Evolution Is Schools Essay, Research Paper
Position on Evolution
In 1925, schools had a very standard and general curriculum. Much of this curriculum was based on Christian beliefs and morals. No one dreamed of challenging these values. Especially in the school classroom, where budding minds strived for new knowledge, and any new ideas could possibly spark secular beliefs totally contradictory to what was taught in Christian households. When John Thomas Scopes, a science teacher in a rural Tennessee school, began to teach evolution in his classroom, a violation of the Butler Act, parents went into an uproar and demanded that Scopes be fired immediately. The Butler Act stated that no teacher be allowed to teach any philosophy or belief that contradicted biblical truths. The school system agreed with the parent?s demands, and he was fired. Scopes, being a firm believer in evolutionism, was appalled by the decision of the school board. Scopes claimed that there was no way to prove that creationism was no more than a theory, and factually no more true than were the beliefs upheld in evolutionism. Scopes decided to take this issue to court, and the media was there to blow this small country trial into a heated national debate.
The trial was basically very simple, but the extent to which beliefs were challenged was a landmark event in the debate of creationism vs. evolution. The prosecution utilized William Jennings Bryant, a renowned politician with firm Christian beliefs, and a knack for pleasing popular opinion. The only thing on trial was whether or not Scopes violated the Butler Act. The trial was blown out of proportion partly due to the defense?s choice of representation. Clarence Darrow was known nationally for his work as a very accomplished defense lawyer. Darrow?s defense consisted of challenging the Butler Act and the constitutionality of the law itself.
The outcome of the trial was very clear, and could have been a simple ruling. Scopes was found guilty of violating the Butler Act and fined $100. The issue of whether evolution should be taught in schools became the biggest issue, however, lifting the focus from law to morals.
From my knowledge in the background of this trial and the final decisions that may have a say in the belief structures of many people today, I believe that schools (excluding colleges and universities), should teach nothing other than factual knowledge about the origin of earth, and possibly the origination of human life. The philosophical or religious reasons for these beliefs should not interfere with academic education provided by the physical world. I believe strongly on this issue, no differently than many people, and I will tell many of the reasons why with the insight of an article writt