A new book about the Scopes Trail in 1920s America was recently published:
Adam R. Shapiro, Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 200 pp.
In Trying Biology, Adam R. Shapiro convincingly dispels many conventional assumptions about the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial. Most view it as an event driven primarily by a conflict between science and religion. Countering this, Shapiro shows the importance of timing: the Scopes trial occurred at a crucial moment in the history of biology textbook publishing, education reform in Tennessee, and progressive school reform across the country. He places the trial in this broad context—alongside American Protestant antievolution sentiment—and in doing so sheds new light on the trial and the historical relationship of science and religion in America.
For the first time we see how religious objections to evolution became a prevailing concern…
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