Malone's Trial Speech (Modified)

Some of the language and phrasing in this document has been modified from the original.

Head Note: Dudley Field Malone was a New York attorney who was on the defense team. He argued for the importance of teaching science. Though the local Tennesseans viewed Malone with suspicion, the force and passion of this speech surprisingly lifted the audience to its feet.

What is the issue that has gained the attention, not only of the American people, but people everywhere? Is it whether Scopes taught the paragraph in the textbook? You think, your Honor, that reporters from London are here because the issue is whether John Scopes taught a couple of paragraphs out of his book? Oh, no.

The least that this generation can do, your Honor, is to give the next generation all the facts and theories that observation and learning have produced—give it to the children in the hope of heaven that they will make a better world than we have. We have just had a war with 20 million dead. Civilization is not so proud of the work of the adults. For God’s sake let the children have their minds kept open—close no doors to their knowledge. Make the distinction between religion and science. Let them have both. Let them both be taught. Let them both live.

We feel we stand with progress. We feel we stand with science. We feel we stand with intelligence. We feel we stand with freedom in America. We are not afraid. Where is the fear? We meet it! Where is the fear? We defy it!

(Loud applause.)

(The bailiff raps for order.)

Source: Excerpt from Dudley Field Malone’s speech on the fourth day of the Scopes trial, July 15, 1925. Dayton, Tennessee.