
seriously the thought that we might learn something about the human mind by
studying mere animals.” [147]

Yet consider the implications: if man is to establish his
moral standards based on those displayed by the animals, then not only will
monogamy become the exception rather than the rule but also our laws on theft
and murder eventually must be discarded, for in nature, “might makes
right”—possession is based solely on whatever can be taken and held by
force. The implications are frightening for a civilization governed by the
“values” of evolutionary morality rather than by the transcendent, immutable
values derived from theistic origins.

God-Given, Inalienable Rights v. Man-Created,
Alienable Rights

From the belief that there were immutable and
transcendent values proceeded the belief that there were corresponding immutable
and transcendent rights—or what the framers called inalienable rights. As
Constitution signer John Dickinson explained, an inalienable right was a right
“which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take
away.” [148]
John Adams similarly attested that the inalienable rights of man were rights
“antecedent to all earthly government; rights that cannot be repealed or
restrained by human laws; rights derived from the great Legislator of the
universe.” [149] It was from among such
inalienable—or natural—rights that the framers specifically identified the
right to life, liberty, property, self-protection, pursuit of happiness, etc.

Since, as John Adams explained, natural rights were not
to be “repealed or restrained by human laws,” it was therefore—under the
theistic view—the purpose of government to protect the natural rights that had
been bestowed on man by his creator. As James Wilson confirmed, our government
documents were drafted solely . . .

. . . to acquire a new security for the possession
or the recovery of those rights to . . . which we were previously entitled by
the immediate gift or by the unerring law of our all-wise and all-beneficent
creator. [150]

Wilson therefore concluded that “every government which
has not this in view as its principal object is not a government of the
legitimate kind.” [151]
Thomas Jefferson also asserted that government was “to declare and enforce
only our natural rights and duties and to take none of them from us.” [152]
In fact, Jefferson even queried, “can the liberties of a nation be thought
secure when we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of
the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?” [153]

American government was built around the belief that
there were inalienable rights that it was the purpose of government to protect,
and those rights were protected so that man was free to enjoy the pursuit of
happiness. As John Quincy Adams explained:

That bestowed as they [natural rights] were by God,
their creator, they [humans] never could be divested of them, even by
themselves, and much less could they be wrested from them by the might of
others. . . . And hence the rights derived from it are declared to be
inalienable. . . . And thus the acknowledgment of the unalienable right of man
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is at the same time an
acknowledgment of the omnipotence, the omniscience, and the all-pervading
goodness of God. Man thus endowed is a being of loftier port, of larger
dimensions, of infinitely increased and multiplied powers, and of heavier and
deeper responsibilities than man invested with no such attributes or capacities.
. . . Now the position to which I would invite your earnest and anxious
consideration is this: That the form of government founded upon the principle of
the natural equality of mankind, and of which the unalienable rights of
individual man are the cornerstone, is the form of government best adapted to
the pursuit of happiness as well of every individual as of the community. . . .
and I think I am fully warranted in adding that in proportion as the existing
governments of the earth approximate to or recede from that standard, in the
same proportion is the pursuit of happiness of the community and of every
individual belonging to it, promoted or impeded, accomplished or demolished. [154]

However, under the new Darwinian view, the belief that
there were certain rights of man which were to remain untouched by government
was to change dramatically. In fact, Darwinian legal theorists began to assert
that “[t]he fundamental weakness of conventional legal theory was its attempt
to erect a closed system of immutable principles.” [155]
As Roscoe Pound asserted, “legal principles are not absolute but are relative
to time and place” and “the fiction [of absolutes] should be discarded.” [156]
As he explained, “We are thinking of interests, claims, demands, not of
rights.” [157] (emphasis added)

Since it was thus deemed that there were no natural
rights pertaining to man, then the natural law theory of absolute rights and
wrongs came under attack. Vocal opponents like Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
“did not just refuse to acknowledge the influence of natural law; he attacked
natural law jurisprudence repeatedly and effectively. . . . His intellectual
activity contributed to the decline of natural law theory in this century.” [158]
With natural law discarded, there was no longer an inviolability for particular
rights.

Perhaps the most perceptible illustration of this change
in the role of government is seen in its approach to human life. As Dr. James
Rachels insightfully observes:

The big issue in all this [Darwinism] is the value
of human life. Darwin’s early readers—his friends as well as his
enemies—worried that if they were to abandon the traditional conception of
humans as exalted beings they could no longer justify the traditional belief in
the value of human life. They were right to see this as a serious problem. The
difficulty is that Darwinism leaves us with fewer resources from which to
construct an account of the value of life. [159]

The consequence is that, according to Rachels, not only
will views toward life vis a vis
abortion change but also a “revised view of such matters as suicide and
euthanasia . . . will result.” [160]

Formerly, a right to life was inalienable because it was
bestowed upon man by a creator who had established that right superior to
intrusion by government. [161]
Currently, however, the right to life, regardless of its stage of development or
age, from conception to advanced seniority, is subject to the discretion of
government. As a result, not only has abortion become acceptable but so has
infanticide. And academicians are now advocating—and logically so—not only
euthanasia but also the termination of those lives considered to be below
“normal.” How are such policy positions reached?

First, it must be accepted that man, rather than a
creator, has the right to determine the outcome of life for humans. Once that
proposition is accepted, then a distinction is made between “humans” and
“persons.” That is, it is asserted that although someone may be human, that
does not mean he is a person—and only persons, rather than humans, should have
a right to life. As a common example, the fact that a human fetus or a human
embryo is acknowledged to be a human is not pertinent to the decision of whether
it should be destroyed, for it clearly is not a “person.”

As Dr. Michael Tooley, professor at Colorado University,
explains, “The fact that a fetus developing inside a human female belongs to
the biological species, Homo Sapiens, is not in itself morally significant. . .
. [and] does not in itself make it wrong to destroy it.” [162]
American University Professor Jeffrey Reiman agrees that being a human does not
automatically guarantee a protection for life because “the assumption that
being a human individual is enough to earn one moral protection of one’s life
smacks of speciesism.” [163]

After accepting that fetuses are not persons and
therefore are not entitled to a right to life, it is next insisted that even
newborns are not persons and therefore they have no guaranteed right to life. As
Dr. Tooley explains:

[T]he empirical evidence makes it most unlikely
that newborn humans are quasi-persons, let alone persons. . . . [A]n entity
cannot be a person unless it possesses, or has previously possessed, the
capacity for thought. And the psychological and neurophysiological evidence
makes it most unlikely that humans, in the first few weeks after birth, possess
this capacity. No attempt was made to determine the precise time at which humans
in general become persons or quasi-persons. I did suggest that in view of a
number of quite significant developments clustering together at around ten to
twelve weeks, it may be that humans become quasi-persons at about that time. [164]

Since a human after its birth is still not a person, it
therefore has no innate or intrinsic value. Princeton’s professor of
bio-ethics, Dr. Peter Singer, explains:

A week-old baby is not a rational and
self-conscious being, and there are many nonhuman animals whose rationality,
self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, and so on, exceed that of a
human baby a week or a month old. If the fetus does not have the same claim to
life as a person, it appears that the newborn baby does not either, and the life
of a newborn baby is of less value to it than the life of a pig, a dog, or a
chimpanzee is to the nonhuman animal. . . . If we can put aside these
emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of the killing of a baby we
can see that the grounds for not killing persons do not apply to newborn
infants. . . . Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal
human beings, or any other self-conscious beings. [165]

Professor Reiman agrees that since infants are not
“persons,” they therefore do not “possess in their own right a property
that makes it wrong to kill them.” Consequently, he argues that there are
“permissible exceptions to the rule against killing infants that will not
apply to the rule against killing adults and children.” [166]

However, even should a human infant eventually acquire
sufficient age to achieve the status of a “person,” if it is a “flawed”
person, then its life still need not be protected. As Singer argues:

Parents may, with good reason, regret that a
disabled child was ever born. In that event the effect that the death of the
child will have on its parents can be a reason for, rather than against, killing
it. . . . [K]illing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a
person. Very often it is not wrong at all. [167]

Reiman agrees:

I think (as do many philosophers, doctors, and
parents) that ending the lives of severely handicapped newborns will be
acceptable because it does not take from the newborns a life that they yet care
about and because it is arguably compatible with, rather that violative of, our
natural love for infants. [168]

And certainly if it is not wrong to kill a “flawed”
child-person, then neither is it wrong to dispose of a “flawed”
adult-person:

It may still be objected that to replace either a
fetus or a newborn infant is wrong because it suggests to disabled people living
today that their lives are less worth living than the lives of people who are
not disabled. Yet it is surely flying in the face of reality to deny that, on
average, this is so. [169]

And how, then, can the argument be resisted that the
elderly who are becoming senile or who have diminished mental capacities are not
also “flawed” adult-persons? After all, even though they . . .

. . . were once persons capable of choosing to live
or die, but now, through accident or old age, have permanently lost this
capacity. . . . In most respects, these human beings do not differ importantly
from disabled infants. They are not self-conscious, rational, or autonomous, and
so considerations of a right to life or of respecting autonomy do not apply. If
they have no experiences at all, and can never have any again, their lives have
no intrinsic value. [170]

When man can set arbitrary standards for deciding who
lives and who dies by deciding which humans are “persons,” and which persons
are “flawed,” then who might not become a disposable individual?

If the right to life is not inviolable, then neither are
any of the other formerly unalienable rights. Princeton Professor Robert George,
a long-time member of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, explains why the
right to life, therefore, must always remain unalienable:

Our most basic rights—including the right to
life—are inherent and in no way contingent on a grant from the state or any
other merely human source. As an inherent right, the right to life, which,
properly specified, is a right not to be killed either as an end in itself or a
means to any other end, comes into being for us when we come into being. It is
not a privilege that we earn by achieving a certain level of consciousness or
intelligence or other ability; it is not something that comes or goes with age,
size, stage of development, or condition of disability or dependency; it is
certainly not something that depends on whether someone else happens to
“want” us or would prefer, all things considered, that we not exist. [171]

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story explained the danger
in permitting government to disregard or even reject the transcendent,
inalienable rights secured in our documents. Story declared:

There can be no freedom where there is no safety to
property or personal rights. Whenever legislation . . . breaks in upon personal
liberty or compels a surrender of personal privileges, upon any pretext,
plausible or otherwise, it matters little whether it be the act of the many or
the few, of the solitary despot or the assembled multitude; it is still in its
essence tyranny. It matters still less what are the causes of the change; rather
urged on by a spirit of innovation, or popular delusion, or State necessity (as
it is falsely called), it is still power, irresponsible power, against right. [172]

Inalienable rights—the rights derived from that view of
civilization which embraces a belief in theistic origins—were formerly
shielded against the encroachments of civil government with the declaration
enshrined in our documents that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men . . . are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . . [And] that to
secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.”

Personal Accountability v. Irresistible Biological
Determinism

Under the framers’ theistic approach, it was possible
for man to be morally self-restrained not only because he could conform to the
transcendent values established by his creator but also because he would
ultimately be accountable to his maker for his behavior. As even Darwin himself
had explained, [173]
without man’s knowledge of his own accountability to his creator, he would be
no more responsible for his acts than any other animal:

A man who has no assured and ever present belief in
the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and
reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those
impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best
ones. A dog acts in this manner. [174]

The founders had previously set forth this principle. As
John Quincy Adams explained:

I have at all times been a sincere believer in the
existence of a supreme creator of the world [and] of an immortal principle
within myself, responsible to that creator for my conduct upon earth. [175]

Very simply, the belief in a creator to whom man was
answerable produced in man a self-restraint and instilled in society an
expectation of individual accountability. However, today it has become an
acceptable thesis in many quarters that not only is man not accountable for his
behavior but also that he is not even responsible for it. In fact, this view is
frequently set forth by defendants in criminal proceedings and is especially
demonstrated through their heavy reliance on The Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM describes itself as providing “a classification
of mental disorders” [176]
that represents the “manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or
biological dysfunction in the individual.” [177]
The DSM is reflective of what the Michigan Supreme Court describes as “the
medical approach to understanding crime.” [178]
And certainly, if a defendant does have a legitimate mental disorder, then he
should not be held responsible for his crime (this position has long been held
in American law). But how can it be ascertained whether a defendant does have
a “legitimate” mental disorder?

Interestingly, what now constitutes a “legitimate”
DSM “mental disorder” is determined either by the vote of a committee of
psychiatrists or by majority vote of member psychiatrists at a given meeting. [179]
Consequently, the “mental diseases” in the DSM are added, removed, or
modified based on the vacillating opinions of the psychiatric community. [180]

Nevertheless, the DSM has become the authoritative voice
in legal proceedings. In fact, whenever a mental disorder is raised as a
defense, if it is not listed in the DSM, it is not given much credence; and in
States like California, it must be in the DSM to be considered a legitimate
“mental disorder.” [181]
With such a heavy reliance on the DSM, it
is not surprising that a recent Lexus search by the author found the DSM cited
in legal cases on some 1,500 separate instances, usually to explain why
defendants were not responsible for their behavior.

For example,
the DSM was invoked to explain why a defendant should not be guilty . . .

of shooting three victims since he was
suffering from DSM’s “dependent personality disorder” and “recurrent
alcoholic breakouts due to alcohol and substance abuse”; [182]

of shooting his wife because he “was unable
to understand the nature of his acts” since he suffered from DSM’s
“Organic Mood Disorder”; [183]

of first-degree murder since he was suffering
from DSM’s “chronic cocaine use” which leads to DSM’s “anti-social”
and “maladaptive behavior”: [184]

of kidnapping and aggravated assault since he
was suffering from an “anxiety disorder” aggravated by “voluntary
intoxication”; [185]

of eight sexual offenses involving younger
children since he had “a pedophiliac diagnosis, a mental disorder defined in .
. . DSM”; [186]

of misapplying trust property in the amount
of $600,000 since he suffered from DSM’s “compulsive gambling”; [187]

of attempted murder and the use of a handgun
in a crime of violence since he suffered from “Dysthymic Disorder,” a
“mental illness” characterized by a “disturbance of mood” in DSM; [188]

of second-degree forgery since he suffered
from “methadone withdrawal,” an “opioid organic mental disorder” in DSM;
[189]

of murder with malice since he suffered from
“intermittent explosive disorder,” a “major psychiatric illness” in DSM;
[190]

of second-degree murder since he suffered
from “irresistible impulse,” a “borderline personality disorder” in DSM;
[191]

There are seemingly countless other similar examples. In
fact, national columnist John Leo, who has studied such cases, concludes:

[U]ncontrollable forces have been piling up at a
record rate. . . . [W]e have Pete Rose’s disorder (pathological gambling,
312.31 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), Marion
Barry’s disease (alcoholism, 303.90), and [Richard] Berendzen’s [president
of American University] impulse (telephone scatologia, 302.90). . . . The dread
disease of caffeinism (305.90, supine dependence on cola or coffee) has already
been cited in a criminal case or two. We have inhalant dependence (304.60,
reliance on aromatic hydrocarbons) and solemn listings for difficulties of
ordinary life (arithmetic and reading problems). . . . Law plus nutrition gives
us many variations of the Twinkie defense (sugar made him kill). Law plus some
dubious psychiatry gives us the promising anabolic-steroid defense. (A
bodybuilder broke into six Maryland homes, set fire to three of them and stole
cash and jewelry. A judge ruled him guilty but not criminally responsible
because his frenzied use of anabolic steroids for weight lifting left him
“suffering from organic personality syndrome.” No jail time.) Law plus the
sociological excuse in disguise offers us the “homosexual panic” defense. (A
man killed a homosexual who made a pass at him in San Francisco, then tried to
argue in court that this violence was an involuntary triggering of sexual
attitudes induced in him by his sheltered, small-town Texas upbringing. . . .) .
. . In Los Angeles, a hacker named Kevin Mittnick copped a plea after being
accused of breaking into a corporate computer system and stealing an expensive
security program. . . . [The judge] saw him as the victim of an insidious Space
Age ailment called computer addiction and sentenced him to a year’s treatment
for this “new and growing” impulse disorder. . . . [W]e are probably in for
a heavy wave of biological determinism. As gene mapping proceeds and the
physiological correlates of behavior are discovered, we will hear even more
arguments about irresistible forces. . . . The problem with all this is that you
can’t run a society, or cope with its problems, if people are not held
accountable for what they do. [192]

Interestingly, in 1920, Princeton Professor Walter Stace
forewarned of the consequences of the “irresistible forces” and
“biological determinism” introduced through Darwinism. As he explained:

If there is really no higher and lower, there is no
better and no worse. It is just as good to be a murderer as to be a saint. Evil
is the same as good. . . . [A]ll these values of higher and lower are mere
delusions, “the human way of looking at things.” [193]

Commager confirms that the effect of Darwinism “could
be traced in the realm of criminal law, where it shifted attention from the
criminal, to the crime, and ultimately to the social background of crime.” [194] Defense attorney Clarence Darrow fully understood this implication of Darwinism, and he consequently consoled the inmates in Chicago’s prison system by explaining to
them that they were merely victims of nature itself. He told them:

There is no such thing as crime as the word is
generally understood. I do not believe there is any sort of distinction between
the real moral condition of the people in and out of jail. One is just as good
as the other. The people here can no more help being here than the people on the
outside can avoid being outside. I do not believe that people are in jail
because they deserve to be. They are in jail simply because they cannot avoid it
on account of circumstances which are entirely beyond their control and for
which they are in no way responsible. [195]

Under the theistic approach, however, man not only was
responsible for his behavior but he also had a duty to treat others consistent
with their own natural rights. As John Quincy Adams explained:

If, then, it be true that man is born with
unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
it is equally true that he is born under the deepest and most indispensable
duties . . . of exercising, maintaining, and supporting them by all the
faculties, intellectual and physical, with which he has been provided . . . of
holding and enjoying these rights with the inviolate respect and observance of
the same rights in others. [196]

Locke similarly declared:

[F]or men, being all the workmanship of one
omnipotent and infinitely wise maker. . . . ought he, as much as he can, to
preserve the rest of mankind, and may not—unless it be to do justice to an
offender—take away or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of
life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another. [197]

And according to Blackstone:

The creator. . . . has laid down only such laws as
were founded in those relations of justice that existed in the nature of things
antecedent to any positive precept [human law]. These are the eternal, immutable
laws of good and evil, to which . . . He has enabled human reason to discover so
far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others
are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and
should render to every one his due. [198]

Since man was designed by his creator to “live
honestly, hurt nobody, and render to every one his due,” to not “destroy one
another” but rather to “preserve the rest of mankind,” to not “take away
or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of life, the liberty,
health, limb, or goods of another” but to “exercise, maintain, and
support” the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in ourselves
and in others, man therefore would be responsible to his creator for whether he
had fulfilled the purpose for which he had been designed. As James Wilson
explained:

That our creator has supreme right to prescribe a
law for our conduct, and that we are under the most perfect obligation to obey
that law, are truths established on the clearest and most solid principles. [199]

The belief in irresistible forces that cause individuals
to be powerless over their own cognitive choices is simply another confirmation
that the issue in Scopes was indeed
“a death struggle between two civilizations.”

