Because of the religious conservative legislators a ban was placed on the teaching of evolution and the equal treatment of evolution and creationism or intelligent design (Armenta, 1). The court case that stirred the controversy was the Scope case of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. Multiple major court cases followed; Epperson, et al. v. Arkansas, McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, Edwards v. Aguillard, and Frailer v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education (Armenta, 1). In Louisiana and Tennessee a bill was approved that allowed teachers in the public school system to teach evolution alongside with creationism even if the principal and superintendence disagree.
Individual Liberty Versus Majoritarian Democracy in Edward Larson’s Summer For the Gods The Scopes trial, writes Edward Larson, to most Americans embodies “the timeless debate over science and religion.” (265) Written by historians, judges, and playwrights, the history of the Scopes trial has caused Americans to perceive “the relationship between science and religion in . . . simple terms: either Darwin or the Bible was true.” (265) The road to the trial began when Tennessee passed the Butler Act in 1925 banning the teaching of evolution in secondary schools. It was only a matter of time before a young biology teacher, John T. Scopes, prompted by the ACLU tested the law.
If education is about investigation, then schools should have an open mind to exploring more than just Evolution. According to the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Creationism or Creation Science is the belief in the biblical account of the creation of the world as described in the book of Genesis (“Creationism”). For years, schools and teachers have been scared to talk about “creation” in schools for fear of “breaking the law” or “offending students” but I feel it is time we stop being afraid, and open to a whole new realm of knowledge we have to offer students. In 1981, there was a law passed that made schools that taught Evolution also teach Creation Science for an equal amount of time. It was called “The Balanced Treatment Act.” The bill defined Creation Science as “The world was created from nothing (ex nihilo), a world wide flood, a ‘relatively recent inception’ of the earth, and a rejection of the common ancestry of humans from apes.” (Branch, Glen, and Eugenie 92-99).
The state of Tennessee instituted the Butler Act in 1925 which prohibited public school teachers from denying the biblical account of creation. In the same year, John Thomas Scopes, a high school substitute teacher, taught the theory of evolution in his classes and was charged with violating the Butler Act (Pierce). This charge led to the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. The American Civil Liberties Union came to the scene to back the defense of Scopes in a case that would be the beginning of publicizing scientific evi... ... middle of paper ... ..., 2008. DVD.
Schenck v. United States (1919). Riley, R. (1998). Secretary's statement on religious expression. Retrieved November 15, 2001, from, the World Wide Web: http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/08-1995/religion.html Staver, Mathew. Teachers' Rights on Public School Campuses.
"And God said, let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one pla... ... middle of paper ... ...ican Civil Liberties Union, Scopes has tested the law by acquainting his classes with the 1859 teachings of Charles Darwin. Defended by Chicago attorneys Clarence Darrow and Dudley Field Malone, he is prosecuted by former secretary of state William Jennings Bryan, found guilty, and fined $100. Bryan dies of apoplexy July 26. Scopes Monkey trials:Williams Jenning Bryan, three-time Democratic candidate for President and a populist, was the leading figure in a Fundamentalist crusade to banish Darwin's theory of evolution from American classrooms. Clarence Darrow, who was approaching 70, decided to join the battle in Dayton.
The argument in favor of creationism was solely based in scripture, though it had to be changed in light of its revamping, whereas the argument for evolution has only been strengthened by continued scientific discoveries. In Dayton, Tennessee in May of 1925, John Scopes was prompted by the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU) to defy the Butler act, a law that was passed earlier that May. The Act declared it unlawful “for any teacher in any of the Universities, No... ... middle of paper ... ...08 . Bryan, William J. State of Tennessee V. John Thomas Scopes.
In its place, teachers were to only teach the story of Creation as found in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. This, and thirty-six similar laws, was seen as an infringement on civil liberties. Upon learning of this new law, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), located in New York, placed advertisements in Tennessee newspapers in an attempt to find a teacher willing to stand up to the law. John Thomas Scopes, a math teacher and football coach for Rhea County High School in Dayton, Tennessee, was pressured into taking the challenge by a friend, George Rappleyea, who saw the advertisement. With the school’s biology teacher out for the last two weeks of class, Scopes took over and began teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Nowhere in the constitution does it talk about a law prohibiting someone from offending one another. Furthermore, Abington Township School district V. Schempp 1963 consolidated Murray V. Curlett by stating that school sponsored bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional. These cases help solitude the liberalization of the American people and set a precedent for the future on. To this day the Warren Court decisions continue to affect the overall growth of the American society. The Warren Court during its era affected major issues such as search and seizure, separation of church and state, symbolic speech, due process clause, etc.