Sample Paper

Words 2,126


The controversy between creation and evolution has been raging on for a long time, and even today in America it is still going on.  Many questions have been raised, both in political and constitutional circles, however, the fact remains that even today Tennessee  vs. John Scopes or Scopes Monkey Trial was a significant milestone, in terms of its broader implications in the American society. According to ACLU it was just the beginning of its struggle for academic freedom. Even today they admit that the battle is an ongoing one against religious fundamentalists. This term paper is a look at the Scope Monkey Trial and its impact on freedom of expression in general and academic freedom in particular.

Historical Background

When one considers the causes which ultimately led to a debate between creation and evolution, it is important to consider America in the post world war I scenario. There was an urge especially in the rural areas of the South and Midwestern states towards a more conservative and fundamentalist society. They read the bible literally and considered Darwin’s theory of evolution as the greatest threat to the system of beliefs, (Smith, 1965) And planned to eradicate this belief from their society. By 1925 several states like Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky had passed laws to prohibit teaching of evolution from their schools. Similarly in Tennessee Butler Law was passed in 1925. The governor of Tennessee believed that although the law was enacted, but he did not consider it an active statute (Smith, 1965). However ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) was just becoming more active , and considered Butler Law as a breach civil rights. They decided to start a case to test the standing of Butler Law.

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