March symposium seeks understanding of Scopes Trial
February 28, 2006

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Bryan College’s year-long 75th Anniversary celebration will culminate March 20-21, with a national symposium on the antecedents, action, and aftermath of the Scopes Evolution Trial of 1925.

Fourteen speakers during the Heritage Week program, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Edward J. Larson and science historian Dr. Ronald L. Numbers, will examine various aspects of the trial, ranging from its causes to its legal, educational and scientific aftermath.

Dr. Todd Wood, one of the symposium organizers, said the program is designed as a scholarly examination of the event that led to the college’s founding. “This is not going to be a debate over creation, evolution or intelligent design, but a critical look at what happened. We will focus more on what happened and why, rather than on the legal maneuverings in the courtroom.”

In addition there will be a dramatization of the Scopes Trial and a concert of Scopes Trial songs and period music, special exhibits and tours of Scopes sites, including the Rhea County Courthouse where the Trial was held.

Dr. Larson’s two lectures, Dr. Numbers’ lecture and the play will be free and open to the public.

Speakers and their topics include:

March 20 

Ronald L. Numbers, “Antievolutionism in America Leading to the Scopes Trial.”

Joseph W. Francis,The Effect of the Scopes Trial on Secondary Biology Education.”

William L. Ketchersid and Ralph T. Green, “Socioeconomic Factors Leading to the Scopes Trial.”

Glenn M. Sanford and Kenneth E. Hendrickson III, “Defense Strategies in the Scopes Trial.”

Richard M. Cornelius, “Courtroom Interaction of Bryan, Darrow, and Malone.”

Lawrence Puckett, “Judge Raulston’s Agenda and Its Impact on the Scopes Trial.”

Edward J. Larson, “Social Darwinism as a Cause of the Scopes Trial.”

March 21

Harold Ray Stevens, “The Scopes Trial through the Eyes of H. L. Mencken.”

Edward J. Larson, “From History to Folklore to Legal Precedent: The Scopes Trial and Inherit the Wind.”

Randy Moore, “The Tennessee Supreme Court Appeal and Other Post-Trial Activities of Key Scopes Trial Participants.”

James W. McKenzie, “The McKenzies at Law: Personal Recollections.”

David L. Llewellyn, “Legal Challenges to Evolution in Post-Scopes America.”

Kurt P. Wise, “Development of Creationism after Scopes.”

Cost of the entire symposium is $70 for adults and $50 for students. In addition, through arrangements with the University of Tennessee College of Law, 14 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit is being offered to lawyers for a conference cost of $350.

For information and registration contact Stephanie Mace at (423) 775-7321 or e-mail