Trial Week One
In 1925, the State of Tennessee enacted a law that prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools, specifically, that man came from apes. The law was immediately challenged by the ACLU and pitted two famous lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, a religious Fundamentalist and one-time presidential candidate, in a bruising contest. The case became famous, known as the Monkey Trial. In this fictional trial, a high school teacher was fired for introducing religion into his biology class in the form of criticism of Darwinism. The trial involves expert witnesses from a variety of fields who defend and attack Darwinism, but not merely from a biology point-of-view. There are deep religion/atheism, legal, political, philosophical and cultural issues that are at stake and reflect today’s bifurcated society. The Supreme Court cases in the past fifty years on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment are demonstrated as in disarray especially in school-religion cases. The famous bioatheist, Richard Dawkins, is called out for his trenchant criticism of Christians and distortion of Darwinism to achieve his ends. The lawyers are cut from vastly different cloth – an ex-Vietnam soldier and an anti-war conscientious objector. But the scientific and religious experts do most of the talking from the witness stand. The present book describes the preparation for and First Week of Trial.