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20 Questions About the Scopes Trial (On its 81st Anniversary, some background on the Monkey Trial)
American Heritage Events ^ | Monday July 10, 2006 | Frederic D. Schwarz

Posted on 07/10/2006 6:11:09 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger

The Scopes “monkey” trial, which began 81 years ago today, is one of the most frequently revisited events in American history. As creationism keeps popping up in new guises, such as Creation Science and Intelligent Design, the Scopes trial gets dusted off for each new generation. The trial has been an evergreen subject for dramatizations and documentaries on stage, film, and television, most recently on the History Channel series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America. But how true to life have these accounts of the Scopes trial been? Here are some questions and answers to help our readers keep things straight.

Q. Wasn’t the whole trial basically a publicity stunt?

A. Pretty much. After the Tennessee legislature passed its anti-evolution law in March 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union advertised for a test subject, and a Dayton teacher named John Scopes volunteered to be the defendant. Scopes was a physics teacher who had occasionally taught biology as a substitute; he could not specifically remember mentioning evolution to his students, but he thought he probably had at some point. A fellow opponent of the law from Dayton swore out the complaint against him.

Although the Dayton court was not sitting at the time—and if you’ve ever experienced a Tennessee summer without air conditioning, you’ll understand why—a special session was called to try Scopes before any other place could (several Tennessee cities hoped to generate a test case and reap the attendant bonanza in tourism and publicity). Evolutionists knew they would lose the case and planned to challenge the law further on appeal, though it’s unlikely that they would have gotten anywhere.

Q. Was there any chance of Scopes being sent to jail or having to pay a fine out of his own pocket?

A. No. The law made no provision for imprisonment, and newspapers and evolution supporters had agreed to pay all Scopes’s fines and legal costs. In the end, the jury convicted him (an outcome both sides had requested) and fined him $100. In 1927 the Tennessee Supreme Court voided the fine, though not the conviction itself, on a technicality.

Q. What was the technicality, by the way? No one ever explains that.

A. Tennessee law required the fine to be assessed by the jury and not, as had happened in Dayton, by the judge.

Q. Did the law in question prohibit all teachers from saying anything that might conflict with a literal reading of the Bible?

A. No, it applied specifically to evolution. The exact wording was: “It shall be unlawful . . . to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” The law applied to public colleges as well as public schools.

Q. Isn’t that blatantly unconstitutional?

A. By today’s standards, yes. But in the 1920s, courts interpreted the “establishment of religion” clause much more narrowly. Not until 1962 did the U.S. Supreme Court declare state-sponsored school prayer to be illegal, so it’s unlikely that the Supreme Court would have consented to hear a challenge to this law, particularly since the law did not require any religious observance but merely prohibited certain subjects from being taught.

Q. Was the law ever repealed?

A. Yes, in 1967, though it had long since been widely ignored.

Q. Was William Jennings Bryan a fundamentalist?

A. Not really. He was a creationist, meaning that he believed God had created the natural world more or less intact and that there was no such thing as evolution. He also believed that many of the miracles described in the Bible were literally true, but that parts of it had been written in simple language that people in ancient times could understand. So according to the modern understanding of “fundamentalism” (as distinguished from Fundamentalism, which is a specific denomination with well-defined beliefs), Bryan did not adhere to the doctrine, though he was in broad sympathy with it.

Q. Was it ill-advised for Bryan to agree to testify as an expert on creationism and the Bible?

A. Not really. The only problem was that he’d had no time to prepare, so he sounded sluggish at times. Bryan was well versed in the literature of creationism and had spoken and written on the subject often, so he knew what he was talking about. Darrow’s decision to call Bryan as a witness was unexpected and may have backfired, as it made his relentless badgering on minute points seem mean-spirited.

Q. Was the trial an epic debate between reason and faith?

A. Hardly. The first six days were spent on procedural matters, speeches by the attorneys, and prepared testimony from assorted experts. These statements repeated what advocates of the two sides had been saying for years, and if the trial had included nothing more than them, it would have been quickly forgotten. The only reason anyone remembers the Scopes trial today is for Clarence Darrow’s examination of William Jennings Bryan on the seventh day. Yet for all the hoopla that accompanied that showdown at the time, and all the attention it has received ever since, when you read the transcript, it looks mighty limp.

