Monthly Archive: October 2007

Oct 31 2007

From Scopes to Dover-7: The Scopes trial goes national

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Once Scopes was charged with violating the Butler Act and the event publicized, things started moving extremely rapidly. On May 9, 1925 “the county’s justices three justices of the peace formally held scopes for action by the August grand jury, in the meantime releasing him without bond” …

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Oct 30 2007

Is Dumbledore gay?

By now everyone is aware of the bombshell dropped into the Harry Potter world by creator J. K. Rowling announcing that she had always envisaged Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore as gay, although she had not made it explicit in the books. Advocates of gay rights have welcomed Rowling’s statement, although some have said that they …

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Oct 29 2007

From Scopes to Dover-6: The Scopes trial conspiracy

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Although Inherit the Wind, the original play and film based on the events of the Scopes trial, was made as a drama, it would have been more accurate to portray the actual events leading up to and through the trial as a comedy. Right from the beginning, …

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Oct 25 2007

From Scopes to Dover-4: Bryan’s views on religion and evolution

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In order to understand what happened to Bryan during his testimony in the Scopes trial, it is necessary to understand something of Bryan’s religious views. In those days, as now, there were splits among religious believers between those who took the Bible as an inerrant literal record …

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Oct 24 2007

From Scopes to Dover-3: The role of ‘social Darwinism’

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As far as the legal issues were concerned, the famous 1925 ‘Scopes monkey trial’ did not actually resolve anything and did not even deal with the same weighty constitutional issues that now surround the issue of evolution in the classroom. The issues involved in the trial arose …

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Oct 23 2007

From Scopes to Dover-2: How the Scopes myths originated

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) From the beginning the Scopes trial captured the popular imagination as symbolizing the conflict between science and religion, on a par with the trial of Galileo for his support of Copernican views. But just as the myths about the Copernican revolution have supplanted the actual history, so …

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Oct 21 2007

From Scopes to Dover-1: Overview

I have always been interested in the law, especially constitutional law. And given my interest in the subject of evolution, I was intrigued by how the teaching of that subject has been, at least in the US, the focus of so many court cases, involving various subtle shades of meaning and interpretation of the US …

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Oct 19 2007

Soaps and Soap

For a very brief time in my life, about one week actually, I got hooked on daytime TV soap operas. It happened in December of 1978. I had received a phone call that my father had died suddenly of a heart attack back in Sri Lanka. I was in graduate school in the US, far …

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Oct 18 2007

Language and Evolution

I have always been fascinated by language. This is somewhat ironic since I have a really hard time learning a new language and almost did not make it into college in Sri Lanka because of extreme difficulty in passing the 10th-grade language requirement in my own mother tongue of Tamil! (How that happened is a …

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Oct 17 2007

Film shorts

There are some things that really annoy me when watching a film (or play). The most annoying are when people act idiotically, not at all the way that normal people would. I described one such annoying plot device case earlier when I pleaded for no more daft women! Another example is the absurd miscommunication device, …

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