Talk:Scopes trial/archive1

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This is so atrociously biased that I need not say more than this.Alloco1 16:54, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Can you cite actual examples of bias or are you making things up?--Conservateur 14:01, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

there has in fact been a lot of dialouge left out, quote mining if you will. Albyiscool 12:02, 21 March

Can you cite actual examples of quote mining or are you making things up?--Conservateur 14:01, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
The transcript conveniently leaves out the parts that appear in favour of Darrow, in an effort to make Bryan seem perfect. He may have been the better in the case, but not to the degree the article makes it seem. For a copy of the transcipt, google "scopes trial transcript." Choose the free one that says excerpts. It pretty much has the entire thing.--Fpresjh 15:43, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Contents

Gore?

It might be nice if there were some explanation for how Gore's loss is relevant here. I'm not necessarily saying it's not, I don't know either way, but the leap from TN views on evolution (which needs a cite) to Gore losing is a big one and it's not clear why that should be here.--Murray 11:42, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

I deleted it, Asch keeps restoring it :-/ --AmesG 01:45, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, the Gore line is shockingly irrelevant.-AmesG 12:37, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
It's completely relevant to the aftermath section, it is factual, it is not widely known, and it is undisputed. We report, the reader decides. Do not censor factual material that comply with our rules. This is not Wikipedia, where factual material disliked by liberals is censored.--Aschlafly 12:39, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, prove that the Scopes trial had any relevance on the 2000 Election. And I do mean prove it. Form your thesis, and explain how, out of everything else that occured in the intervening 75 years, the Scopes Trial was the primary reason Gore lost. Heck, I challenge yo to prove it was even a remote cause. BTW, as my major was PoliSci, I seriously doubt that you can prove the connection. Prove me wrong. NousEpirrhytos 17:08, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, can you actually show a correlation between Al Gore, evolution and losing the state in 2000? He represented TN in the Congress for close to 16 years. Did something change that you're privy to that validates the sentence being here?--Dave3172 12:41, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
How is Al Gore's loss relevant to the Scopes Trial? They DID both take place in Tennessee and relate to overall Tennessee politics. I could link you to good scholarly articles on Tennessee politics so you could paste a full treatment of the entirety of Tennessee politics in the "aftermath" discussion, if you want.
I have no problem with your statement about Al Gore, it just doesn't belong here. Practice good editing and put it in the Al Gore article. And I won't bring up the other problems with this article.--AmesG 12:42, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I wonder how many voters in Tennessee in 2000 said to themselves before pulling the lever, "Wow, I have the chance to help elect a Tennessean to the Presidency...if only he wasn't a Godless Evolutionist!" Certianly it belongs on the Tennessee page, the Gore page, the 2000 election page but here?
Then again, the Boss says it stays so it stays. If though, this is the tip o' the iceberg of "might makes right" then there might be porblems larger than this in Conservapedialand.
If you think this is the tip of iceberg, then you should go here.-AmesG 12:57, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Aschlafly created this website, so we should defer to his judgment on whether Al Gore's loss in Tennessee in 2000 AD is relevant to the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 AD. It is not our place to question the Creator.--Conservateur 13:52, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Irony, I hope. NousEpirrhytos 17:18, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Are we really going to make a comparison between the "Creator" and a Webmaster? The point of a community-driven site is DEMOCRATIC (of the people; nothing about politics) INPUT, and the people have spoken - several times. Seriously, if the only purpose for this site is to trash other groups, nothing will be accomplished here. Facts are facts, and relevant is relevant - conservative and liberal play no part in that. Ignoring fact does not validate fiction. The Gore/2000 comment plays no part here, and some insecurities are being bared by this insistence to include it in this article. Take it to where it is valid information - there are several articles that fit.
Sounds a lot like "might makes right" to me -- no one is disputing that this mentioned fact (Gore losing his home state) is true, but there is a strong general consensus that it is irrelevant to the Scopes Trial. If that is going to be overridden, and the article locked, then I suggest contributors vote with their feet and simply stop contributing. What would be the point? Boethius 12:19, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Aschlafly, I'm interested in your thoughts on how Al Gore was elected Senator (and later won TN's electoral votes for VP) in the first place if his failure to oppose evolutionary teaching was so important to TN voters.--Nomine Cervus 05:41, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Why was the reference to Gore's 2000 election loss removed? Aschlafly said it's relevent, and I don't think it's a good idea to subvert his authority. The information should be restored.--Conservateur 03:42, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

