What makes a person voluntarily step into the middle of one of the most controversial and contentious issues of modern times? And what makes them voluntarily step back out?
Western Kentucky native John Thomas Scopes volunteered to be the defendant in a much-ballyhooed trial testing a law he opposed, a law banning the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee. He stood on principle in an intense spotlight... and when the trial was over, he stepped back out, determined to live his own life. But, history was not finished with him just yet.
The new WKMS News documentary, I Am John Scopes, unfolds the life of this remarkable and private man using archival interviews, and conversations with Scopes’ friends and family as well as with those who’ve studied the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial.” Together they portray a complex person who always seemed to step up when history found him in the right place at the right time.
This latest entry from the award-winning WKMS News department shows that John Scopes still matters, as the issues his name is linked with still spark debate today.
The WKMS News documentary "I Am John Scopes" was broadcast Friday, July 31st, at noon and Sunday, August 2 at 9 am
"What is Evolution?" by Stated Clearly
In addition to the Scopes Trial, the place of evolution and creationism or intelligent design has been litigated for almost five decades. You can find a list of these cases here at the website for the National Center for Science Education. They also have a comprehensive list of "academic freedom" bills in the various state legislatures.
The NCSE's website has many more resources and information for anyone interested in the promotion of science education in America.