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The Scopes Trial

             The Scopes Trial, widely know as the Monkey Trial, has been called the trial of the century, and opened the door to the conflict between creationism and evolution, even though the trial itself actually decided nothing. In fact upon appeal the trial was declared a mistrial due to the fact the judge sentenced Scopes to a $100 fine and there was a law which stated that any fine over $50 had to be set by a jury. So in effect the law banning the teaching of evolution was never even tested. This is all in addition to the fact that this trial started as nothing more than a publicity stunt dreamed up in order to help the ailing economy of Dayton Tennessee, and the defendant, John Scopes, who was actually a coach who only substituted as a teacher, was asked if he would be willing to go on trial before any charges were filed. The publicity stunt worked as evidenced by reporters coming from as far away as Hong Kong and the fact that it was the first trial ever broadcast live over the radio. In fact the trial effectively turned the small southern town of Dayton Tennessee into a three ring circus, complete with hot dog vendors and street merchants peddling anti-evolution books. While the trial may have been prearranged, and it didn't actually accomplish what it was legally meant to, it did officially start the battle between creationism and evolution, which continues even today. .
             Although the battle between creationism and evolution still goes on today it is with the tables turned. In the 1920's when the Scopes trial took place John Scopes was put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. This central point clearly shows the ideology that, up to that point in time, had been predominant in American society, this being the ideology of creationism. America up to this time had been a mostly rural, traditional, religious society with conservative views, but was becoming more and more urban with more people embracing modernist views, not caring whether society approved or not.

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