Is there a cite

Is there a citation for the sentence "The textbook also featured the fraudulent Piltdown Man."? I believe the only use of Piltdown Man was in an affidavit by an (or two) "expert" witness. Piltdown was only "discovered" in 1912, the Hunter's Civic Biology text was published in 1914.

--Crackertalk 01:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Very good point. The reality is this: Professor Cole and Professor Newman (two potential witnesses the court refused to allow to testify) mentioned Piltdown Man in their affidavits, but in neither case did they show much enthusiasm. Piltdown Man is not in the textbook. (Note, this is from [1], a site devoted to trashing Civic Biology.
Andy, you need to retract the statement if you wish Conservapedia to be "accurate" (not that this article is very accurate anyway, but...) NousEpirrhytos 17:31, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Can we also describe the Butler Act in more detail, adding that it made it unlawful "to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible?"--TheRearAdmiral 14:43, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

End of Trial

My understanding has always been that the judge considered the whole Darrow/Byran exchange pointless and called it to a halt. So rather than Darrow ducking out, the judge stopped it b/f he could be examined by Bryan.

Also, this whole article needs to be re-examined. The bias is overwhelming.--Dave3172 11:49, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Your understanding is based on the erroneous liberal spin. In fact, everyone was stunned (including the NY Times) that Darrow reneged on his deal to take the stand.
So I would assume your understanding is based on the erroneous conservative spin? Opacic 09:38, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Everything in the content page is well-supported. There is enormous liberal misinformation about the trial that has misled everyone who fails to look at the facts.--Aschlafly 11:51, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, with all due respect, I can't agree with you. I've read in multiple places that Raulston cut off Bryan's questioning and didn't allow the cross-exam. He decided the whole sequence wasn't germane to the trial. So Darrow didn't "chicken out" Further, Darrow called for a guilty verdict not to "save his own skin" but so he could appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Again, my issue isn't with the fawning pro-Bryan tone. It's with the blatant mis-statement of fact. It should be corrected.--Dave3172 12:03, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Here is Darrow asking for a guilty verdict. [2]
I am frank to say, while we think it is wrong, and we ought to have been permitted to put in our evidence, the court felt otherwise, as he had a right to hold. We cannot argue to you gentlemen under the instructions given by the court--we cannot even explain to you that we think you should return a verdict of not guilty. We do not see how you could. We do not ask it. We think we will save our point and take it to the higher court and settle whether the law is good, and also whether he should have permitted the evidence. I guess that is plain enough.
I am not sure that Darrow's motives can be deduced from this. I guess that you are questioning the sentence, "To save his own skin, Darrow handed over his client!" It is certainly very rare to ask for a guilty verdict like this. RSchlafly 13:34, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
I agree; it is rare. But if you look at what Darrow says towards the end: "We think we will save our point and take it to the higher court and settle whether the law is good, and also whether he should have permitted the evidence." Darrow is asking for a guilty verdict so he can appeal it. Hardly the act of a "chicken."--Dave3172 16:57, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
That isn't Darrow "asking for a guilty verdict." He's claiming that the Judge has not allowed the defence to present the arguments they had wanted to use, that absent those arguments only a guilty verdict is possible, and that the only way around the Judge's decisions is appeal to a higher court. Tsumetai 10:05, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
But there is still no rational reason for giving up a chance at jury nullification, or jury confusion, in favor of one's client. Moreover, Darrow weakened his appeal by asking for a guilty verdict. There may not be another example of a (competent) defense attorney ever asking the jury to find his client guilty. It makes absolutely no sense. It is equivalent to an American football player handing the ball to his opponent. It never, ever happens, and should never happen. Darrow did it, obviously, to avoid taking the stand as he had promised.--Aschlafly 10:11, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, I have to point out, again, that Darrow didn't dodge his cross-exam. Circuit Attorney General Arthur Thomas Stewart decided to stop Bryan from cross-examing Darrow and got Judge Raulston to throw out Bryan's testimony. [3]
You can also look at the original NYT article [4] where it clearly says that the AG and the judge put a stop to the cross-exam. On the basis of this being noted in two separate locations, including the 1925 NYT story, I'm asking you to remove the statement that Darrow ducked the cross-exam.--Dave3172 12:14, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the site from which the partial transcript comes does describe it as Darrow asking for a guilty verdict, so I'll withdraw that objection, since presumably the author had access to the full transcript. Tsumetai 10:37, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Darrow did say that he wanted to preserve some evidentiary issue for appeal. I'm not sure what that issue is, because the 2-1 appellate decision doesn't even appear to mention it. (I just skimmed it briefly.) It looked like Darrow was trying to have scientists give expert testimony that the Bible is wrong, even tho they are not really Bible experts. RSchlafly 11:48, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Oh, lookee who it is...anyway...the purpose of asking for a guilty verdict was to open the case up to appeal (where the verdict was oveturned). NousEpirrhytos 17:33, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