The two clashing titans spent most of their time rehashing chestnuts like the origin of Cain’s wife, the sun standing still at the battle of Jericho, and the snake being condemned to crawl on his belly. Along the way they quibbled over whether Jonah was swallowed by a fish or a whale (and whether the beast in question had been created specifically for the purpose of swallowing Jonah or was an ordinary specimen of its type), quarreled about the difference between “interpretations” and “comments,” and spent several minutes with pencil and paper calculating exactly how long it had been since the Tower of Babel was built.

At times the two men came across like pettish schoolboys. After Darrow asked Bryan “how many people there were in China 5,000 years ago” and Bryan, unsurprisingly, was unable to answer, the following dialogue ensued:

DARROW: Have you ever tried to find out?

BRYAN: No, sir; you are the first man I ever heard of who was interested in it.

DARROW: Mr. Bryan, am I the first man you ever heard of who has been interested in the age of human societies and primitive man?

BRYAN: You are the first man I ever heard speak of the number of people at these different periods.

DARROW: Where have you lived all your life?

BRYAN: Not near you. [Laughter and applause]

DARROW: Nor near anybody of learning?

BRYAN: Oh, don’t assume you know it all.

In his examination, Darrow alternated between quizzing Bryan on scientific trivia in an attempt to reveal his ignorance and asking Bryan if he believed in the literal truth of various Bible stories. Bryan shrugged off most of Darrow’s questions as unimportant, Darrow responded with sarcasm, and that was their historic confrontation.

Q. What were the basic arguments?

A. Darrow’s argument was that (a) creationism conflicts with modern science, so it must be incorrect, (b) the Bible contains illogicalities, contradictions, and impossibilities, so it cannot be taken literally, and (c) since evolution and the Bible can be reconciled, there is no conflict between science and religion. Bryan’s argument was that (a) God can override the laws of nature with miracles, (b) God’s revealed truth supersedes scientific evidence, (c) when man cannot explain or understand the Bible, it shows that man’s wisdom is inferior to God’s, not that the Bible is untrue, and (d) the science of the day was not conclusive about evolution—for example, different scientists gave estimates of the earth’s age ranging from 24 million to 300 million years.

Q. Did Darrow embarrass or humiliate Bryan, or maneuver him into contradicting himself?

A. There is no evidence that Bryan felt embarrassed or humiliated. When a fellow member of the prosecution team repeatedly asked the judge to stop the examination, Bryan insisted on continuing. Bryan did admit that the six “days” in which God created the world might have been geological eras of undetermined length, rather than 24-hour periods, but he had been saying that for years, and it did not conflict with his view that the Bible excluded the possibility of evolution.

Q. Did Darrow make Bryan lose his composure?

A. At the end, both Darrow and Bryan lost their composure and descended to name-calling. Their final exchange, which ended with both men on their feet and shaking their fists, went like this:

BRYAN: . . . I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in a God, is trying to use a court in Tennessee—

DARROW: I object to that.

BRYAN: To slur at it, and, while it will require time, I am willing to take it.

DARROW: I object to your statement. I am examining you on your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.

At which point the judge mercifully adjourned the proceedings.

Q. Did the audience turn on Bryan?

A. Absolutely not. He repeatedly elicited cheers or appreciative laughter from the audience, and their support was at least as strong at the end as it had been at the beginning.

Q. Then who won the debate?

A. Most creationists thought Bryan had won, except a few who differed with him on doctrinal matters. Most evolutionists thought Darrow had won. Since the bulk of the examination covered very familiar ground, it’s hard to imagine anyone’s mind being changed by it, despite all the fireworks. In 1925 the vast majority of scientists agreed with Darrow in rejecting creationism, and the same is true today. From the standpoint of who had the stronger scientific argument, then, Darrow was an easy winner.

When considered from the standpoint of who made a stronger impression at the time, the debate was pretty much a draw. In trying to prove that Bryan’s creationism rested on shaky assumptions and incomplete knowledge, Darrow scored some points, though the question ultimately came down to faith and belief. In trying to prove that Bryan’s creationism was self-contradictory, however, he failed. If you accept Bryan’s assumptions that God is omnipotent and the Bible is his revealed truth, then Bryan’s version of creationism is entirely defensible—not the only possible interpretation, to be sure, but one that is consistent with itself.

