Thomas Jefferson is the ultimate American Sphinx, as historians have called him. By all accounts he was a Deist who believed that there was a "God"
who created the Universe but who did not perform miracles once the Universe was created. Yet, one could never call Jefferson an "atheist." His
concept was of a scientifically and mathematically ordered Universe that was one of design and not accident.
There are intriguing mysteries around Jefferson's views of origins. From what I can see, he was probably something akin to a "Deist Creationist."
He was so averse to the idea of extinction that he believed that Mammoths still roamed somewhere out west. Here is his quote to Charles Thompson on
the matter of extinction:
"As he [the creator of the earth] intended the earth for the habitation of animals and vegetable is it reasonable to suppose he made two jobs of his
creation? That he first made a chaotic lump and set it into rotary motion, and then waiting the millions of ages necessary to form itself, that when
it had done this he stepped in a second time to create the animals and plants which were to inhabit it? As the and of a creator is to be called in, it
may as well be called in at one stage of the process as another. We may as well suppose he created the earth at once nearly in the state in which we
see it, fit for the preservation of the beings he placed on it." (To Charles Thompson, December 17, 1786) cited from
This view differs from Genesis considerably, since Genesis holds that the Universe existed in a Preternatural state before the Fall of Adam.
Jefferson seems to suggest otherwise, that the Earth remains as it was from the beginning, with no changes. His is a naturalistic Creationism, one
that was embraced by Deists. At the same time, it is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the evolutionary views beginning to arise in France around
that time (possibly whispered in secret before announced). Creationists can honestly say that it appears from this quote that Jefferson did not
believe in evolution.
At the same time, one wonders if Jefferson did not hold to a deeper and more mysterious view of the Universe than would have been supposed from this
one quote to someone he did not know too well. Please allow me to quote from the same website. This is a letter to John Adams, who by then had
become a personal friend of Jefferson long after the partisan battles between Democrats and Federalists faded during the Era of Good Feelings. I tend
to think that this view is less guarded than the letter to Charles Thompson, since it was to a close friend, and also because Jefferson was out of
"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 to motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist, in their present forms, and their regenerator
into new and other forms." (To John Adams, April 11, 1823) cited from: www.monticello.org...
Now, if Jefferson doubted extinction, but then at the same time claimed that God regenerated animals in to new and other forms, then that suggests
that he may have held to a belief that animals would alter form instead of going extinct. This suggests a vaguely hidden evolutionary doctrine.
Jefferson's lack of belief in extinction might well have actually been a proto-evolutionary viewpoint, one kept carefully hidden from the clergy who
did not much like Jefferson to begin with. It would suggest that his refusal to believe in extinction was actually a belief that "extinct" animals
changed form! It is a quote so subtle that many historians seem to have missed it. I cannot prove this for sure, but it is interesting in light of
my next line of thought.
Much is said on these Forums about the "Illuminati." There is a lot of nonsense said about it. Yet, there was a historical Illuminati that desired
the overthrow of the Church and Monarchies. Jefferson was accused by Federalists of involvement, and he never denied it. Instead, he gave another
cryptic statement about how Weishaupt was misunderstood. Could Jefferson have been Illuminati? It is possible in my view, along with Franklin, Paine
Here is my speculation. Might the doctrine of the Illuminati have been outwardly some kind of Deist Creationism, one shared with members of the Order
who like Thompson were still wedded to some degree of Christianity? But, according to my speculation, might the inner doctrine might have been some
kind of Lamarckian evolution? It would not be Darwinian evolution, but a more spiritualized doctrine that could be embraced by scientific mysticism.
Jefferson's worldview would actually be many-layered, and impossible for historians to dig up.
Widespread acceptance of Darwinian evolution largely buried the earlier doctrines of evolution, which often rested on ideas from the Romantic Period
about "Nature" with a capital N. We cannot say for sure whether Jefferson might have considered such ideas (or I cannot from what I know). What
can be said is that Jefferson was the father of American Paleontology. He publicly stated that he doubted extinction, and it is noted that he sent
Lewis and Clark out west to verify existing and living Mammoths. But---here is the key----might there have been a secret agenda to find a Mammoth but
in evolved form? Lewis would discover such a creature, confirm Jefferson's lack of belief in extinction, and some kind of evolutionary doctrine
could be advanced in an increasingly church-going America (whose Christian clergy were incidentally pro-North and anti-South, to the chagrin of
If Jefferson was Illuminati, and the Illuminati had their own views of Evolution, I would note that theirs might clash with Darwin's concept. In
particular, Darwin was favored by the English ruling classes whose global hegemony was one of English Freemasonry well at odds with more revolutionary
Freemasonries of the Continent. Intrigue abounds. Why was Lewis murdered? Was there a *counter*-conspiracy to thwart Jefferson on the part of
English Masons and Jefferson's domestic enemies? Did Jesuits and other religious forces get involved to thwart it also? I have already veered too
far in to speculation. I will stop now, and say as someone trained in history that one should never go further than documented evidence.
But, if you do go beyond the documents and weave irresponsible theories, make them interesting and remain anonymous.