Bryan Died Five Days After the Trial Ended. What.

Weekend Update: I am so tired. I’m pretty sure I haven’t gotten nearly enough sleep in the past two weeks, and this weekend it all caught up with me. We had a Quidditch tournament at Rice University in hot, humid Houston. We played five games and I’m really surprised that I didn’t die from being on (cleated) feet for twelve hours + heat and humidity + pure exhaustion. The lack of sleep really caught up with me. So what do I do when I get home? Go to a Quidditch friends’ apartment and stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I really need to change my ways. Except I still have more school work than ever, so I don’t think this sleepless stint is going to end soon. *Tears*

To accurately sum up my problem, I will provide this visual representation that I found:


However, staying up late does mean that I finish my work. And yes, I did finish Summer for the Gods. It was great, I really enjoyed it, and I can see how it won the Pulitzer Prize. As for today’s blog topic, change over time, I was really struck by how much the trial didn’t affect the whole fundamentalist/modernist Crusades. There continued to be antievolution laws in even more states than Tennessee, and the northern modernist still looked down on the ignorant South (a very general opinion). Sure, the Fundamentalists became more insular, and there was an appeal not long afterwards, but neither Bryan nor Darrow’s disciples were completely satisfied with the verdict. Things changed slightly, but not as dramatically as I had anticipated.

Nothing really started happening until about twenty years later, when Chief Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black made a huge move against religion being taught in schools. Then, in the fifties, “Inherit the Wind” was written as a Broadway play, soon to be adapted into a screenplay for the 1960 film. This is actually what really kicked off the whole anti-Fundamentalist change that I had originally expected after the trial. While the film was guilty of sensationalizing and dramatizing a lot of aspects of the trial, it did manage to get the point across (no matter how biased that point actually was). The Scopes Legend, rather than the historical trial itself, entered the public sphere again. States began to do away with their outdated antievolution laws, and the Fundamentalists became even more insular. However, as we all know full well, this struggle between the teaching of evolution and creationism isn’t over. Even today, there are still disputes over how “evolution is just a theory,” and there are still some out there that don’t require it as part of the biology curriculum. 

As for the whole change over time thing, I was drawn in by the changing public opinion surrounding the Scopes trial. At first, everything remained pretty much the same, and historians of the day weren’t sure what to make of it. The change was more sporadic than gradual, and we are still divided over it today.


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