All of us listening by radio already know. Biology teacher John Scopes has been convicted of violating the Tennessee law that forbids teaching any story of mankind’s creation except the one in the Bible.
What a spectacle the trial proved to be. Outside the courtroom vendors hawked toy monkeys. Those inside heard dramatic speeches by opposing attorneys Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan.
Public schools have no right to teach godless ideas that could undermine children’s faith, thundered Bryan. The government has no right to tell teachers what to teach, shot back Darrow.
Important First Amendment principles are at stake. Today’s verdict won’t end the debate. Nor is it likely to ease the tension that arises each time old and new ideas tug the Constitution in different directions.