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When was the Scopes (monkey) trial?

Find out what effect the Scopes Monkey Trial had on school boards.

Teaching the theory of evolution caused legal problems for John T. Scopes. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Teaching the theory of evolution caused legal problems for John T. Scopes.

John T. Scopes (1900-1970), a high-school biology teacher, was brought to trial by the State of Tennessee in 1925 for teaching the theory of evolution. He challenged a recent law passed by the Tennessee legislature that made it unlawful to teach in any public school any theory which denies the divine creation of man. He was convicted and sentenced, but the decision was reversed later and the law repealed in 1967.

Challenging the Educational System

Pressure against school boards still affects the teaching of evolution today. Recent drives by anti-evolutionists have tried to either ban the teaching of evolution or have demanded "equal time" for "special creation" as described in the Biblical Book of Genesis. This has raised many questions about the separation of church and state, the teaching of controversial subjects in public schools and the ability of scientists to communicate with the public. The gradual improvement of the fossil record, the results of comparative anatomy and many other developments in biological science have contributed toward making evolutionary thinking more palatable.

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