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Frank Turek: Jefferson would start "2nd American Revolution" against evolution

Frank Turek
Frank Turek
Clint Loveness

On March 26, 2014, Religious Right activist Frank Turek insisted in an interview on Washington Watch with the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins that Thomas Jefferson would lead a second American Revolution against the teaching of evolution.

If these bureaucrats are going to say that we can't mention Creation anywhere in school, I ask them this question: Are you telling me that the Declaration of Independence is unconstitutional? Because the Declaration of Independence talks about our Creator, it says we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, it says that we were created. Please don't tell me the Declaration of Independence is unconstitutional. I think I know what Thomas Jefferson would do, the man who said that taxation without representation is tyranny, if he were to come back to America today and find that his tax dollars were going to pay public school teachers to teach his school children that his Declaration of Independence was unconstitutional, I think he’d start the Second American Revolution.

Once again, the American Taliban's rhetoric depends on a deliberate detachment from reality.

First, and most obviously, the Declaration of Independence does not cover anything about what can or cannot be taught in schools, nor has there been any effort to completely bar creationism from school; only to prevent schools from trying to pass it off as science in place of evolution.

More critically, Jefferson was an avid scholar who, though ultimately having settled on law as his profession, studied mathematics, metaphysics, astronomy and philosophy, and was reported to have been very enthusiastic about the writings of John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton.

Since Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published thirty-three years after Jefferson's death, we will never know for sure what Jefferson would have thought of the theory of evolution. But as an avid scholar who chose to associate with scientists like Ben Franklin and atheists like Thomas Paine and John Adams, it's a pretty safe bet that Jefferson would have hated Frank Turek's guts.