A Republic v. A Democracy?

One final consequence arising from a rejection of the
belief in theistic origins is literally an altering of our form of government.
That is, our framers, because of their belief in the transcendent values and
inalienable rights derived from theistic origins, established America as a
republic rather than as a democracy. While many today believe that there is no
difference between the two, the framers knew that there was; they specifically
rejected a democracy and deliberately chose a republic. As they explained:

[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of
turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal
security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their
lives as they have been violent in their deaths. [200]
James Madison

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon
wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did
not commit suicide. [201]
John Adams

A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery
materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry
desolation in their way. [202]
The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license]
which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be, liberty. [203]
Fisher Ames, a Framer of the Bill of Rights

We have seen the tumults of democracy terminate . .
. as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism. . . . Democracy! savage and
wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to thy level of folly
and guilt. [204] Gouverneur Morris,
Signer and Penman of the Constitution

[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that
of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating, and
short-lived. [205] John Quincy Adams

A simple democracy . . . is one of the greatest of
evils. [206] Benjamin Rush, Signer of
the Declaration

In democracy . . . there are commonly tumults and
disorders. . . . Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government.
It is often the most tyrannical government on earth. [207]
Noah Webster, responsible for Article I, Section I, ¶ 8 of the Constitution

Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried
far into the departments of state—it is very subject to caprice and the
madness of popular rage. [208]
John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration

It may generally be remarked that the more a
government resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and
confusion. [209] Zephaniah Swift, author
of America’s first legal text

While few today can define the difference between a
democracy and a republic, the difference rests in the origin of its rights. A
democracy is ruled solely by majority (what the framers described as a
“mobocracy” [210]); a republic is ruled by
law, but not laws built solely on the vacillating whims of the people; rather,
the laws were grounded in the transcendent values and inalienable rights
established by the creator. As explained by several framers:

Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon
the authority of that law which is Divine. [211]
James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice

[T]he law . . . dictated by God Himself is, of
course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe,
in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if
contrary to this. [212]
Alexander Hamilton, Signer of the Constitution

[The] law established by the Creator, which has
existed from the beginning, extends over the whole globe, is everywhere and at
all times binding upon mankind. . . . and is paramount to all human control. [213]
Rufus King, Signer of the Constitution

The framers understood that transcendent values formed
the basis of a republic, and that the purpose of a republic was to protect
inalienable, natural rights. A democracy, however, based neither on transcendent
values nor inalienable rights, was, as James Madison explained, “incompatible
with personal security” and, according to Fisher Ames, tended toward
licentiousness. [214]

So convinced were the framers of the superiority of a
republic over a democracy that Article IV of the Constitutions requires that
every State maintain a republican—as opposed to a democratic—form of
government. This distinction was another of the specific characteristics of the
nature of American government deliberately established in our governing
documents. To reject the theistic origins of man is literally to reject the
philosophy of inalienable rights upon which our form of government was
constructed and which forms the basis of a republic.

An Organic, Living Document

Even though dramatic societal and governmental upheavals
have been occasioned by the rejection of the theistic view of the origins of man
originally incorporated in our documents, today an argument raised against
continuing those values is that “times have changed” and therefore original
intentions should be modernized. Or, in the language of former Chief-Justice
Earl Warren (1891-1974) in Trop v. Dulles, constitutional interpretation . . .

must draw its meaning from the evolving standards
of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society. [215]

The fact that governments do need to change
(“evolve”) and to incorporate social adjustments (i.e., the ending of
slavery, the granting of suffrage to women, etc.) makes the argument to
“modernize” the governing documents appealing to many. And thus many
followers of Darwin urge the need for the Constitution and other governing
documents to be flexible, living, and organic—to evolve.

Perhaps the first individual successfully to champion
this belief was Christopher Columbus Langdell (1826-1906), dean of the Harvard
Law School. Langdell reasoned that since man evolved, then his laws must also
evolve; and deciding that judges should guide the evolution of the Constitution,
Langdell introduced the case law study method under which students would study
the wording of judges’ decisions rather than the wording of the Constitution.

Under his case-law approach, history, precedent, and even
many of the principles specifically enshrined in the governing documents, were
deemed hindrances to the successful evolution of society. As John Dewey
summarized:

The belief in political fixity, of the sanctity of
some form of state consecrated by the efforts of our fathers and hallowed by
tradition, is one of the stumbling blocks in the way of orderly and directed
change. [216]

Justice Holmes agreed, urging that “the lawyer’s task
. . . was to participate actively in freeing the law from those archaic
doctrines that prevented the law from consciously fulfilling its role of
promoting social policy,” [217] because “the
justification of a law for us cannot be found in the fact that our fathers
always have followed it. It must be found in some help which the law brings
toward reaching a social end.” [218]

Justice Cardozo agreed, declaring:

If there is any law which is back of the
sovereignty of the state, and superior thereto, it is not law in such a sense as
to concern the judge or lawyer, however much it concerns the statesman or the
moralist. [219]

Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) therefore encouraged
the Court to break new ground and lead society in new directions, urging, “If
we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.” [220]

Even though individual Justices and legal educators had
encouraged evolutionary law, it was not until Earl Warren (1891-1974) became
Chief Justice that there was finally a majority of Justices on the Court willing
to embrace that view. One of those Justices (now in the majority) was William
Brennan (1906-1997), champion of what he termed “the evolving understanding of
the Constitution,” “the ‘living’ Constitution,” “the freedom to
reinterpret constitutional language,” “a malleable Constitution,” the
Constitution’s “power of adaptation,” and “the Constitution’s
‘suppleness.’” [221]

Consequently, during Warren’s sixteen year tenure, the
Court became a powerful societal force, striking down numerous long-standing
historical practices while acknowledging that it was doing so without any
previous precedent. [222]
In short, the Court thus publicly affirmed that it had finally arrived at its
fully evolutionary aspiration, no longer bound by history or precedent.

Under this current theory, judges are solely responsible
for the evolution of the Constitution, and it is living and organic according to
their decree. As Justice Cardozo acknowledged, “I take judge-made law as one
of the existing realities of life.” [223]
And Chief-Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) similarly declared, “We are
under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.” [224]

Harvard Professor Steven Wise summarizes this radical
revolution in legal theory occasioned by the adoption of Darwin’s principles:

“To understand the strong normative appeal of
evolutionary models, one must first appreciate that American law, like biology
at the time of Darwin, faces the problem of providing a theory of creation which
does not invoke a Supreme Being.” E Donald Elliott, “The Evolutionary
Tradition in Jurisprudence,” 85 Columbia Law Review 38, 91 (1985)
. Elliott,
who believes that the manner in which law is affected by the ideas that it
routinely borrows from other disciplines has been largely unexplored, sets sail
by chronicling how the Darwinian idea of evolution has affected the
jurisprudential work of such legal scholars as Holmes, Wigmore and Corbin. Id.
See also Jan Vetter, The Evolution of Holmes, Holmes and Evolution, 72 Cal. L.
Rev. 343, 362 (1984)
(“Holmes’ The Common Law is first of all an account of
legal change, and its object in this respect is to exhibit the workings of
Darwinian evolution in law”). Evolutionary jurisprudence was often shunned
during the middle half of the twentieth century due to that period’s
association of evolution with Spencer’s racist and reactionary Social
Darwinism. Elliott, at 59, 76. It is shunned no longer. Id. See Roger D.
Masters, Evolutionary Biology, Political Theory and the State, in Law, Biology
& Culture—The Evolution of Law 171 (Margaret Gruter & Paul Bohannon
eds., 1983)
. [225]

Yet, is the fact that the Constitution is now a living,
malleable, evolving document, necessarily bad? After all, society does change
and should not necessarily be bound by decisions made two centuries ago.

Significantly, the framers agreed with this thesis—they
understood that times would change and therefore so should the Constitution.
However, they would have vehemently disagreed with the mechanism by which this
change occurs today.

The framers made clear that when the meaning, and thus
the application, of any part of the Constitution was to be altered, it was to be
at the hands of the people themselves, not at the feet of the judiciary or
through the usurpation of any legislative body. For this reason, Article V was
placed in the Constitution to establish the proper means whereby the people
might “evolve” their government. As Samuel Adams explained:

[T]he people alone have an incontestable,
unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform,
alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and
happiness require it. And the federal Constitution, according to the mode
prescribed therein, has already undergone such amendments in several parts of it
as from experience has been judged necessary. [226]

George Washington also warned Americans to adhere
strictly to this manner of changing the meaning of the Constitution:

If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution
or the modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let
it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.
But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be
the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are
destroyed. [227]

Alexander Hamilton echoed this warning, declaring:

[The] Constitution is the standard to which we are
to cling. Under its banners, bona fide [without deceit], we must combat our
political foes, rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides
for amendments. [228]

Already, the people have “evolved” their Constitution
twenty-eight times by abolishing slavery, granting full suffrage without regard
to race or gender, replacing capitation taxes with progressive taxes, imposing
term limits on presidents, reducing the voting age for youth, requiring Congress
to face the electorate before a congressional pay hike can take effect, etc.

It is this method of “evolving” the Constitution set
forth in that document which must be jealously followed. Therefore, if the
belief in theistic origins, transcendent values, unalienable rights, or any
other political doctrine established in our documents, is to change, it must be
done by the people themselves, according to the process established in Article
V. Any other method of change is an abuse of power and a usurpation of the
rights of the people.

The real danger of societal evolution rests, then, not in
the fact that corrections are needed but rather in the fact that those
“corrections” are made by a small, elite, and unaccountable group—and
often by individuals whose personal values do not reflect those of “we the
people.” In fact, in a number of recent cases, the courts have unilaterally
reversed the outcome of direct elections wherein the people clearly expressed
their will. For example:

In Compassion in Dying v. Washington [229]
and in Quill v. Vacco, [230]
courts reversed the results of elections in Washington and New York in which the
citizens had voted to forbid physician-assisted suicides;

In Missouri v. Jenkins, [231]
although citizens voted down a proposed tax-increase, the courts nevertheless
ordered the tax to be levied;

In Yniguez v. Arizona, [232]
the courts reversed the results of the vote by Arizona citizens that English be
the official language of the State;

In LULAC v. Wilson [233]
and Gregorio T. v. Wilson, [234]
the courts suspended the results of the California vote to withhold State-funded
taxpayer services from those who are illegally in the country;

In Carver v. Nixon, [235]
the courts set aside the results of a statewide election wherein Missouri
citizens voted to approve campaign financing reform by setting limits on
candidate contributions by individuals;

In U. S. Term Limits v. Thornton [236]
and Thorsted v. Munro, [237]
the courts overturned the results of elections in which citizens in Arkansas and
Washington had voted to limit the terms of their elected officials; and

In Romer v. Evans, [238]
the courts overturned a constitutional amendment approved by Colorado citizens
to forbid awarding special, rather than just equal, rights to homosexuals.

There are numerous other examples [239]
demonstrating that courts now reject the principle of “the consent of the
governed” originally established in our governing documents and long held to
be a core political doctrine in America. In fact, President George Washington, a
Federalist, had declared:

[T]he fundamental principle of our Constitution . .
. enjoins [requires] that the will of the majority shall prevail. [240]

And President Thomas Jefferson, an Anti-Federalist, had
echoed:

[T]he will of the majority [is] the natural law of
every society [and] is the only sure guardian of the rights of man. Perhaps even
this may sometimes err. But its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived.
[241]

Very simply, the allegedly evolving values of the nation
have not been reflected in the Court’s evolution of the Constitution, the
people have shown no inclination to alter either the view of theistic origins
incorporated in our documents or of the type of civilization that proceeds from
that belief. Until the people make that change, it is judicial tyranny to impose
contrary beliefs on the people. And despite any well-meaning intentions that
might rest behind such efforts, those other means are, as George Washington
explained, “the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

Allowing the federal judiciary to be the final
authoritative voice in determining what the people “need” not only smacks of
elitism but also places America under what President Thomas Jefferson so aptly
described as “the despotism of an oligarchy.” [242]

Societal Effects of the Paradigm Shift

With the judicial rejection of the theistic view
inculcated in our governing documents, the legal view of the concept of human
uniqueness has changed, as has the legal status of man—his worth, value, and
dignity; the legal concept of transcendent rights and wrongs; the belief in
inalienable rights with the role of government being the protector of man’s
natural rights; the concept of moral accountability; etc. In short, a new
paradigm for American government and culture has been established, and only
those in denial of the obvious can claim that the controversy over evolution is
still only a science debate rather than a civilization debate. Even defenders of
evolution do not make such a naive claim.

For example, Harvard Professor Chauncy Wright (1830-1875)
observed that evolution is applied to “every field of study from biology and
cosmology to sociology and philosophy of history.” [243]
English biologist and zoological Professor Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975)
(grandson of Sir Thomas Huxley, “Darwin’s bulldog” [244]),
confirms that “subjects like linguistics, social anthropology, and comparative
law and religion, began to be studied from an evolutionary angle, until today we
are enabled to see evolution as a universal and all pervading process.” [245]
Molleen Matsumura, network project director for the National Center for Science
Education (NCSE), similarly attests that Darwinism is now used “to solve
problems in medical research, agriculture, conservation, and. . . . all public
discourse.” [246] Steven Wise agrees,
declaring, “Darwin’s earthquake rumbled not just through science, but
theology, philosophy, sociology, and inevitably, political science and the
law.” As Commager correctly concludes, “Every institution was required to
yield to its [evolution’s] sovereign claims: the church, the state, the
family, property, law; every discipline was forced to adapt itself to its
ineluctable pattern: history; economics, sociology, philology, art, literature,
religion, ethics.” [247]

Based, therefore, on the far-reaching effect of evolution
on every discipline and aspect of society, a work edited in part by Sir Julian
Huxley asserts that, by way of simple definition, evolution properly may be
considered a religion:

A religion is essentially an attitude to the world
as a whole. Thus evolution, for example, may prove as powerful a principle to
co-ordinate men’s beliefs and hopes as God was in the past. [248]

It appears that even the Supreme Court agrees with such a
characterization.

In seeking to extend the provisions of explicitly
theistic language in statutory laws and constitutional documents to include
non-theists, the Court introduced a new standard for defining religion that
would provide “religious” protections to non-theists. Thus, in United v.
Seeger, the Court declared that “the test of belief ‘in a relation to a
Supreme Being’ is whether a given belief that is sincere and meaningful
occupies a place in the life of its [non-theistic] possessor parallel to that
filled by the orthodox belief in God.” [249] The same position
apparently was taken in Welsh v. United States, for as one court of appeals
observed of that case, the “Justices who addressed the constitutional issue
concluded that ‘religion’ should not
be confined to a theistic definition.” [250]

Since for many the belief in non-theistic evolution is
“an attitude to the world as a whole” and is a conviction that “occupies a
place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by the orthodox
belief in God,” then non-theistic evolution would certainly seem to qualify as
a “religion” under the Court’s own standard. The choice, then, of which
philosophy will direct American civilization is actually between two
“religious” views: the traditional theistic view embraced by the people or
the non-theistic “religious” view imposed by the courts.

The non-theistic approach rejected in the Scopes trial
but subsequently established through federal court decisions unquestionably
encompasses an approach to American civilization different from that
specified by our governing documents. Yet, what America is, or becomes,
or the civilization she chooses to have, should be the choice of the people not
the edict of the judiciary.

Endnotes

[1]
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
(National Book Co. 1925) [hereinafter World’s Most Famous Court Trial]
(Clarence Darrow, second day of the trial, July 13, 1925).

[2]
World’s Most Famous Court
Trial.

[3]
Id. at 316

[4]
Id.

[5]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind
181-183 (1950).

[6]
Scopes v. State 289 S. W. 363 (Tenn. 1927).

[7]
World’s most famous, supra
at 126.

[8]
Id.at
313.

[9]
Scopes, at 363.

[10]
Id.at 363, 366.

[11]
Id.at 364.

[12]
Id. at 369 (Chambliss, J.
concurring).

[13]
Id. at 366.

[14]
Scopes, at 367.

[15]
Id. at 369 (Chambliss, J.
concurring).

