The Scopes Monkey Trial
12:   80 Years of Evolution and Species

On this page:

Evolution Then

The Teleological Myth

Evolution Now

Species are ...?

More on Species

Genetics Then and Now

Alas, Poor Darwin - I Knew Him Well

Christian Scientists?



Then and Now

A major problem when looking at the Scopes Trial, in the 21st centuy, is that it happened so long ago (just over 80 years at the time I'm writing this).  That's been a long time not only in years but also in relation to the vast amount of scientific information we've accumulated since 1925.  Our knowledge of how the brain works, for example, which is still far from complete, has almost all been collected in the last 10-20 years.

So when we come to examine what happened at the Scopes Trial we need to take account of the differences in knowledge.  We can't simply evaluate those events as though they happened just a few years ago.
For instance, a "fundamentalist" in America in 1925 wasn't quite the same thing as a "fundamentalist" in 2006.  And by the same token, "evolution", "species" and so on no longer mean quite the same things as they did in 1925.

In this section we will be reviewing some of the crucial elements of the expert evidence read into the record of the Scopes Trial, based on the words written by various expert witnesses in their affidavits (i.e. testimony given in writing rather than live from the witness stand).

Please Note:
The purpose of this section is simply to provide a comparison between ideas in 1925 and 2006.  It is not meant to belittle the expert witnesses at the Scopes Trial, who were no doubt as well informed on scientific matters as any of their colleagues at the time.  Nor is it meant to defend or deny the validity of any of the matters being discussed.
Witnesses are quoted in the order that their affidavits are recorded in the trial transcript.

Evolution Then

Although all of the scientific witnesses referred to evolution many times, not all of them actually gave a definition of the term; and those that did weren't entirely in step with what most scientists describe as evolution in 2006.  Indeed, several of the witnesses seemed unable to distinguish between "evolution" and what might now be called "intelligent design".  Thus Charles Judd cites, as examples of evolution, processes which have had a very large degree of human input:

Charles Hubbard Judd (psychologist)
"Elaborate studies have been made in the field of human psychology dealing with such matters as the evolution of tools, the evolution of language and the evolution of customs and laws.  All of these studies are based on definitely ascertainable facts and show without exception that a long process of evolution has been going on in the life of man as it is definitely known through historical record and prehistoric remains."

Maynard Metcalf (zoologist)
"Change, growth, evolution, is a fundamental, a pivotal truth in all nature."

Notice the implication of the word "is" (singular) in that sentence,  Dr. Metcalf starts out with such a broad generalisation that "evolution" is apparently "any kind of change at all."  That is to say:

change = growth = evolution

Not three separate terms but, apparently, three synonyms for the same thing.
Perhaps not surprisingly, he, too, confuses "guided development" with "evolution" and ends up describing the existance of mere varieties as examples of evolution:

"Not only has evolution occurred; it is occurring today and occurring even under man's control.  If one wishes a new vegetable or a new flower it is, within limits, true that he can order it from the plant breeder and in a few years he will produce it.  Hundreds of new plants and animals have been and are being produced in this way.  This is evolution of just the sort that has always occurred, only it is influenced by man's purpose.  We can see evolution occurring in our experiment stations and our laboratories and we can control and modify the conditions of the experiments and can thus modify the resultant product to suit ourselves.  Evolution is a present observable phenomenon as well as an established fact of past occurring.  The organisms produced by this present day controlled evolution in our experiments are as divergent from one another as from the original stock as are animals and plants in nature.  The different kinds of domestic horses, produced by human experiment, differ far more than do the different kinds of horses found in nature.
"Domestic fowl under man's control have evolved into a large number of kinds far more widely divergent than are the wild kinds in the genus Gallus, from which our domestic chickens came."

