Taken from the Website of Douglas O. Linder, Professor of Law, University of Missouri-K.C.
Scopes Trial: Excerpts from the Court Transcripts
Day 1: Jury Selection
[The Defense rejects a juror]
No. 20, J. P. Massingill, duly sworn by the court and examined on his voir dire, testified as follows:
Questions by the Court:
Q--Have you formed or expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant in this case?
A--From rumors and newspapers--of course, I read. I don't know anything about the evidence.
Q--You haven't talked with any person who professed to know the facts?
A-- No, sir.
Q--Now, Mr. Massingill, could you go into the jury box and wholly disregard any impression or opinion you have?
A-- Yes, Sir.
Q--And try the case wholly on the law and the evidence, rendering a fair and impartial verdict to both sides?
A--I think so; yes, Sir.
Court: He seems to be competent, gentlemen.
Mr. McKenzie--Pass him to you, Colonel.
Questions by Mr. Darrow:
Q--What is your business?
A--I am a minister.
A--I live in Rhea County.
Q--Where do you preach?
A--I preach over the county in the rural sections.
Q--You mean you haven't any regular church?
A--I have. I am pastoring four churches--have four appointments.
Q--Ever preach on evolution?
A--I don't think so, definitely; that is, on evolution alone.
Q--Did you ever preach on evolution?
A--Yes. I haven't as a subject; just taken that up; in connection with other subjects. I have referred to it in discussing it.
Q--Against it or for it?
A--I am strictly for the Bible.
Q--I am talking about evolution. I am not talking about the Bible. Did you preach for or against evolution?
A--Is that a fair question, Judge?
Court--Yes, answer the question.
A--Well, I preached against it, of course! (Applause).
Q--Why, "of course?"
Court--Let's have order.
Mr. Darrow--Your honor, I am going to ask to have anybody excluded that applauds.
Court--Yes, if you repeat that, ladies and gentlemen, you will be excluded. We cannot have applause. If you have any feeling in this case you must not express it in the courthouse, so don't repeat the applause. If you do, I will have to exclude you.
Q--You have a very firm conviction--a very strong opinion against evolution, haven't you?
A--Well, some points in evolution.
Q--Are you trying to get on this jury?
Q--Have you formed a strong conviction against evolution?
A--Well, I have.
Q--You think you would be a fair juror in this case?
A--Well, I can take the law and the evidence in the case, I think, and try a man right.
Q--I asked if you think you thought you could be a fair juror?
Q--You have heard that he is an evolutionist, haven't you?
A--Yes, sir, I have heard that.
Q--And in your opinion he has been teaching contrary to the Bible?
General Stewart--If your honor please, I except to that. The question involved here will be whether or not--not, I apprehend if Mr. Scopes taught anything that is contrary to the Bible--that isn't the question. He has asked him whether or not he has prejudged the guilt of the defendant.
Court--He has a right to know that.
General Stewart--The man has already stated to him that he had no opinion in the case.
Mr. Darrow--Do you think he would be a fair juror in the case?
General Stewart--Yes, I do, if he says so.
Mr. Darrow--I don't.
Court--I think the lawyers have the right to get all the information they can on the subject, and I will treat both sides alike.
Court--Questions by the court:
Q--Have you, in your mind now, Mr. Massingill, a fixed opinion that he has taught a theory contrary to the theory of the Bible as to the creation of man?
Q--Would that have any weight with you or any bearing with you in the trial of this case if you were selected as a juror?
A--I think I am fair and honest enough to lay aside things and give a man justice.
Court--You may proceed, gentlemen. He seems to be competent.
Mr. Darrow--You now have an opinion that evolution is contrary to the Bible and that my client has been teaching evolution; as you stand there now, that is your opinion?
A--From the information I have in regard to his teaching.
Q--That is your opinion now, isn't it, as you stand there now?
A--Sure it is.
Q--You could change it if you heard evidence enough to change it on?
Q--Otherwise you couldn't?
A--I have no right to; I don't think.
Mr. Darrow--I challenge for cause.
Court--Well, I want every juror to start in with an open mind. I will excuse you, Mr. Massingill....
[The Prosecution rejects a juror]
Venireman J. T. Leuty was duly sworn and replied as follows to questions asked by the court:
Q--Have you formed or expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of this defendant?
Q--If chosen on the jury, could you go into the box without prejudice or bias either way, and try the case on the law and the evidence?
Court--He is a competent juror.
Examination by J. G. McKenzie:
Q--Mr. Leuty, you say you have been hearing about this case?
A--No, sir, just talk.
Q--When he was arrested?
Q--And, of course, everybody formed an opinion, and naturally would? That's right?
A--No, sir; I didn't hear any evidence in this case, and didn't form any opinion at all.
Q--You didn't form any opinion from what you heard other people say?
Q--And haven't an opinion now?
Mr. J. G. McKenzie--We pass him to you.
Examination by Mr. Darrow::
Q--Have you ever been a member of a church?
Q--How long have you lived here?
A--All my life.
Q--What is your business?
A--Well, I am a kind of a farmer now.
Q--Here in Dayton?
A--No, sir; I live in Rhea Springs.
Q--That is in this county?
Q--You have never studied evolution?
Q--Are you much of a reader?
A--I read some. I used to read a great deal.
A--Yes, and magazines and newspapers. Used to read books.
Q--You used to read books. And you went to school here, I suppose, rather than where you live now?
A--I went to the public schools in Rhea County.
Q--Did you ever hear anybody talk about evolution?
A--Oh, well, I have heard it talked about when they got this question up.
Q--They never talked about it before down here, did they?.
A--Well, they might in a general way, but people never paid much attention to it.
Q--You have not any prejudice against the doctrine or idea of evolution?
Q--You don't know what your neighbors think about this case?
A--I suppose some of them have thought about it.
Q--You wouldn't care what they thought if you were on this jury?
A--No, it wouldn't make any difference to me if I was on this jury.
Q--If you were on this jury it would not make any difference to you what your neighbors thought?
Mr. J. G. McKenzie--Challenge by the state.
The Court--Mr. Leuty, we will excuse you.
Mr. Darrow--Have they got a right to do that?
The Court--Colonel, perhaps you don't understand our practice.
The Court--They examine a juror. They pass him to you, and you can examine him and say that you pass him back; then they have the right to challenge him. They have a right to pass him back and then you take him or reject him. That is our practice.
Mr. Darrow--I thought they were trying to put something over on us.
The Court--No, if they tried to I would not let them.
Mr. Darrow--Don't let them.
[Darrow argues law is unconstitutional]
Darrow - If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and the next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. Soon you may set Catholic against Protestant and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the minds of men. If you can do one you can do the other. Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers,tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lectures, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After while, your honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.
Day 3: Debate Over Prayer
[Immediately upon the rapping of the bailiff for order in the courtroom, and before the regular session was opened, the following proceedings occurred:]
The Court--Rev. Stribling, will you open with prayer?