[16]
It has only been in recent years that courts have adopted a different
meaning for “establishment of religion” from that held by the judiciary
for its first century-and-a-half. That is, prior to the mid-twentieth
century, the prohibition against “an establishment of religion” was
interpreted to mean just what James Madison had said it meant during the
debates on the First Amendment—the establishment of a national church. See
1 Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George
Mason 244 (
New York: G. P.
Putnam’s Sons, 1892); see also 1
Congressional Debates 451
(Joseph Gales, ed., 1834) (James Madison on June 8, 1789);
4 The Debates in the Several
State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution

(Jonathan Elliot, 1836) (Governor Samuel Johnston on July 30, 1788);
Joseph
Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States

259-261, § 441, 444 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847); 3
Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States

728, § 1871 (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, and Company, 1833); Reports
of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session
of the thirty-third Congress
1-9 (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson,
1854); and The Reports of Committees
of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the
thirty-second Congress, 1852-53
, at
1-4 (Washington: Robert Armstrong, 1853) which further confirm the original
and long-standing meaning of “an establishment of religion.”

[17]
Gregory Sarno and Alan Stephens, Annotation, Constitutionality of Teaching or Suppressing Teaching of Biblical
Creationism or Darwinian Evolution Theory in Public Schools,
102 ALR
Fed
537, 547-548, §6 (1991).

[18]
Judith A. Villarreal, God and Darwin
in the Classroom: The Creation/Evolution Controversy
, 64 Chi.-Kent
L. Rev.
335, 359 (1988).

[19]
Scopes, 289 S. W. at 368 (Chambliss,
J. concurring).

[20]
Id. at 368.

[21]
Id.

[22]
“The Organic Laws of the United States of America” 1 U.S.C.A.
Sec. 1 (West 1987), includes the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration
of Independence, the Constitution, and the Northwest Ordinance.

[23]
Steven M. Wise, How Nonhuman Animals Were Trapped in a Nonexistent Universe, 1 Anml
L
. 15, 42 (1995).

[24]
Bertrand Russell, Human
Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits
33-34 (1948).

[25]
Henry Fairfield Osborn, From
the Greeks to Darwin
1 (1924).

[26]
Id. at
6.

[27]
Edward Clodd, Pioneers
of evolution from thales to huxley
3 (1897, reprinted 1972).


[28]
Dr. Osborne identifies four periods of evolution: i.
Greek Evolution—640 b.c.
to 1600 a.d.;
ii. Modern Evolution—1600-1800
a.d.; iii.
Modern Inductive Evolution—1730-1850
a.d.
; and iv. Modern
Inductive Evolution—1858 to
the present. Henry Fairfield Osborn,
From the Greeks to Darwin
10-11 (1924).


[29]
Id. at
11.


[30]
7 Thomas Paine, A
Discourse at the Society of Theophilanthropists, Paris, in Age of Reason:
Miscellaneous Essays for Third and Fourth Parts
, in
Life and Writings of Thomas Paine
2-8 (Daniel Edwin Wheeler, ed., 1908).


[31]
6 Thomas Paine, Age
of Reason Part Second, January 27, 1794, in Age of Reason: Being an
Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology in Two Parts
, in
Life and Writings of Thomas Paine
132 (Daniel Edwin Wheeler, ed., 1908).

[32]
Scopes, 289 S. W. at 368 (Chambliss,
J. concurring).

[33]
Robert Clark, Darwin: Before
and After, and Examination and Assessment
15 (1958).

[34] John
Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on
Contemporary Thought
2 (1910).

[35]
While multiple camps will occasionally lay claim to the same writer,
theorist, or scientist, the individuals are listed according to the camp
wherein the majority of writers now place them or in the camp with which
their own writings best comport. For example, while many of the earliest
writers believed in the Greek and Roman gods, they did not believe in a
First Cause as the origin of man; they are therefore placed in the
non-theistic origins camp. Similarly, other writers, such as Goethe and
Bruno, were pantheists, believing that all of nature is god and that nature
therefore created itself—that its origins simply sprang forth without a
First Cause; these writers, too, are consequently placed in the camp of
non-theistic origins.

[36]
James Rachels, Created From
Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
10 (1990).

[37]
Nora Barlow, The Autobiography
of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882
at 92-93 (1958).

[38] John
Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on
Contemporary Thought
11 (1910).

[39]
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, Dr. 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.

[40] James
Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
3
(1990).

[41] Id.
at 57-58.

[42] World’s
Most Famous Court Trial
supra note 1, at 83-84.

[43]
Id. at 113 (Malone).

[44]
Henry Fairfield Osborn, From
the Greeks to Darwin
(1924); see also, Peter J. Bowler,
Evolution: The History of an Idea
(1984); Edward Clodd, Pioneers of Evolution From Thales to Huxley
(1897, reprint 1972); Robert Clark,
Darwin: Before and After, and Examination and Assessment
(1958).

[45]
Scopes, 289 S. W. at 369 (Chambliss,
J. concurring).

[46]
Steve Benen, Science Test Church &
State
, July/August 2000.

[47]
David W. Moore, Americans Support Teaching Creationism as Well as Evolution in Public
Schools
, Gallup News Service,
Aug. 30, 1999.

[48]
Stephen Huba, Biblical Version of Creation OK by Americans, Detroit
News
, Apr. 6, 1999 (citing a George Bishop poll, published in The
Public Perspective
, Aug./Sep. 1998).

[49]
David W. Moore, Americans Support Teaching Creationism as Well as Evolution in Public
Schools,
Gallup News Service,
Aug. 30, 1999.

[50] The courts have struck
down as violations of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause: (1) an
Arkansas anti-evolution statute (Epperson v. Arkansas, 1968, 393 U S 97, 21
L Ed 2d 228, 29 S CT. 226), (2) a Mississippi statute prohibiting the
teaching that man ascended from lower life forms (Smith v. State, 1970,
Miss, 242 So 2d 692); (3) the teaching of any view or form of what the
courts call “creationism” (Wright v. Houston ISD, 1972, SD Tex 366 F
Sup. 1208, affd (CA5 Tex) 486 F 2d 137 reh den (CA5 Tex), 487 F 2d 1401, reh
den (CA5 Tex) 489 F 2d 1312, cert. den 417 US 369, 41 L Ed 2d 1140, 94 S Ct.
3173), (4) a statute declaring that teachings regarding the origins of man
must be taught only as theories (Daniel v. Water (1975, CA6 Tenn) 515, F 2d
485, on remand (MD Tenn) 399 F Supp. 510; see
also
Steele v Waters (1975, Tenn) 527 SW2d 72), (5) a statute requiring
“balanced-treatment” between competing views of the origins of man
(McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982), ED Ark) 529 F Supp 1255,
later app (CA8 Ark) 723 F2d 45; see
also
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) 482 U S 578, 96 L Ed 2d 510, 107 S Ct
2573) and (6) a policy requiring a disclaimer be issued for evolution
textbooks stating that evolution was only one theory of the origins of man (Tangipahoa
Parish Board of Education et al. v. Herb Freiler et al., 975 F. Supp. 819
(D. LA 1997), aff’d 185 F. 3d 337 (5th Cir. 1999, rehearing denied, 201 F.
3d 602 (2000), cert. denied (U. S. June 19, 2000) (No. 99-1625).
Additionally, the courts have held that to discharge a teacher for teaching
evolution was violating the Establishment Clause (Moore v. Garston County
Board of Education (1973, WD NC) 357 F Supp 1037) whereas to discharge a
teacher for teaching creation was protecting the Establishment Clause
(Webster v. New Lenox School Dist. (1989, ND Ill) 1989 US Dist. LEXIS 6091).
Furthermore, to teach evolution, or to use textbooks teaching evolution,
does not violate a creationist’s religious rights (Mozert v. Hawkins
County Board of Education (1987, CA6 Tenn) 827 F2d 1058, 102 ALR Fed 497,
reh den (CA6) 1987 US ap Lexis 13833 and cert. den 484 US 1066, 98 L Ed 2d
993, 108 S Ct 1029).

[51]
McCollum v. Bd. of Educ., 333 U. S. 203, 237 (1948).

[52]
Ry. Co. v. Ellis, 165 U. S. 150, 160 (1897)
.

 

[53]
See proclamations by George Washington on August 14, 1790; John Adams
on July 22, 1797; Thomas Jefferson on July 16, 1803; James Madison on August
9, 1809; James Monroe on April 28, 1818; John Quincy Adams on March 17, 1827
Andrew Jackson on May 11, 1829, etc. 1-2 James
D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents
1789-1897
(1899).

[54]
8 The Statutes at Large,
Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America
31-48
(George P. Sanger, ed., 1866) (thirty-eighth Congress, Session 1, Chapter
37, Section 4, Colorado’s enabling act of March 21, 1864; Chapter 36,
Section 4, Nevada’s enabling act of March 21, 1864; Chapter 59, Section 4,
Nebraska’s enabling act of April 19, 1864). 34 The
Statutes at Large of the United States of America
(1907),
(fifty-ninth Congress, Session 1, Chapter 3335, Section 3, Oklahoma’s
enabling act of June 16, 1906; etc.).

[55] John
Quincy Adams, The Jubilee of the Constitution. A Discourse Delivered at the
Request of the New York Historical Society, in the City of New York, on
Tuesday, the 30th of April 1789,
at 83 (1839).

[56]
World’s Most Famous Court
Trial,
supra note 1, at 170 (William Jennings Bryan quoting Arthur
Garfield Hays).

[57]
Id.
at 198 (General A. Thomas Stewart).

[58]
Id. at 170 (Bryan).

[59]
Id. at 74.

[60]
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
331 (2d ed. 1993).

[61]
John Dewey, The Influence of
Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on Contemporary Thought
10
(1910).

[62]
Id. at 2.

[63] Henry
Steele Commager, The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought
and Character Since the 1880’s,
at
83 (1950).

[64]
Significantly, dictionaries utilize terms like “mode of
thinking,” “morals,” “taste,” and “manners” to define the word
“civilization”; and, as will be subsequently demonstrated, the mode of
thinking, the morals, the taste, and the manners, each would be dramatically
altered according to which view of origins was embraced.

[65] See, for example, George
Washington’s Farewell Address in which, after comparing American
government with that in France and across much of Europe, Washington
reminded Americans that “of all the dispositions and habits which lead to
political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” George
Washington, Address of George Washington. President of the United States . .
. Prepatory to his Declination 22-23
(Baltimore: George and Henry S.
Keatinge, 1796) This distinguished constitutional expert declared that
religion was inseparable from America’s governmental philosophy. Other
framers who made similar comparisons between America’s theistic approach
and the non-theistic approaches of other nations such as France included
Gouverneur Morris, (penman and signer of the Constitution) Gouverneur
Morris, An Oration Delivered on Wednesday, June 29, 1814, at the request of
a number of citizens of New York, in Celebration of the Recent Deliverance
of Europe from the Yoke of Military Despotism
(New York: Van Winkle
and Wiley, 1814). Fisher Ames (a framer of the First Amendment and the Bill
of Rights) Fisher Ames, “A Warning Voice,” in The
New-England Palladium (Boston),
April 17, 1804; see
also
VOL. I Works of Fisher Ames 226
(Seth Ames, ed., 1983). Noah Webster, (one of the first to call for a
Constitution Convention and the individual most responsible for Article I,
Section 8, ¶ 8 of the Constitution; etc) Noah
Webster, The Revolution in France, Considered in Respect to its Progress and
Effects
(New York: George Bunce and Co., 1794).

[66]
Critics assert that the framers did not see all life as equal and
they point to slave-holding individuals among the founders as evidence
supporting their charge. This reflects what regrettably, has become a common
approach to the Founding Era: regardless of whether the topic is religion,
morality, racism, wealth, etc., the tendency is to take the exception and
portray it as the rule.

For example, on the slavery issue, while some
framers did own slaves, rarely is anything said of the overwhelming majority
of framers who did not own slaves and who rejected slavery. And rarely is it
acknowledged that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil
introduced by, the founders; rather, slavery had been introduced into
America nearly a century-and-a-half before the founders and had been
strongly enforced upon them by British law. In fact, many of the founders
vigorously complained about the fact that every attempt they had made to end
slavery and the slave trade in the Colonies (as Virginia had attempted in
1767 and Pennsylvania in 1774) had been vetoed by King George III.

Prior to the time of the framers, there had been
few serious efforts to dismantle the institution of slavery. John Jay, an
author of the Federalist Papers and the original Chief Justice of the U. S.
Supreme Court, identified the American Revolution as the point at which the
change in national attitude toward slavery first began. 3 John
Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay
342 (Henry P.
Johnston, ed., New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891) (letter to the English
Anti-Slavery Society in June 1788) Historically speaking, it was the
founders who collectively initiated the first changes against slavery; and
it was the Declaration that first began that official change.

In
fact, many framers used the occasion of the adoption of the Declaration and
the separation from Great Britain to end slavery in their own States,
including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in 1780, Massachusetts
Constitution
of 1780, art.
I;
Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, act passed in October 1777,
1 The Public Statute Laws of the State
of Connecticut
623-625 (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1808); and act
of Feb. 27, 1784, Rhode Island Session Laws 7-8 (Providence: Wheeler, 1784); Vermont
in 1786, Vermont Constitution (1786);
Art. I
New Hampshire in 1792, New
Hampshire Constitution (1792); Art. I
New York in 1799, act passed on
March 29, 1799, Laws of the State of
New York, Passed at the twenty-second session, second meeting of the
legislature
721-723 (Albany: Loring Andrews, 1799); and New Jersey in
1804, act passed Feb. 15, 1804, Laws of the State of New Jersey, Complied
and Published Under the Authority of the Legislature 103-105 (Joseph
Bloomfield, ed., Trenton: James J. Wilson, 1811). Additionally, the reason
that Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa never permitted
slavery was a Congressional act, authored by Constitution signer Rufus King
1 Rufus King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King 288-289 (Charles
King, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1894), and signed into law by
President George Washington, An Act to provide for the Government of the
territory North-West of the River Ohio, August 7, 1789, Acts Passed at a
Congress of the United States of America 104 (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin,
1791) that prohibited slavery in the federally held territories. An
Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of theUnited States Northwest
of the River Ohio, Art. VI, The
Constitutions of the United States
366-367 (Trenton: Moore and Lake,
1813).

 

Furthermore, rarely is mention made of the fact
that many of the founders were leaders of abolition societies—that
Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first anti-slavery
society in 1774, that John Jay was president of a similar society in New
York, that when signer of the Constitution William Livingston heard of the
New York society, he, as Governor of New Jersey, volunteered to help the
work of that society, etc. Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members
of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison,
James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John
Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more.

Similarly, nothing is said of the prominent
anti-slavery positions of so many of the founders, including: Charles
Carroll, 2 Kate Mason Rowland, The
Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton 1737-1832
, at
321 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898)
(letter to Robert Goodloe Harper, April 23, 1820); John Dickinson, Charles
J. Stille, The Life and Times of John Dickinson
324 (Philadelphia: J.
P. Lippincott Company, 1891) (letter to George Logan on January 30, 1804);
John Jay, 2 John Jay, The Life and
Times of John Jay
174 (William Jay, ed., New York: J. & J.
Harper, 1833) (letter to the Rev. Dr. Richard Price on September 27, 1785);
Richard Henry Lee, the first speech of Richard Henry Lee in the House of
Burgesses of Virginia in 1
Richard Henry Lee, Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee
19
(Richard Henry Lee, ed., Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea, 1825);
William Livingston, 5 William
Livingston, The Papers of William Livingston
358 (Carl E. Prince,
ed., 1988) (letter to James Pemberton on October 20, 1788); Luther Martin, Luther
Martin, The Genuine Information
57 (Philadelphia: Eleazor Oswald,
1788). See also 1
The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution
377 (Jonathan
Elliot, ed., Washington, D. C.: Jonathan Elliot, 1836) (Luther Martin to
Thomas Cockey Deye on January 27, 1788); George Mason, 3 The
Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal
Constitution
452 (Jonathan Elliot, ed., Washington, D. C.: Jonathan
Elliot, 1836) (George Mason, June 15, 1788); Joseph Reed, William
Armor, Lives of the Governors of Pennsylvania
223 (Philadelphia:
James K. Simon, 1872); Benjamin Rush, Benjamin
Rush, Minutes of the Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates from the
Abolition Societies Established in Different Parts of the United States
Assembled at Philadelphia
24 (Philadelphia: Zachariah Poulson, 1794);
Noah Webster, Noah Webster, Effects of
Slavery on Morals and Industry
48 (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin,
1793); James Wilson, 2 James Wilson,
The Works of the Honorable James Wilson
488 (Bird Wilson, ed.,
Philadelphia: Lorenzo Press, 1804) (Lecture on The Natural Rights of
Individuals); John Witherspoon, 7 John
Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon
81 (Edinburgh: J. Ogle,
1815) (from Lectures on Moral Philosophy, Lecture X) etc.

The simple fact is that there was no substantial
progress in racial civil rights until the Declaration of Independence; and
the work the framers began in the Declaration was carried on for generations
afterwards. In fact, the Declaration was invoked authoritatively by
individuals such as Abraham Lincoln, speech at Lewiston, Illinois on August
17, 1858 in 2 Abraham
Lincoln, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln
545-547 (Roy P.
Basler, ed., 1953); Daniel Webster, Address on
the Annexation of Texas
, January 29, 1845, 15 Daniel Webster, Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster Hitherto
Uncollected Volume Three, Miscellaneous Papers Legal Arguments Early
Addresses, Etc.
in Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (1903); and John
Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams, An
Oration Delivered Before The Inhabitants Of The Town Of Newburyport at Their
Request on the sixty-first Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence,
July 4, 1837
, at 50
(Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837) in their efforts to end slavery, and
the words set forth by the framers in the Declaration were indispensable in
achieving the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments securing permanent protection
for racial civil rights.