Professors Curtis and Newman seem to have agreed with Metcalf that "evolution" wasn't really a scientific term at all, because it was basically nothing more than a synonym for the commonplace word "change".
Curtis, for example, gave an unequivocal definition of the term "evolution" - but once again we see a mix up between changes which are human directed and changes which are subject only to the laws of nature, as though they all came about through the same basic process:

Winterton C. Curtis (zoologist)
"The term evolution, as used today in science, means the historical process of change.  When we speak of the evolution of man-made products, like automobiles and steam engines, of social institutions like democratic government, of the crust of the earth or solar system, of animals and plants, we mean a gradual coming into existence of what is now before us, in contrast to its sudden and miraculous creation."

Curtis also referred to cosmic evolution (the formation and development of the universe), geologic evolution (the formation and development of the Earth) and organic evolution (the formation and development of living entities - bacteria, plants, animals, etc.) as though they were all, more or less, the same thing:

"Organic evolution resembles the cosmic and geologic evolution above described, since it concludes that the living bodies, which are the objects of its investigation, have not always existed as they are today, but have undergone a process of change."

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist)
"The evolutionist stands for and believes in a changing world.  Evolution is merely the philosophy of change as opposed to the philosophy of fixity and unchangeability.

This last quotation may seem like such a radical simplification of the term evolution as to effectively render the term "evolution" completely rendundant.
In practise, however, it quickly becomes clear that Newman knew exactly what he is doing.  In fact, in his next sentence, Newman boldly leapt from the irrefutable evidence of ongoing change to the rather more contentious philosophy of evolution by implicitly invoking the Aristotelian argument known as Tertium non datur ("there is no third [alternative]"), or more commonly in the West, as "the law of the excluded middle":

"One must choose between these alternate philosophies [change and fixity], for there is no intermediate position; once admit a changing world and you admit the essence of evolution.

In reality there is indeed an "alternate philosophy" (which provides the basis for a variety of "intermediate positions").  This is based on the observable fact that all change brought about or made possible by natural influences is apparently also constrained, to a greater or lesser extent, by those self-same "laws of nature".  Thus the mere existence of some degree of change is not of itself sufficient to justify the assumption that changes can occur of the type needed to produce what is generally referred to as "evolution."

In fact, if we "admit a changing world" then all we have admitted is "a changing world."  If that was all there were of importance in the concept of "evolutionary change" then what would be left to warrant millions (billions?) of man hours of study and argument it has engendered over the last 150 years?

The Teleological Myth

One kind of error made by some of the experts consisted of variations on what might be called the "teleological myth" - the idea that evolution proceeds according to some predefined goal.  This is an idea utterly refuted by Neo-Darwinists today who are quite clear that the basis for all evolution - genetic variation - depends on randomly occurring events.  The statements below, made in 1925, only make sense in conjunction with the assumption that some kind of guiding principle is directing evolutionary processes.

Jacob Lipman ("soil scientist")
"Thus plants had to develop both as to quantity and quality in order that there might be sufficient food for the advancing forms of animal life."
(Italics added for emphasis)

This not only assumes some purposeful development, but implies that the mutations needed for change could be determined by external influences rather than simply being selected according to environmental factors.

Fay Cooper Cole (anthropologist)
"In the strata laid down at the end of the Pliocene period, at least 500,000 years ago, there has been found the bones of a being which appears to be an attempt of nature toward man."
(Italics added for emphasis)

And again:

Neither of these two beings [Pithecanthropus erectus and Australopithecus] are of certainty, directly ancestral to man, but they do seem to indicate that nature at a very early period was making experiments toward man.
(text in square brackets added for clarification)

In both quotes from Fay Cooper Cole we see again the implication that "nature" was struggling to achieve some predefined outcome - the rise of the human race.
Meanwhile Professor Newman came up with a claim that seems to fall somewhere between teleology and Lamarckism (the idea that physiological modifications during the life of a parent can be passed on to any offspring produced subsequent to the change:

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist)
"In each case the inheritance has undergone modification in harmony with the life needs of the organism.  This, of course, implies descent with modification, which is no more or less than evolution."

It also implies that inheritable mutations will occur in response to to environmental conditions.

Evolution Now

When Professor Theodosius Dobzhansky (zoologist and geneticist) published his work Genetics and the Origin of Species, in 1937, he defined evolution as "a change in the frequency of an allele within a gene pool".

