Free article on the Scopes Trial

Scientific American recently made its January, 1959 issue available free to the public, but you have to go through a complex procedure of registering, ordering it for $ 0.00, and then downloading it when your order is accepted. Reader Barry has done the work for us and sent me a pdf of the issue.

The reason you want it is that it contains an article by Fay-Cooper Cole, who was an expert witness at the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, in which lawyers like Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan fought it out over John Scopes, a high-school teacher arrested for violating Tennessee’s Butler Act forbidding the teaching of human evolution. Though it was mostly a show trial to attract attention to Dayton, Tennessee, Scopes was convicted and fined, but the judgement was overturned on a technicality about who levied the fine.

The death of Fay-Cooper Cole two years after he wrote this piece (“A witness at the Scopes trial”) leaves no living people who were there.  He was a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, and was enlisted as a witness for the defense, but, as you might know, the judge ruled that scientist-witnesses couldn’t testify as their views were irrelevant to whether the law was violated. Nevertheless, Cole stayed around to see the trial; his account is a very nice one, and well worth perusing of a Sunday afternoon. I’ll send it to anyone who emails me, but this offer expires at 3 pm Chicago time (I’m going home then). If you want it, drop me a line.

You get the whole issue, but the article is on pp, 120-130. It has swell photos, too; here are three with the journal’s captions:

By the way, you can still visit the courthouse and the room where the trial took place in the sleepy town of Dayton. It’s a lovely place; sadly, I visited on a weekend when it was closed.

38 Comments

  1. Erik
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’d like a copy if you have time, but can’t find your preferred e-mail address.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Look up Jerry on line….

      • waltdisley
        Posted May 15, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        I would like a copy of the article please

        • Posted May 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          You’ll need to email me, and you can find that address easily (google my name and university). It’s past the deadline, but I’ll send you one.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I’ll be sending for this. Such a great moment in history, for the important people involved and the subject itself. Still fighting for the obvious today because of one petty thing – Religion

  3. Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  4. kategladstone
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Please, how may I obtain the promised PDF of that issue? My email address is handwritingrepair@gmail.com

  5. KD33
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that a crux defense argument was that evolution was not inconsistent with religion (so therefor should be to teach). A stepping stone to where we are now …

  6. MKray
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    If your institution has a (library proxy) prescription to Nature, you can download ANY scientific American article. I have just downloaded the Fay-Cooper Cole article. Nature and Sci Am have the same owner.

  7. John Christopher
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I would like a copy of the Scopes trial report. Thanks. John Christopher Emeritus Professor of Physics University of Kentucky

    You were here at the University of Kentucky a few years ago. I greatly enjoyed and admired your presentation/”debate”.

    On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Scientific American recently made its January, > 1959 issue available free to the public, but you have to go through a > complex procedure of registering, ordering it for $ 0.00, and then > downloading it when your order is accepted. Reader Barry has done the w” >

  8. David Hammer
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I also would like a copy, but can’t find Jerry’s email address. My own address is Davyh@aol.com.

  9. rwilsker
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    If you’re just looking for that article, you can get it directly at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/50-years-ago-scope-trial-witness/

  10. Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Great photos. I had no idea that Scopes was Lawrence Krauss’s grandad. What a family resemblance! I think Lawrence should be told!

    • Laurance
      Posted May 15, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Where did you get this information? I can’t find any reference to the two being related.

      • Posted May 15, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Laurance, it’s ironic, a reference to the Private Eye recurring gag of ‘I think we should be told’.

        • Laurance
          Posted May 15, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          Oh good lord! This tells me how out of it I am! I have no idea of what Private Eye might be or what gags they tell.

  11. John Conoboy
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I visited the courthouse back in the 1990s. It has not changed much over the years. On the lower floors they have some exhibits about the trial. Dayton is home to Bryan College named, of course, for William Jennings Bryan where students are “challenged to examine truth from a biblical perspective.” The even have a biology department, but not geology or paleontology. The best students can do there is a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but they recently gave Ken Ham an honorary doctorate.

  12. samitchell79
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon Jerry,

    I would love to read the article mentioned!

    “If Jerry Coyne was God…”

    Stuart Mitchell

    >

  13. Randy schenck
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    That was a great review by Fay-Cooper Cole. There is nothing better than being there. I did not realize the involvement from the University of Chicago, probably because none of them really got to testify, however their parts were read into the record. Malone, as Cole says, probably had the best speech in the whole thing. I don’t think that was covered in the movie at all? Maybe too busy focusing on Darrow and crazy Bryant. The big hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska is named after Bryant. Gives me the creeps just going in the place.

    I can’t help wondering, in a different time, it could have been PCC down there in Tennessee instead of Cole?

  14. Gary Seth
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    2:22 Chicago Time – Link is closed .
    Would like whole issue .

  15. Lisa Rivers
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Please send me the pdf. Wd love 2 read it

    Lisa

    Sent from BlueMail
    ________________________________

  16. Posted May 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Coyne,

    I would be very pleased to have a copy of the article by Fay-Cooper Cole.

    Thank you and warmest regards.

    Douglas

    On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 6:00 PM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Scientific American recently made its January, > 1959 issue available free to the public, but you have to go through a > complex procedure of registering, ordering it for $ 0.00, and then > downloading it when your order is accepted. Reader Barry has done the w” >

  17. Hempenstein
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    In 1959, as we celebrate the centenary of the Origin of Species, few informed persons, if any, question the theory of evolution.

    Indeed it was like that then, and I remember the time well. Sigh.

  18. nwalsh
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice hats.

  19. Hempenstein
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    in the summer of 1925… we proceeded to assemble a panel of expert witnesses: scientists to testify on the theory of evolution… [which included] Jacob G. Lipman, director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University… [all of whom] undertook to go to Dayton at our own expense and to serve without fee.