Mr. Darrow--Your honor, I want to make an objection before the jury comes in.
The Court--What is it, Mr. Darrow?
Mr. Darrow--I object to prayer and I object to the jury being present when the court rules on the objection.
Gen. Stewart--What is it?
The Court--He objects to the court being opened with prayer, especially in the presence of the jury.
Mr. Stewart--The jury is not here.
The Court--No, I do not want to be unreasonable about anything, but I believe I have a right, I am responsible for the conduct of the court, it has been my custom since I have been a judge to have prayers in the courtroom when it was convenient and I know of no reason why I should not follow up this custom, so I will overrule the objection.
Mr. Darrow--I understand from the court himself that he has sometimes opened the court with prayer and sometimes not, and we took no exceptions on the first day, but seeing this is persisted in every session, and the nature of this case being one where it is claimed by the state that there is a conflict between science and religion, above all other cases there should be no part taken outside of the evidence in this case and no attempt by means of prayer or in any other way to influence the deliberation and consideration of the jury of the facts in this case.
The Court--Do you want to say anything?
Mr. McKenzie--That matter has been passed upon by our supreme court. Judge Shepherd took a case from the court, when the jury, after retiring to consider their verdict, at the suggestion of one of them to bow in prayer, asked divine guidance, afterwards delivering a verdict not excepted to, and afterwards taken to the supreme court: It was commendable to the jury to ask divine guidance.
Mr. Darrow--I do not object to the jury or anyone else praying in secret or in private, but I do object to the turning of this courtroom into a meeting house in the trial of this case. You have no right to do it.
The Court--You have a right to put your exceptions on the record.
Gen. Stewart--In order that the record may show the state's position, the state makes no contention, as stated by counsel for the defense, that this is a conflict between science and religion insofar as the merits are concerned, it is a case involving the fact as to whether or not a school- teacher has taught a doctrine prohibited by statute, and we, for the state, think it is quite proper to open the court with prayer if the court sees fit to do it, and such an idea extended by the agnostic counsel for the defense is foreign to the thoughts and ideas of the people who do not know anything about infidelity and care less.
Mr. Hays--May I ask to enter an exception to the statement "agnostic counsel for the defense."
Mr. Malone--I would like to reply to this remark of the attorney-general. Whereas I respect my colleagues, Mr. Darrow's right to believe or not to believe as long as he is as honest in his unbelief as I am in my belief. As one of the members of counsel who is not an agnostic, I would like to state the objection from my point of view. Your honor has the discretion to have a prayer or not to have a prayer. There was no exception offered and I can assure the court when we talked it over among ourselves as colleagues, there was no exception felt to the opening of these proceedings by prayer the first day, but I would like to ask your honor whether in all the trials over which your honor was presided, this court has had a clergyman every morning of every day of every trial to open the court with prayer?
Our objection goes to the fact that we believe that this daily opening of the court with prayers, those prayers we have already heard, having been duly argumentative that they help to increase the atmosphere of hostility to our point of view, which already exists in this community by widespread propaganda.
Gen. Stewart--In reply to that there is still no question involved in this lawsuit as to whether or not Scopes taught a doctrine prohibited by the statute, that is that man descended from a lower order of animals. So far as creating an atmosphere of hostility is concerned, I would advise Mr. Malone that this is a God fearing country.
Mr. Malone--And it is no more God fearing country than that from which I came.
The Court--Gentlemen, do not turn this into an argument.
Mr. Darrow--I would like to reply to counsel, that this statute says no doctrine shall be taught which is contrary to the divine account contained in the Bible. So there is no question about the religious character of these proceedings.
The Court--This court has no purpose except to find the truth and do justice to all the issues involved in this case.
In answer to counsel for the defendant, as to my custom, I will say the several years I have been on the bench I have used my discretion in opening the court with prayer, at times when there was a minister present and it was convenient to do so; other times when there was no large assemblage of people and no minister present, I have not always followed this custom, but I think it is a matter wholly within the discretion of the court.
I have instructed the ministers who have been invited to my rostrum to open the court with prayer, to make no reference to the issues involved in this case. I see nothing that might influence the court or jury as to the issues. I believe in prayer myself; I constantly invoke divine guidance myself, when I am on the bench and off the bench; I see no reason why I should not continue to do this.
[Malone states theory of the defense]
The purpose of the defense will be to set before you all available facts and information from every branch of science to aid you informing an opinion of what evolution is, and of what value to progress and confort is the theory of evolution, for you are the judged of the law and the facts, and the defense wishes to aid you in every way to intelligent opinion.
The defense denies that it is part of any movement or conspiracy on the part of scientists to destroy the authority of Christianity or the Bible. The defense denies that any such conspiracy exists except in the mind and purpose of the evangelical leader of the prosecution. The defense maintains that the book of Genesis is in part a hymn, in part an allegory and work of religious interpretations written by men who believe that the earth was flat and whose authority cannot be accepted to control the teachings of science in our schools.
The narrow purpose of the defense is to establish the innocence of the defendant Scopes. The broad purpose of the defense will be to prove that the Bible is a work of religious aspiration and rules of conduct which must be kept in the field of theology.
The defense maintains that there is no more justification for imposing the conflicting views of the Bible on courses of biology than there would be for imposing the views of biologsts on courses of comparative religion. We maintain that science and religion embrace two separate and distinct fields of thought and learning.
We remember that Jesus said: "Render unto Ceasar's the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's."
[The Prosecution attacks the defense's theory]
McKenzie--This is wholly improper, argumentative. It is not a statement as to what the issues are. Your honor has already held that this act is constitutional, it being the law of the land, there is but one issue before this court and jury, and that is, did the defendant violate the statute. That statute interprets itself, and says that whenever a man teaches that man descended from a lower order of animals as contradistinguished from the record of the creation of man as given by the word of God, that he is guilty. Does the proof show that he did that, that is the only issue, if it please the honorable court, before this jury. My friend is talking about a theory of evolution that it took him two years to write, that speech, (laughter.) That is not proper, if your honor please, if it is proper, it would be like a couple of gentlemen over in my country, where they were engaged and were trying a lawsuit before a justice of the peace, and they had a large number of witnesses. Finally one lawyer said, "let us have a conference," and they went out to confer, and they came back in and said, "if your honor please, the witnesses in this case, some of them are not very well, others are awfully ignorant, and we have just agreed among ourselves to dispense with the evidence and argue the case." That is what my good friend Malone wants to do. (Loud laughter and officer rapping for order.)
[Testimony of a student of Scopes]
Direct examination by General Stewart:
Q--Your name is Howard Morgan?
Q--You are Mr. Luke Morgan's son?
Q--Your Father is in the bank here, Dayton Bank and Trust company?
Q--How old are you?
Q--Did you attend school here at Dayton last year?