<reduce indent>If you read about halfway down in the appeal, you'll find:

"The argument is that the theory of the descent of man from a lower order of animals is now established by the preponderance of scientific thought and that the prohibition of the teaching of such theory is a violation of the legislative duty to cherish Science"

Perhaps that's it. Tsumetai 12:00, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Plays are not nominated for Academy Awards. Movies are.

Well, well, another locked article with a significant bias

Why wasn't this included? Q--When was that Flood?
A--I would not attempt to fix the date. The date is fixed, as suggested this morning.
Q--About 4004 B.C.?
A--That has been the estimate of a man that is accepted today. I would not say it is accurate.
Q--That estimate is printed in the Bible?
A--Everybody knows, at least, I think most of the people know, that was the estimate given.
Q--But what do you think that the Bible, itself says? Don't you know how it was arrived at?
A--I never made a calculation.
Q--A calculation from what?
A--I could not say.
Q--From the generations of man?
A--I would not want to say that.
Q--What do you think?
A--I do not think about things I don't think about.
Q--Do you think about things you do think about?
A--Well, sometimes.

Or this... Q--Mr. Bryan, do you believe that the first woman was Eve?
A--Yes.
Q--Do you believe she was literally made out of Adams's rib?
A--I do.
Q--Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A--No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q--You have never found out?
A--I have never tried to find
Q--You have never tried to find?
A--No.
Q--The Bible says he got one, doesn't it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A--I cannot say.
Q--You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A--Never bothered me.
Q--There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
A--That is what the Bible says.
Q--Where she came from you do not know. All right.

Source: [5]

Featured article!?

My stars.-AmesG 00:50, 23 March 2007 (EDT)


Entire transcript

I apologize for the length of this, never mind it won't paste correctly. However, i ask the mods to either show the entire transcript, or simply cite a link to the entire transcript, since it is painfully obvious taking select items out of context can mislead readers about the degree of accuracy in the viewpoint presented. The website is Scopes Trial Transcript--Fpresjh 19:43, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

That would be a wonderful idea. Let the reader, who is presumed to be reasonably intelligent (or at least smarter than a gerbil) make up his/her own mind. NousEpirrhytos 07:52, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Ann Coulter is not a source

Anymore than Al Franken would be an acceptable source. Please pull all material cited to her. She's not an academic. She's a pundit. Like I said, just like Franken, or Jon Stewart. No better as a real source. Thank you.-Speaker 01:15, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