Q. Was Bryan a scientific ignoramus?

A. His scientific knowledge was certainly not broad, and his reading about paleontology and similar topics was selective at best. But he was not a total know-nothing. He quoted writers and evidence that supported him and wrote off the rest as unimportant.

Q. Did the trial leave Bryan a broken man?

A. No. He died of a heart attack five days after it ended, but in view of his age (65), hefty girth, and general poor health, that hardly came as a surprise. The day before his death, he made an antievolution speech before 8,000 cheering supporters.

Q. Did the trial prevent a wave of creationism from sweeping the nation?

A. There’s no way of knowing for sure, but there is little evidence that other states had anything similar in mind when Tennessee passed its law in 1925. By the end of the decade, two more states (Mississippi and Arkansas) had enacted similar laws—so if anything the trial may have caused at least a ripple of creationism.

Q. How did contemporary observers see the trial?

A. As Ronald L. Numbers wrote in Darwinism Comes to America (1998), “In his last dispatch from Dayton to the Baltimore Evening Sun, H. L. Mencken declared that Genesis had emerged ‘completely triumphant’ from the battle. ‘There are other States,’ he advised, ‘that had better look to their arsenals before the Hun is at their gates.’” Numerous others on both sides of the debate made similar predictions about the spread of creationism, some fearfully and some triumphantly.

Q. Then why does everyone think that Bryan was a doddering old fool and Darrow wiped the floor with him?

A. That notion seems to have started with Frederick Lewis Allen’s Only Yesterday, a retrospective of the 1920s that was published in 1931. Allen is perhaps the best popular historian America has ever known, but in this case, whether through selective memory or wishful thinking, he turned the outcome of the trial on its head. Since Allen’s book was so widely read, its version became the accepted one.

Q. So what you’re saying is that Inherit the Wind, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s 1955 play based on the Scopes trial (which was made into a film in 1960), in which a defeated character based on Bryan breaks down and cries on the witness stand, is alternative history?

A. Exactly. The only difference is that if someone writes a play in which the South wins the Civil War, everyone knows it’s fiction. With Inherit the Wind, all too many people seem to think it’s fact.

—Frederic D. Schwarz is a senior editor of American Heritage magazine.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: byran; crevo; crevolist; darrow; history; inheritthewind; monkeytrial; pavlovian; scopes; scopestrial
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1 posted on 07/10/2006 6:11:13 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
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To: gobucks; mikeus_maximus; MeanWestTexan; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; Elsie; LiteKeeper; ...


You have been pinged because of your interest regarding matters of Creation vs. Evolution - from the young-earth Creationist perspective. Freep-mail me if you want on/off this list.



This is for historical discussion, not flame wars. Let's try to leave the big debates off of this thread.

I learned from this, since the Scopes Trial was before my time, and likely yours. On the anniversary, it's interesting to read up on.

Scopes Trial Questions and Answers - Lotta material there.

Wikipedia has a good account also.
2 posted on 07/10/2006 6:14:30 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Did man Ascend from Ape???

Experts Say....


3 posted on 07/10/2006 6:14:48 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Interesting post. Talk about a 'show trial'.


4 posted on 07/10/2006 6:16:16 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: DaveLoneRanger

OT...Dave

Just trying to spread this around.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1663169/posts

Thanks,

3


5 posted on 07/10/2006 6:18:12 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Carry Daily, Apply Sparingly.)
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To: Junior

Archive


6 posted on 07/10/2006 6:19:16 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Hahaha. Hope to move to Dayton soon.
How anyone could have stood that hot court room is beyond
me.
Nice country round abouts, and property prices are low.

bump.


7 posted on 07/10/2006 6:25:38 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

SPOTREP


8 posted on 07/10/2006 6:28:23 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Nice post.

I'd say things haven't changed much.

9 posted on 07/10/2006 6:33:35 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("He hits me, he cries, he runs to the court and sues me.")
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To: DaveLoneRanger
A. No. The law made no provision for imprisonment, and newspapers and evolution supporters had agreed to pay all Scopes’s fines and legal costs. In the end, the jury convicted him (an outcome both sides had requested) and fined him $100.

