Scope®’s Monkey Trial

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The Get Fuzzy for July 15th.

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Because I'm officially infected with the disease obesity, I can now earn subsidies and browse the blogosphere simultaneously (thanks to Government in a Bottle): - My Best of Mac OS X Software - undercasephiliac john at iluminent shares his favorite... Read More

Because I'm officially infected with the disease obesity, I can now earn subsidies and browse the blogosphere simultaneously (thanks to Government in a Bottle): - My Best of Mac OS X Software - undercasephiliac john at iluminent shares his favorite... Read More

Because I'm officially infected with the disease obesity, I can now earn subsidies and browse the blogosphere simultaneously (thanks to Government in a Bottle): - My Best of Mac OS X Software - undercasephiliac john at inluminent shares his favorite... Read More

21 Comments

Oh dear…I’ve just wet myself.

My girlfriend showed me this comic this morning. She reads “Get Fuzzy” daily and quite a few of them she shows me are freakin’ hilarious. Good Post. BTW, have any of you read Ed Larson’s “Summer of the Gods.”? There’s a topic concerning Larson’s latest work below which ran off into unrelated babble. But here’s another chance to highlight Larson’s scholarship.

I’m interested to know what many of you think about the Scopes “monkey” trial. That is, I wonder how many of you have a correct understanding of the actual historical facts concerning the Scopes Trial or whether your like the cartoon cat above, basically interpreting it for yourself, in whatever way suits your cause.

a good link for it is State v. Scopes: Trial Excerpts with a link on that page to an e-book form of the full trial transcripts.

for less then $8 a bargan value for the information you get from it.

That is, I wonder how many of you have a correct understanding of the actual historical facts concerning the Scopes Trial or whether your like the cartoon cat above, basically interpreting it for yourself, in whatever way suits your cause.

“A correct understanding”? Yikes. Sounds either like Stalin or Falwell.

I did read Larson’s “Summer for the Gods”, and I think his account is probably about right. The myth and the movie have overshadowed reality.

Here’s a question: Does the Discovery Institute have “a correct understanding” of it, or do they interpret it whatever way suits their cause?

See The Scopes Trial: Frequently Rebutted Assertions.

I got my transcript in the old-fashioned format, printed in 1925.

For a source that interprets Scopes to suit its cause, see http://www.designinference.com/docu[…]Pref_Epi.pdf

During my sophomore year in high school we were given an assignment to research a famous trial. I decided to research the Scopes trial, without even realizing that we were given the assignment because we were later going to read “Inherit the Wind.”

It was definitely interesting to compare how the play contrasted with the actual trial, having just studied the latter before reading the former. It definitely showed that while “Inherit the Wind” was based on the Scopes trial, it wasn’t about the Scopes trial.

Russell: As far as I can tell, the DI’s interpretation of the Scopes trial is the same as Ed Larson’s. I believe they endorse his book, as well as sale it. And since you own a copy, turn it over and check out that back cover. Who’s that but good ol’ ID grandfather Philip Johnson.

Dr. Elsberry: Nice resource. Thanks. But I think the claim that is generally made concerning Nebraska man and Piltdown Man is that they were both being employed as the main evidence for human evolution at the time of the trial, though they were not given as evidence during the trial, which is true. Historians have made mention of this fact only to show that evolutionary theory (at least in the area of human evolution) wasn’t exactly making the most sound scientific claims at the time.

Also, how exactly is that “Design of Life” appendix you sited mis-interpreting the Scopes Trial. It actually puts it in a better historical light than most everything else written about it dating before Larson’s book. Point something out to me.

T. Russ:

The “assertions” in the Scopes FRA are all things that I have seen antievolutionists use. Other assertions may certainly exist. I don’t think that there was ever a time that Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man were the main evidence for human evolution. You may set me straight with a reference or two to literature of the time that makes that case. Until then, I will consider the claim as I do other unsubstantiated antievolution claptrap.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hom[…]ebraska.html http://www.antievolution.org/people[…]ebraska.html http://home.tiac.net/~cri_a/piltdow[…]iltdown.html

Ray Ginger’s “Six Days or Forever?” does quite nicely in the history of Scopes department; it was published in 1958. It has the goods on the Robinson’s drug store meeting that set the Scopes trial in motion and much of the rest of the back story of the Scopes trial. It certainly doesn’t utilize Inherit the Wind as its basis. “The Design of Life” appendix suffers by comparison to Ginger’s work.

