Scopes Monkey Trial

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The Traditionalist vs. the Modernist
We live in a society that is continuously surrounded with conflict between religion and way of life. From the very beginning of time, there has always been a battle between the values of religion and those of the individual. During the era of Jesus, they were in a dilemma of following the basic laws of Judaism that had already become outdated by about two thousand years or those of the Romans. Since the development of science in more recent years, issues such as these have come even more into light and relevance. Today the world fights topics such as homosexual marriages and abortion. In 1925, these conflicting ideas were different but on a similar topic, evolution. In the case of Tennessee vs. John Scopes, “the Monkey Trial,” the recent discoveries of Charles Darwin had brought into question, are we related to monkeys? Even though the Butler Act was not scientific and not based on truth, its purpose was to maintain the traditional lifestyles that had been practiced for centuries. The early twenties were a time of drastic change in the mind of individuals. During this era there was an establishment of two different groups of people, the traditionalist and the modernist. The traditionalist group was older individuals that felt that everything that was valuable and important previously in life was coming to an end. Modernist were those individuals that were younger and did not care about the judgments and opinions of society. Their main concern was not to undermine themselves and their intelligence. A modernist during the 20s stated, “now granted that we may and must teach science in our colleges, this teaching must be done by scientist neither priest nor prophet nor apostle nor even our Lord himself ever made the slightest contribution to our knowledge of natural science” (Larson 52). These were the people that were dedicated in learning the nature of science and not taking the teachings of society to be true. This...
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