Q--Central High School
Q--Did you study anything under Prof. Scopes?
Q--Did you study this book, General Science?
Q--Were you studying that book in April of this year, Howard?
Q--Did Prof. Scopes teach it to you?
Q--When did you complete the book?
A--Latter part of April
Q-When was school out?
A--First or second of May.
Q--You studied it then up to a week or so before school was out?
Q--Now, you say you were studying this book in April; how did Prof. Scopes teach that book to you? I mean by that did he ask you questions and you answered them or did he give you lectures, or both? Just explain to the jury here now, these gentleman here in front of you, how he taught the books to you.
A--Well, sometimes he would ask us questions and then he would lecture to us on different subjects in the book.
Q--Sometimes he asked you questions and sometimes lectured to you on different subjects in the book?
Q--Did he ever undertake to teach you anything about evolution?
Q--Just state in your own words, Howard, what he taught you and when it was.
A--It was along about the 2d of April.
Q--Of this year?
A--Yes, sir; of this year. He said that the earth was once a hot molten mass too hot for plant or animal life to exist upon it; in the sea the earth cooled off; there was a little germ of one cell organism formed, and this organism kept evolving until it got to be a pretty good-sized animal, and then came on to be a land animal and it kept on evolving, and from this was man.
Q--Let me repeat that; perhaps a little stronger than you. If I don't get it right, you correct me.
Hays--Go to the head of the class....
Stewart--I ask you further, Howard, how did he classify man with reference to other animals; what did he say about them?
A--Well, the book and he both classified man along with cats and dogs, cows, horses, monkeys, lions, horses and all that.
Q--What did he say they were?
Q--Classified them along with dogs, cats, horses, monkeys and cows?
[Cross examination by Mr. Darrow: ]
Q--Let's see, your name is what?
Q--Now, Howard, what do you mean by classify?
A--Well, it means classify these animals we mentioned, that men were just the same as them, in other words--
Q--He didn't say a cat was the same as a man?
A--No, sir: he said man had a reasoning power; that these animals did not.
Q--There is some doubt about that, but that is what he said, is it? (Laughter in the courtroom.)
Stewart--With some men.
Darrow--A great many.
Q--Now, Howard , he said they were all mammals, didn't he?
Q--Did he tell you what a mammal was, or don't you remember?
A--Well, he just said these animals were mammals and man was a mammal.
Q--No; but did he tell you what distinguished mammals from other animals?
A--I Don't remember.
Q--If he did, you have forgotten it? Didn't he say that mammals were those beings which suckled their young?
A--I don't remember about that .
Q--You don't remember?
Q--Do you remember what he said that made any animal a mammal, what it was or don't you remember?
A--I don't remember.
Q--But he said that all of them were mammals?
Q--Dogs and horses, monkeys, cows, man, whales, I cannot state all of them, but he said all of those were mammals?
A--Yes, sir; but I don't know about the whales; he said all those other ones. (Laughter in the courtroom.)
Q--Well, did he tell you anything else that was wicked?
A--No, not that I remember of....
Q--Now, he said the earth was once a molten mass of liquid, didn't he?
Q--By molten, you understand melted?
Q--After that, it got cooled enough and the soil came, that plants grew; is that right?
A--Yes, sir, yes, sir.
Q--And that the first life was in the sea.
Q--And that the first life wsas in the sea.
Q--And that it developed into life on the land?
Q--And finally into the highest organism which is know to man?
Q--Now, that is about what he taught you?
Q--It has not hurt you any, has it?
[Testimony of F. E. Robinson]
F.E. Robinson, a witness in behalf of the prosecution having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:
Direct examination-by Mr. Stewart.
Q--You are Robinson, known as Robinson's drug store?
Q--Where all this thing started?
Q--Did you have any conversation with Scopes along about the time that this trial started with reference to his teaching the theory of evolution?
Q--Just state what that was, if you remember it.
Darrow--Get the date of it.
Q-- That was along-about May 4 or 5?
A--I don't remember what date; it was the next week after school was out. Scopes said that any teacher in the state who was teaching Hunter's Biology was violating the law; that science teachers could not teach Hunter's Biology without violating the law.
[Hays argues that expert testimony should be admitted]
First , our opponents object to the jury hearing the law; now, they are objecting to the jury hearing the facts. The jury is to pass on questions that are agitated not only in this country, but, I dare say, in the whole world.... The learned attorney-general started his argument this morning by saying, we admit Mr. Scopes taught something contrary to the law. While we admit that Mr. Scopes taught what the witnesses said that he did, but as to whether that is contrary to the theory of the Bible should be a matter of evidence. Possibly the prosecution are without evidence.... Certainly no court has ever held it to be dangerous to admit the opinions of scientific men in testimony. Jurors cannot pass upon debatable scientific questions without hearing the facts from men who know. Is there anything in Anglo-Saxon law that insists that the determination of either court or jury must be made in ignorance? Somebody once said that God has bountifully provided expert witness on both sides of every case. But, in this case, I believe all our expert witnesses, all the scientists in the country are only on one side of the question; and they are not here, your honor, to give opinions; they are here to state facts....
Their theory seemed to be at the beginning that Prof. Scopes taught and that evolution teaches that man descended from a monkey. If Prof. Scopes taught that, he would not be violating this law.... To prove that man was descended from a monkey would not prove that man was descended from a lower order of animals, because they are all in the same order of animals-the first order-and that is the use of the term "order of animals" by zoologists and I suppose we have got to interpret this term according to its usual use and so even if Prof. Scopes taught what the prosecution thinks, even then according to our theory, they would not prove that Scopes taught that man descended from a lower order of animals. They might say that man came from a different genus but not a lower order of animals. Perhaps that is new to you, gentlemen, and I confess it was new to me and yet these men had the audacity to come into court and ask the court to pass upon these questions without offering any evidence...
When these gentlemen tell your honor what their theory of the case is, and then say, "the defense should put in no evidence because this is our theory" they immediately suggest to your honor that you should hear one side of the case only. Your honor may know of the occasion some time ago when a man argued a question for the plaintiff before a judge who had a very Irish wit and after he had finished the judge turned to the defendant and said, "I don't care to hear anything from the defendant, to hear both sides has a tendency to confuse the court" (Laughter in the courtroom)....
What are the questions of fact? A man is guilty of a violation of the law if he teaches any theory different from the theory taught in the Bible. Has the judge a right to know what the Bible is? Does that law say that anything is contrary to the Bible that does not interpret the Bible Literally--every word interpreted literally? Oh, no, the law says that he must teach a theory that denies the story as stated in the Bible. Are we able to say what is stated in the Bible? Or is it a matter of words interpreted literally? Is your honor going to put into that statute any theory contrary to creation as stated in the Bible with the words "literally interpreted word by word" because if you are, the statute doesn't say so. Are we entitled to show what the Bible is? Are we entitled to show its meaning? Are we entitled to show what evolution is?....
