I have to admit that I am not much of a History buff. My primary fields of expertise lie in the world of photography and web design. So, when I was asked to do a guest post for this blog, my first thought was, “I don’t know anything to write about that would work for that audience”. However, I did come up with an idea that might just fit the bill.
Several months ago, I was doing some research on the The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes trial, which most people refer to as “The Scopes Monkey Trial”. I read a few articles and a book on the subject and what I found out intrigued me in a way that I had not expected. I will get to that in a moment, but first, I would like to share what I found to be a quite amusing fact that I found during this research.
After doing the reading on the trial, it seemed like it would be a fun adventure to visit the town where the events took place. Since Dayton, Tennessee is not too far from where we live, my family and I loaded up the car and made a little day trip to visit the town. It turned out to be a wonderful idea. The weather was perfect that day and the town was an absolute delight. The people were friendly and welcoming, the architecture was quaint and lovely, and I was filled with the sense of peace that must come from living in a small town. During our walk through the town, we admired all of the shops and stores and ended up in front of the very courthouse where the trial took place. This is where I found a joke that had taken place long ago, but was still inspiring a chuckle even now.
When you approach the courthouse on the sidewalk out in front of the building, you will find a timeline of events, for the area around Dayton, carved into the walk itself. There is a space allotted to the Scopes trial in 1925 and others that tell of important events from the past. However, the year 1879 must have been pretty boring (as you can see from the photo) because the entry for that year simply states “1879 Nothing Happened”. I have to admit that I still chuckle a little when I look at the photo.
The other discovery regarding this Historic trial, came to me while reading a book on the subject. In 1925 this trial took place because the religious community was outraged by the fact that one of the local teachers had, allegedly, taught about evolution from a school textbook. I say allegedly, because when asked about it later, Mr. Scopes could not recall if he had actually taught the material. It was just in the book and he might have covered the topic.
You see, what I found out was that politically and socially we have done what seems like a complete reversal of opinion in the last 88 years. In 1925, the religious community, who believed in the Bible’s account of Creation, fought against the Evolutionary principles that they felt contradicted their beliefs. Today, the roles have reversed and the Evolutionists seem to be winning the academic debate.
Is one camp completely right and the other camp completely wrong? Are the two principles diametrically opposed to one another? Whatever, your opinion is today and in whichever camp you find yourself, I wonder what the prevailing line of thought will be in our society 88 years from now.