Remember: Scopes Lost at Trial
Tennessee teacher John Scopes won in the court of public opinion but lost at trial in 1925. A lot of people, including, apparently, radio host John Gibson, seem to think Scopes won the trial but lost the court of public opinion. Media Matters is on it here, although I think they're missing the big picture in what Gibson was saying. Gibson said:
Hey, everybody. It's John Gibson in for Bill O'Reilly. And uh, this hour threatens to be big trouble. Big, big, big, big, big trouble. Because this subject has been big trouble in this country since at least -- 1925? Wasn't that when the Scopes trial happened? Inherit the Wind, 1925? And we're still arguing about it, although the argument has transmogrified in a lot of ways and is something different. And it's probably not even fair to talk about the Scopes trial of 1925. When the ACLU found John Scopes and was able to challenge, uh, the teaching of Bible-based science in schools. Successfully. And ever since then, we've had science-based science in schools.
Media Matters criticizes Gibson for saying "Successfully," although he might have been referring to the success in persuading people to believe in evolution. But more importantly, we should remember that it was actually Clarence Darrow, who was operating separately from the ACLU, who did such a fine job of arguing the case for evolution to the broader American audience, even though he knew he couldn't persuade the 12 men in the jury box in Dayton. The ACLU actually wanted to defend Scopes without Darrow's involvement, but Scopes insisted that Darrow come on board his legal team.