Re: Darkness spreads over Kansas

Tim Ikeda (
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 22:27:34 -0400

Deja vu.
I've been reading Bill Bryson's _A Walk in the Woods_. A funny
account of his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. At one point,
where he and his hiking companion stop in a town to prepare for
the next stage of the trail in Tennessee, Bryson describes the

"While we waited on a bench outside the motel office, I bought a
copy of the _Nashville Tennessean_ out of a metal box, just to
see what was happening in the world. The principle story indicated
that the state legislature, in one of those moments of enlightenment
with which the southern states often strive to distinguish them-
selves, was in the process of passing a law forbidding schools from
teaching evolution. Instead they were to be required to instruct
that the earth was created by God, in seven days, sometime, oh,
before the turn of the century. The article reminded us that this
was not a new issue in Tennessee. The little town of Dayton -- not
far from where Katz and I now sat, as it happened -- was the scene of
the famous Scopes trial in 1925, when the state prosecuted a school-
teacher named John Thomas Scopes for rashly promulgating Darwinian
hogwash. As nearly everyone knows, Clarence Darrow, for the defense,
roundly humiliated William Jennings Bryan, for the prosecution, but
what most people don't realize is that Darrow lost the case. Scopes
was convicted, and the law wasn't overturned in Tennessee until 1967.
And now the state was about to bring the law back, proving conclusively
that the danger for Tennesseans isn't so much that they may be
descended from apes as overtaken by them."
[pp 107-8]

Tim Ikeda (despam address before use)