I respect your opinion, but disagree in part. When Ann Coulter is describing history, she is a source. When she is interpreting it, she is not (unless her interpretation is either identified as such in the text of the article, or backed up by the likes of Larson, who won a Pulitzer prize for his Summer For the Gods book on the Scopes Trial.) Even though I do not agree with you, I am open to reconsidering, especially if others agree with you. Coulter, unlike Larson, is not a respected historian afterall. So far, however, I have not injected any of Coulter's characterizations of the Scopes trial that is not shared by other disinterested parties like Larson. And besides, I think her book is good reading regarding the Scopes Trial, and should be mentioned on a conservative Encyclopedia. If conservapedia does not wish to honor Coulter with citations, perhaps Conservapedia would want her listed in a See Also section. Or perhaps not. If you remove Coulter as a source (and I am not by any means instructing that you should not), the sentences she is cited on do not require any changing whatsoever. I would agree that any aspect of the trial on which Coulter is the sole source should be identified as such in the article proper, and not left as an exercise to the diligent reader to determine. Pending further discussion, or action on your part, I will leave Coulter as a source for the time being. HeartOfGold 01:59, 11 May 2007 (EDT)
  • Coulter, a practicing Attorney is more of an academic than Franken, an actor/comedian. She is a proper source as a writer with a well researched book, touching on this topic. Good work HeartOfGold! --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 07:42, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

TK, then her academic works would perhaps be better sources, but Godless is not that. It is an opinionated diatribe, and nothing more. If we can't cite Court decisions (since they just represent the judge's "opinion," according to Aschlafly, which is crazy hilarious) I fail to see how there's any reason that Coulter's book falls on the right side of the opinion/fact line. Unless it's just a partisan judgment, but I doubt we have yet fallen that far.

HoG, I'm glad she's not that important to the article. I think she'd be a fine "See Also," but her flame-job in Godless is hardly fact.-Speaker 08:31, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

As an Australian, I know next to nothing about Ann Coulter, although I have heard of her in recent times and realise that she is on the conservative side of the fence.
Personally, I don't like absolutely ruling anybody out as a source; some sources need to be treated with a lot more caution than others, but each case should be considered on its merits. If someone has a specific issue with using Ann Coulter (i.e. for a specific reference), that should be raised, but to suggest that we should "pull all material cited to her" simply because "[s]she's not an academic" is going overboard.
Philip J. Rayment 09:55, 11 May 2007 (EDT)
She does have an entry here that sums up her not-entirely-unbiased views. - BornAgainBrit
Oh, I forgot Americans dont understand the british deliberate understatement: Coulter is to evolution as Phelps is to homosexuality. That about sums her up. - BornAgainBrit
Okay, I've had a quick read of the article about her, and one thing is clear. The comparison to Phelps is nonsense. Coulter clearly has the support of other people opposed to evolution. Phelps does not have the support of other people opposed to homosexuality. Philip J. Rayment 19:26, 11 May 2007 (EDT)
Is Coulter even needed as a source here? It appears the 2 things that have been attributed to her have also been credited to Larson. --Colest 10:01, 11 May 2007 (EDT)
We have a standard for Conservapedia:Sources. Would you like to find a better source than Coulter's book? --Ed Poor 10:05, 11 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm confused what that sources link has to do with this, Ed. Also, the items sourced to Coulter's book are sourced to another author in this article. So removing the Coulter source wouldn't violate any policy outlined in that link. I'm simply suggesting that if there is an objection to using Coulter as a source, removing her from the article doesn't change the article's substance. --Colest 10:14, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

I'm sorry, but this article is not just biased, but so wildly inaccurate as to be an embarrassment. It was not "unprecedented" to ask for a guilty verdict. Nor was it a surprise. A guilty verdict was always in the ACLU's game-plan, as they wished to challenge the Constitutionality of the law in the higher courts. Nor did Darrow refuse to be examined. He hadn't finished his examination of Bryan when Judge Raulsten decided to disallow all such testimony. All this is well-established, and the cartoonish version of the trial described here only makes Conservapedia look like a propaganda site with no concern for accuracy. --Scopesfan

