Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools

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Scientific American. The Scopes Trial. University of Minnesota. State of Tennessee v. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.

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In the scorching summer heat of small-town Dayton, TN, in July of John T. That law, passed in March , Held for the purpose of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice, the Nuremberg trials were a series of 13 trials carried out in Nuremberg, Germany, between and The defendants, who included Nazi Party officials and high-ranking military officers along with German Born into a freethinking family of English physicians in , Charles Darwin suffered from a host of conditions Oscar Wilde was a playwright, novelist, poet and celebrity in late nineteenth century London.

His flamboyant dress, cutting wit and eccentric lifestyle often put him at odds with the social norms of Victorian England. Wilde, a homosexual, was put on trial for gross indecency in The infamous Salem witch trials began during the spring of , after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a Darwin was born on the same day as Abraham Lincoln.

Both Darwin and Lincoln were born on February 12, , but in much different settings. During the Tulsa Race Massacre also known as the Tulsa Race Riot , which occurred over 18 hours on May June 1, , a white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The event remains one of the worst This Day In History. Butler Act The theory of evolution, as presented by Charles Darwin and others, was a controversial concept in many quarters, even into the 20th century. Clarence Darrow Author H. Darrow, meanwhile, arrived into Dayton the day before the trial to little fanfare. Scopes Monkey Trial Begins The trial day started with crowds pouring into the courthouse two hours before it was scheduled to begin, filling up the room and causing onlookers to spill into the hallways. The jury took nine minutes to pronounce Scopes guilty.

After the Scopes Trial After the trial, Bryan immediately began to prepare his unused closing statement as a speech for his rallies. Intelligent Design Supporters of both sides claimed victory following the trial, but the Butler Act was upheld, and the anti-evolution movement continued.

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Sources Summer For The Gods. Adolf Eichmann on Trial. Chicago Seven Trial. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Trying Biology by Adam Shapiro. In Trying Biology , Adam R. Most view it as an event driven primarily by a conflict between science and religion. Countering this, Shapiro shows the importance of timing: the Scopes trial occurred at a crucial moment in the history of biology textbook publishing, education refor In Trying Biology , Adam R. Countering this, Shapiro shows the importance of timing: the Scopes trial occurred at a crucial moment in the history of biology textbook publishing, education reform in Tennessee, and progressive school reform across the country.

He places the trial in this broad context—alongside American Protestant antievolution sentiment—and in doing so sheds new light on the trial and the historical relationship of science and religion in America. For the first time we see how religious objections to evolution became a prevailing concern to the American textbook industry even before the Scopes trial began. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages.

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If you're considering the purchase of this book because you're interested in the modern-day creation-evolution debate, this is one of those books that isn't beholden to any side. It simply paints a backdrop to historial events, with no axe to grind. Concerns about public and standardized education were part of the public debate over Civic Biology. Several socio-cultural events shaped the publication and reaction to Civic Biology.

Following World War I , a cultural movement emerged that poised two ideological groups against each other: the traditionalists and the modernists. In response to this modernist cultural movement, there was a religious revivalist movement to protest the emergence of these progressive ideologies. This group favored alcohol prohibition laws and a literal interpretation of the Bible. The prosecution made arguments that fit the traditionalist ideology. The content of Civic Biology was not specifically discussed in the trial; rather the trial focused on the merits and problems with Darwin's theory of evolution.

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Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools

The prosecution argued that teaching evolution undermined traditional religious values by disrupting the Biblical concept of a six-day creation, and claimed that Darwinian concepts could subvert the political sphere of the United States, saying that "survival of the fittest" could be used to justify a laissez-faire capitalist system, imperialism, and militarism in United States politics. They warned that Darwin's theories could be used to justify mass sterilization of livestock in order to selectively breed the best organisms.


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The defense crafted arguments that largely fit within a modernist ideology. The Scopes Trial , with its controversy over Civic Biology , was a major setback for anti-evolution groups because of the 15 states with anti-evolution legislation pending in , only 2 enacted laws restricting the teaching of Darwin's evolutionary theories. During the s, it was believed that pressure from Christian fundamentalists after the Scopes Trial forced textbook authors to limit the discussion of evolution.

As a result, modern scholars now believe that overall, biology textbooks were not heavily influenced by anti-evolution rhetoric after the Scopes Trial. While biology textbooks did not yield heavy influence from the Scopes Trial, some laws emerged that affected high school teachers. After the Scopes Trial, many teachers, particularly in the South, were then required to take oaths of loyalty. These oaths centered upon restricting instructors to teaching content that did not contradict traditionalist ideologies.

A revised edition [24] of Hunter's book appeared the year after the Scopes Trial. This edition no longer used the word "evolution", and removed most references to recognizably evolutionary concepts. A figure illustrating fossils of the precursors of horses in geological context and much of the associated text was eliminated.

The section quoted above, "Evolution of Man", was renamed "Development of Man", and, rather than saying "lower in mental organization" said "lower in civilization" page The book did mention natural selection page , homology page , classification of plants and animals Chapter XXI, pages — including mention of "man" as a vertebrate, a mammal, and a primate, page , and had a short biography of Charles Darwin among the "Great Names in Biology" pages — Humanity will not allow this The supposed history of the Jukes family and the Kallikak family was advanced pages — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Scopes Trial.

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