Despite the dating of this statement, it still remains more or less intact as the generally accepted brief definition, thus:

"In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next."
Curtis, Helena and Barnes, N. Sue, Biology, 1989 (5th ed.).  Worth Publishers, p.974.

And as Laurence Moran, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Toronto, put it in an article for Talk.Origins (copyrighted 1993-1997):

"When biologists say that they have observed evolution, they mean that they have detected a change in the frequency of genes in a population."

Since Professor Moran appears to be in an excellent position to know what constiutes a generally acceptable definition of "evolution", this next quote is borrowed from his Talk.Origins article.
It interesting to note how the writer initially echoes Winterton C. Curtis' misleadingly vague comment about "evolution" in general (quoted above), but then collects himself and provides a specifically biological definition of the term.

"One of the most respected evolutionary biologists has defined biological evolution as follows:
In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve.  Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve.:nbsp; The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next.  Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
Futuyma, Douglas J. in Evolutionary Biology, 1986 (2nd edn.)

Note:   It is important to understand that all of these definitions contain an unannounced "fudge."  That is to say, they presuppose that the same processes which produce and conserve or eliminate the "slight changes" (sometimes referred to as micro-evolution), can under some circumstances lead to the "successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandilions" (otherwise known as macro-evolution).

Given that this presupposition is by no means universally accepted, it is hardly surprising that so many lay people are amazed to find that when a scientist says that he/she has "witnessed evolution" they may in fact be referring to an event that appears to be trivial in the extreme and which has no observable consequences for the line of organisms in whose gene pool it occurs.

Species are ...?

We are so familiar with the term "species", these days, that it may seem strange to find that, in 1925, scientists regarded it as a term without any practical meaning:

Maynard Metcalf (zoologist)
"In all this discussion I have not used the word "species."  There are no such things as species in nature. In nature we find different kinds of animals and plants.  The words 'species', 'genus', 'family', etc., are terms used to describe the fact that animals and plants differ among themselves and differ to different degrees.  Those that are closely similar, that is, closely related, we class in one species; those less closely related, but still not too different, we place in different species, putting the related species together in one genus and so on.
"Species, genera and so forth, are man-made pigeon holes in which to classify the real animals and plants seen in nature."

At this point it may seem that Metcalf is not being quite as vague about the meaning of "species" as it first appeared.  Later in his affidavit, however, he makes the situation unambiguously clear:

"The word species is indefinable, and is used by biologists merely as a convenience, and it has wholly different meanings when applied to different groups of animals and plants."

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist)
"The species is the unit of classification, but there is serious doubt as to whether species have any reality outside of the minds of taxonomists.  Certainly it is extremely difficult, if at all possible, exactly to draw sharp boundary lines between closely similar species.  When we examine a large number of individuals belonging to a given species we find that there are no two exactly alike in all respects.  As a rule there is a wide range of diversity within the limits of the group we call a species and the extreme variants are often so unlike the type form that, were it not for the intergrading stops between them, they would often be adjudged distinct species.  Moreover, the species of a prosperous genus are so variable that it becomes an almost impossible task to determine where one species ends and another begins, so closely do they intergrade one into another.  A species, then, is not a fixed and definite assemblage such as one would expect it to be if specially created as an immutable thing.  On the contrary, intensive study of any widely distributed species gives the impression of an intricate network of interrelated individuals changing in a great variety of ways."

Yet despite the admitted difficulties of defining the term "species", the various experts, including Metcalf and Newman, were quite happy to talk about them as though they were something that could be described quite easily and accurately:

Maynard Metcalf (zoologist)
"There are many genera of animals and plants in which most of all the species completely intergrade so that specific distinctions are purely artificial.
"This is true to large degree among the protozoan forms I have been studying recently.  I have made species among them on the basis of distinctions far too minute to be considered for a moment as of 'specific' value among, say insects or mammals."