Do you have any sources to back you up? If something was not unprecedented, where is the precedent?
The ACLU challenges the constitutionality of laws all the time today, but it never asks for a guilty verdict. Do you have any other example where the ACLU asked for a guilty verdict? Any proof that people in the courtroom were not surprised by Darrow asking for a guilty verdict? Newspaper accounts did say that it was a surprise, and it goes against what the ACLU has done in every other case.
It is true that the judge ultimately ruled that Bryan's testimony was inadmissible, but only after listening to it. It is reasonable to assume that he would have done the same for Darrow's testimony. RSchlafly 15:19, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Certainly, I have a source, which I gave in an attempt to fix the errors on the page (the repair was removed, as lies that make one feel good appear to be more valuable than the truth on this "encyclopedia".) I recommend the book "The Great Monkey Trial," by L. Sprague de Camp, which quotes heavily from the trial transcript. William Jennings Bryan's testimony was not over, and the judge ruled against further testimony by lawyers in the case. Darrow did not refuse to testify--that's arrant nonsense, and so blatantly so as to make this page look like wish fulfillment. I see, however, that the dedication to falsehood on this page is insurmountable. Even Wikipedia is better than this! User:Scopesfan
Larson, who was no friend of Creationism but tries to keep an even hand, only mentions the judge barred further examination of Bryan, and he too quotes transcripts. You better have extremely specific trial quotes that showed information that he missed. You also may not be aware of the newspaper wars that Bryan and Darrow were having from well before the trial. Darrow would taunt Bryan with a problem from a literal Biblical view and ask Bryan to answer it. Bryan would say he would, as long as he could then ask a question of Darrow. Darrow never responded. Darrow was much better at being the prosecutor than wanting to be on the hot seat himself. Learn together 16:50, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Scopesfan, you have so far failed to substantiate any of your assertions. I believe that you are wrong on all counts. RSchlafly 17:07, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Scopesfan, some evidence that I would like to see before believing you, is where the judge disallowed Darrow from testifying. I can't see it.
Personally, I find it reasonable to believe that perhaps it was the ACLU's game plan, but again, I'd like to see the evidence.
Philip J. Rayment 23:33, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
I don't find it reasonable that a guilty plea was the ACLU's game plan. The ACLU challenges the constitutionality of laws all the time, and it never asks for a guilty plea. It would be extremely unusual to have such a game plan. Who knew about this game plan? What evidence is there for it? I'd have to see some pretty good evidence, considering that there are more plausible explanations. RSchlafly 01:39, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

More on Gore

I removed it again, without realizing there had been a previous discussion. While I certainly loathe Gore, the addition just doesn't belong here. If the boss wants to override me, fine, but other than that, the content simply belongs in a different article. HeartOfGold 20:42, 17 May 2007 (EDT)


Intro error

The claim that Clarence Darrow refused to testify is, for better or worse, false. After the uproar caused by Darrow's examination of Bryan, Judge Raulston stated that the whole exchange was irrelevant, and didn't allow it to resume. Whatever one might think of Darrow or Bryan (neither seemed to be very technically competent lawyers, based on the parts of the transcript I read), neither was scared to testify.

Evidence:
Bryan: I shall have to trust to the justness of the press, which reported what was said yesterday, to report what I will say, not to the court, but to the press in answer to the charge scattered broadcast over the world and I shall also avail myself of the opportunity to give to the press, not to the court, the questions that I would have asked had I been permitted to call the attorneys on the other side.
Darrow: I think it would be better, Mr. Bryan, for you to take us also with the press and ask us the questions and then the press will have both the questions and the answers

Taken from page 163 of "The Scopes Trial: A brief history with documents" by Jefferey P. Moran.

I think that one couldn't find a better source than Bryan himself stating that he had not been permitted to call the attorneys. Also, Darrow's statement reflects the fact of his willingness to be examined by Bryan.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by JakeW (talk)

