06 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Appalachian Mountains as the "Wreck of the World"

The great Appalachian Mountains, which run from York River back of these Colonies to the Bay of Mexico, show in many Places near the highest Parts of them, Strata of Sea Shells, in some Places the Marks of them are in the solid Rocks. 'Tis certainly the Wreck of a World we live on! [...] Such changes in the superficial parts of the globe seemed to me unlikely to happen, if the earth were solid to the centre. I therefore imagined, that the internal parts might be a fluid more dense, and of g...
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July 1747, Ben Franklin wrote to Jared Eliot, a Connecticut clergyman about the Appalachian mountains, where he found sea shells mixed in with the dirt and concluded that the mountains were the Earth after a cataclysm.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 John Adams and the Doctrinal Challenge of Extraterrestria...

Sometime in the summer of 1786 the fifty-year-old John Adams, graduate of Harvard University, man of science and future second President of the United States, turned up one morning uninvited at The Grove. He was shown round all Herschel’s new telescopes, and they embarked on an impassioned discussion of the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and the moral implications of there being a ‘plurality of worlds’. This was the sort of metaphysical debate that Herschel had once had with his ...
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If there is life elsewhere in the Universe, Adams argues with Herschel that it challenges Biblical doctrine.

16 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 Thomas Paine and George Washington Conduct an Experiment

The muddy bottom of rivers contains great quantities of impure and often inflammable air (carbureted hydrogen gas), injurious to life; [begin page 309] and which remains entangled in the mud till let loose from thence by some accident. This air is produced by the dissolution and decomposition of any combustible matter falling into the water and sinking into the mud, of which the following circumstance will serve to give some explanation. In the fall of the year that New York was evacuated ...
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They light aflame methane gases stirred up from the Millstone River as part of a bet.

24 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Introduction to the Jefferson Bible

THE PHILOSOPHY OF JESUS OF NAZARETH Extracted from the account of his life and doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehensions. [emphasis mine]
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The first title of Jefferson's pairing down of the New Testament gospels states clearly the purpose of the text.

24 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Jefferson's Intention with “The Philosophy of Jesus of ...

In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall ...
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A description of the problems Jefferson had with the gospels in their existing form, which were easily twisted for greedy purposes.

24 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Clear Statement that the United States is Not Founded on ...

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
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Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.