[67]
As Dr. Rachels explains, “In the biblical sources we find not only
the idea that man has dominion over nature but also the contrasting notion
that all of creation is to be revered as God’s handiwork. On this latter
conception, man’s duty is to be a good steward of nature, not its
exploiter.” James Rachels, Created
From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
91 (1990) As Peter Singer confirms, “Religious ideas of man’s special
role. . . . were interwoven with the newer, more benevolent attitude.
Alexander Pope, for example, opposed the practice of cutting open fully
conscious dogs by arguing that although ‘the inferior creation’ has been
‘submitted to our power’ we are answerable for the ‘mismanagement’
of it.” Peter Singer, Animal Liberation 210-211 (1975) quoting The
Guardian
, May 21, 1713.

Singer
further notes, “It has been claimed that the first legislation protecting
animals from cruelty was enacted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641.
Section 92 of ‘The Body of Liberties,’ printed in that year, reads:
‘No man shall exercise any Tyranny or Cruelty towards any brute creature
which are usually kept for man’s use’; and the following section
requires a rest period for animals being driven.” Peter
Singer, Animal Liberation
213 (1975). According to Singer, “For a
fuller account, see Emily Leavet,
Animals, and Their Legal Rights
(1970).”

[68] Samuel Pufendorf
(1632-1694) was a Dutch educator and public official. As a professor of law
and nature at universities in Sweden and Germany, his legal writings have
caused him to be titled—along with Hugo Grotius—as one of the two
fathers of international law.

[69]
Alexander Hamilton, The
Farmer Refuted
5 (New York: James Rivington, 1775), reprinted
in
1 Papers of Alexander Hamilton
81, 86 (1961). See also 7 John
Witherspoon, Works of John Witherspoon
152 (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815)
(Lecture XVI, Of Oaths and Vows).

[70]
Baron Samuel de Pufendorf, Of
the Law of Nature and Nations, Eight Books 4
(Basil Kennet, ed.,
London: R. Sare 1717).

[71] Sir
William Blackstone (1723-1780) was a British jurist and political
philosopher. A professor of law at Oxford, his legal writings had a
significant influence on the thinking of America’s framers. In fact,
political science professors have documented that Blackstone was one of the
three most-frequently-invoked political sources (along with John Locke and
Baron Charles Montesquieu) by the framers in their political writings during
the Founding Era (1760-1805). Donald
S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism
143 (1988).

[72] Blackstone’s Commentaries
on the Laws of England
(4 vols., 1766-1769) was probably the single most
significant legal writing relied upon by the framers of our documents. In
fact, Thomas Jefferson commented that American lawyers used Blackstone’s
with the same dedication and reverence that Muslims used the Koran. 12 Thomas
Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson
392 (1904) (letter to
Governor John Tyler on May 26, 1810). Edmund Burke noted that Blackstone’s
works sold better in America than in England. John
Wingate Thornton, The Pulpit of the American Revolution
xxvii
(Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1860). Justice James Iredell, appointed to the
Supreme Court by President George Washington, noted that Blackstone’s was
the “manual of almost every student of law in the United States.” James
Iredell’s Charge to the Grand Jury in the Case of Fries [9 Fed. Cas. 826,
no. 5, 126 (C. C. D. Pa. 1799)]. In fact, legal educator Roscoe Pound
confirms that Blackstone’s formed the basis of all legal studies and bar exams until well into the 20th
century. Roscoe Pound, Spirit of the
Common Law
150 (Boston: Marshall Jones Company, 1921).

[73]
2 William Blackstone,
Commentaries on the Laws of England
2-3 (Philadelphia: Robert Bell,
1771).

[74]
John Locke (1632-1704) was a British educator, diplomat, and
political philosopher. He taught at Oxford, and his legal writings were
heavily relied upon by America’s framers, especially in developing the
concepts of social compact and the consent of the governed. In fact,
political science professors have documented that Locke was one of the three
most-frequently-invoked political sources (along with Sir William Blackstone
and Baron Charles Montesquieu) by the framers in their political writings
during the Founding Era (1760-1805). Donald
S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism
143 (1988).

[75]
4 John Locke, Works of John
Locke
353-356 (12 ed., London: C. and J. Rivington, 1824).

[76]
John Dewey, The Influence of
Darwin on Philosophy, and Other Essays on Contemporary Thought
9-10
(1910).

[77]
Charles darwin, Charles
Darwin’s Notebooks 1836-1844,
at 300 (1987).

[78]
James Rachels, Created From
Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
1 (1990).

[79]
Id. at
79.

[80]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the
1880’s
at 83 (1950).

[81]
Henry S. Salt, Animals’ Rights Considered in Relation to Social
Progress
8 (New York: Macmillan & Co., 1894).

[82]
Id. at 9.

[83]
Rachels, Created From Animals
1 (1990).

[84]
Margot Norris, Beasts of the
Modern Imagination
3 (1985).

[85]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
214 (1975).

[86]
Henry S. Salt, Animals’
Rights Considered in Relation to Social Progress
14-15 (New York:
Macmillan & Co., 1894).

[87]
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “speciesism” as
“discrimination against or exploitation of certain animal species by human
beings, based on an assumption of mankind’s superiority.” Jeffrey
Reiman, Critical Moral Liberalism, Theory and Practice
207 (1997).

[88]
Jeffrey Reiman, Critical Moral
Liberalism, Theory and Practice
207 (1997).

[89]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
255 (1975).

[90]
Human-Animal Relationships Research Focus Group, Steve Sapontzis,
abstract from his seminar on “Intellectual Superiority,” California
State University, Hayward, on Feb. 27, 1999.

[91]
Human-Animal Relationships Research Focus Group, Tom Regan, abstract
from his seminar on “Putting People in Their Place,” California State
University, Hayward, on Feb. 27, 1999.

[92]
Marc D. Hauser, Wild Minds:
What Animals Really Think
13 (2000).

[93]
Steven M. Wise, Rattling the
Cage: Toward Legal Rights For Animals
19 (2000).

[94]
Stephen Chapman, Behind the Crusade Against Fur is a Bizarre Agenda, Chicago Tribune,
Dec. 3, 1989. See also, Ingrid
Newkirk confirming this statement on CNN’s “Crossfire” on Aug. 29,
2000.

[95]
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
150 (2d ed., 1993).

[96]
Statement made by Tom Regan following his speech, “Animal Rights,
Human Wrongs,” given at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on Oct. 27,
1989, during the question and answer session.

[97] Jack L. Albright, Animal
Welfare Issues: A Critical Analysis
, from the Animal Welfare Issues
Compendium: A Collection of 14 Disscussion Papers, Sep. 1997, sponsored by
U. S. Department of Agriculture. See
also
, Given Florio, Animal-Rights Efforts Gaining Legal Clout,” The
Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 5, 1999.

[98]
Chip Brown, She’s a Portrait of Zealotry In Plastic Shoes,” Washington Post,
Nov. 13, 1983.

[99]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
xi (1975).

[100]
Human-Animal Relationships Research Focus Group, Steve Sapontzis,
abstract from his seminar on “Intellectual Superiority,” California
State University, Hayward, on Feb. 27, 1999.

[101]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
ix (1975).

[102]
Susan Finsen, Obstacles to Legal Rights for Animals. Can We Get There From Here? 3
Anml L. i, iii (1997).

[103]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
215 (1975).

[104]
Gwendellyn Jo Earnshaw, Equity
as a Paradigm for Sustainability: Evolving the Process Toward Interspecies
Equity,
5 Anml L. 113, 122 (1999).

[105]
Steven Wise, Animal Thing to
Animal Person—Thoughts on Time, Place, and Theories
, 5 Anml
L.
61 (1999).

[106]
Id. at,
5 Anml L.
61, 62.

[107]
Id.

[108]
Steven Wise, Animal Thing to Animal Person—Thoughts on Time, Place, and Theories,
5 Anml L. 61 (1999).

[109]
Exec. Order No. 7 (Jan. 28, 1994) (Pardon issued by New Jersey
Governor Christine Todd Whitman).

[110]
Animal Legal Defense Fund Inc. v. Glickman, 332 U.S. App. D.C. 104,
154 F.3d 426 (D.C. Cir. 09/01/1998)

[111]
Citizens to End Animal Suffering and Exploitation, Inc. v. New England
Aquarium, 836 F. Supp. 45, 47-48 (D. Mass. 1993), cited by Steven Wise, Animal
Thing to Animal Person—Thoughts on Time, Place, and Theories
, 5 Anml
L. 61, 65-66 (1999).

[112]
Dana Coleman, How Lawyers Deal With Clients who Bark, The New Jersey Lawyer, Aug. 24, 1998.

[113]
Living on Earth, (NPR radio
broadcast, Mar. 3, 2000).

[114]
Nichols v. Sukaro Kennels, 555 N.W.2d 689 (Iowa, 1996).

[115]
Richard Willing, Under Law, Pets are Becoming Almost Human, USA Today, Sep. 13, 2000.

[116]
Morgan v. Kroupa, 702 A.2d 630, 631 (Vt. 1997).

[117]
Raymond v. Lachmann, 695 N.Y.S.2d 309 (N. Y. App. 1 Dept. 1999).

[118]
Porter v. DiBiasio, 93 F.3d 301 (7th Cir. 1996).

[119]
Jankoski v. Preiser Animal Hospital, Ltd., 510 N.E.2d 1084, 1085 (Ill.App.
1 Dist, 1987); see also Brousseau v. Rosenthal, 443 N.Y.2d 285, (N.Y.City Civ.Ct.
1980).

[120]
La Porte v. Associated Independents, Inc., 163 So.2d 267, 269 (Sup.
Ct. Fla., 1964).

[121]
Bueckner v. Hamel, 886 S.W.2d 368, 377 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st
Dist.] 1994) (Andell, J. concurring).

[122]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
214 (1975).

[123]
Gary Dorsey, Animal rights movement spawns new discipline: Animal law, The
Detroit News
, Feb. 29, 2000.

[124]
Human-Animal Relationships Research Focus Group, Tibor R. Machan
“Does Having Interest Mean Having Rights?” Chapman University, on Feb.
27, 1999.

[125]
John Quincy Adams, Letters of
John Quincy Adams to His Son on The Bible and Its Teachings
23
(Auburn: James M. Alden, 1859) (September 15, 1811).

[126]
James Wilson (1742-1798) was a signer of both the Declaration of
Independence and the Constitution—one of only six framers to hold that
distinction. He was the second most active member of the Constitutional
Convention, speaking on the floor of the Convention 168 times, and was
subsequently appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court as an original Justice by
President George Washington. Wilson is credited with starting the first
organized legal training in America for law students and authored several
legal works, including a 1792 Commentary on the Constitution of the United
States of America and a three-volume set of legal lectures delivered to law
students while Wilson was sitting as a Justice on the Court. James Wilson
was a leading figure in the development of American constitutional law and
was, perhaps more than any other individual, responsible for laying the
foundation for a purely American system of jurisprudence.

[127]
1 James Wilson, The Works of
the Honorable James Wilson
113-114 (Bird Wilson, ed., Philadelphia:
Lorenzo Press, 1804).

[128]
1 William Blackstone,
Commentaries on the Laws of England
39, 41 (Philadelphia: Robert
Bell, 1771).

[129]
1 Zephaniah Swift, A System of
the Laws of the State of Connecticut
6-7 (Windham: John Byrne, 1795).

[130]
4 Samuel Adams, Writings of
Samuel Adams
356 (Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., 1908) (to the
Legislature of Massachusetts on January 17, 1794).

[131]
John Quincy Adams, The Jubilee
of the Constitution
13-14 (New York: Samuel Colman, 1839).

[132]
Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language

(New York: S. Converse, 1828), s.v. “law,” definitions #3 and #6.

[133]
Baron Charles Secondat de Montesquieu (1689-1755) was a French
elected official (president of the French parliament) and a political
philosopher. He authored numerous essays on law, government, the military,
taxation, economics, etc. His theories of checks and balances and separation
of powers between the branches became an integral part of American
constitutional philosophy. In fact, political science professors have
documented that Montesquieu was the single most-frequently-invoked political
source by the framers in their political writings during the Founding Era
(1760-1805). Donald S. Lutz, The
Origins of American Constitutionalism 143
(1988).

[134]
5 George Bancroft, Bancroft’s
History of the United States
24 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1859). See also 1 Baron
Charles Secondat de Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws
18, ad passim
(Philadelphia: Isaiah Thomas, 1802).

[135]
1 Benjamin Rush, Letters of
Benjamin Rush
454 (L. H. Butterfield, ed., 1951) (to David Ramsay,
March or April 1788).

[136]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the
1880’s,
at 367
(1950).

[137]
James Rachels, Created From Animals:
The Moral Implications of Darwinism
1 (1990).

[138]
David Wigdor, Roscoe Pound
Philosopher of Law
118 (1974).

[139]
Andrew L. Kaufman, Cardozo
206 (1998).

[140]
Moses J. Aronson, Cardozo’s Doctrine of Sociological Jurisprudence, reprinted
from
4 Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (October 1938).

[141]
Roscoe Pound, Spirit of the
Common Law
172 (1921).

[142]
Roscoe Pound, An Introduction
to the Philosophy of Law
31 (1922).

[143]
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common
Law
5 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1881).

[144]
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
193 (1975).

[145]
Evolutionary psychology is a rapidly growing field with numbers of highly
credentialed academics, including not only those listed above but also
evolutionary psychologists like Dr. Donald Symons of the University of
California at Santa Barbara, Dr. Martin Daly and Dr. Margo Wilson of
McMaster University in Ontario, and numerous others. (See, for example, the
list of contributors in the Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology: Ideas,
Issues, and Applications by Charles Crawford and Dennis Krebs, published by
the Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University).

[146]
Robert Wright, Our Cheating Hearts: Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how
evolution shaped human love,
Time
Domestic
, Aug. 15, 1994.

[147]
James Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of
Darwinism
221 (1990).

[148]
John Dickinson, Letters from A
Farmer
xlii (1903).

[149]
Boston Gazette
, Aug. 12, 1765; 3 John
Adams, The Works of John Adams
449 (Charles Francis Adams, ed.
Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851) (from his Dissertation,
1765).

[150]
2 James Wilson, The Works of

the Honorable James Wilson 454 (Bird Wilson, ed., Philadelphia:
Lorenzo Press, 1804).

[151]
Id. at 466.

[152]
4 Thomas Jefferson, Memoir,
Correspondence, and Miscellanies
278 (Thomas Jefferson Randolph, ed.,
Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830) (letter to Francis Gilmer on June 7, 1816).

[153]
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the
State of Virginia
237, Query XVIII (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey,
1794).

[154]
John Quincy Adams, An Oration
Delivered Before the Cincinnati Astronomical Society, On the Occasion of
Laying the Corner Stone of An Astronomical Observatory, On the 10th of
November, 1843
, at 12-15
(Cincinnati: Shepard & Co., 1843).

[155]
David Wigdor, Roscoe Pound
Philosopher of Law
187 (1974).

[156]
Roscoe Pound, Spirit of the
Common Law
172 (1921).

[157]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the
1880’s
, at 378 (1950).

[158]
Michael Hoffheimer, Justice
Holmes and the Natural Law
11 (1992).

[159]
James Rachels, Created From
Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
197 (1990).

[160]
Id. at 5.

[161]
The framers were so convinced that all life came from God that they
even called suicide “self-murder” [see for example, A
Manual of the Laws of North Carolina
(Raleigh: J. Gales, 1814), p.
190, s.v. “suicide”; Thomas
Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia
599 §5585 (John P. Foley,
ed., 1900), s.v., “self-murder”; 1
Richard Watson, Theoological Institutes: On the Evidences, Doctrines,
Morals, and Institutions of Christianity
227 (New York: Carlton and
Porter, 1857); 4 William Blackstone,
Commentaries
188 (“Public Wrongs: Self-Murder”)] since man was
terminating a life that he had not created and that was not his to give or
take. This view was held for centuries, and even millennia, under the
theistic origins approach. As Professor James Rachels documents, “St.
Augustine, whose thought shaped much of our tradition, argued that
‘Christians have no authority for committing suicide in any circumstances
whatever.’ His argument was based mainly on an appeal to authority. The
sixth commandment says ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Augustine pointed out that
the commandment does not say ‘Thou shalt not kill thy neighbor’; it says
only ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ period. Thus, he argued, the rule applies
with equal force to killing oneself. . . . Kant [said] ‘But as soon as we
examine suicide from the standpoint of religion we immediately see it in its
true light. We have been placed in this world under certain conditions and
for specific purposes. But a suicide opposes the purpose of his Creator; he
arrives in the other world as one who has deserted his post; he must be
looked upon as a rebel against God.’ ” James
Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism

89-90 (1990). Perhaps Blackstone best summarized the framers overall view
toward life in these words: “If any human law should allow, or enjoin, us
to commit it [the taking of an innocent life], we are bound to transgress
that human law.” 1 William
Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
43 (Philadelphia:
Robert Bell, 1771).

[162]
Michael Tooley, Abortion and
Infanticide
303-304 (1983).

[163]
Jeffrey Reiman, Critical Moral
Liberalism: Theory and Practice
193 (1997).

[164]
Michael Tooley, Abortion and
Infanticide
421 (1983).

[165]
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
169-182 (2d ed. 1993).

[166]
Jeffrey Reiman, Critical Moral
Liberalism: Theory and Practice
203 (1997).

[167]
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
183, 191 (2d ed. 1993).

[168]
Jeffrey Reiman, Critical Moral
Liberalism: Theory and Practice
203 (1997).

[169]
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
188 (2d ed. 1993).

[170]
Id.
at 191-192.

[171]
Subcommittee on
the Constitution, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives,
Hearing on H. R. 4292, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, July 20, 2000,
Testimony of Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence,
Princeton University.

