John Scopes Trial Essay

John Scopes Trial Essay-83
Many young people's prejudice against Christianity is being fueled and justified by this work of fiction.For decades, defenders of liberty and self-rule have been fighting what seems like a continuous battle about the power, reach, and accountability of the federal government.

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Tennessee’s law prohibited schools from teaching that humans “descended from a lower order of animals” and, importantly, violation of the law carried a fine.

A newly founded New York-based institution dedicated to the defense of individual liberty, the American Civil Liberties Union, sought to challenge the law in the courts.

The businessmen simply hoped that a court challenge on this controversy would bring much attention—and with it, much-needed tourism.

(The place was declining, having lost half its population over the previous decades.) For the “sponsors” of the event known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the motivation was financial rather than intellectual or religious.

As teaching about evolution reached an ever-increasing percentage of the population, parents and religious leaders began to mobilize in the early 1920s to gain state or local control over the content of science education.

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A number of states passed laws that in one way or another restricted or eliminated the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the schools.

However one looks at the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” it was an odd event in American history—and such odd events usually point to complex cultural and political conflicts.

Reporters and historians have attempted ever since to explain this event in simple dualisms: religion versus science, fundamentalism versus modernism.

Thoughtful critics of the federal invasion of our liberties draw from rich intellectual, political, and constitutional arguments.

But few think as deeply about the cultural conditions of a free and self-reliant people.


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