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Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 01:43 PM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (7.2 and 8)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today -- Tuesday, July 21, 1925 -- was the eighth and last day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.  On trial: a man who had committed the crime of teaching evolution in the public schools, violating Tennessee's brand new Butler Act.  Also on trial: two different modes of thought -- one, the comfortable, appealing, small-town Christianity of rural America; the other a brash, modern way of testing and sometimes shattering old beliefs. On the one side, an appeal to God and the Bible; on the other, an appeal to evidence and science.

Poll

When examining a controversial topic, I:

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| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 07:01 PM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (7.1)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today -- July 20, 1925 -- was the seventh day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.

This is the seventh in an ongoing series of diaries chronicling, day by day, the events of the Scopes trial 85 years ago.  At issue: whether schoolteacher Scopes had violated the Butler Act, banning the teaching of evolution in Tennessee state-funded schools; but on a greater scale, the trial matched proponents of a Bible-based curriculum, claiming the literal truth of the Genesis stories of creation, against proponents of a science-based curriculum, including evolution.  On the side of the prosecution, standing for the literal truth of the Bible, stood former Democratic Presidential candidate and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan; on the side of the defense, standing for science and evolution, stood former Democratic activist, agnostic, and renowned attorney in the fields of labor and criminal law, Clarence Darrow.

This diary is incomplete owing to space limitations on its extreme length.  In attempting to provide a complete record of the most vivid parts of the trial, it is difficult to justify leaving very much out.  The remainder will be posted tomorrow, together with an account of the eighth day.

Poll

Do you believe in the literal truth of the Bible?

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (6)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today -- Friday, July 17, 1925 -- was the sixth day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.  At issue: nominally, whether a high school teacher had, in violation of a recently passed statute (the Butler Act) taught evolution in the classroom; but increasingly, as the trial moved on, it became a question of whether the American mind would be dominated by science or theology.

Poll

Who's your favorite lawyer of the case so far?

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 05:08 PM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (5)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today - Thursday, July 16, 1925 - was the fifth day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, prosecuting the schoolteacher Scopes for the crime of teaching evolution in the Tennessee public schools.

This is the fifth in a series of diaries commemorating the 85th anniversary of the Scopes trial, summarizing its events day by day.  For the first four diaries see:

  1. July 10, 1925
  1. July 13, 1925
  1. July 14, 1925
  1. July 15, 1925
Poll

Studying evolution will make your children

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| 55 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 07:54 PM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (4)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today -- Wednesday, July 15, 1925 -- was the fourth day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes. On trial: the right to teach science in the public schools.

This is the fourth in a series of day-by-day reviews of the events of the trial.  The preceding three chapters are found at:

  1. July 10, 1925
  1. July 13, 1925
  1. July 14, 1925
Poll

Is man a mammal?

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| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 11:01 AM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (3)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today -- Tuesday, July 14, 1925 -- was the third day of the trial of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.

The jury remained out of the courtroom for the day, as the Court was still considering the defense motion to quash the indictment.  The public and the press, however, were still very much present, and the fact that proceedings would be dashed and dotted to the world over the telegraph lines, or beamed by radio waves to thousands of listeners, was very much on everybody's mind -- not least that of Judge John T. Raulston.

This is the third of an ongoing series considering the events of the 1925 Scopes trial day by day.  The first two installments can be found here (July 10, 1925) and here (July 13, 1925).

Poll

I most often invoke divine guidance when:

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| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:31 PM PDT

Eighty-five years ago today (2)

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today, opening arguments began in the case of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes; or, as it was commonly called, the "Scopes Trial", or more colloquially and vividly, the "Monkey Trial".

The "monkey" in the Scopes case was the Theory of Evolution, pioneered by Charles Darwin some 75 years earlier, which proposed a descent of humankind from animal ancestors; since monkeys were among humanity's closer living relatives, the opponents of the Theory -- claiming a literal belief in the six-day creation of the world they saw described in the Biblical book of Genesis -- caricatured it by saying that it made humans out to be the descendants of monkeys, often playing on the secondary meaning of "monkey" as "fool", "dupe", or "buffoon".

The day was Monday, July 13th, 1925.  The trial had opened the preceding Friday, July 10th, but had proceeded no further than the selection of a jury.  For more background on the trial and its participants, see the preceding diary in this series here.

Poll

Banning teaching evolution from the public schools is:

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| 90 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:15 PM PDT

Eighty-five Years Ago Today

by WIds

Eighty-five years ago today — July 10, 1925 — was the first day of what may, in retrospect, be considered the trial of the 20th century.

The trial was State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.  For some, it was a sign that America was struggling to emerge from the Dark Ages.  For others, it was a warning that Satan's forces of godlessness were gaining alarming strength in America.

Poll

Humans are:

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| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:26 PM PDT

UK Leaders' Debate liveblog

by WIds

This is a liveblog for following the debate between the leaders of the three major parties in the United Kingdom, which is starting today at 8:30 p.m. British Standard (1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard).

You can follow the debate on BBC One or at the BBC website.

Poll

Who did best in the debate?

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| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Apr 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM PDT

British PM debate liveblog

by WIds

This is a liveblog for discussing the ongoing debate between the leaders of the three largest parties in the UK Parliament, now showing on Sky TV (live webcast here):

Gordon Brown, Labour Party leader and current Prime Minister, now trailing in the polls;

David Cameron, Conservative party leader and strong challenger; and

Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, and surprise leader in some polls.

Poll

Who did best in the debate?

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| 50 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:32 PM PST

Good news from Croatia

by WIds

The results from the Croatian presidential election are in, and Ivo Josipovich is the winner.

This represents a victory for Croatia's Social Democrats, and -- 20 years after Croatia's independence -- a chance for Croatia to rid itself of some of its demons.

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Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 12:14 PM PST

Conservative linguistics

by WIds

The following is inspired by the several conservative attempts to rescue science from the grip of liberal activists.  We've known for a long time that liberals seized control of biological science in the mid-19th century, or thereabouts (precision on dates is a liberal value and so won't be adhered to here); the conservative alternative is Intelligent Design (so called since our former venture, Creation Science went belly-up and had to be rebranded.  

Poll

What crazy moon language do you speak/read?

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| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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