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December 02, 2016

They Lie About Everything: Inherit the Wind, Evolution and the Scopes Monkey Trial [Warden]

Cultural Marxism relies heavily upon left-wing mythology. There's an entire series of heroic progressive narratives that have fixed themselves to our culture with the help of Hollywood, the media, and academia. All serve the same purpose--to prop up the intellectually and morally bankrupt ideology of progressivism while demonizing and discrediting oppositional individuals and institutions.

The seeding of our culture with these false narratives has been highly effective. It's accomplished by repetition, appeal to authority and manufactured consensus. Even the most cynical people believe some of these myths simply because they've never encountered a historically accurate account of the matter. People take most things at face value and the progressives understand this well.

One of the left's favorite and most effective myths is the Scopes Monkey Trial and its apparent triumph of reasoned, scientific thinking over the ignorant, backward foolery of Christian fundamentalism.

The story most Americans believe is the one portrayed in the movie, Inherit the Wind. Many of us were even shown this film, presented uncritically as a factual account of an American historical event, while in school and it remains the basic foundation for our culture's understanding of Darwinian Evolution.

What most people don't know is that both Inherit the Wind and the Scopes Trial itself were both calculating pieces of propaganda.

The Scopes trial was born out of the Butler Act, a Tennessee law that prohibited teaching "any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." Breaking this law was a misdemeanor punishable by a fine from between $100 and $500 dollars.

Eventually John Scopes was brought to trial in Tennessee for breaking this law and teaching evolution to his students. Scopes, however, wasn't victim of persecution. He was recruited by the ACLU, to whom he admitted he couldn't remember if he'd taught evolution or not, for the very task of challenging the law.

Contrary to popular belief, Scopes wasn't a biology teacher. He taught algebra, chemistry and physics. His supposed role in teaching evolution only came during a two week stint as a substitute teacher.

The prosecuting attorney, William Jennings Bryan, was interested only in proving that John Scopes broke the law, but the leading defense attorney and militant atheist, Clarence Darrow, had been trying to lure Bryan into a public debate about Christianity for years and intended to use this forum to put Bryan's Christian beliefs on trial.

Darrow brought forth his own experts on evolution to testify, but the judge ruled that no expert testimony was necessary to answer the question of Scopes' guilt or innocence. Darrow was allowed to submit his expert testimonies as affidavits for appeal. This prevented Bryan from cross examining them. Bryan, perhaps frustrated by this event or possibly out of personal pride, then agreed to be cross examined by Darrow as an expert on the Bible.

Progressive mythology asserts that the scrappy underdog, Darrow, made a fool of the haughty, narrow-minded Bryan by cross examining him. A review of the actual transcript reveals nothing of the sort.

In fact, Darrow had played Bryan. In any cross examination, it is the examiner who has the advantage because it is he who controls the questioning. Bryan could only answer what was asked. He could not steer the debate. Darrow used his advantage to badger and mock Bryan repeatedly for his beliefs.

When Darrow was finished, he then escaped a return cross examination from Bryan by agreeing that Scopes was guilty. It had all been a ruse designed to embarrass Bryan and escape a similar examination of his own beliefs.

Decades later, Inherit the Wind takes advantage of fading memories to twist almost every salient fact about the trial.

In the movie, Henry Drummond is Cates's (Scopes's) sole attorney, portrayed as the underdog fighting the system-represented by the state, Brady (Bryan), and a bigoted judge. In real life, Clarence Darrow brought a team of lawyers to Dayton, including ACLU heavyweight, Arthur Garfield Hays.

In the movie, Brady is an ignorant bigot opposed to all science. He says: "The way of scientism is the way of darkness." In real life, Bryan was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. What he really said about science during the trial was: "Give science a fact and it is not only invincible, but of incalculable service to man."

In the movie, Brady is completely unfamiliar with Darwin's works. In real life, Bryan quoted Darwin extensively, in both the courtroom and his own writings. In the movie, the prosecution objects when the defense tries to introduce Darwin's books as evidence. The bigoted judge agrees and excludes them. But in reality, not only were Darwin's books allowed as evidence, but Bryan himself introduced them.

In one of the movie's worst misrepresentations, the judge disallows any testimony from eminent scientists whom Drummond (Darrow) has brought to the trial. The judge declares that "zoology" (which he can barely pronounce) and other scientific topics are "irrelevant to the case."

In reality, after a zoologist testified at length, the prosecution correctly protested that testimony by Darrow's experts was irrelevant to the legal question (had Scopes violated the Butler Act?). Judge John T. Raulston agreed. However, Darrow argued that if the judge heard more scientific testimony, he would realize he was wrong. The court consented to hear more.

And, of course, Bryan's actual testimony is altered to reinforce the narrative that Darrow is brilliant thinker while Bryan is an ignorant, narrow-minded fool.

In the movie interrogation, Brady (Bryan) is a Biblical literalist:

Drummond: You believe that every word written in this book should be taken literally?
Brady: Everything in the Bible should be accepted, exactly as it is given there.

In real life, we discover Bryan's answer was lifted out of context:

Darrow: Do you claim that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?

Bryan: I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there; some of the Bible is given illustratively. For instance, "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people.10

In the movie, Drummond asks Brady how old the Earth is:

Brady: A fine Biblical scholar, Bishop Ussher, has determined for us the exact date and hour of the Creation. It occurred in the year 4004 B.C.

Drummond: Well, uh, that's Bishop Ussher's opinion.

Brady: It is not an opinion. It is a literal fact, which the good Bishop arrived at through careful computation of the ages of the prophets as set down in the Old Testament. In fact, he determined that the Lord began the Creation on the 23rd of October, 4004 B.C. at, uh, at 9:00 A.M.

Drummond: That Eastern Standard Time?

In real life, here's what was said:

Q: Mr. Bryan, could you tell me how old the earth is?
A: No, sir, I couldn't.
Q: Could you come anywhere near it?
A: I wouldn't attempt to. I could possibly come as near as the scientists do, but I had rather be more accurate before I give a guess.

Clarence Darrow was a sneering bully and a coward. His confidence in his ability to defend Darwinian evolution was so weak that he wasn't even willing to allow it to be tested.

Instead, he put his thumb on the scale and subjected William Jennings Bryan to a blistering cross examination that he dared not allow be inflicted upon himself. Yet even with this overwhelming advantage, Darrow needed Hollywood to lie about the facts of the case to create today's current mythology that he scored a humiliating victory over William Jennings Bryan and biblical beliefs.

This twisting of historic fact is not an isolated case. Progressive heroic mythology is a tool that's critical to the left's cultural domination. It's what they do. It's what they've always done.

They lie about everything. They have to because they can't win on the merits. It's a just one long con after another.


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posted by Open Blogger at 04:38 PM

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