You've fallen for the liberal spin. In fact, everyone was stunned that Darrow pled his client guilty so that Darrow could avoid the witness stand. The judge had nothing to do with it.--aschlafly 21:36, 31 December 2008 (EST)
I definitely don't know as much about legal precedent as you, but I had to do a report on the trial a few years ago in high school, for which I looked up the press coverage from the time, and it said that the Attorney General stopped the questioning, because he didn't think there was anything about the examination of the attorneys which was relevant to the trial, because in the opinion of the attorney general, the only substantive part of the trial was whether or not Scopes had taught evolution. --JakeW
To address the argument rather than the person, I think that the article is essentially correct. Your quote from Bryan doesn't say why he wasn't permitted to question Darrow. I believe that he wasn't "permitted" to simply because Darrow's actions caused the case to be ended before he was able to.
The argument is that Darrow agreed to being cross-examined in order to get Bryan's agreement to Bryan being cross-examined, but then got out of having to do that. If that argument is correct, then the fact that Darrow expressed willingness is nothing more than a subterfuge.
Darrow is considered to be one of America's greatest lawyers ever, and Bryan was also an experienced lawyer, so your impression that they were not technically competent lawyers appears to be nothing more than your impression.
Philip J. Rayment 09:56, 1 January 2009 (EST)
The very fact that they agreed to testify in a trial about a subject wholly unrelated to their area of professional expertise is evidence that they were more orators than lawyers, although, as I implied above, this is based on what the transcripts seemed to say about them, to me. Of course, oratory is a large part of litigating, but these men were delivering polemics when they should have been serving their clients. I'm not sure how much clearer I can state this, but the fact of the matter is, the Attorney General intervened both to prevent the continuing examination of Bryan by Darrow (which would have commenced on the next day of the trial), and the scheduled examination of Darrow by Bryan. And besides, Bryan's interest in having Darrow on the stand was to ask him about his religious beliefs, trying to use Darrow's rude anti-Christianity to provoke the public. None of what they did during their battling was relevant to the legal matter at hand. I think when the two possible plots are compared, one is more plausible than the other.
1. Darrow agrees to testify so that he can question Bryan. He either becomes afraid of testifying (unlikely on its own, given his incredibly outsize ego), or never plans to testify. Then, he pleads his client guilty to avoid testifying, but requests, in front of the press, that Bryan question him in public. Indeed, it appears that Bryan didn't want to do such a thing, instead, he stated that he would send the press a list of questions he intended to ask Darrow, and when darrow responded that he should do the questioning in public, Bryan effectively refused.
2. Darrow and Bryan agree in good faith to be put on the stand. After two hours of theological argument, the judge and attorney general see this as sidetracking the trial, and so further testimony is halted (This is supported by the fact that the judge called for Bryan's testimony to be thrown out). Because there are no more witnesses relevant to the case, the trial ends. Darrow asks for a guilty plea so that the case can be brought to a higher court, where the legality of the statute can be challenged (if the jury had acquitted Scopes, the law would remain in effect, the jury would have effectively been saying "we do not believe Scopes taught evolution").

I know I'm new here, but it's important, if this project is to make progress, that we do not prejudge those who disagree with us. Just because Darrow was an arrogant anti-christian on the opposite side of the issue from most of us, we should let his statements stand for themselves unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, and in this case, it's hard to find enough. I may've run a little long, but it's key that we limit ourselves to the truth, and not conjecture. JakeW

Reversion explained

I notified Dr. Jensen this morning on his talk page of my objections to the deletion of informative material from this entry and the inclusion of the doubtful claim that the anti-Christian Mencken was a "cultural conservative."

Many of the other edits to this entry today were likewise inexplicable. Specific information that Bryan had been Secretary of State was replaced with a speculative claim that he was the most famous Democrat, which is silly. Other insertions overemphasized secondary sources, which of course are prone to bias for such a controversial entry.

We provide the facts and let the reader decide. With reluctance I've reverted back to a more factual entry here. Feel free to discuss here.--Andy Schlafly 23:30, 14 February 2009 (EST)

