David Barton Claims Founding Fathers Debated Creation/Evolution

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

David Barton is an evangelical minister and author who describes himself as “an expert in historical and constitutional issues.” Barton is the darling of the religious right receiving praise from Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann.

In the video, below the fold, Barton makes some remarkable claims.

As far as the Founding Fathers were concerned, they’d already had the entire debate over creation and evolution, and you get Thomas Paine, who is the least religious Founding Father, saying you’ve got to teach Creation science in the classroom. Scientific method demands that!

However, Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859, long after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The prescience of our Founding Fathers is greater than anyone suspected. Interestingly, Thomas Paine died in 1809, the same year that Charles Darwin was born.

As pointed out by Stephen Jay Gould, creation science is an oxymoron:

As a tern, CREATION SCIENCE is an oxymoron – a self-contradictory and meaningless phrase – a whitewash for a specific, particular, and minority religious view in America, biblical literalism.

In the same interview, Barton claims that abolishing slavery was the main reason the colonies wanted to break away from England. Barton also said that Jesus opposed both the minimum wage and the progressive income tax.

OK, maybe the “Deer Crossing” wasn’t a joke.

H/T: Right Wing Watch, Mother Jones, Pharyngula.

61 thoughts on “David Barton Claims Founding Fathers Debated Creation/Evolution”

  1. Religion has always played an important role in politics and in many parts of the world it is the main source of fighting and wars. There is nothing wrong about the proposal of the Founding Fathers to teach creation but what is more concerning is the state in which religion combined with political aspirations is today.

  2. One last thought: It would be great if the left had a James O’Keefe type (but an honest one) who would stalk people like David Barton and call them out on camera over their falsehoods. I’d like to see how Barton would answer a question like, “Where in Thomas Paine’s writings do you find him advocating the teaching of Creation Science?” (I’ve read a lot of Paine and I don’t recall seeing that one, and I find it hard to believe the author of “The Age of Reason” was a partisan of biblical literalism!)

  3. Mike Spindell raises an important concern. My impression of America’s deadlocked politics is that the right-wingers live in one media echo chamber (Fox & friends) and most of us liberals in another (MSNBC and the “MSM”). How to reach over the divide and “deprogram” some of the people on the other side? I don’t have a clue, but I know those folks aren’t tuning in to Rachel Maddow.

    I throw this idea out to the ether (though maybe I’ll get around to sending Richard Dawkins a letter some day): take a page from the religious organizations and evangelize. I’ve fantasized a series of “Natural Science Reading Rooms” strategically located where evangelicals – or, more likely, their potentially rebellious children – are likely to be. Across the street from megachurches, say. Near the campuses of religiously-oriented colleges. In strip malls near Wal-Mart. Then, when people read the “You Can Be Good Without God” billboards, they might have someplace to go to follow up.

    Tolerant churches could also reach out. “You don’t have to be Creationist to be Christian” is the message here.

    I read somewhere that something like a third of public school biology teachers don’t believe in Darwinian evolution. I have no idea if that statistic is true (I don’t hear of them working in NJ; maybe they’re all in the Bible Belt), but if it’s even close, there’s a big deprogramming job to be done. I’d love to see some bigfoot liberals working on how to do it. (I lack the skills.)

  4. Swarthmore,

    O.k. I’ll bite. Please show me where someone here has said both parties are the same.

  5. I would not doubt that a lot of things were talked about…discussed….and some even died for the causes…so who knows….maybe we can summons Jefferson as soon as we can get Eric Weiss to talk to us….

  6. If OBL was so clever why didn’t he financially support Barton? Can’t think of a better way to attack the US then to support internal terror networks like Barton & his ilk…

  7. LK,

    I am now going to bed with a smile on my face. 300 Ponies, P For Pinketta, The Lord of the Ponies Fellowship of the Brony, The Rainbow Knight and the short intro for Battlepony Galactica were all just far too silly not to be smiling.

  8. LK,

    I’ll have to check those out. Thanks again! I’m always up for a good laugh. :mrgreen:

  9. Cindy,
    I don’t see any foundation for the statement: “….it’d be more correct to say Barton has support of the theocratic-minded elements in Christendom, the “take back America” types, most notably many of Reformed theology, Reconstructionists, and so on… humanism cloaked in religion”
    He’s not preaching any humanism that I can see, he’s just trying to cloak his desire for a theocratic state in poor scholarship, both of history and the bible. A stealth theocrat to my mind. A more thorough statement might help me understand your point.

  10. BIL, the guy that did this (adult male fans of My Little Pony apparently refer to themselves as “Bronies”- who knew?) did other trailers: Inglorious Ponies, 300 Ponies etc. which are a hoot. He spends a lot of time on doing them and his dedication shows. I have become an instant fan. 🙂

    HenMan, Bless your eart for the suggestion but I think Maggi is a bot- some evil person has unleashed a nonsense-bot on the Turleyblawg. I know that is harsh, especially from someone that posted a My Little Pony vid, but there it is, The name-link takes one to an almost empty profile (1 line), the owner posts very little elsewhere under either listed name and does so in the same vein. Your suggestion is a fine one nonetheless.

    Hmmmm, the name-link no longer takes one to a Facebook profile page that is available though it was a few hours ago. A bot, gotta’ be a bot.

  11. Maggie Simi-

    On the far left side of your keyboard you will find a key marked “Caps Lock”. Give it a good poke and see how good it makes you feel.


  12. LK,

    Thanks! That was funny. “‘Save us!’… and I’ll whisper ‘no'” has a totally different ring to it coming from a pink pony.

  13. People like Barton make me wish I had the skill and time to do ‘mash-ups’, intercutting various and dispirit video and sound tracks from multiple sources to produce topical or humorous content. I could sublimate my darker, violent urges when I hear their crazy speeches by intercutting Dr. Gregory House saying “You’re and idiot!” as a rebuttal to each of their talking points. It’s not activism but it’s cheaper than therapy. 🙂

    Ran across this mash-up yesterday linked from Boing Boing and thought immediately of you BIL, we both seem to be “Watchmen” fans and you have quoted The Comedian here (very aptly I must say) in various threads. I got a kick out of this and the audio has me wanting to watch the movie again before the weekend is over.

  14. “These people, the extreme evangelical right seek nothing less than the reigns of power in America so that they can reconstitute this nation (and then the world) into their own twisted, death-cult, image of the stage-set for Armageddon. They are delusional and dangerous IMO.” -lottakatz

    They’re dangerous indeed and their goon squads are workin’ the streets of America.

  15. Maggie Simi,

    You astonish me with your wit, verbosity and perspicacity.

  16. many of us fundamentalist Christians object to the assertion “Barton is the darling of the religious right,” and are sickened by Barton’s ties to white supremacist Christian Identity types and his theology too…it’d be more correct to say Barton has support of the theocratic-minded elements in Christendom, the “take back America” types, most notably many of Reformed theology, Reconstructionists, and so on… humanism cloaked in religion

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