Happy Scopes Monkey Trial Birthday

25 05 2009

Here for reference is JJ’s Evolved Homeschooler Wiki Page .

But eighty-four years ago today, this was the story people would have been blogging [if times back then were more like times now, which they’re not]:

Nashville, Tenn., May 25 — John T. Scopes, young Dayton (Tenn.) high school teacher, tonight stands indicted for having taught the theory of evolution to students attending his science classes in violation of a law passed by the Tennessee Legislature and signed by the Governor on March 21, 1925.

. . . The session followed a charge by Judge John T. Raulston, who interpreted the law and included in his presentation for the reading of the first book of Genesis from the King James version of the Bible, in which the story creation is detailed.

The specific charge of the indictment is that on April 24, 1925, John T. Scopes, “did unlawfully and willfully teach in public schools of Rhea County, Tenn., which said schools are supported in part and in whole by the public school funds of the State, certain theory and theories that deny the story of Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible and did teach thereof that man descended from a lower order of animals.” The penalty prescribed in the law for such violation is a fine from $100 to $500.

Does it sound as if the religious conservative status quo of 1925 was way more committed to the rule of law back when they defined and controlled it?

Telling the jurors that if the statute had been violated, their duty was to find the indictment, Judge Raulston pointed out that it was not within their province to inquire into the policy or the wisdom of the legislation. Read the rest of this entry »