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The Scopes Trial is properly known as The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes, it was a case in which a teacher, John Scopes, was put on trial for breaching the Butler Act. The act made it illegal to teach human evolution is any state-paid school. At its center the trial was basically evolution versus creation. John T. Scopes agreed to be a trial case to attack the new law. There were two of the biggest lawyers fighting this case from both sides, for the prosecution, William Jenning Bryan who was the state attorney and for the defense, Clarence Darrow who was a renowned defense attorney. Bryan was a former U.S. presidential candidate, a Christian and a pacifist, he believed that the theory of evolution led to some dangerous social movements and that the Bible should be interpreted literally. Darrow on the other hand was an avowed adversary in religious matters, he was a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union and he was a Georgist and a prominent advocate for Georgism. Just like everything at this time it was a clash of traditional views, that were tried and true with many believers, and more modern views, that were changing many things. Evolution is the belief that everything in life is related from one common ancestor, as random genetic mutations occur within the genetic code, beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival – this is called “natural selection”. Creation is the belief that “God” created the heavens, earth, all animals, all human, all plants, everything that exists in the universe. The American Civil Liberties Union was not a fan of the Butler Act, so they offered to represent anyone who was accused of teaching the theory of evolution under the Butler Act. A local manager of the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company met up with the county superintendent of schools and a local attorney saying that it would be a really good publicity stunt that would draw attention to the small town. The three then ask Scopes to admit to teaching evolution even though he did not remember if he ever did, he agreed to be a part of the proceedings but only if they could prove that he taught it and if he qualified as a defendant. These pictures might not represent the trial at a glance but they represent the core values and what I saw as some of the biggest points of the trial. My pictures actually might be biased due to the fact that I believe in the theory of evolution a lot more than the thought of creation. I do not like the motives behind the trial but many questionable things happened in that era, when it was a time of testing old faiths with new ideas. It showed that it was okay to challenge things and making people think about what they believed in. Overall this trial did not drastically change the social view on anything, but it set in motion the changing of views.

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