Does that statement, as the boy stated on the stand, that he was taught that man comes from a cell--is that a theory that man descended from a lower order of animals? I don't know and I dare say your honor has some doubt about it. Are we entitled to find out whether it is or not in presenting this case to the jury?....
Now, I claim, and it is the contention of the defense these things we are showing are just as legitimate facts, just as well substantiated as the Copernican theory and if that is so, your honor, then we say at the very beginning that this law is an unreasonable restraint on the liberty of the citizens and is not within the police power of the state. Apparently, my opponents have the idea that just as long as the question is one of law for the court, then no evidence is required. There was never anything further from the truth. They had apparently the idea that the court takes judicial knowledge of a subject, such as matters of science, and that then no evidence need be introduced....
[Prosecution argues for exclusion of expert testimony]
Hicks--Now, if your honor please, I insist this, when the experts come in they have to qualify upon two subjects, as expert upon the Bible and experts upon a particular branch of science, which they are supposed to know about. Now, why should these experts know anything more about the Bible than some of the jurors? There is one on there I will match against any of the theologians they will bring down, on the jury; he knows more of the Bible than all of them do.
Malone--How do you know?
Hicks--What is the interpretation of the Bible? Some of the experts whom they have brought here do not believe in God; the great majority, the leading ones, do not believe in God; they have different ideas--
Malone--If your honor please, how does he know until he gets them on the stand, what they believe? We object.
The Court--Sustain the objection; you cannot assume what they believe....
Hicks-- Mr. Darrow said in his speech not long ago, that evolution is a mystery. Therefore, if expert testimony is full of pitfalls or dangers, or uncertainties in any issue, how much more so must it be in this issue; how much more so must it be in this issue in regard to evolution when Mr. Darrow himself says that evolution is a mystery. So, why admit these experts? Why admit them? It is not necessary. Why admit them? They invade the province of the jury....
If they want to make a school down here in Tennessee to educate our poor ignorant people, let them establish a school out here; let them bring down their experts. The people of Tennesee do not object to that, but we do object to them making a school house or a teachers' institute out of this court. Such procedure in Tennessee is unknown.
[Malone argues for admission of expert testimony]
There is never a duel with the truth. The truth always wins and we are not afraid of it. The truth is no coward. The truth does not need the law. The truth does not need the force of government. The truth does not need Mr. Bryan. The truth is imperishable, eternal and immortal and needs no human agency to support it. We are ready to tell the truth as we understand it and we do not fear all the truth that they can present as facts. We are ready. We are ready. We feel we stand with progress. We feel we stand with science. We feel we stand with intelligence. We feel we stand with fundamental freedom in America. We are not afraid. Where is the fear? We meet it, where is the fear? We defy it, we ask your honor to admit the evidence as a matter of correct law, as a matter of sound procedure and as a matter of justice to the defense in this case. (Profound and continued applause).
[Argument over whether the defense is using the trial for publicity reasons]
Gen. Stewart--It is a known fact that the defense consider this a campaign of education to get before the people their ideas of evolution and scientific principles. This case has the aspect of novelty, and therefore has been sensationalized by the newspapers, and of course these gentlemen want to take advantage of the opportunity. I don't want to make any accusations that they are improperly taking advantage of it. They are lawyers and they have these ideas, and it is an opportunity to begin a campaign of education for their ideas and theories of evolution and of scientific principles, and I take it that will not be disputed and all I ask, if the court please, is that we not go beyond the pale of the law in making this investigation.
Malone--I just want to make this statement for the purposes of the record, that the defense is not engaged in a campaign of education, although the way the defense has handled the case has probably been of educational value. We represent no organization nor organizations for the purpose of education. Your honor knows that everything the court says not only goes out to the world through the newspapers, but through the radio and it is difficult for a court these days to exclude a jury from what is going on in the courtroom, because it would be difficult for a juror to go anywhere in the utmost privacy and not hear what's going on, so the rules would have to be changed to meet the advance of science. If the defense is representing anything it is merely representing the attempt to meet the campaign of propaganda which has been begun by a distinguished member of the prosecution.
[Judge Raulston excludes expert testimony]
This case is now before the court upon a motion by the attorney general to exclude from the consideration of the jury certain expert testimony offered by the defendant, the import of such testimony being an effort to explain the origin of man and life. The state insists that such evidence is wholly irrelevant, incompetent and impertinent to the issues pending, and that it should be excluded.
Upon the other hand, the defendant insists that this evidence is highly competent and relevant to the issues involved, and should be admitted....
Now upon these issues as brought up, it becomes the duty of the court to determine the question of the admissibility of this expert testimony offered by the defendant.
It is not within the province of the court under these issues to decide and determine which is true, the story of divine creation as taught in the Bible, or the story of the creation of man as taught by evolution....
Let us now inquire what is the true interpretation of this statute. Did the legislature mean that before an accused could be convicted, the state must prove two things:
First--That the accused taught a theory denying the story of divine creation as taught in the Bible;
Second--That man descended from a lower order of animals.
If the first must be specially proven, then we must have proof as to what the story of divine creation is, and that a theory was taught denying that story. But if the second clause is explanatory of the first, and speaks into the act the intention of the legislature and the meaning of the first clause, it would be otherwise....
In the act involved in the case at bar, if it is found consistent to interpret the latter clause as explanatory of the legislative intent as to the offense against, then why call experts? The ordinary, non-expert mind can comprehend the simple language, "descended from a lower order of animals."
These are not ambiguous words or complex terms. But while discussing these words by way of parenthesis, I desire to suggest that I believe evolutionists should at least show man the consideration to substitute the world "ascend" for the word "descend."
In the final analysis this court, after a most earnest and careful consideration, has reached the conclusions that under the provisions of the act involved in this case, it is made unlawful thereby to teach in the public schools of the state of Tennessee the theory that man descended from a lower order of animals. If the court is correct in this, then the evidence of experts would shed no light on the issues.
Therefore, the court is content to sustain the motion of the attorney-general to exclude the expert testimony.
[Darrow found in contempt, then apologizes]
Darrow--We want to make statements here of what we expect to prove. I do not understand why every request of the state and every suggestion of the prosecution should meet with an endless waste of time, and a bare suggestion of anything that is perfectly competent on our part should be immediately overruled.
The Court--I hope you do not mean to reflect upon the court?
Darrow--Well, your honor has the right to hope.
The Court--I have the right to do something else, perhaps.
Darrow--All right; all right.
The Court--The court has withheld any action until passion had time to subdue, and it could be arranged that the jury would be kept separate and apart from proceedings so as not to know of the matters concerning which the court is now about to speak. And these matters having been arranged, the court feels that it is now time for him to speak:
Both the state and federal governments maintain courts, that those who cannot agree may have their difference properly adjudicated. If the courts are not kept above reproach their usefulness will be destroyed. He who would unlawfully and wrongfully show contempt for a court of justice, sows the seeds of discord and breeds contempt for both the law and the courts, and thereby does an injustice both to the courts and good society.
