The trial featured a number of strategic twists and turns. Presiding Judge John T. Raulston quoted Genesis and quarreled with Darrow on several occasions. He insisted that the jury judge the case, not on the issues regarding evolution vs. the Bible, but on whether the defendant violated the state law. Scopes never actually appeared for questioning, since he was not even sure he had taught the chapter in question and the defense did not want him grilled on it. The defense argued that the Bible dealt with matters of religion and science with matters of facts and the two should not be mixed. Many people believe the same thing today, presupposing the Bible is not inerrant or divinely inspired, but full of human error and unreliable for history or science. If apologetics (the defense of the Bible) begins at a starting point other than the divinely inspired, inerrant Scripture, “common ground” arguments will fall to pieces, eventually.
Soaring temperatures in the courtroom forced some proceedings to be moved outside such as the July 20 session seen above where William Jennings Bryan (seated, left) is being questioned by Clarence Darrow (right)
As for the Butler Act, Scopes was convicted of violating the law and fined (which the ACLU paid). As for the issues between the Biblical account of origins and evolutionary theory, the reporters turned Bryan into a monumental figure of ridicule and ignorance (he died five days later), and conservative Christians into backward rubes unfit for the intellectual challenges of the 20th century. Nonetheless, the spiritual war continued, and other states passed laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution while the Ivy League (and ivory tower) pundits carried their religious faith in evolution to this very day. Let God be true and every man a liar.