How was the Scopes trial more complicated than a simple debate between evolutionists and creationists? (Read each source below, then answer the questions in the notebook. Ask your teacher for an inquiry organizer worksheet to help you think about the ways that the sources support and contradict each other.)


READ: American Federation of Teachers' Statement

Head Note: The American Federation of Teachers released a statement in support of John Scopes. As you read, think about their reasons for supporting him.

The American Federation of Teachers is deeply concerned about the effect of the Tennessee anti-evolution law. . . .

Teaching . . . has been menaced . . . by misguided legislative authority that fears to trust the intelligence, the public spirit and the devotion . . . of [teachers]. . . .

As teachers we especially fear the effect of the present wave of intolerance in education on the task of providing the schools with enlightened teachers. Without freedom in the intellectual life, and without the inspiration of uncensored discovery and discussion, there could ultimately be no scholarship, no schools at all and no education.

Source: Excerpt from resolution adopted by the American Federation of Teachers on July 18, 1925.

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):

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Sourcing: Consider a document's attribution (both its author and how the document came into being).

How do the teachers present themselves in this resolution? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

Contextualizing: Situate the document and events it reports in place and time.

What do you think the teachers mean by the phrase, "present wave of intolerance"? What does this phrase suggest about how these teachers view the Butler Act?

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