What was the Scopes Monkey Trial?


What was the Scopes Monkey Trial?


On July 10, 1925, the Scopes Monkey trial began in Dayton, Tennessee. In "The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes" a high school teacher named Scopes was charged with violating Tennessee's 1925 Butler Act (Tennessee Code Annotated Title 49 (Education) Section 1922; House Bill No. 185, January 21, 1925); against teaching the evolution of man in state-funded schools instead of the Biblical account of the creation of man.

John Thomas Scopes was accused of teaching human evolution from mere animals. Clarence Darrow, a professed agnostic, represented Scopes during the eight-day trial. William Jennings Bryan, a Presbyterian and former Presidential candidate, represented the state of Tennessee. While Scopes was found guilty of a misdemeanor in an eight to nine minute deliberation, the verdict was later overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court on the grounds that the law was unconstitutional (Scopes v. State 289 S.W. 363, 367 (Tenn. 1927)).

Years later a fictionized play called, "Inherit the Wind," which later became a 1960 movie, was produced.

The case aside, evolution and such books as "On the Origin of Species" (1859) by Charles Darwin, continue and always will be a false doctrine. While the government has the power to state what is the law within the confines of its jurisdiction, God alone who is sovereign over all, has the absolute unfettered power to state what is the biblical truth concerning the origin of man. A Day is coming when every knee will bow to God's truth (Rom. 14:11; cf. Num. 14:21, 28; Psa. 72:11; Phil. 2:9-10).

Various Creation Positions

What is the Big Bang Theory?
What is the Day Age Theory?
What is Ex-Nihilo?
The Framework Theory
What is the Gap Theory?
What About Hebrews 11:3?
What is the Intelligent Design Theory?
What is the Mature Universe Theory?
What is Old Earth Creationism (OEC)?
What is Progressive Creationism?
What is Young Earth Creationism (YEC)?

Related Topics

What is the meaning of Day in Genesis 1?
Are there two different accounts of Creation?
What is BioLogos?
Did man eat meat before the Fall and the Flood?
A Universal or Regional Flood?
What about the evidence of Carbon-14 dating?
What About Dinosaurs?
Scientific Evidence for YEC?
How could there be evening and morning the first three days of Creation?
Extraterrestrials and the Bible?
Can a person be born an atheist?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).