Men may become prominent, but they should never feel themselves superior to the law or justice.
The criticism of individual conduct of a man who happens to be judge may be of small consequence, but to criticize him while on the bench is unwarranted and shows disrespect for the official, and also shows disrespect for the state or the commonwealth in which the court is maintained.
It is my policy to show the same courtesy to the lawyers of sister states that I show the lawyers of my own state, but I think this courtesy should be reciprocated; those to whom it is extended should at least be respectful to the court over which I preside.
He who would hurl contempt into the records of my court insults and outrages the good people of one of the greatest states of the union-a state which, on account of its loyalty, has justly won for itself the title of the Volunteer State.
It has been my policy on the bench to be cautious and to endeavor to avoid hastily and rashly rushing to conclusions. But in the face of what I consider an unjustified expression of contempt for this court and its decrees, made by Clarence Darrow, on July 17, 1925, I feel that further forbearance would cease to be a virtue, and in an effort to protect the good name of my state, and to protect the dignity of the court over which I preside, I am constrained and impelled to call upon the said Darrow, to know what he has to say why he should not be dealt with for contempt.
Therefore, I hereby order that instanter citation from this court be served upon the said Clarence Darrow, requiring him to appear in this court, at 9 o'clock a.m., Tuesday, July 21, 1925, and make answer to this citation.
I also direct that upon the serving of the said citation that he be required to make an execute a good and lawful bond for $5,000 for his appearance from day to day upon said citation and not depart the court without leave.
Darrow--What is the bond, your honor?
[Next session of the court:]
Stewart--Darrow has a statement that he want to make at this time and I think it is proper that your honor hear him and I want to ask the court to hear the statement.
The Court--All right, I will hear you, Col. Darrow.
Darrow--Your honor, quite apart from any question of what is right or wrong in this matter which your honor mentioned and which I will discuss in a moment-quite apart from that, and on my own account if nothing else was involved , I would feel that I ought to say what I am going to say. Of course, your honor will remember that whatever took place was hurried, one thing, followed another and the truth is I did not know just how it looked until I read over the minutes as your honor did and when I read them over I was sorry that I had said it.
I have been practicing law for forty-seven years and I have been pretty busy and most of the time in court I have had many a case where I have had to do what I have been doing here-fighting the public opinion of the people, in the community where I was trying the case- even in my own town and I never yet have in all my time had any criticism by the court for anything I have done in court. That is, I have tried to treat the court fairly and a little more than fairly because when I recognize the odds against me, I try to lean the other way the best I can and I don't think any such occasion ever arose before in my practice. I am not saying this, your honor, to influence you, but to put myself right. I do think, however, your honor, that I went further than I should have done. So far as its having been premeditated or made for the purpose of insult to the court I had not the slightest thought of that. I had not the slightest thought of that. One thing snapped out after another, as other lawyers have done in this case, not, however, where the judge was involved, and apologized for it afterwards, and so far as the people of Tennessee are concerned, your honor suggested that in your opinion-I don't know as I was ever in a community in my life where my religious ideas differed as widely from the great mass as I have found them since I have been in Tennessee. Yet I came here a perfect stranger and I can say what I have said before that I have not found upon anybody's part-any citizen here in this town or outside, the slightest discourtesy. I have been treated better, kindlier and more hospitably than I fancied would have been the case in the north, and that is due largely to the ideas that southern people have and they are, perhaps, more hospitable than we are up north...
I am quite certain that the remark should not have been made and the court could not help taking notice of it and I am sorry that I made it ever since I got time to read it and I want to apologize to the court for it. (Applause.)
The Court--Anyone else have anything to say? In behalf of Col. Darrow in anyway? (No response.)
If this little incident had been personal between Col. Darrow and myself, it would have been passed by as unnoticed, but when a Judge speaks from the bench, his acts are not personal but are part of the machine that is part of the great state where he lives. I could not afford to pass those words by without notice, because to do so would not do justice to the great state for which I speak when I speak from the bench. I am proud of Tennessee, I think Tennessee is a great state. It has produced such men as the Jacksons, such as James K. Polk....
My friends, and Col. Darrow, the Man that I believe came into the world to save man from sin, the Man that died on the cross that man might be redeemed, taught that it was godly to forgive and were it not for the forgiving nature of Himself I would fear for man. The Savior died on the cross pleading with God for the men who crucified Him.
I believe in that Christ. I believe in these principles. I accept Col. Darrow's apology. I am sure his remarks were not premeditated. I am sure that if he had time to have thought and deliberated he would not have spoken those words. He spoke those words, perhaps, just at a moment when he felt that he had suffered perhaps one of the greatest disappointments of his life when the court had held against him. Taking that view of it, I feel that I am justified in speaking for the people of the great state that I represent when I speak as I do to say to him that we forgive him and we forgot it and we commend him to go back home and learn in his heart the words of the Man who said: "If you thirst come unto Me and I will give thee life." (Applause.)
I think the court should adjourn downstairs. I am afraid of the building. The court will convene down in the yard.
[Court thereupon adjourned to the stand in the courthouse lawn.]
["Read Your Bible" banner removed from courthouse]
Darrow--Your honor, before you send for the jury, I think it my duty to make this motion. Off to the left of where the jury sits a little bit and about ten feet in front of them is a large sign about ten feet long reading. "Read Your Bible," and a hand pointing to it. The word "Bible" is in large letters, perhaps, a foot and a half long, and the printing--
The Court--Hardly that long I think, general.
Darrow--What is that?
The Court--Hardly that long.
Darrow--Why, we will call it a foot....
Darrow--I move that it be removed.
McKenzie--If your honor please, why should it be removed?
It is their defense and stated before the court, that they do not deny the Bible, that they expected to introduce proof to make it harmonize. Why should we remove the sign cautioning the people to read the Word of God just to satisfy the others in the case?...
Darrow--Let me say something. Your honor, I just want to make this suggestion. Mr. Bryan says that the Bible and evolution conflict. Well, I do not know, I am for evolution, anyway. We might agree to get up a sign of equal size on the other side and in the same position reading, "Hunter's Biology," or "Read your evolution." This sign is not here for no purpose, and it can have no effect but to influence this case, and I read the Bible myself--more or less--and it is pretty good reading in places. But this case has been made a case where it is to be the Bible or evolution, and we have been informed by Mr. Bryan, who himself, a profound Bible student and has an essay every Sunday as to what it means. We have been informed that a Tennessee jury who are not especially educated are better judges of the Bible than all the scholars in the world, and when they see that sign, it means to them their construction of the Bible. It is pretty obvious, it is not fair, your honor , and we object to it....
