Bible Versus Evolution Essay, Research Paper
“All of you know what I stand for – what I believe! I believe in the truth of the Book of Genesis! Exodus! Leviticus! Numbers! Deuteronomy! Joshua! Judges! Ruth! First Samuel! Second Samuel! First Kings! Second Kings! Isaiah! Jerimiah! Lamentations! Ezeikiel …” This is the near manical cry of the character Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind. His cry ends as a plea, after coming to realize that his argument is now weak.
Throughout the play, based on the Scopes Monkey Trials, the jury was to decide whether or not Cates’ teaching of evolution was illegal. Henry Drummon volunteered to be part of Cates’ council. He was not there to defend the teachings of the Bible, nor to encourage the teachings of evolution. Drummond respected Cates’ choice, and set out to defend him as well as he could.
During the trial, there were two books by Charles Darwin that remained on the defense table. The first was Origin of Species and the second was Descent of Man. At the end of the play, Drummond picked up Origin of Species in one hand and the Bible in the other. He balanced them as if they were each set on one side of a scale. Not only did he physically “balance” them, but he mentally balanced them as well. The balancing of the books was to show that the two theories are equal and in learning, one theory should not be thought of as better. Drummond’s actions can be seen as a way to summarize the play.
In the beginning, the teachings of the Bible were put first and no other teachings would be allowed. As the trial in the play went on, the townspeople began to see that Cates’ teaching of evolution was just that. Cates taught the theory of evolution, but did not force the students to think it the only theory, or the only way. Brady saw the teachings of the Bible as the only way, and did not allow room for other theories. In the end, he seemed somewhat crazy for not allowing another theory to exist in his mind. Brady may not have allowed himself to accept this, but the townspeople saw the original argument as silly. So, maybe, the two theories are in fact equal.
Inherit the Wind.