Scopes Monkey Trial

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The publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859 introduced the public to the theory of evolution, or the theory that all living organisms, including humans, developed and diversified from other organisms or species. Backed with findings that served as strong evidence, Darwin sparked a scientific revolution that changed the world's modern view and understanding of science. He also sparked a heated controversy among a Christian dominated society. This clash between science (Darwin's Theory of Evolution) and religion (Bible scriptures) as the teaching of evolution became widespread across the country is best reflected in the Scopes Trial of the 1920s. However, the fight still continues today as the great uproar caused by the Scopes Trial has made a great impact on the acceptance of evolution through modern academic curriculum.
While the people of the 19th century were uncomfortable with Darwin's theory and findings, they tolerated it due to the strong advocacy of Asa Gray. As a Harvard graduate, America's leading botanist, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and, most importantly, an Evangelical Christian, "Gray's reconciliation of God and evolution eased many people's concerns about evolution (Moore, Randy "The Lingering Impact of the Scopes Trial on High School Biology Textbooks")." In fact, Gray's First Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology featured Darwin's theory of evolution, which was the first textbook to do so, and became the country's leading botany textbook of the 19th century. However, a shift in religious attitudes after World War I made any theory that discredited Creationism or the literal interpretation of Bible Scripture and...

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...esented in biology textbooks, the beliefs of Fundamentalists as well as the findings of Darwin fight head on to create an eternal battle. While advancements are being made to end the war between the two, the Scopes Trial has created a long lasting scar that shapes the world of science and religion in American schools.

Works Cited

Harrison, S.L. "The Scopes `Monkey Trial' Revisited: Mencken And The Editorial Art Of Edmund Duffy."
Journal Of American Culture (01911813) 17.4 (1994): 55. Academic Search Elite. Web. 19 May 2014.
Moore, Randy. "The Lingering Impact Of The Scopes Trial On High School Biology Textbooks."
Bioscience 51.9 (2001): 790. Academic Search Elite. Web. 19 May 2014.
Webb, George E. "The Tennessee Academy Of Science And The Scopes Trial." Journal Of The Tennessee Academy Of Science 86.3/4 (2011): 97-100. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 May 2014.

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