Here's the $64,000 question: If the jurors had known that beginning in just 13 short years, ideologies based upon evolution were going to plunge the world into WW-II, turn Europe into a pigpen from end to end, and kill tens of millions of people, would the fine have been more than the hundred dollars it actually was?

10 posted on 07/10/2006 6:39:28 PM PDT by tomzz
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Just one of the first examples of how the ACLU and other humanists love to use Big Government to tell other people how to run their lives and raise their children.

Did the ACLU and other humanists, in this show trial, show their hand and make a direct assault against the Bible? No, they had to pretend their interest was in free speech and the freedom of ideas and all. The fact is, the ACLU and other minority humanists wanted to eventually use the Government Public School system as their own little indoctrination day camps. That is why they fight so hard to control the education of other peoples children in local schools far, far from their liberal headquarters.

Big government oligarchy. That is what those who agree with the ACLU are swallowing as a means to the end they desire. They love Big Brother to ignore two hundred years of Constitutional precedent and obvious intent because they are on the wrong side of history and they know it.

The last fifty years of judicial activism nearly all dogmatic humanists support is the tribute they pay to the ACLU and liberalism, because neither of them agree with the real Constitution, but instead they pretend the new, judge-trampled version is the correct one.

11 posted on 07/10/2006 6:41:54 PM PDT by OriginalIntent (Undo the ACLU's revison of the Constitution. If you agree with the ACLU revisions, you are a liberal)
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To: tomzz
If the jurors had known that beginning in just 13 short years, ideologies based upon evolution were going to plunge the world into WW-II, turn Europe into a pigpen from end to end, and kill tens of millions of people,

Didn't Hitler execute evolutionists?

12 posted on 07/10/2006 7:11:25 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Just wondering... does anyone know if Faye Ray's character in King Kong - Ann Darrow - is meant to be an inside Scopes Trial joke?


13 posted on 07/10/2006 7:12:12 PM PDT by r-q-tek86 (** Tagline Removed By Admin Moderator **)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

... Fun little side story... I've been picked for a jury before because the lawyer thought I'd bring him luck...

You see... Clarence is my third cousin, thrice removed.


14 posted on 07/10/2006 7:21:31 PM PDT by r-q-tek86 (** Tagline Removed By Admin Moderator **)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

The exchanges between Darrow and Bryan read like a classic FR crevo thread.


15 posted on 07/10/2006 7:33:30 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: OriginalIntent; wintertime
The fact is, the ACLU and other minority humanists wanted to eventually use the Government Public School system as their own little indoctrination day camps.

BUMP

16 posted on 07/10/2006 7:38:51 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: DaveLoneRanger
So the ACLU advertised for someone to use to have the trial. Evolution is just a useful tool, for the time being, to be used to get God and the Bible out of the schools. It's not about science at all. My guess is that the ACLU doesn't give a rip about whether evolution is supported scientifically or not.

...(as distinguished from Fundamentalism, which is a specific denomination with well-defined beliefs),

Strange, I've never heard of an actual denomination called *Fundamentalism*. It'd be interesting to know where he got that one.

17 posted on 07/10/2006 7:40:06 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

To me the big error is to link evolution theory to religion. Man is the only animal that needs religion. History cites many various "religious" actions/belief which came and went long before the "Christan Era". IMHO ther will always be "religion" to satisfy mans need for it.


18 posted on 07/10/2006 7:54:15 PM PDT by Waco
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To: tomzz
You have chosen tool number 1 from column B-Stupidity & Lunacy out of the evolution troll's toolkit.
19 posted on 07/10/2006 8:32:08 PM PDT by Deadshot Drifter (Lib Wackos have the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CRIDers have the Discovery Institute)
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To: tet68

Dayton is a nice town.

There is a particularly nice art museum on a hilltop, architecture is like an old Greek temple. The contents change over time, but they usually have a very good selction.

My brother has lived near Dayton for quite a while.

And a number of nice watering holes downtown, near 4th Street. Pinewoods, is one in particular I remember.