[172]
Joseph Story, A Discourse
Pronounced Upon the Inauguration of the Author, as Dane Professor of Law in
Harvard University, on the Twenty-fifth day of August, 1829
, at
14 (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1829).

[173]
It is significant that so many of those who today embrace what
Darwinism has become so blatantly ignore what Darwin himself said both on
morality and in support of intelligent design. As Dr. James Rachels, a
Darwin supporter and a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,
observes, “Darwin himself had a good bit to say about morality and
religion. But his remarks on these subjects are often ignored, or treated as
only marginally interesting.” James
Rachels, Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
5
(1990). Ironically, many of Darwin’s own words on morality and religion
are now unacceptable under modern Darwinism.

[174]
Nora Barlow, The Autobiography
of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882,
at 94 (1958).

[175]
John Adams and John Quincy
Adams, The Selected Writings of John and John Quincy Adams 397

(Adrienne Koch and William Peden, eds. 1946) (John Quincy Adams, Diary,
March 19, 1843).

[176]
Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, DSM-IV-TR
at
xxiv (2000).

[177]
Id.
at xxxi.

[178]
People v. Allen, et al., 420 N.W.2d 499 (Mich. 1988).

[179]
People v. Phillips, 175 Cal.Rptr. 703, (Cal. Ct. App. 1981).

[180]
Plough v. State, 725 S.W.2d 494 (Tex. Ct. App. 1987).

[181]
Ioakimedes v. Chambers, 71 Cal. App.3d 277, 357, (Cal. Rptr 1977); see
also
People v. Triplett, 144 Cal. App.3d 283, 192 Cal.Rptr. 537, (1983).

[182]
State v. McCarroll, 1989 WL 155, 215 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.).

[183]
State v. Blasus, 445 N.W.2d 535, (Minn., 1989).

[184]
People v. Bell, 49 778 P.2d 129, (Cal., 1989).

[185]
State v. DeMoss, 770 P.2d 441, (Kan., 1989).

[186]
In re Michael B., 566 A.2d 446, (Con., 1995). See
also
State v. Clements, 734 P.2d 1096, (Kan. 1987).

[187]
In the matter of Harvey Goldberg, 536 A.2d 224, (NJ, 1988).

[188]
Djadi v. State, 528 A.2d 502, (Md. 1987).

[189]
People v. Morino, 743 P.2d 49, (Col. 1987).

[190]
Hicks v. State, 352 S.E.2d 762, (Ga., 1987).

[191]
Godley v. Commonwealth, 343 S.E.2d 368, (Va. 1986).

[192]
John Leo, The it’s-not-my-fault syndrome, U.
S. News and World Report
, Jn. 18, 1990.

[193]
Walter Stace, A Critical
History of Greek Philosophy
310 (1934).

[194]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the
1880’s
, at 380 (1950).

[195]
Clarence S. Darrow, Crime and
Criminals, An Address Delivered to the Prisoners in the Chicago County Jail

5-6 (1907).

[196]
John Quincy Adams, An Oration
Delivered Before the Cincinnati Astronomical Society, On the Occasion of
Laying the Corner Stone of An Astronomical Observatory, On the 10th of
November, 1843
, at 14-15
(Cincinnati: Shepard & Co., 1843).

[197]
4 John Locke, Works of John
Locke
341 (12th ed. London: C. and J. Rivington, 1824).

[198]
1 William Blackstone,
Commentaries on the Laws of England
40 (Philadelphia: Robert Bell,
1771).

[199]
1 James Wilson, The Works of
the Honorable James Wilson
108 (Bird Wilson, ed., Philadelphia:
Lorenzo Press, 1804).

[200]
The Federalist No. 10 (James
Madison).

[201]
6 John Adams, The Works of John
Adams
484 (Charles Francis Adams, ed., Boston: Charles C. Little and
James Brown, 1851) (to John Taylor on April 15, 1814).

[202]
Fisher Ames, Works of Fisher
Ames
24 (Boston: T. B. Wait & Co., 1809) (speech on Biennial
Elections, delivered January, 1788).

[203]
Fisher Ames,
The Dangers of American Liberty
(February 1805), reprinted
in
Works of Fisher Ames 384
(Boston: T. B. Wait & Co., 1809).

[204]
Gouverneur Morris, An Oration
Delivered on Wednesday, June 29, 1814, at the Request of a Number of
Citizens of New-York, in Celebration of the Recent Deliverance of Europe
from the Yoke of Military Despotism
10, 22 (New York: Van Winkle and
Wiley, 1814).

[205]
John Quincy Adams, The Jubilee
of the Constitution
53 (New York: Samuel Colman, 1839).

[206]
1 Benjamin Rush, Letters of
Benjamin Rush
523 (L. H. Butterfield, ed., 1951) (letter to John
Adams on July 21, 1789).

[207]
Noah Webster, The American
Spelling Book
103-104 (Boston: Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer T. Andrews,
1801).

[208]
7 John Witherspoon, The Works
of John Witherspoon
101 (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815) (Lecture 12 on
Civil Society).

[209]
1 Zephaniah Swift, A System of
the Laws of the State of Connecticut
19 (Windham: John Byrne, 1795).

[210]
see, for example, 1 Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush 498 (L. H.
Butterfield, ed., 1951) (letter to John Adams on January 22, 1789).

[211]
Of the General Principles of Law and
Obligation, reprinted in
1 James
Wilson, The Works of the Honorable James Wilson
104-105 (Bird Wilson,
ed., Philadelphia: Lorenzo Press, 1804).

[212]
1 Alexander Hamilton, The
Papers of Alexander Hamilton
87 (Harold C. Syrett, ed., 1961)
(February 23, 1775), quoting 1 William
Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England
41 (Philadelphia:
Robert Bell, 1771).

[213]
6 Rufus King, The Life and
Correspondence of Rufus King
276 (Charles R. King, ed., 1900) (letter
to C. Gore on February 17, 1820).

[214]
Interestingly, the framers often spoke of the French government as a
democracy rather than the republic that the French themselves called their
government. In the minds of the framers, simply titling a government a
republic did not make it so if it lacked transcendent values or immutable
rights or was ruled as a “mobocracy.” As Fisher Ames, a framer of the
Bill of Rights, explained, “[I]t was only in name that she [France] ever
was republican.” Dangerous Power of
France
, No. II in
Fisher Ames, Works of Fisher Ames
323 (Boston: T. B. Wait & Co.,
1809).

[215]
Trop v. Dulles, 356 U. S. 86, 101 (1957).

[216]
John Dewey, The Public and Its
Problems
34 (1927).

[217]
Michael Hoffheimer, Justice
Holmes and the Natural Law
5 (1992).

[218]
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,
The Law in Science—Science in Law,
reprinted in
Collected Legal
Papers
225 (1920).

[219]
Benjamin Cardozo, The Growth of
the Law
49 (1924).

[220]
New State Ice Company v. Leibmann, 285 U. S. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandies, J.,
dissenting).

[221]
Reason and Passion: Justice
Brennan’s Enduring Influence
18-19 (E. Joshua Rosenkranz and
Bernard Schwartz eds., 1997).

[222]
Abington v. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203, 220-221 (1963).

[223]
Benjamin Cardozo, The Nature of the
Judicial Process
10 (1921).

[224]
Charles Evans Hughes, The
Autobiographical Notes of Charles Evans Hughes
144 (David J. Danelski
and Joseph S. Tulchin, eds., 1973) (speech at Elmira on May 3, 1907).

[225]
Steven M. Wise, How Nonhuman Animals Were Trapped in a Nonexistent Universe, 1 Anml
L
. 15, 41 (1995).

[226]
4 Samuel Adams, The Writings of
Samuel Adams
388 (Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., 1908) (to the
Legislature of Massachusetts on January 19, 1796).

[227]
George Washington, Address of
George Washington. President of the United States . . . Prepatory to his
Declination
22 (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, 1796).

[228]
6 Alexander Hamilton, Works of Alexander Hamilton 542 (John C.
Hamilton, ed., New York: John F. Trow, 1851) (letter to James Bayard on
April, 1802).

[229]
Compassion in Dying v. Washington, No. 94-35534 (9th Cir. 1996).

[230]
Quill v. Vacco, No. 95-7028 (2nd Cir. 1996).

[231]
Missouri v. Jenkins, 58 L.W. 4480 (1990).

[232]
Yniguez v. Arizona, 69 F. 3d 920 (1995).

[233]
League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 908 F. Supp. 755
(C.D. Cal. 1995).

[234]
Gregorio T. v. Wilson, 59 F. 3d 1002 (1996).

[235]
Carver v. Nixon, 72 F. 3d 633 (8th Cir. 1995).

[236]
U. S. Term Limits v. Thornton, 131 L. Ed. 2d 881 (1995).

[237]
Thorsted v. Munro, 75 F. 3d 454 (1996).

[238]
Romer v. Evans, 64 L.W. 4353 (1996).

[239]
See, for example, Spokane Arcades v. Ray, 449 F. Supp. 1145 (1978);
Lucas v. Colorado Gen. Assembly, 377 U. S. 713 (1964); Citizens Against Rent
Control v. City of Berkeley, 454 U. S. 290 (1981).

[240]
1 James D. Richardson, A Compilation
of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1780-1897
, at
164 (Published by the Authority of Congress, 1899) (from Washington’s
Sixth Annual Address of November 19, 1794).

[241]
Response to the Citizens of Albemarle
on February 12, 1790, 16 Thomas
Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
179 (Julian P. Boyd, ed.,
1961).

[242]
15 Thomas Jefferson, The
Writings of Thomas Jefferson
277 (1904) (letter to William Charles
Jarvis on September 28, 1820).

[243]
Philip P. Wiener, Evolution and the
Founders of Pragmatism
6 (1949).

[244]
Encyclopædia Britannica,
s.v., “Huxley, Thomas Henry.”

[245]
Richard L. Overman, “Comparing Origins Belief and Moral Views,”
presented at the Fourth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania on August 3-8, 1998, (quoting J.
Huxley, Evolution and Genetics: What is Science
272 (1955)).

[246]
Steve Benen, Science Test, Church &
State
, July/August 2000.

[247]
Henry Steele Commager, The
American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the
1880’s
, at 83 (1950).

[248]
Growth of Ideas: Knowledge,
Thought, Imagination
99 (Sir Julian Huxley, et al, eds., 1965) (Dr. H. G. Judge).

[249]
United States v. Seeger, 300 U. S. 163, 165-166 (1965).

[250]
Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 205 (3rd Cir., 1979).

The Founding Fathers on Creation and Evolution

David Barton 2008

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 Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), a zoologist and paleontologist, agrees, declaring that there are “ancient pedigrees for all that we are apt to consider modern. Evolution has reached its present fullness by slow additions in twenty-four centuries.”2 He continues, “Evolution as a natural explanation of the origin of the higher forms of life . . . developed from the teaching of Thales [624-546 B.C.] and Anaximander [610-546 B.C.] into those of Aristotle [384-322 B.C.]. . . . and it is startling to find him, over two thousand years ago, clearly stating, and then rejecting, the theory of the survival of the fittest as an explanation of the evolution of adaptive structures.”3 And British anthropologist Edward Clodd (1840-1930) similarly affirms that, “The pioneers of evolution – the first on record to doubt the truth of the theory of special creation, whether as the work of departmental gods or of one Supreme Deity, matters not – lived in Greece about the time already mentioned: six centuries before Christ.”4

For example, Anaximander (610-546 B.C.) introduced the theory of spontaneous generation; Diogenes (412-323 B.C.) introduced the concept of the primordial slime; Empedocles (495-455 B.C.) introduced the theory of the survival of the fittest and of natural selection; Deomocritus (460-370 B.C.) advocated the mutability and adaptation of species; the writings of Lucretius (99-55 B.C.) announced that all life sprang from “mother earth” rather than from any specific deity; Bruno (1548-1600) published works arguing against creation and for evolution in 1584-85; Leibnitz (1646-1716) taught the theory of intermedial species; Buffon (1707-1788) taught that man was a quadruped ascended from the apes, about which Helvetius also wrote in 1758; Swedenborg (1688-1772) advocated and wrote on the nebular hypothesis (the early “big bang”) in 1734, as did Kant in 1755; etc. It is a simple fact that countless works for (and against) evolution had been written for over two millennia prior to the drafting of our governing documents and that much of today’s current phraseology surrounding the evolution debate was familiar rhetoric at the time our documents were framed.

In fact, Dr. Henry Osborn (1857-1935), curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, identifies four periods of evolution: I. Greek Evolution – 640 B.C. to 1600 A.D.; II. Modern Evolution – 1600-1800 A.D.; III. Modern Inductive Evolution – 1730-1850 A.D.; and IV. Modern Inductive Evolution – 1858 to the present.5 He describes the third period in the history of evolution – the period in which our Framers lived – as a period which produced the pro-evolution writings of “Linnaeus, Buffon, E[rasmus] Darwin, Lamarck, Goethe, Treviranus, Geof. St. Hilaire, St. Vincent, Is. St. Hilaire. Miscellaneous writers: Grant, Rafinesque, Virey, Dujardin, d’Halloy, Chevreul, Godron, Leidy, Unger, Carus, Lecoq, Schaafhausen, Wolff, Meckel, Von Baer, Serres, Herbert, Buch, Wells, Matthew, Naudin, Haldeman, Spencer, Chambers, Owen.”6

The debate over the origins of man has always been between a theistic and a non-theistic approach; and among those who embrace the theistic approach have been found (and still are found) three distinct sub-approaches: (1) intelligent-design (that which exists came into being by divine guidance, but the period of time required or the specifics of the process are unsettled, possibly unprovable, and therefore remain debatable); (2) theistic evolution (that which exists came into being over a long, slow passing of time through natural laws and processes but under divine guidance); and (3) special creation (that which exists came into being in six literal days). This, then, makes four separate historic approaches to the origins of man: three theistic, and one non-theistic.

In the non-theistic camp, Empedocles (495-435 B.C.) was the father and original proponent of the evolution theory, followed by advocates such as Democritus (460-370 B.C. ), Epicurus (342-270 B.C.), Lucretius (98-55 B.C.), Abubacer (1107-1185 A.D.), Bruno (1548-1600), Buffon (1707-1788), Helvetius (1715-1771), Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), Lamarck (1744-1829), Goethe (1749-1832), Lyell (1797-1875), etc.

In the theistic camp, Anaxigoras (500-428 B.C.) was the father of intelligent design; that same belief was also expounded by such distinguished scientists and philosophers Descartes (1596-1650), Harvey (1578-1657), Newton (1642-1727), Kant (1729-1804), Mendel (1822-1884), Cuvier (1769-1827), Agassiz (1807-1873), etc. Significantly, even Charles Darwin (1809-1882), strongly influenced by the writings of Paley (1743- 1805),7 embraced the intelligent design position at the time that he wrote his celebrated word, explaining:

Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty, or rather impossibility, of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species.8

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 192513), 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.

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.

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.

John Quincy Adams

It is so obvious to every reasonable being, that he did not make himself; and the world which he inhabits could as little make itself that the moment we begin to exercise the power of reflection, it seems impossible to escape the conviction that there is a Creator. It is equally evident that the Creator must be a spiritual and not a material being; there is also a consciousness that the thinking part of our nature is not material but spiritual – that it is not subject to the laws of matter nor perishable with it. Hence arises the belief, that we have an immortal soul; and pursuing the train of thought which the visible creation and observation upon ourselves suggest, we must soon discover that the Creator must also he the Governor of the universe – that His wisdom and His goodness must be without bounds – that He is a righteous God and loves righteousness – that mankind are bound by the laws of righteousness and are accountable to Him for their obedience to them in this life, according to their good or evil deeds.19

But the first words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The blessed and sublime idea of God as the creator of the universe – the Source of all human happiness for which all the sages and philosophers of Greece and Rome groped in darkness and never found – is recalled in the first verse of the book of Genesis. I call it the source of all human virtue and happiness because when we have attained the conception of a Being Who by the mere act of His will created the world, it would follow as an irresistible consequence (even if we were not told that the same Being must also be the governor of his own creation) that man, with all other things, was also created by Him, and must hold his felicity and virtue on the condition of obedience to His will.20

Benjamin Franklin

It might be judged an affront to your understandings should I go about to prove this first principle: the existence of a Deity and that He is the Creator of the universe; for that would suppose you ignorant of what all mankind in all ages have agreed in. I shall therefore proceed to observe that He must be a being of infinite wisdom (as appears in His admirable order and disposition of things), whether we consider the heavenly bodies, the stars and planets and their wonderful regular motions; or this earth, compounded of such an excellent mixture of all the elements; or the admirable structure of animate bodies of such infinite variety and yet every one adapted to its nature and the way of life is to be placed in, whether on earth, in the air, or in the water, and so exactly that the highest and most exquisite human reason cannot find a fault; and say this would have been better so, or in such a manner which whoever considers attentively and thoroughly will be astonished and swallowed up in admiration.21

That the Deity is a being of great goodness appears in His giving life to so many creatures, each of which acknowledges it a benefit by its unwillingness to leave it; in His providing plentiful sustenance for them all and making those things that are most useful, most common and easy to be had, such as water (necessary for almost every creature to drink); air (without which few could subsist); the inexpressible benefits of light and sunshine to almost all animals in general; and to men, the most useful vegetables, such as corn, the most useful of metals, as iron, & c.; the most useful animals as horses, oxen, and sheep, He has made easiest to raise or procure in quantity or numbers; each of which particulars, if considered seriously and carefully, would fill us with the highest love and affection. That He is a being of infinite power appears in His being able to form and compound such vast masses of matter (as this earth, and the sun, and innumerable stars and planets), and give them such prodigious motion and yet so to govern them in their greatest velocity as that they shall not fly out of their appointed bounds not dash one against another for their mutual destruction. But it is easy to conceive His power, when we are convinced of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. For, if weak and foolish creatures as we are, but knowing the nature of a few things, can produce such wonderful effects, . . . what power must He possess, Who not only knows the nature of everything in the universe but can make things of new natures with the greatest ease and at His pleasure! Agreeing, then, that the world was a first made by a Being of infinite wisdom, goodness, and power, which Being we call God.22

