The Creation Worldview and the Scopes Trial
by John D. Morris, Ph.D. *
In these pages we often identify evolution as the scientific justification for an anti-Christian mentality. This long war against God was on full display at the famous Scopes Monkey Trail in 1925, where humanistic forces gathered to strike a blow against God and the necessity of submitting to Him in life’s choices.
The whole affair was the inaugural case of the newly founded American Civil Liberties Union, which decided to use this opportunity to begin its long campaign against Christianity’s influence in America. It openly advertised for any teacher who would be willing to be arrested for violating the Tennessee injunction against teaching human evolution. John Scopes was not a science teacher, but agreed to discuss evolution with one student in a staged meeting. The case brought national attention. Famous lawyers lined up on both sides. The verdict actually came down in favor of the creationists, but was later overturned on a technicality.
Well-known scientists prepared to bring evidence for evolution, but the law had obviously been broken and the judge refused to turn the case into a scientific debate. In a bizarre and unprecedented turn of events, the lawyer defending the creation law agreed to be a witness. He was tricked by the ACLU lawyer into defending creation and the entire Bible on the witness stand. Unfortunately, he himself had already compromised with long ages and local flood concepts, and couldn’t give a consistent defense of either creation or biblical inerrancy. Through it all, biblical doctrine and Bible believers were mercilessly ridiculed in the press, an assault which continues today.
The end result? Christianity largely retreated underground and withdrew from the public arena.
Interestingly, all the scientific evidences supposedly supporting evolution that were slated for use in the trial, and which were picked up in the surrounding media blitz, have been thoroughly discredited today. Even evolutionists no longer use them. Consider, among others:
- Neanderthal Man—a fully human people group, with art, music, agriculture, weapons, etc.
- Piltdown Man—an embarrassing scientific forgery; an ape’s jaw coupled with a human skull-cap
- Nebraska Man—touted as an ape-man, but represented by nothing more than a fossilized pig’s tooth
- Embryonic recapitulation—forged drawings of embryos that supposedly show humans related to the animals
- Peppered moth—mere color shifts in a population that have now shifted back
- Vestigial organs—thought to be evolutionary leftovers, but now known to be functional1
These discredited evidences are still repeated in school textbooks today. When confronted, evolutionists admit the faulty claims, but insist they still be used since there are no better claims that are so effective in teaching evolution. And so millions of American schoolchildren each year are indoctrinated in a false worldview.
Nevertheless, truth will win out. Christians are attempting to regain lost ground in the political, educational, and religious arenas. Interest in creation still flourishes today, spawning thousands of creation scientists, hundreds of creationist organizations, and millions of creation believers. Polls taken in America consistently show a majority of people hold to some form of creation, especially young-earth creation.
Things are not what they should be, but neither are they as bad as before. What a wonderful time to be a Bible-believing Christian/creationist recruit in the Lord’s army.
- Cornelius, R. M. and J. D. Morris. 1995. Scopes: Creation on Trial. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2011. The Creation Worldview and the Scopes Trial. Acts & Facts. 40 (1): 15.