THE SCOPES MONKEY
In 1925, it was against
the law to teach evolution in the state of Tennessee. As a test of
this law, a mild mannered teacher in Dayton named Thomas Scopes volunteered
to teach evolution to his pupils. He was arrested. The ensuing trial pitted
two legendary lawyers against each other: Clarence Darrow defended
Scopes by defending Darwin. William Jennings Bryan preferred Genesis.
The following is from Darrow's opening:
Here we find
today as brazen and as bold an attempt to destroy learning as was ever
made in the Middle Ages. The only difference is that we shall
not be burned at the stake. But there is time for that, Your Honor.
We have to approach these things gradually.
Darrow took the position
that since Creationism was wrong, a law supporting it was wrong; thus the
issue was not law, but freedom. Bryan's stance was that the law was
the law, and allowing people to break the law would lead to all sorts of
evil. The jury awarded the technical victory to Bryan and the spiritual
to Darrow. Scopes was found guilty, but the fine was a mere token.