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Another Side of Thomas Paine
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It has been the error of the schools to teach
astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments
only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the
author of them: for all the principles of science are of Divine origin. Man cannot make, or
invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the
discovery to the Author.
Thomas Paine on "The Study of God"
Thomas Paine concerned about the content of our current science courses? Definitely!
In a speech he delivered in Paris on January 16, 1797, Thomas Paine harshly criticized what the French were then teaching in their science classes-especially the philosophy they were using. Interestingly, that same science philosophy of which Thomas Paine was so critical is identical to that used in our public schools today. Paine's indictment of that philosophy is particularly significant in light of the fact that all historians today concede that Thomas Paine was one of the very least religious of our Founders. Yet, even Paine could not abide teaching science, which excluded God's work and hand in the creation of the world and of all scientific phenomena.
While Benjamin Franklin was serving in London as diplomat from the Colonies to the King, Franklin met Englishman Thomas Paine (born 1737, died 1809). Franklin arranged for him to move to America in 1774 and helped set him up in the printing business. In 1776, Paine wrote Common Sense, which helped fuel the separation of America from Great Britain. He then served as a soldier in the American Revolution. He returned to England in 1787, and then went to France in 1792 as a supporter of the French Revolution. In 1794, he published his Age of Reason, the deistic work which brought him much criticism from his former American friends. Upon his return to America in 1802, he found no welcome and eventually died as an outcast.)
— David Barton
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