I knew the creationists were sloppy scholars and had a poor grasp of history and science, but this is getting ridiculous.
First, Stephen Meyer is not a creationist. But understanding that would require PZ Myers to have knowledge of the position he is attacking.
Second, Stephen Meyer stated that Thomas Jefferson found evidence for design in nature (not revelation), based on this quote:
I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition.’’ ... 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.
So exactly how does PZ Myers find this to be "a poor grasp of history and science"? What is it about "it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design" that evolutionists don't understand?
The answer, of course, is that none of that matters. After all, Jefferson wrote those words before Darwin began to reveal all. Doesn't Stephen Meyer know better? PZ Myers pounds home his anti intellectualism for all to see:
Jefferson was 33 years in the grave before Darwin got around to explaining how we don't need a designer to explain the living universe. I rather suspect that no ship was dispatched from Virginia to Shropshire to get young Charlie Darwin's rebuttal of the 1823 claim, either. It's even less likely that Jefferson's zombie rose up in 1859 to take a quick gander at these new ideas spreading through biology and decided, nah, he likes intelligent design better.
33 years in the grave before Darwin began writing? So what? This is irrelevant to Stephen Meyer's point. Jefferson inferred design from the evidence in nature and, believe it or not, he didn't need a note from Charles Darwin to do so.