Nebraska man was never part of the “main evidence” for human evolution. Anyone who is aware of the story would know that that is quite absurd. Nor, so far as I can tell was Piltdown - certainly not in the U.S.A. where it does not seem to have made much impact.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 5, column 596, byte 1005 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Piltdown man is still evidence for evolution!!! It was a hoax duh! The creationists stole the real piltdown man and replaced it with a phoney. Then they protected it from examination for thirty years and waited for the right time to bring it to light to make evolutionists look stupid. They did all this because they thought it would help their religious cause.

And no one ever even heard of nebraska man until very recently. Some creationists made it up four years ago. Claiming that some guy named Harold Cookie (only a creationist would make up some name like that) found a pigs tooth and claimed it was a hominid. They even went so far as to claim that the evolutionist scientists had a full article and illustration of Nebraska man and his mate. This is bogus nonsense.

Your absolutely right Paul, Nebraska Man wasn’t ever considered evidence for evolution.

Neither Nebraska Man nor Piltdown is as interesting as Malachite Man or the remains of Biblical Giants.

Hey Les, have ID theorists ever used Malachite Man or Biblical Giants as support for their theory?

ID theorists are intellectuals. This is the sort of stuff a “low level” creationist would use, for example, at a talk at the Church of Christ in Galena, IL.

From Les’s Giants page:

Also see extensive links and video’s at end of page.

They’re as good at english as they are at science.

T. Russ Wrote:

Hey Les, have ID theorists ever used Malachite Man or Biblical Giants as support for their theory?

Les Lane Wrote:

ID theorists are intellectuals. This is the sort of stuff a “low level” creationist would use, for example, at a talk at the Church of Christ in Galena, IL.

The “low level” creationists at least make testable statements, whereas ID “theorists” mostly just spin arguments of incredulity. Since ID “theorists” claim to be in it only for the science, one wonders why on earth they don’t direct much more of their incredulity to the more absurd creationist claims, instead of to the claims in their caricature of “Darwinism” - many of which mainstream evolutionary biology never makes in the frst place.

“The foremost thing is to demolish the Darwinist superstition. All our people can get along on that. What they don’t agree on are the alternatives, such as the theory of design.”

Bruce Chapman, President, Discovery Institute

Les Lane quotes the DI’s Bruce Chapman:

‘The foremost thing is to demolish the Darwinist superstition. All our people can get along on that. What they don’t agree on are the alternatives, such as the theory of design.’

That statement contains so many errors that it’s hard to know where to begin:

The “Darwinist superstition” must be the DI’s erroneous pretense that evolution rules out a designer just because some of its advocates make that assertion. The irony is that IDers know and often even admit that their chief opponents are theistic evolutionists, who do not have any “Darwinist superstition” to begin with.

Chapman surely knows that there is no “theory of design” but only potential alternate origins models (what happened and when). And he surely knows that none of them fit the evidence nearly as well as evolution’s. Otherwise there would be no need to play bait-and-switch with “(unfalsifiable) evidence for design” vs. “(out-of-context) evidence against evolution.”

ID claims to be scientific. If it were truly scientific, the *first* thing it would do is try to agree on an origins model. And given the state of the evidence that model would be identical to that of evolution – old earth, common descent, etc. Then, if ID had other ideas of how that model unfolded if not by Darwinian evolution, it would do its own research, instead of just playing word games and confusing proximate causes with ultimate causes. And it would not risk being accused of thinking that it can outsmart the designer.

ID’s in no danger of becoming scientific, Frank. In science, someone says something defined enough to be tested. Factions break out, it’s tested, and the holdouts gradually disappear. ID skipped straight to the factions part. Multiple attempts to conjure up some science to support their religious program have failed. Multiple attempts to affect legislation and curricula have succeeded at least somewhat. It’s a religious movement with a social agenda, obscured with scientific jargon. It’s no danger to science, but it is a danger to science education, and modernity. And in the minds of sensible religionists like Pete, also a danger to religion.

Chapman is not a scientist. As near as I can tell the origins of his hostility to science are secular. Presumably he felt inferior around those who understood science.

Where can I follow up for more information

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on July 15, 2004 1:23 AM.

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