John Adams

When I was in England from 1785 to 1788, I may say I was intimate with Dr. Price [Richard Price was a theologian and a strong British supporter of American rights and independence, with Congress bestowing on him an American citizenship in 1778]. I had much conversation with him at his own house, at my houses, and at the house and tables of many friends. In some of our most unreserved conversations when we have been alone, he has repeatedly said to me, “I am inclined to believe that the Universe is eternal and infinite. It seems to me that an eternal and infinite effect must necessarily flow from an eternal and infinite Cause; and an infinite Wisdom, Goodness, and Power that could have been induced to produce a Universe in time must have produced it from eternity.” “It seems to me, the effect must flow from the Cause”… It has been long – very long – a settled opinion in my mind that there is now, never will be, and never was but one Being who can understand the universe, and that it is not only vain but wicked for insects [like us] to pretend to comprehend it.23

James Wilson

When we view the inanimate and irrational creation around and above us, and contemplate the beautiful order observed in all its motions and appearances, is not the supposition unnatural and improbable that the rational and moral world should be abandoned to the frolics of chance or to the ravage of disorder? What would be the fate of man and of society was every one at full liberty to do as he listed without any fixed rule or principle of conduct – without a helm to steer him, a sport of the fierce gusts of passion and the fluctuating billows of caprice?24

Daniel Webster

The belief that this globe existed from all eternity (or never had a beginning), never obtained a foothold in any part of the world or in any age. Even the infidel writer of modern times, however, in the pride of argument they may have asserted it but believed it not, for they could not help perceiving that if mankind, with their inherently intellectual powers and natural capacities for improvement, had inhabited this earth for millions of years, the present inhabitants would not only be vastly more intelligent than we now find them but there would be vestiges of the former races to be found in every inhabitable part of the globe, floods and earthquakes notwithstanding. Unless we adopt Lord Monboddo’s [1714-1799, a Scottish legal scholar and pioneer anthropologist who advocated evolution through natural selection and man’s ascent from chimps] supposition that mankind were originally monkeys, it is impossible to admit the idea that they could have existed millions of years without making more discoveries and improvements than the early histories of nations warrant us to believe they had done. The belief in an uncreated, self-existent intelligent First Cause takes possession of our minds whether we will or not, because if man could not create himself, nothing else could; and matter, if it were not external, could produce nothing but matter; it could never produce thought nor free will nor consciousness. There must have been, therefore, a time when this globe and its inhabitants did not exist. The question then arises, what gave it existence? We answer God, the great First Cause of all things. What is God? We know not. We know Him only through His creation and His revelation. What do these teach us? They teach us, first this; incomprehensible power, next His infinite mind, and lastly His universal benevolence or goodness. These terms express all that we can know or believe of Him.25

Thomas Jefferson

[W]hen 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. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces; the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters, and atmosphere; animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles; insects, mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as man or mammoth; the mineral substances, their generation and uses – 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, their Preserver and Regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regeneration into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power, to maintain the universe in its course and order.26

(A longer and more extensive piece on the history of evolution and the Founding Fathers can be read in David Barton’s law review article published for Regent Lawschool on the 75th anniversary of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. That piece, entitled “Evolution and the Law: A Death Struggle Between Two Civilizations,” is accessible here.)


Endnotes

1 Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948), 33-34.

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

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

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

5 Osborn, From the Greeks (1924), 10-11.

6 Osborn, From the Greeks (1924), 11.

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

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

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

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.

11 Rachels, Created From Animals (1990), 3.

12 Rachels, Created From Animals (1990),57-58.

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

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), 83-84, Clarence Darrow, July 13, 1925.

15 The World’s Most Famous Court Trial (1925), 113, Dudley Malone, July 15, 1925.

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

17 Thomas Paine, Life and Writings of Thomas Paine, ed. Daniel Edwin Wheeler (New York: Printed by Vincent Parke and Company, 1908), 7:2-8, “The Existence of God,” A Discourse at the Society of Theophilanthropists, Paris.

18 Paine, Life and Writings, ed. Wheeler (1908), 6:132, from his “Age of Reason Part Second,” January 27, 1794.

19 John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), Letter II, 23-24.

20 Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams (1850), Letter II, 27-28.

21 Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Jared Sparks (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore, and Mason, 1836), II:526, “A Lecture on the Providence of God in the Government of the World.”

22 Franklin, Works, ed. Jared Sparks (1836), II:526-527, “A Lecture on the Providence of God in the Government of the World.”

23 John Adams, The Adams-Jefferson Letters, ed. Lester Cappon (North Carolina: University of North Carolina, 1959) 374-375, to Thomas Jefferson, September 14, 1813.

24 James Wilson, The Works of the Honorable James Wilson, ed. Bird Wilson (Philadelphia: Lorenzo Press, 1804), I:113-114.

25 From Daniel Webster’s 1801 Senior Oration at Dartmouth, translated from the Latin by John Andrew Murray, received by the author from the translator on February 21, 2008. The oration is titled “On the Goodness of God as manifested in His work, 1801.”

26 Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Andrew A. Lipscomb (Washington, D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), XV:426-427, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823.

Testimony on Global Warming

Testimony of David Barton in the June 7, 20071

U.S. Senate Hearing on Global Warming in the

Environment and Public Works Committee

My name is David Barton. I represent a group that works to integrate faith with the many practical issues of daily life, and each year I personally speak to hundreds of religious groups from numerous different Christian denominations. I was honored to be named by Time Magazine as one of America’s twenty-five most influential Evangelicals,2 meaning, of course, that I will address this issue from an Evangelical perspective.

Evangelicals are generally characterized by an adherence to what is considered a traditional – that is, a conservative – Biblical theology. While Gallup has placed the number of Evangelicals at 124 million and Barna at much less, most estimates place the number at about 100 million.3 Significantly, statistics demonstrate that the religious groups and denominations in America adhering to conservative theological views (such as Evangelicals) are growing in membership and affiliation,4 whereas those adhering to liberal theological views are declining.5

In my experience, three factors influence how people of conservative religious faith – especially Evangelicals – approach the issue of man-caused Global Warming. The first is their theological view of man and the environment; the second is the perceived credibility of the scientific debate; and the third is how Evangelicals prioritize the issue of Global Warming among the other cultural and social issues of concern to them.

Concerning the first factor, a very accurate rendering of Evangelicals’ general theological position on the environment is presented in the Cornwall Declaration,6 prepared by twenty-five conservative Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish theologians. In general, conservative people of faith view the creation in Genesis as moving upward in an ascending spiritual hierarchy, beginning with the creation of the lowest (the inanimate) and moving toward the highest (the animate), with the creation of man and woman being the capstone of God’s work. God placed man and woman over creation, not under it;7 man and woman interacted with nature and the environment, they were not isolated from it.8 As the Cornwall Declaration explains, there is no conservative theological basis for the current belief of environmentalists that “humans [are] principally consumers and polluters rather than producers and stewards,” and that “nature knows best,” or that “the earth, untouched by human hands is the ideal.”9 Religious conservatives believe just the opposite; and as my orthodox Jewish Rabbi friend reminded me just last week, the Scriptures teach conservation, not preservation. Man is the steward of nature and the environment and is definitely to tend and guard it, but it is to serve him, not vice versa.10 From the beginning, God strongly warned against elevating nature and the environment over humans and their Creator.11 This generally summarizes the theology common among Evangelicals on this point.

The second factor influencing conservative religious adherents is the credibility of the scientific debate; and when something is still debated as heavily as is the issue of man-caused Global Warming, and when there is still not a clear consensus, Evangelicals tend to approach that issue with great skepticism. Significantly, in 1992, Al Gore declared: “Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.”12 Yet a Gallup Poll that same year revealed that “53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe [man-caused] global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed [man-caused] global warming had begun.”13 Clearly, despite Gore’s claims to the contrary, there was much more than “an insignificant fraction of scientists” denying that there was a man-caused Global Warming crisis.

Now, fifteen years later, there still is no consensus. For example, even though 2,500 of the world’s top scientists agree with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assertions about man-caused Global Warming,14 well over 10,000 scientists do not.15 Recent national articles have attempted to draw attention to this fact (see, for example, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Atmospheric Science Professor Richard Lindzen declaring: “There is no ‘Consensus’ on Global Warming”;16 “They Call This A Consensus?” in the Canada Financial Post<17

Yet, when such truthful claims are made, those making them are aggressively attacked by the Global Warming supporters, whose counter-claims are eagerly broadcast by the mainstream media. For example, when NASA head Michael Griffin recently stated that he did not see Global Warming as a “problem we must wrestle with,”18 outspoken Global Warming promoter James Hansen (called “a grandfather of the Global Warming theory”19) immediately and fiercely attacked the NASA chief, telling national news reporters: “It’s an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement. It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change.”20

Even though numerous scientists across the globe sided with NASA chief Griffin,21 their voices were unreported. Griffin eventually acknowledged that he wished “he’d stayed out of the debate on climate effects,” noting that “this is an issue which has become far more political than technical.”22

There are many others in the scientific community who are unwilling to openly air their view for fear of being similarly attacked in what truly is a much more of a political than a technical debate.

The lack of consensus in the scientific community is paralleled in the Evangelical community. For example, although more than 100 religious leaders in a highly-publicized announcement signed onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative on Global Warming calling for immediate action on what they believed was man-caused Global Warming,23 more than 1,500 religious leaders signed onto the Cornwall Declaration that reached quite different conclusions;24 yet that much larger declaration went without media notice.

Many Evangelicals, like many scientists, are skeptical on the issue of man-caused Global Warming; and in the case of Evangelicals, their skepticism is heightened by their memory of previous politically-driven “scientific” consensuses. For example:

  • Twenty years ago the scientific community proclaimed that fetal tissue research held the solution for many of the world’s health problems, but the science on that issue has subsequently proven to be a complete bust.25
  • In the 1960s, environmental scientists warned that the Global Population Bomb would soon doom the entire planet;26 in the 1980s as population growth continued to increase, they further warned that by the year 2000, economic growth would be destroyed.27 and there would be a worldwide unemployment crisis.28 The world population has almost doubled since those predictions, but the current worldwide unemployment rate is only 6.3 percent.29 and worldwide economic growth is and has been booming for many years.
  • In the 1960s, environmental scientists similarly claimed that DDT harmed humans and caused cancer, thus resulting in a near worldwide ban on the use of that pesticide. Now, four decades later, the scientific community has found no harm to humans from DDT,30 so it has been reintroduced to fight the mosquitoes that carry malaria.31 Regrettably, in the intervening years, between one and two million persons each year needlessly died each year from malaria because DDT had been banned.32 Recent years have been filled with scientific claims that embryonic stem-cell research holds the cure for human maladies from Alzheimer’s to diabetes to the reversal of spinal cord injuries and everything in between.33 However, after twenty-five years of embryonic stem-cell research, not a single cure has been documented,34 yet during the same time, adult stem-cell research has produced dozens of documented cures for some of mankind’s most serious medical problems.35
  • For more than a century, scientists have asserted unaided materialistic evolution – that God had no part in the appearance of man. Yet, despite a century of this aggressive “scientific” indoctrination, today only 12-18 percent of the nation accepts that position; some eighty percent do not believe what “science” avows on this issue.36
  • Less than a decade ago, science was warning of the worldwide problems that would result from the world arriving at a new millennia – a problem known as Y2K, or the millennium bug. It was viewed as an impending disaster, and after U. S. Senators received a 160-page report on the issue in a closed-door briefing session, “Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, advised citizens to stock up on canned goods. Senator Gordon Smith, an Oregon Republican, suggested that passengers ask airlines about Y2K before boarding a plane this New Year’s Eve. Senator Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, said there was a great likelihood of economic disruptions around the world . . . [and] would not rule out the possibility of intercontinental warfare as a result of Y2K.”37 States such as Ohio built underground bunkers into which they moved state operations in preparation for the coming massive failures; the U. S. military and National Guard were put on alert; the U. S. Treasury printed an additional $200 million in extra currency; and the FBI created a special division to deal with the problems. The U. S. spent some $225 billion to address an impending disaster based on what turned out to be inaccurate scientific warnings.38
  • In the 1970s, scientists claimed that aerosols were a leading cause of harm to the environment,39 but a recent report now shows that “Aerosols actually have a cooling effect on global temperatures” which helps “cancel out the warming effect of CO2.”40 In short, science – especially environmental science – has a demonstrated pattern of announcing strong and emphatic conclusions and then later reversing itself.Further buoying the current skepticism about man-caused

Global Warming is the fact that the scientific clamor about radical climate change has been occurring for almost a century. For example, in the 1920s, the newspapers were filled with scientists warning of a fast approaching Glacial Age; but in the 1930s, scientists reversed themselves and instead predicted serious Global Warming.41 But by 1972, Time was citing numerous scientific reports warning of imminent “runaway glaciation,”42 and in 1975, Newsweek reported overwhelming scientific evidence that proved an approaching Ice Age, with scientists warning the government to stockpile food; proposals were even advanced to melt the artic ice cap in an effort to help forestall the oncoming Ice Age.43 In fact, in 1976, the U. S. Government itself even released a study affirming that “the earth is heading into some sort of mini-ice age.”44

Now, however, just a few years later, the warning of an imminent Ice Age has been replaced with the warning of an impending Global Warming disaster. In less than a century, environmental science has completely reversed itself on this issue no less than three times.Yet, in deference to the scientific community, some of the reversals in their predictions are completely understandable, for the scientific community was merely responding to the changing temperature trends as measured at the Artic. For example, notice that on the chart below, the temperature did indeed fall throughout the 1920s, rise throughout the 1930s, fall throughout the 1960s, and has been rising since the 1980s. However, is the current temperature rise man-caused as environmental activists and liberals claim, or might it stem from something else? Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon has correlated the last century of temperature changes to solar activity rather than to human activity producing increased carbon-dioxide emissions.45 Those charts therefore suggest that unless Congress can pass legislation controlling the sun, it is unlikely that restricting human activity will have any significant effect in reducing the rising global temperatures.Another indication of the current volatility of the science among Global Warming proponents is the fact that they are reversing themselves even on their own recent claims. For example, just a few years ago scientists predicted that the seas would rise from 20 to 40 feet because of Global Warming,46 with “waves crashing against the steps of the U.S. Capitol” that would “launch boats from the bottom of the Capitol steps”; additionally, one-third of Florida and large parts of Texas were projected to be under water.47

Now, however, the estimates have been revised radically downward to a maximum water rise of anywhere from only a few inches to just a few feet at most.48

Clearly, the science on this issue continues to oscillate; in fact, Senator Inhofe is one of many who have tracked the number of leading scientists who, after announcing their position in support of anthropogenic Global Warming, have reversed that position upon further research. This lack of consensus, coupled with the issuing of so many forceful assertions followed by subsequent repudiations, certainly merits a very cautious and guarded approach to any proposed congressional policy on this subject.The truth is that Evangelicals and people of conservative religious faith are very comfortable with theological teachings that have been proved correct for millennia, but not with science that often reverses its own claims on the same issue. And while science is still debating the causes of Global Warming and trying to decide where the ocean waves will end up, religious conservatives rest in the many promises of the Scriptures. For example, in Genesis 8:21-22, God promised that the natural cycles would continue (“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”); and Psalm 104:9 declares: “You set a boundary that they [the waters] may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth”; and in Jeremiah 5:22, God asks: “Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree that it [the sea] cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail.” To date, neither science nor experience has disproved the promises of those Scriptures. Considering not only the theological beliefs of Evangelicals but also the rapidly-changing science surrounding anthropogenic Global Warming, the skepticism of religious conservatives on this issue is understandable.The third factor affecting Evangelicals’ approach to man-caused Global Warming is how they rank that issue among other issues of importance to them, for Evangelicals are concerned about many issues, not just one. In fact, polls indicate that it is not conservative Christians who are fixated with single issues such as abortion but rather it is liberals. As a recent poll on Americans’ views toward the judiciary reported, for liberals, “no other issue rivals abortion in importance,” but among Evangelicals, “three-quarters . . .view abortion as very important, [and] nearly as many place great importance on court rulings on the rights of detained terrorist suspects (69%) and whether to permit religious displays on government property (68%).”49

Very simply, Evangelicals tend to have many issues of importance on their list of concerns, not just one. So where does the issue of man-caused Global Warming rank on that list of concerns?Current polling shows that Evangelicals are not cohesive about the issue;50 and while 12 percent of the nation overall ranks Global Warming as a top priority issue,51 less than 6 percent of Evangelicals do so.52 However, they do remain the most cohesive group in the nation on many other issues, including their opposition to abortion, gay marriage, and civil unions;53 in teaching teenagers to abstain from sex until marriage;54 and in support of public religious expressions.55

In fact, in this latter area, among Evangelicals, 99.5 percent support public displays of the Ten Commandments; 99 percent support keeping the phrase “In God We Trust” on the nation’s currency; 96 percent support keeping “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance; and 86 percent support teaching Creationism in the public school classroom; additionally, 94 percent oppose allowing the use of profanity on broadcast television.56 It is unlikely that Global Warming will overshadow these other issues at anytime in the near future.