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist)
"Evidences that species are changing today are quite direct in character, for more or less radical hereditary changes have been seen in the act of taking place, though, as yet, we have little knowledge of the causes responsible for them.  The discovery that species are changing at a noticeable rate at the present time is in itself strong evidence that they have changed in the past, and doubtless in the same ways and at the same rates of speed as those observable today; for even the convinced special creationist would hardly claim that species have remained immutable since their creation only to begin change during the present era."

Newman's claims are particularly interesting, but unfortunately he does not provide any evidence to support them.  What is he referring to when he says that: "more or less radical hereditary changes have been seen in the act of taking place"?  And if it is so difficult to identify a "species", what method could have been used, in 1925, to determine that, "species are changing at a noticeable rate"?  This latter point is highlighted by a later comment in Newman's affidavit where he writes:

If species are believed to be immutable it is difficult to understand why man should be such a diversified group as he is.

Since Newman was using the present tense, it appears that he was referring to 'modern man' here.  So was he suggesting that the four "races", as they were defined in the 1920s - black, red, yellow and white - are actually "species"?  If so then clearly the understanding of "species" was very different from the 21st century definition.

Under modern taxanomic classification, human beings are not a species at all, we are a subspecies, thus:

The latin name for human beings is homo sapiens sapiens, literal meaning "wise wise man", from the Latin verb sapere, to be wise.
This label applies to us and our ancestors as far back as far as the Cro-magnon people, where it distinguishes humans from another subspecies: homo sapiens neanderthalis - Neanderthal man, named after the Neander valley, in Germany, where the first identified remains were found.

Broken down into its taxonomic constituents, homo sapiens sapiens refers to:

  • Homo - genus;
  • Hominidae - family;
  • (Homo) sapiens - species.  Said to be only surviving species of the family hominidae;
  • (Homo sapiens) sapiens - subspecies.  Which consists exclusively of human beings.

More on Species

So, do we have a better understanding of species today than was available in 1925?  Well, not exactly.

It is obviously rather important that a genuinely scientific term should have some kind of universally agreed meaning, and this certainly applied to the term species.

In his book Genetics and the Origin of Species, Professor Dobzhansky put forward the following definition of the term "species":

"That stage of evolutionary progress at which the once actually or potentially interbreeding array of forms becomes segregated into two or more separate arrays which are physiologically incapable of interbreeding."

In the third edition of the book (1951), however, Dobzhansky altered his definition in line with that suggested by Professor Ernst Mayr in his book Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942) he wrote that a species is not a group of morphologically similar individuals, but:

"Groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations which are reproductively isolated from other such groups."

Rather than say that individuals could no longer interbreed, Mayr watered down the requirement to 'can't interbreed by virtue of their isolation from other groups with which they might interbreed, regardless of whether they are physiologically capable of interbreeding.'
(By the way, "interbreeding", in this context, refers to the ability to produce offspring who are themselves subsequently capable of producing offspring.)
Which is remarkably close to part of Professor Newman's definition at the Scopes Trial:

"Some of the extreme migrants become isolated from the main body of the species and, no longer inter-breeding with them, become at first well-marked local varieties and in time new species."

In practice, as Newman's statement indicates, Mayr's definition isn't really of species as such, but of the pre-requisite conditions under which new species could arise.  Thus Mayr went on to suggest that the rate and nature of hereditary changes (mutations) within each group would be specific to that one group (because such changes are random) and that natural selection, acting on these changes, would eventually bring about species which were substantatively different from each other and from the parent group.

So how do things stand today?
According to the Wikipedia entry for "species" - which seems to be in accord with several other descriptions I've come across:

"... the conception of species has undergone vast changes in biology, however no consensus on the definition of the word has yet been reached.

The writer goes on to say that whilst Mayr's definition is widely used, it has certain very clear limitations (for example, a definition based on sexual reproduction cannot be applied to life forms which reproduce asexually).  Thus there are now a number of alternative definitions:

  • Biological / Isolation species
  • Mate-recognition species
  • Microspecies
  • Morphological species
  • Phylogenetic / Evolutionary / Darwinian species
  • Typological species

It seems that although Maynard Metcalf had very little of the information that scientists have today, he was right on the money when he observed that:

"The word species is indefinable, and is used by biologists merely as a convenience, and it has wholly different meanings when applied to different groups of animals and plants."

