Adam Smith (01:47)
The 18th century Scottish economist and philosopher's methods for examining economic activity set a course for economists that continues today.
Smith's Early Life (06:38)
Smith's mother raised him in upper middle-class comfort. Religion, education, and scientific advances significantly influenced his life's path. "The Classics" were at the center of education in 18th century Scotland.
Smith's Work and Publications (02:53)
Through his friend David Hume, Smith became a tutor, then worked as a tax collector in Edinburgh. Smith published books about economics through the ideas of morality and business.
Smith's Moral Dilemma (08:02)
Smith was asked to ensure the posthumous publication of Hume's significant work. This presented a dilemma as the book's conclusion contradicted prevailing religious beliefs.
Thomas Jefferson (04:16)
Jefferson was the third president of the United States and a contributor to the Declaration of Independence. He grew up in a wealthy Virginian family and was well educated; William Smith was an influential teacher. Jefferson became governor at age 36.
Jefferson the Politician (02:38)
Slavery and religion were prevailing forces. Jefferson's political adaptability made him appear as a hypocritical opportunist. His goal was to establish the United States on firm footing for the benefit of as many people as possible.
Jefferson's Duality (12:17)
Jefferson abhorred slavery but could not have endured without the practice; he was guarded about his religious beliefs. Jefferson believed people could open their minds through freely exposed ideas and that slavery should be addressed separately from establishing an independent United States.
Charles Darwin (04:45)
Darwin's family followed Unitarianism; they encouraged his interest in natural history. Darwin attended the University of Edinburgh and Christ's College Cambridge. He went on an expedition as a botanist to South America and the experience changed his outlook on life.
Darwin's South American Expedition (03:29)
Darwin recorded the geology, flora, and fauna of the coastline, Evidence on the Galapagos Islands solidified his thoughts on evolutionary development and suggested that religious beliefs were false.
Darwin's Incongruity (06:59)
Darwin returned home in 1836 to some notoriety and married a devout Unitarian. He continued studies to support his theories on natural selection and ceased attending church. "The Origin of Species" became fundamental to evolutionary science. Smith, Jefferson, and Darwin have enlightened the world.
Credits: The Janus Effect (00:25)
Credits: The Janus Effect
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