for Truth

by Bruce Malone

Inherit The Lie

The major event leading to the general acceptance of evolution in America was not the publication of Darwin’s book in 1859. The defining moment for evolution was the publicity surrounding the Scopes Monkey Trial. What most people know about the creation position is colored by the fictional dramatization, Inherit the Wind.

This Broadway play was first released in 1955. The movie was released in 1960 and variations have been used in countless high school drama prod-uctions. The play even has it’s own Internet site which claims that the drama is so popular that, “It has been performed almost every night somewhere in the world.” Yet the entire production is a fab-rication which grossly distorts the reality of the true historical events.

The pervasive influence of the one-sided publicity surrounding the Scopes Monkey Trial makes the truth of the trial relatively unknown. In 1925 Tennessee had a symbolic law which outlawed the teaching of evolution by public funds. The purpose of this law was to gain public support for science education by assuring citizens that public education would not be used to undermine religious beliefs. {Note: This is a sadly common occurrence today.} The ACLU advertised for a defendant willing to contest this law and found John Scopes and local supporters in Dayton, Tennessee. Scopes had briefly taught biology as a substitute and was willing to serve as defendant in the case (although he later admitted that he had never taught evolution). The town equally and openly welcomed both the famous defense attorney, Clarence Darrow (to defend evolution), and the great orator and three time presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryant, who acted as prosecuting attorney (to defend the Biblical record of history). John Scopes was never ridiculed or vilified nor did he spend a single hour in jail. Clarence Darrow’s goal, identical to modern ACLU goals, was to rid public education of respect for and acknowledgment of God’s existence and to replace our educational foundation with naturalism.

“We now have the reverse situation - the presentation of scientific evidence for creation is not allowed in public school classrooms and fabricated dramas such as Inherit the Wind, which portrays Christianity as narrow-minded bigotry, are welcomed.”

Unfortunately, William Jennings Byrant was scientifically illiterate and incapable of defending those areas where the Bible does touch on either scientific truth or the history of the past from a scientific perspective. Darrow, on the other hand, was a brilliant attorney who made Byrant’s defense of the Bible sound ridiculous. As a result, the media was able to portray the creation position as total foolishness. In retrospect, those defending the evolution position could have been shown just as foolish as they confidently cited the fraudulent Piltdown man and the single tooth of Nebraska man (it turned out to be a pigs tooth) as proof that apes had turned into people. However, it is the media which determines public opinion, and the media had decided that creation was bigoted religion and evolution was scientific truth.

In the drama, Inherit the Wind, Christians are portrayed as narrow-minded religious bigots and Scopes is shown as an open-minded defender of truth and freedom. In the closing scene Darrow balances the Bible in one hand and Darwin’s Origin of the Species in the other. After due consideration, Darrow throws both into his briefcase symbolizing that there is really no disagreement and both are of equal importance. Propaganda and hogwash. Yet the drama is so powerfully done that most people accept to some degree this portrayal of creation and believe the drama’s conclusions without even viewing the facts.

Although Inherit the Wind seems to be a drama about the freedom to think, it paints Christians as hypocrites in order to discredit the creation position. Furthermore, we now have the reverse situation - the presentation of scientific evidences for creation is not allowed in public school classrooms and fabricated dramas such as Inherit the Wind, which portrays Christianity as narrow-minded bigotry, are welcomed.

Isn’t it ironic how a drama, which supposedly encourages free thinking, is used to form public opinion in such a way to exclude the possibility of allowing evidence for creation into schools - thus limiting “free thinking”.

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