Genetics Then and Now

One major difference between 1925 and 2006 is the emergence, in the early 1930's, of what became known as the "modern synthesis", so-called because it synthesized or merged the Darwinian concept of natural selection with the discoveries in genetics by Gregor Mendel and others.
Several pioneers of the modern synthesis, including Sewall Wright, were associated with the University of Chicago, so it isn't too surprising to find that Horatio Hackett Newman, also a professor at Chicago, showed the most accurate understanding of the subject.
Jacob Lipman's comments, for example, were essential correct, but lacking any kind of explanation:

Jacob Lipman (specialist in "soil science")
"The story of Genetics, which deals with the principles of plant and animal breeding, is full of interest.  It has to its credit more perfect flowers, fruit of higher yielding qualities and better flavor, fibre crops of superior fibre, sugar crops with a higher content of sugar, crops resistant to plant diseases, crops suitable for dry climates and wet climates, for sour soils and sweet soils, and, in general, for a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.  In the same way, genetics has made it possible for us to improve on the types of animals of economic importance in our farming industry."

Winterton C. Curtis (zoologist)
"The modern science of genetics is beginning to solve the problem of how evolution takes place, although this question is one of extreme difficulty."

Curtis was also aware of the shortcomings of natural selection, but apparently failed to anticipate how genetics and natural selection would soon be brought together to form the "modern synthesis" version of the theory of evolution:

"The initial step in evolution is the appearance of individual variations which are perpetuated by heredity, rather than the selection of variations after they have appeared.  The interest of investigators has shifted to problems of variation and heredity, as exemplified by the rise of the science of genetics."

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist; author of Evolution, Genetics and Eugenics (1921))
"Genetics may be defined as to the experimental and analytical study of variation and heredity, the two primary causal factors of organic evolution.  As such, genetics aim not so much at furnishing evidence of the fact of evolution as at discovering its causes.
Incidentally, however, man takes a hand in controlling evolutionary processes and actually observes new heredity types taking origin from old, he is observing at first hand the actual processes of evolution.  We shall merely say that the geneticist is an eye-witness of present-day evolution and is able to offer the most direct evidence that evolution is a fact."

Note:   It is an indication of the knowledge of genetics in 1925 that Newman draws no distinction between what is now called micro-evolution (limited genetic changes which can indeed be observed in nature and in the laboratory), and macro-evolution (a level of change that is assumed to result from the accumulation of favourable micro-evolutionary changes, but which remains stubbornly hypothetical (i.e. it has never been observed in any context).

Alas, Poor Darwin - I Knew Him Well

In Part 6 (Who Needs Darwin, Anyway?) we came across the claim, made by State Geologist Wibur Nelson, that geology in Tennessee had, for the last 97 years, been based on the assumption that evolution had taken place.  And we noted that 1925 minus 97 took us back to 1828, 31 years before Darwin's book On the Origin of Species was first published.  Strange as this may seem today, in 1925 it made very good sense - in America, at least:

Wibur A Nelson (geologist), in written evidence
"This is not a new study in Tennessee, as geology and its study of buried animal and plant remains has been taught in this state since 1828, at which time Gerard Troost, one of the founders of the Philadelphia Academy of Science, was elected professor of geology at the University of Nashville, and three years later was elected state geologist of Tennessee.  From that date to the present time, this science, dealing with the age and study of the earth, and its rocks and the buried life which they contain, has been continuously taught in Tennessee.
Such teaching could not have been carried on through ninety-seven years of time, unless the teaching of evolution had been permitted as it was permitted by our religious ancestors who formed this state.

Winterton C. Curtis (zoologist), in written evidence
"Modern evolutionism dates not from Darwin's "Origin of Species," published in 1859, but from the historic Naturello of Buffen, the first volume of which appeared in 1749, and from the work of the other philosopher-naturalists of the eighteenth century.  It is a sad comment upon the state of popular information that the practical facts of biological science are everywhere acknowledged, while the status of its greatest philosophical generalization remains so commonly unknown."