The Court--The issues in this case, as they have been finally determined by this court is whether or not it is unlawful to teach that man descended from a lower order of animals. I do not understand that issue involved the Bible. If the Bible is involved, I believe in it and am always on its side, but it is not for me to decide in this case. If the presence of the sign irritates anyone, or if anyone thinks it might influence the jury in any way, I have no purpose except to give both sides a fair trial in this case. Feeling that way about it, I will let the sign come down. Let the jury be brought around.
(The sign was thereupon removed from the courthouse wall.)
[Darrow's examination of Bryan]
Hays--The defense desires to call Mr. Bryan as a witness, and, of course, the only question here is whether Mr. Scopes taught what these children said he taught, we recognize what Mr. Bryan says as a witness would not be very valuable. We think there are other questions involved, and we should want to take Mr. Bryan's testimony for the purpose of our record, even if your honor thinks it is not admissible in general, so we wish to call him now.
The Court--Do you think you have a right to his testimony or evidence like you did these others?
McKenzie--I don't think it is necessary to call him, calling a lawyer who represents a client.
The Court--If you ask him about any confidential matter, I will protect him, of course.
Darrow--On scientific matters, Col. Bryan can speak for himself.
Bryan--If your honor please, I insist that Mr. Darrow can be put on the stand, and Mr. Malone and Mr. Hays.
The Court--Call anybody you desire. Ask them any questions you wish.
Bryan--Then, we will call all three of them.
Darrow--Not at once?
Bryan--Where do you want me to sit?
The Court--Mr. Bryan, you are not objecting to going on the stand?
Bryan--Not at all.
The Court--Do you want Mr. Bryan sworn?
Bryan--I can make affirmation; I can say "So help me God, I will tell the truth."
Darrow--No, I take it you will tell the truth, Mr. Bryan.
[Examination of W.J. Bryan by Clarence Darrow, of counsel for the defense: ]
Q--You have given considerable study to the Bible, haven't you, Mr. Bryan?
A--Yes, sir, I have tried to.
Q--Then you have made a general study of it?
A--Yes, I have; I have studied the Bible for about fifty years, or sometime more than that, but, of course, I have studied it more as I have become older than when I was but a boy.
Q--You claim that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?
A--I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there: some of the Bible is given illustratively. For instance: "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people.
Q--But when you read that Jonah swallowed the whale--or that the whale swallowed Jonah-- excuse me please--how do you literally interpret that?
A--When I read that a big fish swallowed Jonah--it does not say whale.
Q--That is my recollection of it. A big fish, and I believe it, and I believe in a God who can make a whale and can make a man and make both what He pleases.
Q--Now, you say, the big fish swallowed Jonah, and he there remained how long--three days-- and then he spewed him upon the land. You believe that the big fish was made to swallow Jonah?
A--I am not prepared to say that; the Bible merely says it was done.
Q--You don't know whether it was the ordinary run of fish, or made for that purpose?
A--You may guess; you evolutionists guess.....
Q--You are not prepared to say whether that fish was made especially to swallow a man or not?
A--The Bible doesn't say, so I am not prepared to say.
Q--But do you believe He made them--that He made such a fish and that it was big enough to swallow Jonah?
A--Yes, sir. Let me add: One miracle is just as easy to believe as another
Q--Just as hard?
A--It is hard to believe for you, but easy for me. A miracle is a thing performed beyond what man can perform. When you get within the realm of miracles; and it is just as easy to believe the miracle of Jonah as any other miracle in the Bible.
Q--Perfectly easy to believe that Jonah swallowed the whale?
A--If the Bible said so; the Bible doesn't make as extreme statements as evolutionists do....
Q--The Bible says Joshua commanded the sun to stand still for the purpose of lengthening the day, doesn't it, and you believe it.
Q--Do you believe at that time the entire sun went around the earth?
A--No, I believe that the earth goes around the sun.
Q--Do you believe that the men who wrote it thought that the day could be lengthened or that the sun could be stopped?
A--I don't know what they thought.
Q--You don't know?
A--I think they wrote the fact without expressing their own thoughts.
Q--Have you an opinion as to whether or not the men who wrote that thought
Gen. Stewart--I want to object, your honor; it has gone beyond the pale of any issue that could possibly be injected into this lawsuit, expect by imagination. I do not think the defendant has a right to conduct the examination any further and I ask your honor to exclude it.
The Witness--It seems to me it would be too exacting to confine the defense to the facts; if they are not allowed to get away from the facts, what have they to deal with?
The Court--Mr. Bryan is willing to be examined. Go ahead.
Mr. Darrow--I read that years ago. Can you answer my question directly? If the day was lengthened by stopping either the earth or the sun, it must have been the earth?
A--Well, I should say so.
Q-- Now, Mr. Bryan, have you ever pondered what would have happened to the earth if it had stood still?
Q--You have not?
A-- No; the God I believe in could have taken care of that, Mr. Darrow.
Q-- I see. Have you ever pondered what would naturally happen to the earth if it stood still suddenly?
Q--Don't you know it would have been converted into molten mass of matter?
A--You testify to that when you get on the stand, I will give you a chance.
Q--Don't you believe it?
A--I would want to hear expert testimony on that.
Q--You have never investigated that subject?
A--I don't think I have ever had the question asked.
Q--Or ever thought of it?
A--I have been too busy on thinks that I thought were of more importance than that.
Q--You believe the story of the flood to be a literal interpretation?
Q--When was that Flood?
A--I would not attempt to fix the date. The date is fixed, as suggested this morning.
Q--About 4004 B.C.?
A--That has been the estimate of a man that is accepted today. I would not say it is accurate.
Q--That estimate is printed in the Bible?
A--Everybody knows, at least, I think most of the people know, that was the estimate given.
Q--But what do you think that the Bible, itself says? Don't you know how it was arrived at?
A--I never made a calculation.
Q--A calculation from what?
A--I could not say.
Q--From the generations of man?
A--I would not want to say that.
Q--What do you think?
A--I do not think about things I don't think about.
Q--Do you think about things you do think about?
(Laughter in the courtyard.)
Policeman--Let us have order....
Stewart--Your honor, he is perfectly able to take care of this, but we are attaining no evidence. This is not competent evidence.
Witness--These gentlemen have not had much chance--they did not come here to try this case. They came here to try revealed religion. I am here to defend it and they can ask me any question they please.
The Court--All right.
(Applause from the court yard.)
Darrow--Great applause from the bleachers.
Witness--From those whom you call "Yokels."
Darrow--I have never called them yokels.
Witness--That is the ignorance of Tennessee, the bigotry.
Darrow--You mean who are applauding you? (Applause.)
Witness--Those are the people whom you insult.
Darrow--You insult every man of science and learning in the world because he does believe in your fool religion.
The Court--I will not stand for that.
Darrow--For what he is doing?
The Court--I am talking to both of you....
Q--Wait until you get to me. Do you know anything about how many people there were in Egypt 3,500 years ago, or how many people there were in China 5,000 years ago?
Q--Have you ever tried to find out?