20 posted on 07/10/2006 8:34:16 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (Brother, can you Paradigm?)
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To: metmom
So the ACLU advertised for someone to use to have the trial.

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, did basically the same thing in searching out school boards all over the country and offering free legal representation to any that would impliment Intelligent Design into their biology classes.

Later he and the DI had a spat about whether DI had ever discussed trying to get ID psuedo-science into schools.

21 posted on 07/10/2006 8:39:44 PM PDT by Deadshot Drifter (Lib Wackos have the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CRIDers have the Discovery Institute)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
A. Darrow’s argument was that (a) creationism conflicts with modern science, so it must be incorrect, (b) the Bible contains illogicalities, contradictions, and impossibilities, so it cannot be taken literally...hmmm - sort of like the square root of minus one in mathematics - so illogical and contradictory that it's actually plugged into equations as "i", for imaginary - maybe we shouldn't take the age of the universe as calculated by that mathematics too seriously either......
22 posted on 07/10/2006 9:15:09 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Deadshot Drifter
...Thomas More Law Center, did basically the same ...

The difference is that the ACLU and other leftists are the ones who began this modern "judicial crapshoot" because the real Constitution had held their unAmerican values and ideas in check for two centuries.

The American people would not vote to overturn the Constitution on many long-settled issues, so the liberals used any means necessary to get judges to overturn the meaning of the Constitution's intent by way of judicial activism. Extreme, big government abuse of the Constitution by a nine member oligarchy.

When people of the ACLU ilk who do not like the Constitution began to shop for liberal judges, they did it because they could not get their radical ideas forced onto the American people against their wishes by ethical means.

No one has any room to complain about judge shopping by conservatives when it has been abused by liberals since FDR was in power.

One Constitution-ignoring judge after the other have overturned any law that disagreed with their personal, political view of what the Constitution should have meant if the founders had just been as smart as an ACLU, fundamentalist-humanist radical.

That is all the justification these liberal elitists ever need for their dirty work.

This same nonsense is the justification the radical Michael Newdow is using to try to get "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, as if that was a violation of the establisment clause as understood by the original thirteen states who voted to live under the Constitution in the first place.

23 posted on 07/10/2006 9:21:47 PM PDT by OriginalIntent (Undo the ACLU's revison of the Constitution. If you agree with the ACLU revisions, you are a liberal)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
I agree that the Scopes trial has been blown out of proportion. Whatever did or didn't happen there has no bearing on the validity of the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution or on the constitutionality of teaching creationism, intelligent design, or the DI's latest tactic, teaching so-called "weaknesses" of evolution.
24 posted on 07/10/2006 9:55:36 PM PDT by curiosity
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To: OriginalIntent
Judges do sometimes thwart the will of the people. California's old Prop 187 being thrown out (I think thatt's the right number) before it even took effect, comes to mind.

But The TM Law Center and Discovery Institute wanted to test the waters with ID and they continue to whine that they didn't get the outcome they wanted.

25 posted on 07/10/2006 10:26:37 PM PDT by Deadshot Drifter (Lib Wackos have the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CRIDers have the Discovery Institute)
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To: Deadshot Drifter
Judges do sometimes thwart the will of the people.

They should have thwarted the will of the ACLU and other fundamentalist-humanists who for the last fifty years have used the courts to throw out two hundred years of legal understanding of intent, replacing it with their activist version.

The point is that the liberal courts felt free to ignore the Constitution and reinvent the first amendment's establishment clause so it would suddenly have a meaning that it never had for two hundred years.

From this new, novel, liberal invention they created without using legal amendment, they can undo any well established law of the people that matches the understanding that existed for most of the first two centuries under the Constitution.

The battle in this country between the radicals and the conservatives has long been a battle over the Constitution.

The Constitution matched the conservative's understanding, so the liberals did anything possible, even the unethical, in order to force the Constitution to match their impossible revision.

Of course conservatives should complain, their Constitution has been stolen right out from under them by judges taking on the role of illegal legislators.

The very idea of someone who agrees with the liberal, artificial revision of the First Amendment complaining about a conservative who knows a ruling to be unjust is laughable. Of course liberal rulings based upon an illegal revision is unjust, unless you agree with the liberal's judge-made revision.

