The Butler Act
Back in the day on March 13th, 1925 the Tennessee State Legislature passed the Butler Act into law. Authored by John Washington Butler, a Tennessee farmer, the first section of the statute provided that it be unlawful for any teacher in a publicly funded educational institution to teach any scientific theory that invalidated the creation account of the book of Genesis in the Christian bible. It also forbade the teaching of any theory that purports humankind’s evolution from a lower animal species. The Butler Act contained putative fines between $100 – $500 dollars for any teacher that violated it. Of course, as history notes, John T. Scopes, a substitute science teacher, did just that at the behest of the American Civil Liberties Union. The anti-evolution law was then thrust into the national spotlight as the legal centerpiece of the famed “Scopes Monkey Trial.” Clarence Darrow, the lawyer representing Scopes, had his client plead guilty in the end. The Butler Act remained on the books until 1967.
Darrow forgot in his otherwise persuasive arguments, one crucial piece of evidence; that conservative creationists are the most glaring example of humankind’s evolution from the ape species!