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For a newspaper fighting for its survival, The Boston Globe has picked a peculiar time to run an absurdly-reasoned opinion piece supporting intelligent design.
Penned by the Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer, the essay makes the ridiculous assertion that Thomas Jefferson – author of the Declaration of Independence and the third US president – espoused intelligent design.
Meyer sees supports for this claim in an 1823 letter Jefferson wrote to the second US president John Adams: "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."
Fair enough. Though he may not have been a Christian in the strictest sense, Jefferson was deeply spiritual, and he invoked a creator in arguing for universal human rights – "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
But Jefferson was also a dogged supporter of the separation of church and state.