Scopes Trial
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Time Period
7/9/1925  - 7/21/1925
In the 1920s, a Tennessee law forbade the teaching of evolution in the classroom, but when a new biology teacher named John T. Scopes challenged the law, controversy ensued. The Scopes trial, also known as the "Monkey Trial," garnered media attention as the American Civil Liberties Union supplied Scopes with eminent trial lawyer and religious skeptic Clarence Darrow. William Jennings Bryan was a famous Democratic politician and evangelical Christian who represented the prosecution in the trial. The trial reflected two strong worldviews: those who believed that evolution contradicted the biblical account of creation (Bryan) and those who believed that creationism lacked scientific veracity (Darrow). Scopes lost the trial but the verdict was overturned later in a higher court due to a legal technicality. While many anti-evolution laws were overturned in the 1960s, "creation science" is still prominent in some states, highlighting continual resistance to Darwin’s theory.
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Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
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Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Independent Fundamentalist Family
Independent Fundamentalist Family: Other ARDA Links

Riley, William Bell
Christian Fundamentalism

John Scopes portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-38216

William Jennings Bryan portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ6-831

Clarence Darrow portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-11819
Book/Journal Source(s)
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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