Stephen Meyer has an interesting op-ed in today’s Boston Globe about founding father Thomas Jefferson’s view of intelligent design. A view which Meyer argues comes from the scientific evidence, not from religious authority, and which is foundational to our nation’s adherence to inalienable rights for all:
Contemplating everything from the heavenly bodies down to the creaturely bodies of men and animals, he argued: “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.”
The “ultimate cause” and “fabricator of all things” that Jefferson invoked was also responsible for the “design” of life’s endlessly diverse forms as well as the manifestly special endowments of human beings. Moreover, because the evidence of “Nature’s God” was publicly accessible to all and did not depend upon a special appeal to religious authority, Jefferson believed that it provided a basis in reason for the protection of individual liberty. Thus, the Declaration of Independence asserted that humans are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Of course, many people assume that Jefferson’s views, having been written before Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” are now scientifically obsolete. But Jefferson has been vindicated by modern scientific discoveries that Darwin could not have anticipated.