26 posted on 07/11/2006 12:34:56 AM PDT by OriginalIntent (Undo the ACLU's revison of the Constitution. If you agree with the ACLU revisions, you are a liberal)
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To: r-q-tek86

Was your tagline really removed by the moderator, or is that a joke?


27 posted on 07/11/2006 5:53:42 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: Deadshot Drifter; metmom

In other words "IDers did/do it TOOOOO!"


28 posted on 07/11/2006 6:04:05 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I was told to "lose" my tagline. Until I receive instructions on what tagline they would like me to have, I will leave this one as quiet protest and subtle warning for any who might anger the FR gods.


29 posted on 07/11/2006 10:12:12 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (** Tagline Removed By Admin Moderator **)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
In other words "IDers did/do it TOOOOO!"

Yep. Except, two or three of their witnesses, school board members, blatantly lied. Oxycontin indeed.

30 posted on 07/11/2006 4:40:57 PM PDT by Deadshot Drifter (Lib Wackos have the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CRIDers have the Discovery Institute)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

This is for historical discussion, not flame wars. Let's try to leave the big debates off of this thread.

Now how can there be 'historical discussion' about something you obviously think is pertinent to 'big debates', while avoiding those issues, on which you have taken a side?

This is called disingenuous. Why don't you just say you don't want any contrary opinions posted?

31 posted on 07/11/2006 5:55:24 PM PDT by ml1954 (NOT the BANNED disruptive troll who was seen frequently on CREVO threads.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Q. Then why does everyone think that Bryan was a doddering old fool and Darrow wiped the floor with him?

A. That notion seems to have started with Frederick Lewis Allen’s Only Yesterday, a retrospective of the 1920s that was published in 1931

H.L. Mencken, who attended the Dayton trial, wrote this description of Bryan:

It was plain to everyone who knew him, when he came to Dayton, that his great days were behind him—that, for all the fury of his hatred, he was now definitely an old man, and headed at last for silence. There was a vague, unpleasant manginess about his appearance; he somehow seemed dirty, though a close glance showed him as carefully shaven as an actor, and clad in immaculate linen. All the hair was gone from the dome of his head, and it had begun to fall out, too, behind his ears, in the obscene manner of the late Samuel Gompers. The resonance had departed from his voice; what was once a bugle blast had become reedy and quivering. Who knows that, like Demosthenes, he had a lisp? In the old days, under the magic of his eloquence, no one noticed it. But when he spoke at Dayton it was always audible—By the end of the week he was simply a walking fever. Hour by hour he grew more bitter. What the Christian Scientists call malicious animal magnetism seemed to radiate from him like heat from a stove. From my place in the court room, standing upon a table, I looked directly down upon him, sweating horribly and pumping his palm-leaf fan. His eyes fascinated me; I watched them all day long. They were blazing points of hatred. They glittered like occult and sinister gems. Now and then they wandered to me, and I got my share, for my reports of the trial had come back to Dayton, and he had read them. It was like coming under fire. (cited in - William Jennings Bryan and Mary Baird Bryan, The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan (Philadelphia" The John C. Winston Company, 1925)pp330-331)

32 posted on 07/11/2006 6:59:16 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Make peace with your Ann whatever you conceive Her to be -- Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin)
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To: ml1954
Now how can there be 'historical discussion' about something you obviously think is pertinent to 'big debates', while avoiding those issues, on which you have taken a side?
I don't buy the idea that there are tons of lurkers combing through each post and response on crevo threads. The Scopes Trial, however, is subject to much scrutiny, and for those of us who were not alive and for whom the public education has not helped much, I thought it a valuable learning tool for everyone, not just crevo soldiers.
This is called disingenuous. Why don't you just say you don't want any contrary opinions posted?
When something as simple as a request for everyone not to debate is interpreted as a gag order issued only to people I disagree with, sometimes I wonder why I don't act obscene and ugly and at least get the satisfaction that only brutish rants can provide.
33 posted on 07/11/2006 7:17:12 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

I don't buy the idea that there are tons of lurkers combing through each post and response on crevo threads.

I didn't say that. What's that got do do with what I said?