One other issue on which Evangelicals show cohesive support is in global efforts to fight extreme poverty: not only do 90 percent support such efforts,57 but 87 percent directly cite their Evangelical faith as the reason for “helping those less fortunate than [them]selves.”58 Yet, significantly, the poor will suffer most under the current “cap and trade” policy proposals for reducing man-caused Global Warming. (Under “cap & trade” programs, a “cap” is set on the total amount of emissions permitted and companies may then buy and “trade” to receive permits to release emissions). Independent analyses affirm that “cap and trade” programs definitely will be “regressive” – that is, there will definitely be higher consumer costs caused by the programs, and those higher costs will be felt most directly by the poor who least can afford to bear those costs as the price they pay for energy and utilities will soar. (See, for example, the April 27, 2007, report from the Congressional Budget Office59 or the report “A Call to Truth>, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” from the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance.60

Given the fact that the current proposals will harshly impact the poor in developing nations and dramatically impede their hopes for a more prosperous life, it is even less likely that Evangelicals will place the theoretical needs of the environment above the actual needs of the poor.In summary, the three primary factors influencing how Evangelicals respond to the current vigorous debate on Global Warming are: (1) their theological views of man and his relationship to nature and the environment; (2) their skepticism over scientific disputes until a clear and unambiguous consensus has emerged; and (3) their ranking of that issue within the list of the many other issues of concern to them. (Of course, the fact the climate-change agenda is being so aggressively promoted by the same groups which regularly oppose Evangelicals on core issues of faith and values further exacerbates Evangelicals’ suspicion about anthropogenic, or man-caused, Global Warming.)

Currently, I do not find any substantial widespread movement in the mainstream Evangelical community to support any policy proposal on Global Warming that would significantly alter the way individuals now live, or that might inflict additional burdens on the poor and potentially confine them to a permanent state of poverty. Based on these points, I urge extreme caution in crafting any legislative policy on this issue.


Endnotes

1 At the time this document was being prepared for submission to the Senate Committee, additional inquiries were still underway by the author; that information was not available in time for the hearing, but was subsequently submitted to the Committee and then added to this document, thus making it slightly different from what was originally submitted to the Senate Committee. Additionally, this document also incorporates much of what the author presented orally during the question and answer period with the Senators.

2 “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals In America,” Time, February 7, 2005.

3 See, for example, Wheaton College, “Defining Evangelicalism.”

4 Such as the National Association of Evangelicals, which now represents about 30 million people from 60 member denominations as well as individual churches from numerous other denominations (at National Association of Evangelicals, “Benefits of Membership”).

5 For example, mainline churches that make up organizations such as the National Council of Churches have lost over 35 percent of their members since the 1970s. “The National Council of Churches (NCC) now receives more funding from private foundations, most of them secular and politically liberal, than from its member denominations, it was revealed at its fall 2005 Governing Board meeting. In the fiscal year ending in June 2005, the NCC received $1,761,714 from liberal foundations, compared to $1,750,332 from its 35 member churches. The foundations include the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Tides Foundation, the Better World Fund, the Sierra Club, the AARP, the Ocean Conservancy, and the National Religious Partnership on the Environment,” from Touchstone,
“NCC Exit Poll” (at https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=19-02-057-r).

6 Available at Cornwall Alliance, “A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor”; Cornwall Alliance, “The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship.”

7 In Matthew 10:31 and Luke 12:7, Christ reminds man that “You are of more value than many sparrows,” and Psalm 8:6-8 declares: “You have made man to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all animal, birds, and fish, whether on land or in the sea.”

8 In Genesis 1:25-29, God created all, and then placed man over his creation to interact with all of it, whether animate or inanimate.

9 The Cornwall Alliance, https://www.cornwallalliance.org.

10 Genesis2:8-20 records man’s stewardship and interaction with creation, not his removal from it. God put him in the Garden to tend and keep it; and God brought his
creation before Adam, who named it all.

11 See, for example, Romans 1:20-25; for instances where man wrongly turned their primary focus toward animals and the creation rather than the Creator; see also Exodus 32:7-9, 34-35; 2 Kings 17:14-16l 2 Kings 18:3-5; 2 Chronicles 11:14-15; Nehemiah 9:17-19; Psalms 106:19-23; Ezekiel 8:9-12; Acts 7:40-42; etc.

12 “They call this a consensus?” Financial Post, June 2, 2007.

13 “They call this a consensus?” Financial Post, June 2, 2007.

14 “They call this a consensus?” Financial Post, June 2, 2007.

15Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine; “List of Signers by State,” Petition Project.

16 “There is No ‘Consensus’ on Global Warming,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2006.

17 “They call this a consensus?” Financial Post, June 2, 2007.

18 “Scientists Surprised by NASA Chief’s Climate Comments: NASA Administrator Michael Griffin Questions Need to Combat Warming,” ABC News, May 31, 2007.

19 See, for example, Harmonious Living, “A New Global Warming Strategy”; Veganica.com, “Biggest Cause of Global Warming Ignored”; Energy Tribune, “Global Warming: Witnesses for the Skeptical Perspective”; and others.

20 “Scientists Surprised by NASA Chief’s Climate Comments: NASA Administrator Michael Griffin Questions Need to Combat Warming,” ABC News, May 31, 2007.

21 “Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments,” E-Wire, June 4, 2007.

22 See, for example, “NASA chief regrets remarks on global warming,” MSNBC, June 5, 2007.

23 “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” Evangelical Climate Initiative.

24 Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, “About ISA.”

25 See, for example, testimony of Andrew Kimbrell of the International Center for Technology Assessment before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee on February 5, 2002, from United States Senate, “Committee on the Judiciary: Human Cloning: Must We Sacrifice Medical Research in the Name of a Total Ban?”

26 See, for example, Paul R. Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine Books, 1968), and many other books and articles.

27 “Get Serious About Population,” The New York Times, April 12, 1984, A-26.

28 Warren Brown, “A Population Bomb: Report Warns Increase in Children May Trigger Third-World Unrest,” The Washington Post, March 10, 1979, A-2; “The Right Number of American,” The New York Times, February 2, 1989, A-24; “We are too many,” The Globe and Mail (Canada), September 14, 1983; “Our crowded planet,” The Globe and Mail (Canada), December 26, 1985.

29 International Labour Office, “Global Employment Trends.”

30 “Dr. Conyers, I Presume,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2007; “Without DDT, malaria bites back,” Spiked, April 24, 2001.

31 “Dr. Conyers, I Presume,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2007; “Without DDT, malaria bites back,” Spiked, April 24, 2001.

32 “Dr. Conyers, I Presume,” Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2007; “Without DDT, malaria bites back,” Spiked, April 24, 2001.; “Forty years of perverse ‘social responsibility’,” Canada Free Press, March 26, 2007.

33 See, for example, Joe Palca, “Q&A: Embryonic Stem Cells: Exploding the Myths,” NPR, March 30, 2007; “Current state of stem cell-based therapies: an overview,” Stem Cell Investigation, 2020; and many others.

34 See, for example, “Nascent Falsehood: If embryonic research is so promising, why do its backers need to lie?” National Review; “Empty Hope Of Stem Cell Science,” New York Sun; Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, “Where’s The Beef” citing Diana Kapp, “The $3 Billion Cell Job,” San Francisco, January, 2005 (acknowledging “Not a single embryonic stem cell has ever been tested in a human being, for any disease”); “Science’s Stem-Cell Scam: It should change its name to Pseudoscience,” National Review; and many others.

35 See, for example, “Expectant Families: Diseases Treated with Stem Cells,” CorCell; Lifenews.com, “Science’s New Era Centers On Adult, Not Embryonic Stem Cell
Research,” Lifenews.com, June 11, 2007; National Review, “Science’s Stem-Cell Scam: It should change its name to Pseudoscience”; The Washington Times, “Adult stem
cells produce treatment breakthroughs,” The Washington Times, December 28, 2003; Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, “Where’s The Beef? Hint: Not with Embryonic Stem Cells”; and many others.

36 For example, the contrast was 13% v. 78% in the March 28-29, 2007 Newsweek Poll; 13% v. 82% in the May 8-11, 2006 Gallup Poll; 17% v. 76% in the April 6-9, 2006 CBS Poll; 12% v. 84% in the September 8-11, 2005 in CNN/USA Today Poll: “Science and Nature: Origin of Human Life,” PollingReport.com.

37 Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, “Senate Y2K Watchers Sound Muted Alarm,” United States Senate.

38 For a collage of the various articles chronicling the government’s preparedness actions, see “Y2K Emergency Update,” Cinemonky.

39 W. Sullivan. “Tests Show Aerosol Gases May Pose Threat to Earth,” New York Times, 26 September 1974, A1.

40 “A New Global Warming Strategy: How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change in Our Lifetimes,” EarthSave, August 2005.

41 Chicago Daily Tribune, August 9, 1923, “Scientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada”; Los Angeles Times, October 7, 1932, “Fifth Ice Age Is On The Way”; Los Angeles Times, April 6, 1924, “New Ice-Age is Forecast”; Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1929, “Is Another Ice Age Coming?”; New York Times, February 24, 1867, “The Glacial Period”; New York Times, February 24, 1895, “Prospects of Another Glacial Period”; New York Times, October 7, 1912, “Sees Glacial Era Coming”; New York Times,
June 10, 1923, “Menace of a New Ice Age to be Tested by Scientists”; New York Times, September 28, 1924, “MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age”; New York Times, January 27, 1972, “Climate Experts Assay Ice Age Clues”; New York Times, May 21, 1975, “Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing”; “Major Cooling May Be Ahead”; Washington Post, August 10, 1923, “Volcanoes in Australia”; “Ice Age Coming Here”; Washington Post, October 28, 1928, “An Ice-Free World, What Then?”; Washington Post, August 2, 1930,”Hot Weather”; Washington Post, May 3, 1932, “Second World Flood Seen, if Earth’s Heat Increases”; Washington Post, January 11, 1970, “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age”; Atlantic, December 1932, “This Cold, Cold World”; Fortune, August 1954, “Climate – the Heat May Be Off”; International Wildlife, July-August 1975, “In the Grip of a New Ice Age?”; Newsweek, April 28, 1975, “The Cooling World”; Science News, Nov 15, 1969, “Earth’s Cooling Climate”; Science News, March 1, 1975, “Climate Change: Chilling Possibilities”; Time, January 2, 1939, “Warmer World”; Time, October 29, 1951, “Retreat of the Cold”; Time, June 24, 1974, “Another Ice Age?”; U.S. News & World Report, May 31, 1976, “Worrisome CIA Report; Even U.S. Farms May be Hit by Cooling Trend.”

42 “Another Ice Age?” Time, November 13, 1972.

43 “The Cooling World,” Newsweek, April 28, 1975. See also George Will, “Cooler Heads Needed on Warming,” RealClearPolitics, April 2, 2006. Science Magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.” Science Digest (February 1973) reported that “the world’s climatologists are agreed” that we must “prepare for the next ice age.” The Christian Science Monitor (“Warning: Earth’s Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect,” Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers “have begun to advance,” “growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter” and “the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool.” Newsweek agreed (“The Cooling World,” April 28, 1975) that meteorologists “are almost unanimous” that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that the New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said “may mark the return to another ice age.” The Times (May 21, 1975) also said “a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable” now that it is “well established” that the Northern Hemisphere’s climate “has been getting cooler since about 1950.” . . . “About the mystery that vexes ABC – Why have Americans been slow to get in lock step concerning global warming? – perhaps the . . . problem is big crusading journalism.”

44 “Worrisome CIA report; Even U.S. Farms May Be Hit By Cooling Trend,” U. S. News & World Report, May 31, 1976.

45 Charts prepared and presented by Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, “Remarks for the Council on National Policy Meeting,” May 11, 2007.

46 See, for example, “Trouble on the Rise,” Sea Grant New York; “Climate Changes Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions,” ClimateChangesFutures.org; “Global Warming’s Increasingly Visible Impacts,” Environmental Defense.

47 Robert Locke, AP Science Writer, January 8, 1979, coving the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, Christian Science Monitor, October 8, 1980.

48 See, for example, “Global Warming’s Increasingly Visible Impacts,” Environmental Defense; “We’re All New Orleanians Now,” The Atlantic, September 29, 2010; “Trouble on the Rise,” Sea Grant New York; “Climate Changes Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions,” ClimateChangesFutures.org.

49 “Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues,” Pew Research Center, August 3, 2005.

50 ABCNews/Time/Stanford Poll: Global Warming; March 26, 2006, p. 7 that “There’s been interest in the views of evangelical white Protestants . . . since 86 evangelical leaders last month signed a statement citing ‘general agreement’ among scientists working on the issue that climate change is happening, and urging federal legislation to deal with it. This survey, however, finds little resonance for that statement among evangelical white Protestants.”

51 “Political climate changing on global warming,” MarketWatch.

52 “POLL: Priority of ‘global warming’ for evangelicals,” OneNewsNow.

53 “Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues,” Pew Research Center, August 3, 2006.

54 “Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues,” Pew Research Center, August 3, 2005.

55 “Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues,” Pew Research Center, August 3, 2005.

56 “Barna Poll: 33 Percent of Adults Agree with Declaring America a ‘Christian Nation’,” The Christian Post, July 31, 2004.

57 “Poll: Faith Sometimes Drives Support for AIDS, Poverty Relief,” Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy.

58 “Poll: Faith Sometimes Drives Support for AIDS, Poverty Relief,” Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy.

59 “Trade-Offs in Allocating Allowances for CO2 Emissions,” Congressional Budget Office.

60 “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming,” Cornwall Alliance.

Sermon – Bridge Opening – 1808


Samuel Willard (1776-1859) graduated from Harvard in 1803. He worked as a tutor at Bowdoin College (1804-1805), and became a minister of the Congregational Church in Deerfield, Massachusetts (1807-1829). He continued to preach occasionally throughout his life. The following sermon was preached by Willard in 1808 at the occasion of opening a bridge in Northampton, Massachusetts.


sermon-bridge-opening-1808

A

S E R M O N,

PREACHED AT NORTHAMPTON,

OCTOBER 27, 1808,

AT THE OPENING

OF

Northampton Bridge.

BY SAMUEL WILLARD,
MINISTER OF DEERFIELD.

 

AT a Meeting of the Proprietors of the Northampton Bridge, holden at the house of Barnabas Billings, in said Northampton, on Thursday the 27th of October, 1808;

VOTED UNANIMOUSLY,
THAT the thanks of the Corporation be tendered to the Rev. Mr. Willard, for the ingenious and elegant Sermon, which he has this day delivered, in celebration of the completion and opening of said Bridge; and that he be requested to favor them with a copy thereof for the press.

ATTEST,
E. H. MILLS,
PROPRIETORS’ CLERK.

 

A SERMON, &c.
 

“HATH NOT MY HAND MADE ALL THESE THINGS?”
ACTS, VII, 50.

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God;” 1 and of all the folly that has ever resulted from dullness or affectation, it may be difficult to find an instance to be compared with the absurdity of atheism. A denial of Divine Providence; a supposition, that the order and harmony of the boundless system of things, when once in being, could be preserved, without the unceasing agency of an omniscient and almighty Superintendant, is sufficiently unphilosophical and absurd. But it will appear much more extravagant, to suppose that all the material, inactive, and unintelligent things we behold, came into existence, without an intelligent creator; and that the innumerable instances of exquisite organization, were all results of chance. Indeed, a person, who could admit this, deserves not to be numbered with RATIONAL creatures; and much less with philosophers.

Of all truths, scarcely any is more evident, than the existence of GOD.

“That there’s a GOD, all nature cries aloud,
Thro all her works.”

The heavens and the earth, with all they contain; every fowl of the air; every beast of the field; every fish, that swims in the ocean; every tree of the forest and grove; every herb; every flower is a witness of his being.

The God, of whose being we have such evidence, is the Creator of all things visible and invisible. “Of old he laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of his hands.” 2 It is HE that hath lighted up the sun, the moon, and the stars, and hung them, as lamps in the sky. It is HE that created the rivers, and scooped out a bason for the ocean, and filled it with water. It is HE that hath formed the vegetables, from the least to the greatest. It is HE that hath organized our bodies, with those of all animal things, and given us the breath of life.

Further; God is to be regarded, as the author not only of all the works of NATURE, as they are called, but of those also, which, in distinction from these, are called ARTIFICIAL.

We are not, indeed, to be considered as mere machines. We have a proper agency of our own. But we are so dependent on God, that HE is to be considered the “author and finisher” of everything we do, that is lawful and wise. Every utensil we form; every garment we make; every house we build; every bridge we erect, is in an important sense, the work of his hands. This will appear from several considerations.

1. It is God who provides MATERIALS, without which we must be inactive. We cannot, like him, raise a fabric out of NOTHING. Nor is it enough, that we have materials, unless they be suitable. We might as well attempt to build a house or a bridge with nothing, as with some things in existence.

We may TRANSPORT timber from place to place, if the distance be not too great, nor the intervening space impassable. We may alter the FORM of stuff, making that straight or crooked, which was naturally otherwise, and in various ways accommodating it to our purposes. And by composition, or analysis, or some other operation, we may, in some instances, give a permanent form, and a strong cohesion to things, which in their original state, have little or NO cohesion. Thus we may furnish ourselves with materials for building, where at first sight there appear to be none; and, when furnished, we can dispose and connect them, and form an edifice according to our mind.

Here are the limits of human power. Justly, then, may it be said, “The hand of the Lord hath made all these things.” The part we perform, compared with that HE does, is a very humble one; so humble, that it is hardly to be named. But,

2. God may challenge to himself the honor of all artificial works, so far as they are honorable, not only as the principal part is performed by his immediate agency, but as it is HE that gives us wisdom to provide for our convenience.

