So I get this email every now and again from history.com that tells me silly things that happened on “this day” a long time ago.
Basically, it’s a happy birthday to weird shit that happened email.
And I usually just delete them because the events are just sort of meh.
But I connected with today’s event.
On this day in 1925, in Dayton, Tennessee, John Thomas Scopes, who had the truly abysmal luck to be teaching science in Tennessee in 1925, was put on trial for teaching “any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.”
That had literally been made against the law in Tennessee the previous March.
Now, Scopes and his buddy, George Rappalyea, actually conspired to get Scopes charged with the crime in order to launch a defense that based itself entirely on my very strategy for getting my kids to realize they’re being asshats: logic them into submission.
Long story short, the ACLU got involved, because of course, and Clarence Darrow did his awesome thing, and William Jennings Bryan let the whole world know that he was a megatronic douche canoe and even though Darrow technically lost the case, he was able to put Bryan on display and force him to speak his ignorance and contradiction out loud in front of the whole town, which had become a circus, discrediting his literal fundamental interpretation of the bible (intentionally not capitalized). And I’m not going to lie, my favorite part of the whole event was that Bryan went down for a little nappy nap on July 26, five days after the trial ended and MY BIRTHDAY and never woke up.
I know that makes me sound awful.
I just don’t care.
So in honor of the lovely John Thomas Scopes, who I think I’ll name something after (I’m not having any more kids but maybe our dog in the future), here’s one of my other favorite smarty pants miscreants on evolution.
And I want to leave you with a thought. We can’t outlaw inconvenient truths. We can’t call the news we don’t like fake and expect to be taken seriously. When my kids get mad because they don’t like logic and want the world to be made of rainbow farts and unicorn sprinkles they tell me to stop talking.
That’s exactly what ignorant people do to smart people too.
We should never be quiet, smart people. It’s not good to let ignorance go unchallenged.