When something as simple as a request for everyone not to debate is interpreted as a gag order issued only to people I disagree with, sometimes I wonder why I don't act obscene and ugly and at least get the satisfaction that only brutish rants can provide.

This is a debate forum. A request to 'not debate' is absurd. You and no one else except the mods and JR can or should try to dictate what should and should not be posted when someone starts a thread. If you want to do something other than make what is in essence a pro forma request for civility, perhaps you should ask JR if you can become a mod.

34 posted on 07/11/2006 7:47:44 PM PDT by ml1954 (NOT the BANNED disruptive troll who was seen frequently on CREVO threads.)
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To: ml1954
I didn't say that. What's that got do do with what I said?
Everything. People assume that lurkers are on all the crevo threads. I don't. But a thread like this DOES have quite a potential for purely historical curiosity to bring lurkers and other readers in. IE, this isn't just another crevo thread.
This is a debate forum. A request to 'not debate' is absurd. You and no one else except the mods and JR can or should try to dictate what should and should not be posted when someone starts a thread.
Then I suppose PatrickHenry's request to "be nice" is also absurd.
If you want to do something other than make what is in essence a pro forma request for civility, perhaps you should ask JR if you can become a mod.
I believe a conflict of interest would prevent me from moderatorship.

I'm not going to tell you to do or not do a thing. I'm asking people to avoid thinking of this as another creation/evolution free-for-all. Obviously, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. ("Damned" here is used in its proper context, by the way, thereby not necessarily being profanity, IE, shortened from "condemned")
35 posted on 07/11/2006 8:08:42 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Gotta love the irony of some conservatives the claiming evolution movement is run by socialists when the most famous creationist proponent in U.S. history was three time RAT presidential nominee and far-left "cross of gold" orator William Jennings Bryan.
36 posted on 07/11/2006 8:21:19 PM PDT by BillyBoy (Judy Baar is Too-Pinka!)
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To: Oztrich Boy
Now there's an objective source worth appealing to.
37 posted on 07/12/2006 7:20:34 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Well the writer of the article you posted put nim forward as an authority on public perception of the Scopes Trial.


38 posted on 07/12/2006 7:51:11 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Make peace with your Ann whatever you conceive Her to be -- Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; tomzz

Does the linking of evolutionary theory and the Holocaust, as tomzz did in post 10, constitute a flame war, or even "bashing"?


39 posted on 07/12/2006 8:35:56 AM PDT by LibertarianSchmoe ("...yeah, but, that's different!" - mating call of the North American Ten-Toed Hypocrite)
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To: LibertarianSchmoe; DaveLoneRanger; tomzz
Does the linking of evolutionary theory and the Holocaust, as tomzz did in post 10, constitute a flame war, or even "bashing"?

No, it's more akin to the rantings of a mental patient off his meds.

40 posted on 07/12/2006 8:44:35 AM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: LibertarianSchmoe; tomzz

No, it's just suggesting a concept you don't like the sound of. But it's still dancing near the edge.


41 posted on 07/12/2006 3:21:52 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: Gumlegs

Now THAT is more akin to personal attacks. For shame.


42 posted on 07/12/2006 3:23:31 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Here's the post I responded to: If the jurors had known that beginning in just 13 short years, ideologies based upon evolution were going to plunge the world into WW-II, turn Europe into a pigpen from end to end, and kill tens of millions of people, would the fine have been more than the hundred dollars it actually was? (POST 10)

You think this is rational.

43 posted on 07/12/2006 6:15:12 PM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: Gumlegs
I never said it was rational, or that I thought it was. I merely stated that you posted a personal attack, whereas the other person posted a postulation, however preposterous you considered it.

I also recognize a tu quo que logical fallacy when I see one.
44 posted on 07/12/2006 7:42:14 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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To: Gumlegs

You think this is rational.

Apparently on this 'Ohhh so civilized' thread, which is only intended for 'historical discussion' and where outrageous flame war provoking replies have been discouraged, it's okay to suggest the concept of evolution as a cause of the Holocaust. LOL.

45 posted on 07/12/2006 7:42:36 PM PDT by ml1954 (NOT the BANNED disruptive troll who was seen frequently on CREVO threads.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; LibertarianSchmoe; tomzz
Tu quoque fallacy - (You also.) Impugning an argument by presenting evidence that a person's actions or former beliefs and views, are not consistent with their argument.

