Scope Monkey Trial Essay

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Impact and Effects of the “Scope Monkey Trial” (1925) on Public Education Throughout United States history, the topic of evolution has been the center of a highly contested and controversial subject. Even when trying to define what evolution means, one is able to find many different definitions as well as opinions. However, for this paper, evolution will be defined as “Change from time in populations of living organisms; irreversible transformation in genetic compositions of populations” [Bolker (2017)]. The conversation of evolution has been around for hundreds of years, but it can be argued that the controversy of creation vs. evolution began in the early 19th century. The subject arose when Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed the idea …show more content…
John Scopes played a small role in the trial, as most of the case consisted of Scopes lawyer Clarence Darrow and William Bryan questioning each other. The prosecution side had a very clear plan. Instead of debating the value of the Butler Law, they were only interested in being able to prove that Scopes had actually broken the law [Ruse (2003)]. After the jury found Scopes guilty, he was fined $100, and the Tennessee law would stand for another 42 years. The conviction was later on overturned because of an appeal [Ruse (2003)]. Although Bryan and the anti-evolutionists had won the case, Darrow and the ACLU felt they had successfully brought attention to scientific …show more content…
Some of these effects were short-term and some were long-term. One of the short-term effects this trial had on education was seen a year later in 1926, when Louisiana’s superintendent of education demanded that six pages on evolution in Hunter's A Civic Biology be removed [Adams (2005)]. At the time, this was the most popular biology textbook used in high schools around the country and was the book that was featured in the Scopes trial. One year after the request, George William Hunter published “A New Civic Biology”; an updated version of the textbook that dealt with the concept of evolution cautiously and avoided explicitly naming the theory [Adams (2005)]. Hunter was concerned that the Scope trial publicity would drive his text out of class rooms, which was why he willingly made changes to the next edition. The word evolution no longer was in the index of the book and rather than using the term “evolution”, the word “development” was

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