    Until just now I did not realize that Lipman (for whom Lipman Hall, where as a grad student I took Ted Chase’s course, Proteins and Enzymes) was a member of the Scopes defense team!

  20. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Rats. Missed the deadline. Too bad. I would have liked a copy. Damn spam filters! 😦 -Ullrich

  21. Robert Seidel
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    The ending is especially pertinent, when he relates how he was called to his university president’s office because there had been petitions to have him sacked:

    > I began to laugh, but the president said: “This is no laughing matter. You are a rather new man here, but already we have more demands for your removal than anv other man who has been on our faculty. These resolutions are typical and were considered of such importance that they were read yesterday at the meeting of the Board of Trustees.” “Yes,” I replied. “And what did they do?” He reached across his desk and handed me a piece of paper. They had raised my salary.<

  22. Posted May 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I visited the courtroom back in 1993 and then visited Bryan College.

    As far as the display (information at the time): they had a festival and a reenactment every year.

    At the time I visited the Courthouse, the Bryan display was immaculate; the Darrow display was in disrepair (letters off of some of the display, etc.)

    At Bryan College, they had a booklet that gave the differences between the film “Inherit the Wind” (and I’d assume, the play) and the actual trial.

    I also read John Scopes version of events, and he claims that Dudley’s role (he was one of the ACLU attorneys) was underplayed by the media.

    • Laurance
      Posted May 15, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Are you talking about “Center of the Storm: Memoirs of John T. Scopes”?

      I got that book back in 1967 and have read it twice. I found it very interesting and informative. At some point I’ll read it a third time.

      I have to say that the Scientific American article is pretty poor by comparison. And there are things Scopes says that strongly contradict the article.

      Yes, Dudley Field Malone played a powerful role in the trial, but the media focused more on Darrow.

      And Scopes was not even the biology teacher. He substituted while the teacher was sick and isn’t even sure if he taught anything about evolution anyway! Rather, he had the kids reviewing for an upcoming test.

      No, Darrow didn’t suggest that the ACLU assist Scopes. The ACLU was looking to create a test case and was advertising in the Chattanooga newspaper for someone to come forward and agree to be in such a case. Some people in Dayton thought it would bring publicity to Dayton and decided to do this thing.

      Problem was, the biology teacher was a married man with three children, and his being a notorious defendant would be harmful to his family. So the hatchers of this scheme decided that Scopes would be suitable, so they asked him if he’d claim to have taught evolution so that he could be conveniently arrested.

      Et cetera. Lots of lively memories, far better than the Scientific American essay.

      (Trivia: Shel Silverstein got the idea for the title of the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue” from Sue Hicks who was the prosecutor and a friend of Scopes. The real Sue was nothing like the song character. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_K._Hicks
      Really, the whole trial thing was a setup. These guys were all in collusion. And they sure put Dayton on the map!)

      Oh shucks! See if your library has this book, or can do an inter-library loan. I see that Amazon has it used for $$$$$$. It’s worth reading.

  23. Martin Cassidy
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jerry I realise it’s now nearly 8pm in Chicago and I missed your deadline for the free article. My excuse is that I live in Sydney and am only now checking my emails. I would love to get the article but also appreciate that a deadline’s a deadline so can live with that as well.

    By the way, I look forward to your articles every day – and wonder how you get the time to read and post so much!

    In any case, very best wishes and keep up the great work.

    Martin Cassidy

  24. Posted May 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Found it here too, with a little Google Fu.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/50-years-ago-scope-trial-witness/

  25. Indrani Roy
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Could you please share the free article on The Scopes Trial? Thanking you in anticipation, Indrani Roy

    On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 9:30 PM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Scientific American recently made its January, > 1959 issue available free to the public, but you have to go through a > complex procedure of registering, ordering it for $ 0.00, and then > downloading it when your order is accepted. Reader Barry has done the w” >

  26. Posted May 15, 2017 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Nice!
    I played Meeker the bailiff in the play based on the Scopes trial: “Inherit the Wind”. This was in 1995, here in Hong Kong, put on by the American Community Theatre. Me, an Aussie, I had to put on a Southern American accent, which was a bit of a challenge…
    Anyway, I wanted to find a place to post something somewhat OT, but not so much perhaps: the Daily Beast article “The Vatican is Looking for God in the Stars” which starts:
    “If you think faith and science can’t share common ground, think again. Experts in both realms met last week at the Vatican Observatory to prove their theory that you can’t have one without the other.”
    This, just after we learn the pope has canonized two young girls who allegedly saw the “Holy Mother”…
    Link to the article in DB below (I don’t know how to embed the link, sorry)
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/14/the-vatican-s-big-bang-theory?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

  27. Bill Shaddle
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jerry,

    Thanks for the offer of sending the SciAm article on the Scopes trial. Please send it to the above email address.

    Regards, Bill Shaddle

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Laurance
      Posted May 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it’s free any more. I think that was a time limited offer. Today, Monday, I went to Scientific American to download the magazine and found that it now costs $7.95 or so.

      But don’t despair! Yesterday rwilsker posted the link to the actual article:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/50-years-ago-scope-trial-witness/

      We don’t need the magazine if all we want to read is the article about the Scopes trial.

  28. Filippo
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I took a couple of economic geography courses at the University of Tennessee. We went on a field trip on a typical public school bus. The itinerary happened to include a stop in Dayton, TN, and for me the opportunity to peek in the courtroom. Very soon after I went to the university college of law library and read the trial transcript. By far my most enduring memory of what I read is Darrow’s “every right to hope” comment to the judge.


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