I'll post the exchange:

To: LibertarianSchmoe; DaveLoneRanger; tomzz
Does the linking of evolutionary theory and the Holocaust, as tomzz did in post 10, constitute a flame war, or even "bashing"?

No, it's more akin to the rantings of a mental patient off his meds.

40 posted on 07/12/2006 11:44:35 AM EDT by Gumlegs

To: LibertarianSchmoe; tomzz

No, it's just suggesting a concept you don't like the sound of. But it's still dancing near the edge.

41 posted on 07/12/2006 6:21:52 PM EDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)

To: Gumlegs

Now THAT is more akin to personal attacks. For shame.

42 posted on 07/12/2006 6:23:31 PM EDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)

To: DaveLoneRanger
Here's the post I responded to: If the jurors had known that beginning in just 13 short years, ideologies based upon evolution were going to plunge the world into WW-II, turn Europe into a pigpen from end to end, and kill tens of millions of people, would the fine have been more than the hundred dollars it actually was? (POST 10)

You think this is rational.

43 posted on 07/12/2006 9:15:12 PM EDT by Gumlegs

To: Gumlegs
I never said it was rational, or that I thought it was. I merely stated that you posted a personal attack, whereas the other person posted a postulation, however preposterous you considered it.

I also recognize a tu quo que logical fallacy when I see one.

1. Where's the tu quoque?
2. I didn't say tomzz was a mental patient off his meds, I said the post was akin to the rantings of a mental patient off his meds. IOW, the statement was irrational. br> 3. Your initial response to Libertarian Schmoe was that tomzz was merely "suggesting a concept you don't like the sound of," which is to say, you missed a logical fallacy yourself. Your post gave the impression that you supported tomzz --- the implication being that LibertarianSchmoe objected to the post only because he/she didn't like the concept. This is what prompted my next response to you. (To be fair, later your same post, you did allow that tomzz's post was "dancing near the edge, " although this gives the impression you would't have put it quite that way, not that you didn't agree).
4. My point was that tomzz wasn't posting an unpleasant concept, he/she was posting nonsense, and you appeared to be supporting the point. So,
5. In 43, I was attempting to ascertain your view on tomzz's original post, part of which I reposted.
6. In 44, you responded and mischaracterized my response.

Does that bring us up to date?

46 posted on 07/13/2006 6:48:08 AM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: DaveLoneRanger
No, it's just suggesting a concept you don't like the sound of. But it's still dancing near the edge.

You are correct: I don't like the sound of it. I could point out that Hitler was a _________, but I don't see the need to escalate things, or offend plenty of other __________s, myself included, just because I want to attack. Or in this case, counter-attack. You see, even though I am an evil-utionist, I have principles, and as important as I believe the discussion is, I won't violate those principles to make myself feel better.

On a different thread, you pointed out the "bashing" that the evos were doing and I acknowledged it, only pointing out that evos are not the ONLY ones who "bash". Here, you had the chance to show everyone how consistently you apply the principles for which you argue. And you did.

47 posted on 07/13/2006 7:43:57 AM PDT by LibertarianSchmoe ("...yeah, but, that's different!" - mating call of the North American Ten-Toed Hypocrite)
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To: Gumlegs

Nicely done!


48 posted on 07/13/2006 7:48:23 AM PDT by LibertarianSchmoe ("...yeah, but, that's different!" - mating call of the North American Ten-Toed Hypocrite)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
I taught the play and refuse to do it again. The play and film(s) portray people of faith as cluless hicks.

I secretly hoped that a parent would complain, but none did. Which reminds me - if you're a parent of public school student, SPEAK UP! Conservative teachers such as myself are snickered at and pooh pooh'd when we complain. Parents generally get administrators to jump.

49 posted on 07/13/2006 7:51:18 AM PDT by Scarchin (+)
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To: Scarchin

I know a lot about conservative teachers, and I know even more about liberal teachers. Just keep your mouth shut and say whatever the little liberal loons want you to until you get tenure.


50 posted on 07/13/2006 2:05:08 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Good guys" aren't always "nice guys".)
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