Dear Commons Community,
On this day, July 21, in 1925, the ”Scopes Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. (The conviction was later overturned.)
The Scopes Monkey Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, was a landmark American legal case in which high school biology teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act which made it unlawful to teach evolution. This trial has been retold as the play, Inherit the Wind, and later made into a movie.
The trial and its issues are still relevant. The Huffington Post has an article today entitled, Texas To Revisit Evolution Education Debate Under New Conservative Chairwoman. It reports that the Texas State Board of Education meets this week for the first time under a conservative new chairwoman, Barbara Cargill, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry and is expected to rekindle the debate over teaching evolution and the origin of life in public schools. Cargill, a biology teacher considered to be one of the more conservative board members, disputes the theory of evolution and voted to require that the theory’s weaknesses be taught in classrooms.