Edward J. Larson

in Trial and Error

Third edition

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154719
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849505 | DOI:

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The introduction of the theory of evolution in public high schools during the 1920s resulted in a public crucade against such a measure in America. Led by the influential Democratic politician William Jennings Bryan, the crusade focused on enacting state statutes to bar the teaching of human evolution. In 1925, Tennessee became the first state to outlaw evolutionary teaching. Bryan took his crusade to the courtroom when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) instigated a judicial challenge to the Tennessee statute. During the second half of the 1920, fseeding on the public reaction to the trail, which upheld the anti-evolution law, the controversy intensified. This book examine the legal controversy both as a central manifestation of the popular response to evolutionary thought in America and as an lesson in the use of law to deal with issues relating to the relationship between science and society.

Keywords: evolutionary teaching; evolution theory; Jennings Bryan; Tennessee; anti-evolution law; ACLU

Chapter.  1408 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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