Curtis went on to explain:

"The importance of Darwin's work in the history of scientific thought is that it convinced science of the truth of organic evolution and proposed a then plausible theory of evolutionary causation.  Since Darwin's time evolution as the historic fact has received confirmation on every hand.  It is now regarded by competent scientists as the only rational explanation of an overwhelming mass of facts.  Its strength lies in the extent to which it gives meaning to so many phenomena that would be meaningless without such an hypothesis.
But the case of natural selection is far different.  Of recent years this theory of the causes of evolution has suffered a decline.  No other hypothesis, however, has completely displaced it.  It remains the most satisfactory explanation of the origin of adaptations, although its all-sufficiency is no longer accepted."

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist), quoted by Hays
"The secret of the difficulty lies in the fact that there are two Darwinisms, the popular one and the technic [sic] one.  The layman uses the term Darwinism as a synonym of evolution in the broadest sense; the evolutionist never uses the word in this sense, but always uses it as a synonym for natural selection, one of Darwin's chief theories. The general principle of evolution has nothing to do with natural selection.  The latter might be totally discredited without in the least shaking the validity of the principle.  But this situation is not at all understood by the antievolutionists, who believe that Darwinism (the principle of evolution) is inextricably bound up with Darwinism (the theory of natural selection)."

"Christian" Scientists?

In theory (that is to say, according to the ACLU), the scientific experts the defense team wanted to put on the stand were all Christians, thus making their evidence doubly important - once to explain what evolution was all about, and once to demonstrate that any "intelligent" Christian could live comfortably with both the teachings of Christianity and the teaching of evolution.
In practice, after reading the written testimony submitted by the scientists, a rather different picture emerges:

Firstly, it seems that only a minority of the scientific witnesses were prepared to express a view as to how evolutionism and God might comfortably co-exist, thus:

Jacob Lipman (specialist in "soil science")
"In following the laws laid down by the divine Creator, [man] has been able to fashion more perfect forms of plant and animal life."
"We are indebted to science for a clearer vision of the great laws of nature, and of the methods of the divine Creator."

Kirtley Mather (geologist)
"I believe that life as we know it is but one manifestation of the mysterious spiritual powers which permeate the universe."
"Although it is possible to construct a mechanistic evolutionary hypothesis which rules God out of the world, the theories of theistic evolution held by millions of scientifically trained Christian men and women lead inevitably to a better knowledge of God and a firmer faith in His effective presence in the world."

Maynard Metcalf (zoologist)
"God's growing revelation of Himself to the human soul cannot be realized without recognition of the evolutionary method He has chosen."
"God is just as truly and just as intimately acting in the gradual growth of a plant from a seed or a man from a fertilized egg as He would be in creating the full grown plant or man all at once in a thousandth part of a second of time."
"One of God's greatest revelations of Himself to man has come through His showing us His habit of producing results, by gradual growth, by evolution, rather than by immediate fiat."

Winterton Curtis (zoologist) also mentioned a "Creator", but without much enthusiasm or conviction and the passage in question looks more like a hypothetical scenario than a statement of belief:
"Another line of evidence is that of geographical distribution.  The facts in this connection are utterly senseless and insulting to an intelligent Creator, if viewed as a result of special creation.  One can simply say, 'God did it,; and not ask why.  But such explanations do not satisfy modern minds."

Whilst most of the experts probably agreed on this point, Professor Newman was almost alone when he made it unambiguously clear that, in his opinion, no god or creator had a hand in the "origin of species".

Horatio Hackett Newman (zoologist)
"All of the lines of evidence presented point strongly to organic evolution, and none are contrary to this principle.  Most of the facts, moreover, are utterly incompatible with the only rival explanation, special creation."

Newman's forthright statement was interestingly at odds with the attempts by other witnesses to gloss over this point in order to preserve the idea that a belief in evolution and a belief in the Genesis account were somehow compatible.

