Angie Maxwell: The Long Shadow of Scopes

When Bryan agreed to assist the prosecution in the 1925 Scopes trial that would test the Butler Act’s ban of the teaching of evolution in Tennessee, he was anything but new to the debate. Despite his progressive political record on issues such as women’s suffrage, Bryan’s swan song as an anti-evolution crusader was zealous and emphatic. He argued, wrote, and perhaps believed, that this single issue would erode American faith. For Bryan there was no middle, and his readers need only choose sides. His widespread essay on the subject was titled “The Bible and its Enemies,” and he considered the cause the greatest reform of his life. Science and even the experts who defense attorney Clarence Darrow had attempted to call at the trial, were adversaries in a zero-sum game that the world was watching. Continue Reading Angie Maxwell: The Long Shadow of Scopes

Today in History: John Scopes found guilty

On July 21, 1925, John Thomas Scopes was found guilty of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution. Generations later, the teaching of evolution is standard and creationism (in the form of Intelligent Design) is the new challenger. Michael Lienesch, author of In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making… Continue Reading Today in History: John Scopes found guilty