What would have been the situation of mankind, had they continued innocent; whether in that case they would have been subjected to any inconveniences, during their abode in this world; or what change the curse, or the general deluge, that was sent for the disobedience and corruption of man, produced in the earth, we cannot tell. But this we know, that among many CONVENIENCES, fallen man is naturally subject to many INCONVENIENCES. Indeed, most of the blessings of life are attended with some trouble; and very few things are prepared for our use and enjoyment, without some invention and labor on our part.

But God has provided for our wants, by bestowing on us the power of invention. “There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” Our Creator has made us capable of perceiving the various qualities, relations, and affections of things, and not only of perceiving them, when occasionally presented to our observation, but of SEARCHING into the nature of things, and by scientific attainments, originating or improving useful arts. Thus we may overcome inconveniences, and by racing out the means, convert to our enjoyment things, that are seemingly most remote from use.

For this most noble talent, and for all the improvements we are enabled to make, we are indebted to the Author of our being. To the great Builder of the world we are under obligations for our skill in ARCHITECTURE, by which we are enabled to provide ourselves with commodious habitations, bridges, &c. as well as for the invention of various instruments of labor, without which our greatest designs could not be carried into effect. It is God who teaches the BEAVER to raise his pond, and the bird and the insect to build their nests. Most surely then, he is to be acknowledged in our SUPERIOR power of contrivance and execution. “He teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven.” 3

From the observations here made it appears, that for more reasons than one, it appears, that for more reasons than one, it may be said of every fabric we raise, and of every valuable production of art, “The hand of God has made all these things.”

3. God is the Author of all the worthy productions of our hands, as he is the author and preserver of those powers by which we EXECUTE our designs. In all things we are dependent on him; and in our bodies more especially, or rather, more APPARENTLY, we have no independent or permanent strength. Though, as observed above, we in our whole nature and constitution are not mere machines, our BODIES are nothing else. All our external strength, by which the action of the mind is conveyed to material objects around us, is purely mechanical. And as our animal frame is a machine, so it is of such a slender construction, that it is always tending to ruin, and is in need of constant or frequent repairs. Continual exercise soon wears it out, and renders it incapable of motion. In regard to permanent strength, it is not to be compared with many machines constructed by the art of man. A clock, or a mill, with little or no repair, may be kept in ceaseless motion for many years; but the human body scarcely one day. Without food and rest our strength would presently be exhausted. It is true, there are means provided for repairing the waste of time and exercise, so that this most delicate machine is made more lasting, than any among the works of man. But we can do little in the application of these means. Without the divine agency to convey reparatives to the parts that need, it were vain for us to eat or drink. And without God it were equally vain to expect refreshment from inaction. As well might we hope an INANIMATE machine, when worn out, would be repaired by disuse. It is the Former of our bodies, who alone is able to remove our weariness by rest and sleep. It is HE that diffuses thro the joints, that have been exhausted and stiffened by labor, the necessary moisture, and in this way prepares them for renewed exercise.

Thus God supports or revives our wasting strength. Thus it is “in him,” or thro his agency, “we live and move.” On this account alone he might claim the honor of all our works. Much more, when we take into view the several things that have now been suggested, should we acquiesce in his holy declaration, “My hand hath made all these things.”

Thus much, my friends, may suffice for the doctrine of our text, which is too plain to require any proof or much illustration. The remaining part of this discourse will be composed of hints and reflections, suggested by the subject or the occasion. And,

1. Our subject suggests to us the duty of acknowledging God in all our undertakings, and especially in the more important, looking to him for his blessing on our labors and designs, without which we much labor in vain. This is a very natural duty. It is one that could not be excusably omitted by a heathen, and much less by one, who is favored with the religion of CHRIST. When we see that any HUMAN aid, whether public or private, is needful to the success of a favorite design, while we have reason to believe that by asking we may obtain, we do not neglect to ask. And it must be very unreasonable not to supplicate the DIVINE blessing which is indispensable to our success, and which we are encouraged to expect on this, and on no other condition.

2. The occasion suggests to us the duty of gratitude to God, that in the original constitution of nature, things were disposed so much for our convenience; and that we are enabled to remove many of the inconveniences we find, and in various ways meliorate our condition.

All things at creation were “good” in the eyes of HIM, who would have discovered the least imperfection. Everything great and small, animate and inanimate, was created for some purpose worthy of the all-wise Creator; and this purpose was in every instance effected.

The great design, or at least one of the leading designs of this lower creation, was the happiness of him, who was formed “after the image of HIM that made him.” For his use everything beneath the sun was designed, and all were good for him. It is true, there are numberless other creatures on earth, capable of happiness. But these, while indulged with their proper enjoyments, were all servants of man; and every tree of the forest, and every herb of the field, was, we have reason to suppose, designed to subserve in some way direct or indirect, the HAPPINESS of man. 4

And, whatever change took place in the earth, at the time of the great apostasy of mankind, we are still surrounded with many accommodations. A great proportion of the things we see, human actions excepted, may be pronounced good. Many things indeed may, at the first view, appear incapable of promoting human enjoyment; and a child or an adult, whose experience and observation had been confined within a very small circle, might pronounce them worthless, tho’ persons of more knowledge consider them of great value. If fully acquainted with the nature of things in their PRESENT state, perhaps we should find nothing, which might not be useful to man.

That our convenience and enjoyment have been so much consulted, in the original constitution and disposition of things, and that our accommodations in this life are still so good, notwithstanding our unworthiness, should certainly be made subjects of thankful acknowledgement.

It is true, as already observed, things which in some respects are among our best accommodations, may in other respects be occasions of great difficulty and trouble. Fire and water, tho’ among the NECESSARIES of life, when not restrained within due bounds, may destroy all our OTHER means of life. Rivers which fertilize the neighboring meadows, while in the direction of their courses they facilitate commerce; as well as MOUNTAINS and HILLS, which among other benefits, give rise to these streams; are naturally great IMPEDIMENTS when we wish to pass from one place to another on opposite sides of them.

But, thanks to God, most of the difficulties we meet, not excepted the greatest, may be lessened, if not entirely removed by human labor and contrivance. It seems not to have been the design of the Creator, that human happiness should be the reward or the privilege of INDOLENCE, but of ACTIVITY. Our situation in this life is such, as will naturally call forth exertion. Few of the comforts or even of the NECESARIES of life are in their natural state ready for our use. While in INNOCENCE, man was required to dress the garden, which had been prepared and planted for him. 5 And after the fall his support and comfort were made still more dependent on the exercise of his strength and skill. 6

What supernatural instructions relative to the common arts of life were, in the infancy of the world, afforded mankind, we cannot determine. We have reason to believe however, that with a very few exceptions, these arts were left to human invention, aided, as all our exertion must be in order to success, by DIVINE wisdom and energy. Of this at least we are sure, that in the early ages of the world, many useful arts and some that are now considered NECESSARY to enjoyment or activity, were unknown. In general the arts, and the sciences, on which they are founded, have been progressive from the earliest to the present time; and within a few centuries some of the most important discoveries and inventions have been made, especially in the means of traffic and literary communication. And by our proficiency in mechanics and other branches of natural philosophy, many machines have within a few years been invented, by which the conveniences of life are procured with a vast saving of manual labor. In some branches of ARCHITECTURE, is must be confessed that no improvements have for many ages been made; and the patterns left us by the Greeks, are considered INCAPABLE of alteration for the better. In the building of Bridges however we vastly exceed he ancients; if not in the science and skill, at least in ENTERPRISE of this kind.

The histories of primitive times informs us of many works of almost incredible magnitude, which, tho’ they discover no great skill, shew the laborious spirit of those who effected them; or rather the strength of that despotism, by which thousands, could for years be subjected to hard labor for the gratification of pride or some idle fancy. Many of their most stupendous works were of little or no utility. But this is not the case with the greatest part of MODERN works. They are generally of public or private benefit. Our days have produced some, inferior in magnitude to very few productions of antiquity. In our times, by the erection of bridges, we travel over navigable waters as on dry land, while by means of canals, in the preparation of which the most stubborn rocks are rent, and the everlasting hills give way, we navigate into the heart of a continent.

Thus my friends, by the various discoveries and inventions, that have been made in the progress of years, we are relieved from a multitude of inconveniences, to which the ancients were exposed, and furnished with innumerable accommodations, to them unknown. And we have still abundant encouragement, to study the things, which may alleviate the hardships and contribute to the comforts of life. Most surely then we should be grateful to the author of all good for the favorable constitution of things, and for the means and ability of making such alterations in the state of surrounding objects, as we may find conducive to our east and comfort. Temporal accommodations and enjoyments are not indeed among our greatest blessings. We are under much stronger obligations to be thankful for religious favors, and especially for the great work of REDEMPTION by Jesus Christ, than for any temporal advantages, however great. But every favor of heaven is to be received with thanksgiving, and it is hardly consistent with gratitude for the greater to overlook the less. But

3. The subject admonishes us to be HUMBLE in the contemplation of our own works, comparing them with the works of God.

Mankind are very apt to VAUNT themselves in the works of their hands. The words of Nebuchadnezzar, the proud king of Babylon, while walking in his palace, and surveying the ensigns of his fancied greatness, were “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of my kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” 7 And many others inferior to him have indulged the same feelings, whence this language proceeded.

There is indeed a remarkable difference in the characters and conditions of men, when compared one with another. Some by their activity and enterprise, or by their hereditary wealth, provide themselves with easy and some with sumptuous accommodations, while others live in great plainness or poverty. And it is not strange, if some, while they compare themselves with none but their fellow mortals, are elated with the consideration of their own superiority. But in the presence of God, all human distinctions are almost lost.—Compared with His the greatest and most improved of our works are nothing, less than nothing, and vanity. In such a comparison there are many things to inspire us with humility.

In the first place, there is an inconceivable difference between the works of men and those of God, in NUMBER and MAGNITUDE. The building of an edifice to cover a few rods of ground, and extend a few feet into the air; the cutting of a canal of a moderate width and a few miles in length, perhaps thro’ hills, which in comparison with the earth are little more than grains; and the erection of a Bridge, that may be passed in a few minutes, are among the greatest of our works. And what are these compared with the earth, we inhabit? And what is the earth compared with the solar system? And again, what is this system to the whole extent of creation? If, as we have reason to believe, the numberless stars that appear in the skies, with millions of others, which thro’ their incalculable and inconceivable distance give no other evidence of their being, than a few faint and confused rays, are all suns enlightening each a great number of planets, the earth on which we live, which separately considered, appears so great, is little more than an ATOM, compared with the rest of God’s works. What then are the greatest productions of human power? Their comparative insignificance is inexpressible. They vanish into nothing.

Another consideration, that forbids all boasting while we survey the greatness of our works, is that we must expend MUCH LABOR and TIME in effecting a little. The greatest of human designs are in general many years in execution. But there is no such necessity with God. Only six days were employed in the creation of our system; and why so much time was employed, is perhaps an inscrutable secret of the divine counsels. Or, if it be lawful for so ignorant creatures, as we, to hazard a conjecture on such a subject, we may suppose the gradual succession of God’s works was designed to aid the comprehension of those seraphic spirits, whose exalted service it is, to contemplate without intermission the wonderful works of God, and render him unceasing praise; and another design might be to leave us an example “of order and not of confusion.” Had it seemed good in the sight of God, TO EXERT his omnipotence, one word and one instant, had been sufficient to give being to all the innumerable worlds, that NOW exist. Such power is incomprehensible by us, and the thought of it almost overwhelming, and it should certainly extinguish every spark of vain glory.

But further; our most considerable works require the co-operation of many individuals, as well as a long course of time. Man is a feeble creature; and during a long life, the greatest solitary exertions would effect little. Were the undivided glory of any production then much greater than it is, when distributed among all, who may claim a share, the dividend would in general be very small. But GOD has no partner in the glory of HIS works. He is under no necessity of calling in the aid of his creatures for the execution of his greatest designs. The Father thro’ the agency of his only begotten Son, created the world with all things now in existence, and neither angels nor archangels had any part in the work or the glory of it. The principalities and powers of Heaven were mere SPECTATORS of the work.

Once more; I would observe, that God’s designs were all perfect in the origin, neither wanting, nor capable of improvement. Not only the works of creation, but those of PROVIDENCE and REDEMPTION, were dictated by infallible wisdom. “Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world,” 8 not excepted those which are accommodated to the actions of his creatures; and it is impossible for anything to frustrate his designs, or render any measures needful on his part, that were not ordained from eternity.

But how erroneous and deficient are the most ingenious inventions of man, till corrected and improved by experiment! In some things, it is true, we may calculate effects with a considerable degree of certainty. But a great many of our designs are little more than experiments, and want of success often compels us to VARY, if not ABANDON our plans. And notwithstanding the present imperfection of most human designs, they have been a long time in coming to their present state, and in general a small part of the honor belongs to the last inventor. In the early ages of the world, the arts were few, and extremely defective; but from those times to these, they have been gradually increased and improved. One generation inherits from another, and in general adds something to the inheritance. But a small part of the inventions, that are made, are anything more than slight meliorations of former ones. It is true, that on the discovery of new properties or relations in things, original inventions are made. But the first inventors almost always leave them far short of perfection.

Such, my friends, are the defects of human contrivance, and so little reason have we to boast of our most distinguished productions. But,

4. While we contemplate the improvements, that are gradually made in our own country, we should drop a tear over the declining state of many foreign countries, in which the works of centuries are swept away with a torrent of desolation, and where the citizens, instead of leisure for improvements, have scarcely time for procuring the ordinary means of life. Such is more or less the case of almost every nation of Europe. There are some, indeed, which, during the present wars, have not seen the ravages of an invading and triumphant foe; and some of these find abundance of time for the exercise of injustice and inhumanity. But these are so much employed in the art and practice of war, that they have little time or disposition for cultivating the arts of peace. And, tho’ the productions of past ages remain among them, it cannot be supposed they make many improvements. What then, shall we think of those countries which have been overrun, perhaps once and again, by large and lawless armies, or rather, by armies, whose law was rapine, desolation, and murder? What proficiency could be hoped from such in the arts of life? And, tho’ peace succeed these calamities, what encouragement can they have for the least enterprise or exertion, while they behold the ruins of their former labors, and feel the loss of their independence, and of all those privileges, which had descended from their fathers, perhaps thro’ a long succession of ages, and while of course they have no security of any reward for future exertions? If persons alive, with the feelings of men, are not in DESPAIR in such circumstances; if they are still able to enjoy the remaining comforts of life; they must be allowed to have no small share of fortitude. No EXERTION is to be hoped from them. Still less and they be expected to cultivate the arts of life, if after their own degradation, they are compelled to assist with all their resources, in the subjugation of others. And such my friends, has long been the situation of no small part of the European nations, while others, to defend and preserve their rights, have almost universally united the characters of citizens and soldiers.

How widely different has been the situation of our country! For several years after the flames of war were lighted up in Europe, we experienced little inconvenience from them. Refraining from all needless interference, we enjoyed a tranquil state, which gave us an opportunity for enriching ourselves with commerce, and cultivating to an eminent degree the useful arts. And tho’ within a few years we have suffered many injuries and indignities, from those who acknowledge no law but power, the sound of battle has not yet been heard in our land; we are not yet deprived of our independence; we may still sit by our own firesides, “without any to molest or make us afraid:” we are still at leisure to pursue the works of peace.—Our inquiries are not, how shall we contrive to raise or support vast armies, either for our own protection, or for the gratification of an ambitious and blood thirsty master or ally? But how shall we enlarge and beautify our dwellings, alleviate by mechanical aids, the ordinary labors of life, and by the improvement of roads, the erection of bridges, &c. facilitate the journeys of those, who travel for business, health, or amusement?

The improvements made in our country within these twenty years, are perhaps unexampled. It is only a few years since the establishment of the first turnpike road in our country, and now a great part of the considerable places in the union are connected by turnpikes. In the NUMBER and LENGTH of our BRIDGES, tho’ not in the MATERIALS of which they are composed, we rival almost every country under heaven; and every year adds several to the number.

A comparison of our condition with that of most foreign countries should awaken within us the most generous sympathy for their degradation and distress, while it enkindles within us the most lively gratitude to the Giver of all good for his distinguished favors.

5. The occasion constrains me to add one word of acknowledgement to those, from whose enterprise we derive many of our public accommodations. Bridges are of very great utility; and, if the one we now see opened, be allowed to stand, it will very much accommodate THIS and other neighboring towns, and the public in general. A person of a little experience will discover several reasons for preferring a bridge to a ferry. Without a bridge, a river like this can never in the open months be passed without considerable delay, frequently not without danger, and in some seasons not at all.

We wish success to this enterprise, and hope the projectors of it will be indemnified for all their trouble and expense.

6. One thought remains. All our worldly projects, however perfectly executed, are TEMPORAL; but some of our works are ETERNAL. The houses we build for our present accommodation, must crumble into dust, yonder bridge, if not swept away by ice nor flood, will shortly fall into ruin. But we are each erecting an edifice of indissoluble materials, that will remain, when the earth is no more. This building my friends, is either a prison of darkness and eternal woe, or a palace of glory and everlasting blessedness. Let us take heed how we build. Let us build on the stone that is laid in Zion, with the materials our Saviour has provided: and thus, when our earthly tabernacles shall be dissolved, may we be received into everlasting habitations, thro’ Jesus Christ; to whom be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 


Endnotes

1 Psalm 14. 1.

2 Psalm 102. 25.

3 Job, 35. 11.

4 Genesis, ix. 2, 3.

5 Genesis ii. 15.

6 Genesis iii. 17, 18, 19.

7 Daniel iv. 31.

8 Acts, xv. 8.

Originally published: Dec. 26, 2016