The following are clipped from a longer article from the Discovery
I am somewhat skeptical of some of the writer's claims.
Reviewing Monkey Trial, a PBS documentary.
By Benjamin Wiker, fellow at the Discovery Institute
February 16-17, 2002
"Sunday, February 17 at 9:00 PBS viewers will be treated to an
historical account of the famous Scopes Trial called Monkey
Trial. ... it is unlikely that PBS will cover the entire dark side of
this "epic event of the twentieth century." From their advance
advertisements, it seems that, for the most part, viewers will
receive the standard black and white account of the Scopes Trial,
with William Jennings Bryan and the townsfolk leading the cause
for foolish faith and the forces of darkness, and John Scopes and
Clarence Darrow leading the cause for sweet reason and the
There is an overlooked source of darkness at the trial that is well
worth bringing into the light, the very high-school biology
textbook at issue in the trial, George William Hunter's A Civic
Biology. ... Simply put, the textbook which John Scopes was using
offensively racist and blatantly eugenic, and the racism and
eugenics were both part and parcel of Hunter's presentation of
Darwin's theory of evolution.
... The eugenic moral was clear. "Hundreds of families such as
those [Jukes] described above exist today, spreading disease,
immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to
society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or
plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families
have become parasitic on society. .. They take
from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true
This is what Scopes was teaching his students down at Dayton. So
much for the forces of reason and light.
(note from JWB -- I understand that Scopes actually never taught a
biology class -- he simply agreed to be the test case).
Wiker goes on to write: "While many
read (or at least, have heard of) Darwin's Origin of Species, few
know of his Descent of Man, where he applies the principles of
evolution directly to human beings. And guess what? Darwin
was a racist and a proponent of eugenics, and both were rooted
squarely in his account of evolution. ... ."
- Mr. Wiker lectures in science and theology at Franciscan
University and is the author of the upcoming Moral Darwinism:
How We Became Hedonists.
I clip only about 10% of the article, which was sent to me by a fellow
ASAer who apparently very much approves of it. The article in its
entirely is, I understand, on the website of the Discovery Institute, an
organization I once had high hopes for.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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