By the end of the play, Brown has totally alienated his daughter - in other words, he has literally "stirred up trouble in his own house", and as a consequence "inherits the wind" - is left with nothing when Rachel leaves home to go away with Cates.
Moreover, Brady's warning turns out to have a second, more personal meaning when, having supported an attitude of intolerance in the people of Hillsboro against evolutionist ideas, Brady first "cracks up" on the witness stand (at the end of Act 2, Scene 1), and then collapses and dies, apparently in a fit of apoplexy (Act 2, Scene 2).
By the mid-1930s the coming of the "modern synthesis" version of evolution had restored the concept of natural selection - originally outlined by a naturalist named Edward Blyth in the 1830s rather than Darwin in 1859 - to it's previous high standing. But speaking specifically about 1925 and the Scopes Trial, Darwinism was certainly not the be all and end all that it seems to be in the play and the film.
Did You Know...?
And there's more.
If you ever wondered where Lawrence and Lee (who were already 10 and 7 years old respectively when the Scopes Trial took place), got the names they gave to their leading characters? Here are some possibilities:
Their "hero," Bertram Cates shares his surname of the author of a law book which Tom Stewart, Bryan and Darrow all quoted from at one point or another during the trial.
Matthew Harrison Brady is structurally akin to the name William Jennings Bryan (three elements in each, same total number of letters (20), the lengths of the three elements are the same (7/8/5), the double letters occur in the same positions, and so on), but they are a long way short of being anagrams of each other. In fact, if we remove all matching letters we are still left with nearly half the letters in each name - TTHHARROD (Brady) and LLIJNNING (Bryan).
One possible source for the name of the fictional character might be Mathew (or Matthew) B. Brady. This was a nineteenth century photographer who became famous for the pictures he and his assistants took during the American Civil War. His New York Exhibition - The Dead of Antietam (1862) - brought the reality of battlefields littered with dead bodies home to a civilian population who had previously only seen such scenes in carefully arranged "artists' impressions". Did Lawrence or Lee perhaps remember hearing about Brady in a school history lesson?
The use of the name Henry Drummond seems to have been a far more obvious choice.
Scottish born Henry Drummond (1851-1897), would probably be best remembered in America as an popular preacher who, near the end of the century, assisted Dwight L. Moody during several of his revival campaigns.
Drummond was an ordained minister, a professor of theology, and a lecturer in natural science. He was also an evangelical, an evolutionist and a supporter of "higher criticism" who wrote several books. One of his most successful works was Natural Law in the Spiritual World, published in 1883, which was a clear attempt to harmonise evolution and Christian beliefs. It sold 70,000 copies in five years and made him famous.
The possible connection seems to be supported by the stage instructions for the closing moments of Inherit the Wind where we are told that Drummond should pick up a copy of the Bible and a copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species, hold them one in each hand (as though weighing them) and then put them side-by-side in his case, not placing either one on top of the other.
Another apparent in-joke in the play script is the name of Brady's assistant - Tom Davenport. In the real world, the chief prosecuting lawyer was Tom Stewart, attorney general for the 18th judicial district (which included Dayton), not the local district attorney, as in the play and movie.
We can get the full name of this character by combining "Tom" with the surname of Charles B. Davenport, an unmitigated pseudo-scientist who had set up the Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, in 1910 - and who contributed some fairly choice sections to Hunter's textbook Civic Biology, such as:
"Parasitism and its Cost to Society. - Hundreds of families such as those described above exist today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites.
"The Remedy. - If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country."
(Italics added for emphasis)
In real life one of Bryan's main reasons for opposing evolutionist ideas, apart from any religious considerations, was his belief that they supported eugenics, a form of social engineering, which he found totally abhorent.
It is interesting to note that Bryan's views on the subject owed a lot to his impressions of the German military gained during World War 1. His worst fears were realised only a few years later when, under the Nazi regime, Germany instituted a far reaching programme of social and racial "purification" that eventually led to the extermination of more than 6 million people including the mentally sub-normal, homosexuals, Jews and anyone else Hitler and his cronies didn't approve of.
As a historical note, the "various ways" mentioned in The Remedy really meant compulsory sterilization or even "involuntary euthenasia." Several US states had introduced sterilization for people - especially women - in certain groups considered socially undesirable as far back as 1907 (Indiana) and 1909 (Washington and California). Rates of compulsory sterilization climbed steadily in the US after an 8-1 ruling by the US Supreme Court in favour of forced sterilization in the 1927 case of Bell vs. Buck, in Virginia. The practice wasn't seriously challenged until 1942 when another case - Skinner vs. Oklahoma - led eventually to another Supreme Court ruling on the matter. The 1942 decision didn't actually reverse the previous ruling, but it muddied the waters enough to deter further activity in many States (though a few retained the practice till the early 1960s).
Likewise the idea of confining 'undesirables' in asylums must be set against the widespread understanding that the inmates of such institutions, in America, had a significantly higher mortality rate than was found in the general population due to factors such as filthy conditions and the easy spread of infectious diseases, inadequate diet and poor staffing. For many, "separating the sexes in asylums or other places" was indeed a process which was likely to "kill them off to prevent them from spreading." It was quite literally the "Final Solution" that Charles Davenport pretended to regard as being unacceptable.