A--No, sir. You are the first man I ever heard of who has been in interested in it. (Laughter.)
Q--Mr. Bryan, am I the first man you ever heard of who has been interested in the age of human societies and primitive man?
A--You are the first man I ever heard speak of the number of people at those different periods.
Q--Where have you lived all your life?
A--Not near you. (Laughter and applause.)
Q--Nor near anybody of learning?
A--Oh, don't assume you know it all.
Q--Do you know there are thousands of books in our libraries on all those subjects I have been asking you about?
A--I couldn't say, but I will take your word for it....
Q--Have you any idea how old the earth is?
Q--The Book you have introduced in evidence tells you, doesn't it?
A--I don't think it does, Mr. Arrow.
Q--Let's see whether it does; is this the one?
A--That is the one, I think.
Q--It says B.C. 4004?
A--That is Bishop Usher's calculation.
Q--That is printed in the Bible you introduced?
Q--Would you say that the earth was only 4,000 years old?
A--Oh, no; I think it is much older than that.
A--I couldn't say.
Q--Do you say whether the Bible itself says it is older than that?
A--I don't think it is older or not.
Q--Do you think the earth was made in six days?
A--Not six days of twenty-four hours.
Q--Doesn't it say so?
The Court--Are you about through, Mr. Darrow?
Darrow--I want to ask a few more questions about the creation.
The Court--I know. We are going to adjourn when Mr. Bryan comes off the stand for the day. Be very brief, Mr. Darrow. Of course, I believe I will make myself clearer. Of course, it is incompetent testimony before the
jury. The only reason I am allowing this to go in at all is that they may have it in the appellate court as showing what the affidavit would be.
Bryan--The reason I am answering is not for the benefit of the superior court. It is to keep these gentlemen from saying I was afraid to meet them and let them question me, and I want the Christian world to know that any atheist, agnostic, unbeliever, can question me anytime as to my belief in God, and I will answer him.
Darrow--I want to take an exception to this conduct of this witness. He may be very popular down here in the hills....
Bryan--Your honor, they have not asked a question legally and the only reason they have asked any question is for the purpose, as the question about Jonah was asked, for a chance to give this agnostic an opportunity to criticize a believer in the world of God; and I answered the question in order to shut his mouth so that he cannot go out and tell his atheistic friends that I would not answer his questions. That is the only reason, no more reason in the world.
Malone--Your honor on this very subject, I would like to say that I would have asked Mr. Bryan--and I consider myself as good a Christian as he is--every question that Mr. Darrow has asked him for the purpose of bring out whether or not there is to be taken in this court a literal interpretation of the Bible, or whether, obviously, as these questions indicate, if a general and literal construction cannot be put upon the parts of the Bible which have been covered by Mr. Darrow's questions. I hope for the last time no further attempt will be made by counsel on the other side of the case, or Mr. Bryan, to say the defense is concerned at all with Mr. Darrow's particular religious views or lack of religious views. We are here as lawyers with the same right to our views. I have the same right to mine as a Christian as Mr. Bryan has to his, and we do not intend to have this case charged by Mr. Darrow's agnosticism or Mr. Bryan's brand of Christianity. (A great applause.)
Q--Mr. Bryan, do you believe that the first woman was Eve?
Q--Do you believe she was literally made out of Adams's rib?
Q--Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A--No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q--You have never found out?
A--I have never tried to find
Q--You have never tried to find?
Q--The Bible says he got one, doesn't it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A--I cannot say.
Q--You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A--Never bothered me.
Q--There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
A--That is what the Bible says.
Q--Where she came from you do not know. All right. Does the statement, "The morning and the evening were the first day," and "The morning and the evening were the second day," mean anything to you?
A-- I do not think it necessarily means a twenty-four-hour day.
Q--You do not?
Q--What do you consider it to be?
A--I have not attempted to explain it. If you will take the second chapter--let me have the book. (Examining Bible.) The fourth verse of the second chapter says: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were created in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens," the word "day" there in the very next chapter is used to describe a period. I do not see that there is any necessity for construing the words, "the evening and the morning," as meaning necessarily a twenty-four-hour day, "in the day when the Lord made the heaven and the earth."
Q--Then, when the Bible said, for instance, "and God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day," that does not necessarily mean twenty-four hours?
A--I do not think it necessarily does.
Q--Do you think it does or does not?
A--I know a great many think so.
Q--What do you think?
A--I do not think it does.
Q--You think those were not literal days?
A--I do not think they were twenty-four-hour days.
Q--What do you think about it?
A--That is my opinion--I do not know that my opinion is better on that subject than those who think it does.
Q--You do not think that ?
A--No. But I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in 6,000,000 years or in 600,000,000 years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.
Q--Do you think those were literal days?
A--My impression is they were periods, but I would not attempt to argue as against anybody who wanted to believe in literal days.
Q--I will read it to you from the Bible: "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." Do you think that is why the serpent is compelled to crawl upon its belly?
A--I believe that.
Q--Have you any idea how the snake went before that time?
Q--Do you know whether he walked on his tail or not?
A--No, sir. I have no way to know. (Laughter in audience).
Q--Now, you refer to the cloud that was put in heaven after the flood, the rainbow. Do you believe in that?
Q--All right, Mr. Bryan, I will read it for you.
Bryan--Your Honor, I think I can shorten this testimony. The only purpose Mr.
Darrow has is to slur at the Bible, but I will answer his question. I will answer it all at once, and I have no objection in the world, I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in a God, is trying to use a court in Tennesseee--
Darrow--I object to that.
Bryan--(Continuing) to slur at it, and while it will require time, I am willing to take it.
Darrow--I object to your statement. I am exempting you on your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.
The Court--Court is adjourned until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.
[Darrow asks jury to return a verdict of "guilty"]
Darrow--May I say a few words to the jury? Gentlemen of the jury, we are sorry to have not had a chance to say anything to you. We will do it some other time. Now, we came down to offer evidence in this case and the court has held under the law that the evidence we had is not admissible, so all we can do is to take an exception and carry it to a higher court to see whether the evidence is admissible or not. As far as this case stands before the jury, the court has told you very plainly that if you think my client taught that man descended from a lower order of animals, you will find him guilty, and you heard the testimony of the boys on that questions and heard read the books, and there is no dispute about the facts. Scopes did not go on the stand, because he could not deny the statements made by the boys. I do not know how you may feel, I am not especially interested in it, but this case and this law will never be decided until it gets to a higher court, and it cannot get to a higher court probably, very well, unless you bring in a verdict. So, I do not want any of you to think we are going to find any fault with you as to your verdict. I am frank to say, while we think it is wrong, and we ought to have been permitted to put in our evidence, the court felt otherwise, as he had a right to hold. We cannot argue to you gentlemen under the instructions given by the court--we cannot even explain to you that we think you should return a verdict of not guilty. We do not see how you could. We do not ask it. We think we will save our point and take it to the higher court and settle whether the law is good, and also whether he should have permitted the evidence. I guess that is plain enough.