The Scopes "Monkey" Trial Site Map

A brief description of the Scopes Trial - the original proceedings, the effective fictionalising of the event in F.L. Allen's book Only Yesterday, and the confusion surrounding the play Inherit the Wind.  Also a short biography of the author.

Part 1: Summary
A short history of the events leading up to the Scopes Trial, the trial itself, and what happened afterwards.  Includes lists of the lawyers, witnesses, jurors, etc. involved in the Scopes Trial.  Explains why it was called the "Monkey" trial.

Part 2: Inherit the Wind
Looks at the real story behind the writing of the play Inherit the Wind, and some of the key differences between the play and the actual trial.  Explains where the title came from, and what it signifies.

Part 3: A Cult of Misinformation
The Scopes Trial has been the subject of a mountain of misinformation from the time of the trial through to the present day.  The members of this "cult" include not just journalists and authors but also lawyers, university professors, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and even the Library of Congress.  This section shows why the real life events are so widely misunderstood today.

Part 4: How it Began
Discusses the Butler Act (the basis for the charge against John Scopes), the action of the ACLU, the "Drugstore Conspiracy" which led to the trial being staged in Dayton, and how the two sets of lawyers were selected - or in some cases selected themselves.  This section includes the names of all of the lawyers on both sides.

Part 5: The Experts - and Others
Details of the expert witnesses due to give evidence for the defense - and two potential witnesses, one of whom did make an appearance (Piltdown Man), and one who didn't (Nebraska Man).

Part 6: The Expert Evidence
Arthur Hays claimed that the expert witnesses would deal only in "facts."  This section discusses specific items of "expert testimony" in the light of that claim and subsequent discoveries.

Part 7: Hunter's Civic Biology
Details of the true nature of the contents of Hunter's textbook A Civic Biology.

Part 8: The Trial - Part 1     In preparation
A timeline of the main events of the trial on a day-by-day basis.

Part 9: The Trial - Part 2
A detailed evaluation of the confrontation between Darrow and Bryan on the afternoon of day 7, with numerous quotes from the trial transcript and elsewhere.

Part 10: The Appeal
Many people know that the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the original result of the trial, but why?  Was John Scopes found "not guilty"?  What reasons did the Supreme Court give for their decision?
And what the heck is a nolle prosequi anyway?

Part 11: Was Scopes Guilty?
Another remarkable feature of the Scopes Trial was the number of lies involved - the biggest of which centers on the likelihood that the defense lawyers deliberately concealed the fact that Scopes was genuinely "not guilty."

Part 12: 80 Years of Evolution and Species
(Under Construction.  Additional material will be added.  Existing material may be subject to further editing.)
In Part 6 we looked at the kind of "evidence" offered by the expert witnesses.  In this section we look specifically at the meaning of terms such as "evolution" and "species" in 1925 and 2006.

Part 13: Education After the Scopes Trial
This section describes what happened to the teaching of evolutionary theory in American schools after the trial; and what Americans believe about the teaching of evolutionism and creationism today.

Part 14: Clarence Darrow - Attorney for the Damned?
Whilst the ACLU triggered the Scopes Trial, and the "drugstore conspirators" brought it to Dayton, the guiding force behind the events during the trial itself was Clarence Darrow.  This section looks at what motivated Darrow to essentially hi-jack the ACLU campaign and use it for his own ends.

Part 15: The Significance of the Scopes Trial
This section considers some of the many clashes in American society in the 1920s and considers whether they were genuine clashes, and if they were, what influence the Scopes Trial had an on any of them.
It also reveals what will be, for many people, surprising new information about the role of the University of Chicago in American culture at that time discovered by Professor of the History of Science, Edward Davis.

Part 16: The Play, the Movie and the Trial
(Under Construction.  Additional material will be added.  Existing material may be subject to further editing.)
A detailed examination of the differences between the play and first (1960) film version of Inherit the Wind, and the real life Scopes Trial.

Part 20: Links and Resources
A list of websites and books related to the Scopes Trial, including the trial transcript and the script of Inherit the Wind.