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Author Topic:   Why not teach problems with ToE in school?
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Message 101 of 136 (129055)
07-30-2004 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Robert Byers
07-26-2004 2:49 PM

Re: Problems of evolution taught in school
Robert Byers writes:

I would put out to all here a line from Thomas Jefferson talking about science subjects and government. From his notes on Virginia 1782.
"It is error alone which needs support of government. Truth can stand by itself."

Thanks for unwittingly making a case against U.S. creationists trying to get creationism into science classes by trying to use the government to do so. If you'll read the whole Query that contains the quote (you left a word out of your "quote"), you'll see that Jefferson is making the case for keeping government out of religion, and vice versa. I encourage you to read the whole query, but for a preview, here's your same material with a little more context preceding and following:

Thomas Jefferson, in Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII, writes:

In fact, the vortices have been exploded, and the Newtonian principle of gravitation is now more firmly established, on the basis of reason, than it would be were the government to step in, and to make it an article of necessary faith. Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desireable? No more than of face and stature. Introduce the bed of Procrustes then, and as there is danger that the large men may beat the small, make us all of a size, by lopping the former and stretching the latter. Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

This is also the same Query in which Jefferson writes, "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

You can find it online at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch17.html

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Robert Byers, posted 07-26-2004 2:49 PM Robert Byers has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Robert Byers, posted 08-03-2004 1:50 PM Ediacaran has not replied

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