Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Scopes Trial


www.themonkeytrial.com distinguishes myth and reality.

I prepared a brief listing of relevant points made on the website The Monkey Trial. (The page numbers are approximate.) Dozens of gross inaccuracies regarding the Scopes Trial are frequently and endlessly parroted by popular defenders of Darwinism (p. 1-38) The Butler Act allowed the teaching of the evolution of the earth and solar system, as well as 99.9% of the animal kingdom. The only species that it did not allow to be taught was that pertaining to humans. (p. 1) The supporters of the Butler Act did not advocate teaching the Bible in the public schools (which they believed to be impermissible) (p. 2) The biology textbook used in Tennessee schools was 100% pro-evolutionist and had been so for over a decade. There is no mention in the text of God, creation, Adam, Eve, the book of Genesis, or any other book or person in the Bible (p. 2) Scopes never taught evolution in his class (p. 2) Scopes publicly admitted that “I never taught that evolution lesson”, that “those kids they put on the stand couldn’t remember what I taught them three months ago” and that “they were coached by the lawyers.” (p. 2-3) The ACLU in NYC actually advertised for a willing teacher to stage a court case. This ad was answered by Scopes who was encouraged by a few town fathers who wanted to boost the economic aspects of their small town (p. 3) Historians have documented that the ACLU instigated this trial because they were “stalking the law with the intent of overturning it or at least making it unenforceable” (p. 3) Scopes was well-liked by the people of Dayton (p. 4) Scopes was never jailed (p. 4) Scopes unquestionably enjoyed the best legal defense team ever assembled for a misdemeanor trial in the history of the United States and quite possibly the best ever assembled for any trial (p. 5) Bryan did not oppose the teaching of evolution in public schools as a theory. He rejected the eugenic teachings that were taught in the biology textbook with regards to the evolution of humanity (p. 5-6): (a) Caucations being the most advanced hominid, etc. (b) The elimination of public houses for the poor and asylums for the sick or insane because it made no evolutionary sense. (c) The prevention of allowing certain “parasitic” human populations to reproduce. (d) That society’s business classes should be given generous economic latitude to further advance the most successful members of the human species. Many of the scientists called to testify in defense of Scopes belonged to eugenic societies (p. 7) Evolutionists at the trial defined evolution as “change” and actually incorporated embryological development within the definition! (p. 11-12) Contrary to evolutionistic rewriting of history, no one publicly called upon God to strike down Scopes for his belief in evolution and no one publicly prayed that his soul be consigned to hell (p. 18) It was actually Darrow (not Bryan) who refused to allow more scientists to testify because Bryan insisted they be cross examined (and Bryan was quite knowledgeable of evolutionary theory) (p. 20-21, 11) Instead Darrow was able to submit lengthy statements from the scientists to be read into the trial transcript without cross-examination! (p. 20-22) Bryan took the stand to take questions from Darrow because it was agreed that the following day Darrow would take the stand to take questions from Bryan. Of course, the judge decided against Darrow taking the stand the next day (p. 25) Contrary to popular accounts, Bryan did not believe in a 6-day creation, but instead believed that the days in Genesis related to long periods of time (p. 27) And no, Bryan never claimed that God had given him special revelation to oppose the evil teachings of Darrow (p. 28) Darrow cleverly asked the Court to find his client guilty—another “first” in jurisprudential history—thus taking away any opportunity for Bryan to deliver his highly-anticipated closing address to the jury (p. 29) Bryan died 5 days after the trial from health problems. Darrow said, “He died of a busted belly.” Mencken said, “We killed the son-of-a-bitch.” (p. 30) Again, contrary to the writings of history, Bryan intelligently countered Darrow’s examination, while Darrow frequently insulted Bryan and at times asked incoherent questions (p. 33) Subsequent to the Scopes trial, the ACLU tried to fire Darrow because he his blatantly anti-Christian and otherwise offensive conduct at the trial hindered the cause for academic freedom rather than advanced it (p. 34) After Darrow made a point to emphasize the benefits of teaching Darwinism, Bryan cited a previous case where Darrow argued that his client should not be given the death penalty because it was the teachers and the universities that had filled the young murderer’s mind with Darwinian ideas – ideas that more evolved humans should be able to kill and destroy lesser humans with impunity!! (p. 34) The Darwinian accounts of the Scopes Trial are an exercise in hypocrisy at its finest. The movie reveals a great deal about a mentality that demands open-mindedness and excoriates dogmatism, only to advance its own certainties more insistently. Inherit the Wind (like proponents of Darwinism) promotes tolerance and intellectual integrity but stoops to vilifying the opposition, falsifying reality, and distorting history in the service of its agenda. (p. 36) morpheusfaith
I didn't know the distortions were THAT bad. Makes you want to chuckle at any anyone referring to the "Scopes Trial" to mock the current debate. Ben Z
Pretty remarkable. I was aware that the movie was not faithful to all the facts, but the extent of the distortion goes well beyond literary license and into the realm of intellectual dishonesty. If even half of the corrections listed on the site are accurate, then the movie must rate as little more than propaganda, and should be classified under the "Fiction" genre. Eric Anderson
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/editorial/12929793.htm The Rightful Status of Intelligent Design Anti-ID stance is good old intolerance again By David K. DeWolf and Randall Wegner In the thinly disguised play based on the Scopes trial, Inherit the Wind, the Clarence Darrow character (Drummond) cross-examines the William Jennings Bryan character (Brady). --read the rest of the article at the link above David K. DeWolf (ddewolf@lawschool.gonzaga.edu) is professor of law at Gonzaga Law School. Randall Wegner (randy@clymer.net) is constitutional attorney with Clymer & Musser P.C. of Lancaster. DaveScot
I'm familiar with the site, and I've seen the 1960 movie. I must say that of all the raw sewage that comes out of Hollywood, that particular movie ranks high among the very worst. David crandaddy

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