Series: Milestones in American History
Publisher: Chelsea House Pub (L); 1 edition (January 2010)
After the passage of the Butler Act, which made it unlawful for a state-funded school in Tennessee to teach that humans evolved from lower organisms, 24-year-old high school teacher John Scopes intentionally violated the law. Arrested and charged on May 5, 1925, Scopes became the centerpiece in a trial that pitted two of the finest legal minds of the time against one another. Prosecutor William Jennings Bryan’s participation in the trial served as the capstone to his prior unsuccessful advocacy to cut off funds to schools that taught evolution. Prominent trial attorney Clarence Darrow, an agnostic, spoke for the defense. This case, which was the first to be broadcast via radio, was a critical turning point in the creation vs. evolution controversy that continues today. “The Scopes Monkey Trial” has since been fictionalized in a play (1955), a film (1960), and three television films (1965, 1988, and 1999), all called “Inherit the Wind”. “The Scopes Monkey Trail: Debate over Education” explains how this pivotal court case shaped the way evolution and creationism is approached in classrooms.