Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion - Introduction Summary & Analysis

Edward Larson
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Introduction Summary

One of the most famous courtroom scenes in American history took place during the Scopes trial. The defense attorney, Clarence Darrow, called William Jennings Bryan, one of the prosecutors and a leader in the fundamentalist cause against evolution, to the stand. Due to the large crowd that had gathered for the trial, the questioning took place on a wooden platform on the courthouse lawn. Darrow questioned Bryan about several Old Testament miracles, eliciting in pieces the response he had wanted: that some passages of scripture needed interpretation. Bryan, caught between arguing for a literal interpretation of the Bible and accommodating facts about the solar system and geology, conceded this critical point. The chief prosecutor called for the end of the questioning, but Bryan refused to leave the witness chair; determined to defend revealed religion.

Although Darrow never specifically asked about evolution, he did...

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This section contains 472 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion Study Guide
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