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: Reverend Straton Article

Head Note: John Roach Straton was a minister who preached across the country against the sins of modern life. Straton believed in the literal truth of the Bible and the literal truth of Biblical miracles. He was firmly opposed to the teaching of evolution. He also believed that parents and local communities should control their own schools.

The real issue at Dayton and everywhere today is: “Whether the religion of the Bible shall be ruled out of the schools and the religion of evolution, with its ruinous results shall be ruled into the schools by law.” . . .

[John Scopes’s lawyers] left New York and Chicago, where real religion is being most neglected, where law, consequently, is most defied, where vice and crime are most rampant . . . and they went to save from itself a community where women are still honored, where men are still chivalric, where laws are still respected, where home life is still sweet, where the marriage vow is still sacred. . . .

Think of the illogic of it! and the nerve of it! and the colossal vanity of it!

Source: Excerpt from Reverend John Roach Straton’s article in American Fundamentalist, “The Most Sinister Movement in the United States.” December 26, 1925.

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):

To answer these questions, log in below

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

What words does Straton use to show that he is complimentary of small towns?

Close Reading: Read carefully to consider what a source says and the language used to say it.

According to Straton, what are signs of corruption in New York and Chicago?

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

According to Straton, how is the Scopes trial bigger than a simple debate between evolutionists and creationists?

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