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The Controversy Between Science And Religion

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Summer for the Gods concentrates on the Dayton, Tennessee Scopes trial, or "Monkey Trial," of 1925. The trial was over a Tennessee law that banned teaching evolution in public schools. The American Civil Liberties Union protested the law with teacher, John Scopes, who agreed to help. The"trial of the century" brought together two famous political enemies, William Jennings Bryan, who led the anti-evolution crusade, and Clarence Darrow, who was known as the best criminal defense lawyer and evolution supporter. The author presents the history of controversy that led to the trial. Fossil discoveries, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and increased attendance in public high schools influenced the anti-evolution movement due to the…show more content…
Understanding the book requires a semi-vast knowledge of vocabulary and laws, and is clearly intended for an audience that has studied the subject of Christianity versus Evolution before.
Larson starts out by describing the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and why he thinks it is such a great piece of scientific literature, and describes how it greatly affected the Christian community because a large part of it went against the Bible. He then explains the ideas behind evolution and natural selection. Larson stated that evolution was “the theory that current living species evolved from preexisting species” (Larson 14). Next, he sets the background for the rest of his book by giving details of how the situation surrounding evolution arose, and how the two lawyers got involved in the case.. He sets the background for the court case by stating that the teaching of evolution was banned in the schools of Dayton, Tennessee and that John Scopes was being prosecuted for teaching it to the class he was substituting.
Following his explanation of the basis on the case, he describes the differences between fundamentalism and modernism. He describes how one of the main causes of the pressure between them is an aftermath of World War I. Fundamentalism is following religion as stringently as possible, while modernism is the exact opposite of it. Furthermore,
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