[Verdict and sentencing]
Court--Mr. Foreman, will you tell us whether you have agreed on a verdict?
Foreman--Yes, sir, we have your honor.
Court--What do you find?
Foreman--We have found for the state, found the defendant guilty.
Court--Did you fix the fine?
Court--You leave it to the court?
Foreman--Leave it to the court.
Court--Mr. Scopes, will you come around here, please, sir.
(The defendant presents himself before the court.)
Court--Mr. Scopes, the jury has found you guilty under this indictment, charging you with having taught in the schools of Rhea county, in violation of what is commonly known as the anti- evolution statute, which makes it unlawful for any teacher to teach in any of the public schools of the state, supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the state, any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man, and teach instead thereof that man has descended from a lower order of animals. The jury have found you guilty. The statute make this an offense punishable by fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. The court now fixes your fine at $100, and imposes that fine upon you.
Court--Oh-Have you anything to say, Mr. Scopes, as to why the court should not impose punishment upon you?
Defendant J. T. Scopes-- Your honor, I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose this law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom-that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution of personal and religious freedom. I think the fine is unjust.
[Final remarks of attorneys and Judge Raulston]
McKenzie--On behalf of Rhea county and Gen. Stewart, and on behalf of the prosecution, I desire to say to the gentlemen who have just made their statements, that we are delighted to have had you with us. We have learned to take a broader view of life since you came. You have brought to us your ideas-your views-and we have communicated to you as best we could, some of our views. As to whether or not we like those views, that is a matter that should not address itself to us at this time, but we do appreciate your views, and while much has been said and much has been written about the narrow-minded people of Tennessee we do not feel hard toward you for having said that, because that is your idea. We people here want to be more broad-minded than some have given us credit for, and we appreciate your coming and we have been greatly elevated, edified and educated by your presence. And should the time ever come when you are back near the garden spot of the world, we hope that you will stop and stay awhile with us here in order that we may chat about the days of the past, when the Scopes trail was tried in Dayton. (Applause.)
The Court--Col. Bryan, I will hear you.
Bryan--I don't know that there is any special reason why I should add to what has been said, and yet the subject has been presented from so many viewpoints that I hope the court will pardon me if I mention a viewpoint that has not been referred to. Dayton is the center and the seat of this trial largely by circumstance. We are told that more words have been sent across the ocean by cable to Europe and Australia about this trail than has ever been sent by cable in regard to anything else happening in the United States. That isn't because the trial is held in Dayton. It isn't because a schoolteacher has been subjected to the danger of a fine $100.00 to $500.00, but I think illustrate how people can be drawn into prominence by attaching themselves to a great cause. Causes stir the world. It is because it goes deep. It is because it extends wide, and because it reaches into a future beyond the power of man to see. Here has been fought out a little case of little consequence as a case, but the world is interested because it raises an issue, and that issue will some day be settled right, whether it is settled on our side or the other side. It is going to be settled right. There can be no settlement of a great cause without discussion, and people will not discuss a cause until their attention is drawn to it, and the value of this trial is not in any incident of the trial, it is not because of anybody who is attached to it, either in an official way or as counsel on either side. Human beings are mighty small, your honor. We are apt to magnify the personal element and we sometimes become inflated with our importance, but the world little cares for man as an individual. He is born, he works, he dies, but causes go on forever, and we who participated in this case may congratulate ourselves that we have attached ourselves to a mighty issue.
Darrow--May I say a word?
The Court--Colonel, be glad to hear from you.
Darrow--I want to say a word. I want to say in thorough sincerity that I appreciate the courtesy of the counsel on the other side from the beginning of this case, at least the Tennessee counsel, that I appreciated the hospitality of the citizens here. I shall go away with a feeling of respect and gratitude toward them for their courtesy and their liberality toward us persons; and that I appreciate the kind, and I think I may say, general treatment of this court, who might have sent me to jail, but did not. (Laughter in the courtroom.)
Darrow (Continuing)--And on the side of the controversy between the court and my self I have already ruled that the court was right, so I do not need to go further.
The Court--Thank you.
Darrow--But, I mean it.
Darrow (Continuing)--Of course, there is much that Mr. Bryan has said that is true. And nature-nature, I refer to does not choose any special setting for more events. I fancy that the place where the Magna Carta was wrested from the barons in England was a very small place, probably not as big as Dayton. But events come along as they come along. I think this case will be remembered because it is the first case of this sort since we stopped trying people in America for witchcraft because here we have done our best to turn back the tide that has sought to force itself upon this--upon this modern world, of testing every fact in science by a religious dictum. That is all I care to say.
The Court--My fellow citizens, I recently read somewhere what I think was a definition of a great man, and that was this: That he possesses a passion to know the truth and have the courage to declare it in the face of all opposition. It is easy enough, my friends, to have a passion to find a truth, or to find a fact, rather, that coincides with our preconceived notions and ideas, but it sometimes takes courage to search diligently for a truth, that may destroy our preconceived notions and ideas.
Now, my friends, the people in America are great people. We are great people. We are great in the South, and they are great in the North. We are great because we are willing to lay down our differences when we fight the battle out and be friends. And, let me tell you, there are two things in this world that are indestructible that man cannot destroy, or no force in the world can destroy.
One is truth. You may crush it to the earth but it will rise again. It is indestructible, and the causes of the law of God. Another thing indestructible in America and in Europe and everywhere else, is the word of God, that He has given to man, that man use it as a waybill to the other world. Indestructible, my friends, by any force because it is the world of the Man, of the forces that created the universe, and He has said in His word that "My word will not perish" but will live forever.
I am glad to have had these gentlemen with us. This little talk of mine comes from my heart, gentlemen. I have had some difficult problems to decide in this lawsuit, and I only pray to God that I have decided them right. If I Have not, the higher courts will find the mistake. But if I failed to decide them right, it was for the want of legal learning, and legal attainment, and not for the want of a disposition to do everybody justice. We are glad to have you with us. (Applause.)
Hays--May I, as one of the counsel for the defense, ask your honor to allow me to send you the "Origin of Species and the Descent of Man," by Charles Darwin? (Laughter)
The Court--Yes; yes
(Laughter and applause.)
The Court--Has anyone else anything to say.
Officer Kelso Rice--Now, people when court is adjourned-
The Court--Wait, do not adjourn yet.
The Court--Go ahead, officer.
Officer Rice--Do not crowd the aisles. When the court has adjourned move slowly, do not be in a hurry. But move slowly, everybody, when court is adjourned and do not block the aisleways at all. Keep moving
The Court--We will adjourn. And Brother Jones will pronounce the benediction.
Dr. Jones--May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communication and fellowship of the Holy Ghost abide with you all. Amen
The Court--The court will adjourn sine die.