Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This Day in History March 13, 1925

I was quite intrigued concerning today's feature.  As a Christian, the freedom to teach both sides of the coin concerning the origin of life debate is incredibly important to me.  And on this date in 1925, part of that was actually taken away.  That's right.  In Tennessee, the Butler Act was passed.  This made it illegal to teach evolution in any public school.  There was a fine proposed for all violators ranging from $100 to $500.  This was challenged famously by the Scopes "Monkey" trials July 1925.  This law was not repealed until May 13, 1967.

You might be surprised that I didn't like this law, but here's the thing.  I have no real problem with being taught the evolution theory as long as it is presented as such.  I don't want anyone to outlaw the teaching of any scientific theory.  After all, let's examine the evidence.  Yes, I believe in creationism, but I don't want any legislation that says only this theory can be taught.  I want to be able to have the freedom to teach both as viable theories.  Let the students decide what they choose to believe.  After all, now the teaching of creationism is basically outlawed, and only evolution can be taught.  That's not right either.

If you would like to see a fantastic film that is loosely based on this issue, I would highly recommend the 1960 film Inherit the Wind.  It stars Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, and Gene Kelly, to name a few.  It is a fictionalized account, but it is well-acted and quite an intriguing story.  Yes, there is some mild profanity in it, but extremely mild.  I first watched it as a teen and never quite forgot it.  It does not take a side in the issue.  I think it could potentially make evolutionists and creationists uncomfortable.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't see this decision as any kind of restraint on freedom at all. You can still teach your kids "creationism" or anything else in any form you wish. What this law does is insure that *public schools* teach observable, verifiable, scientific theory ("Theory" is a specific term here with a specific scientific meaning that may be different from the common usage of the word.) This way kids--like anyone--can "believe" anything they like, but will be educated and informed of the science about how the world works. I agree, though, that 'Inherit the Wind' is a great movie!


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