Scopes Scopes Case Study

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Scopes: The Battle over America’s Soul The battle between science and nature seems to be one that is never ending. One of the times when this battle came to a head was in 1925 when a trial occurred over whether evolution was okay to be taught in school. In Tennessee, the practice was outlawed, but when a teacher in Dayton Ohio was coerced into using a textbook that contained evolution, the debate became one of major national attention. John Scopes, a twenty-four year old math and science teacher, were approached by George Rappleya and Fred Robinson. The American Civil Liberties Union was willing to cover the costs for any teacher willing to violate the Butler Act, the law in Tennessee which outlawed the practice of teaching evolution in schools. Rappleya and Robinson wanted Scopes to break the law both in protest and to put Dayton on the map of American media. After Scopes used a textbook that contained evolution, he was charged and his trial was set. Both sides of the case wanted to keep the trial solely focused on Scopes’ infraction, but two …show more content…
Throughout the trial, Darrow repeatedly embarrassed Bryan, so by the end, secularists “believed they had won the final battle over fundamentalism” (Gillon 170). However, the converse came to be true. The Scopes trial fueled the fundamentalist fire in America. Considering the original goal of the Scopes trial was to point out the absurdity of the Butler Act, it is ironic that “by 1930, 70 percent of high schools in the United States omitted any reference to evolution” (Gillon 170) and the Butler Act itself was not repealed until 1967. Throughout the 1970s, many people converted Christianity and the push to return to more traditional, fundamental values grew stronger. Also, “televangelists” used the technology of television to reach a wider audience. The fundamentalist versus secularist debate would continue for many decades to

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