[O]n the eighteen century. It certainly witnessed the sciences and arts, manners and morals, advanced to a higher degree than the world had ever before seen. And might we not go back to the ear of the Borgias, by which time the barbarous ages had reduced national morality to its lowest point of depravity, and observe that the arts and sciences, rising from that point, advanced gradually through all the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteen centuries, softening and correcting the manners and morals of man? I think, too, we may add to the great honor for science and the arts, that their natural effect is, by illuminating public opinion, to erect it into a sensor, before which the most exalted tremble for their future, as well as present fame.- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams dated January 11, 1816, taken from In God We Trust: The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, ed. by Norman Cousins (Harper & Bros.: 1958), pg. 266.