I think a straight reversion was not the best way to go. There wasn't much removed by the edits, and reverting remove information that merits being in the article. Nevertheless, I did have some concerns about some of the new material.
  • Perhaps Bryan and Darrow had co-operated before, but I seem to recall reading that they had (also?) clashed before in the courtroom.
  • I don't think that the claim that Bryan was the most famous Democrat is silly at all; it's likely to be correct, although I guess that it is speculative.
  • The edits mentioned the Creation Research Society pushing for more anti-evolution laws following Scopes' conviction. The current Creation Research Society was not formed until about 40 years later; is this a mistake, or a different (earlier) group with the same name?
  • Also on the other anti-evolution laws; the edits gave the impression that the Tennessee law led the way, whereas I was of the impression that it was merely one of several such laws at the time.
Philip J. Rayment 02:14, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Some good edits may have been lost in the reversion, and I'll try to look for them. But upon first review nearly all the edits had either removed informative material (e.g., the intro about Darrow reneging on the deal, and Hollywood distorting what happened) or introduced speculation, some of it wrong or misleading.
In response to the above, I'm not aware of prior Bryan/Darrow "cooperation", and don't immediately see its relevance even if true. But I welcome details.
Bryan's fame is speculative, as you say, and even his political affiliation is misleading. He had not been active in the Demcoratic Party for a decade by 1925, after leaving Secretary of State. And someone's perceived "fame" is non-encyclopedia anyway, having little relevance to factual truth.
Good point about the error about CRS.
I think you're right about the Tennessee law being one of many States'.--Andy Schlafly 08:34, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Bryan was the three time Democratic party nominee for president and was a major player at the 1924 convention which nominated his brother and close associate Charles Bryan for VP. He (and Wilson) were the chief spokesmen for liberal big-government politics since 1896. Bryan and Darrow worked closely together at least as far back as 1896 when Darrow was a Populist leader in Illinois (Bryan won the Populist nomination too), and Darrow campaigned for Bryan in 1896 qand 1900. Bryan indeed had been secretaray of state for a while , but that is not nearly as important as his role in the Democratic party.RJJensen 08:50, 15 February 2009 (EST)
The political history is interesting, but doesn't refute that Bryan and Darrow were like oil and water in their basic beliefs. The Democratic Party was (and is) a very big tent.--Andy Schlafly 09:07, 15 February 2009 (EST)
The bit about Darrow reneging on the deal was moved further down; it was not removed.
Someone's fame is very relevant for an encyclopaedia; without it, they don't get to be in an encyclopaedia!
Philip J. Rayment 09:13, 15 February 2009 (EST)
OK, but burying something further down in an entry has the same effect as removal with respect to many visitors.
I appreciate your humor about "fame". but perhaps it's worth adding that I don't agree with it. Jesus had very little fame, and the same could be about many other important entries in a good encyclopedia. Speculation about fame is even less encyclopedic (or meaningful).--Andy Schlafly 09:50, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Regarding "fame", I guess we are talking about two different things: a person won't get into an encyclopaedia unless they had fame sometime, whereas you seem to be talking about fame in their own lifetime. I would dispute that for Jesus anyway, but the point is that if they didn't have fame at some time, then they would not be in an encyclopaedia. Bryan clearly had fame, else he would not be in encyclopaedias, and his fame is therefore relevant. Philip J. Rayment 20:22, 15 February 2009 (EST)
I respectfully disagree. I can't imagine any encyclopedia using "fame" of any sort as a criterion of inclusion. Perhaps 20% of a good encyclopedia consists of entries that lack "fame" by any definition.
As to Bryan, I bet less than 30% of Americans even knew who he was when the Scopes trial began in 1925. And even if that percentage were higher, I don't see what relevance the average person's perception is. It's anti-intellectualism to emphasize perceptions of fame, not to mention its highly speculative nature.--Andy Schlafly 21:37, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Bryan was the most famous Democrat in America in 1925. Every voter knew who he was--and loved or hated him. People listened to him. He was more central in the 1920s than, say, Barry Goldwater in the 1960s or Al Gore today. He is the reason the Scopes trial got all that attention.RJJensen 23:28, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Andy, perhaps you could explain what you understand by "fame"? I'm using, per the Oxford dictionary[6], as the state of being famous, with "famous" defined[7] as known about by many people. Alternatively, perhaps you could give an example of someone an encyclopaedia might have who was not known by many people, and explain how the encyclopaedia would even know of this person if he was not well known. Philip J. Rayment 03:30, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Bryan and Darrow were at opposite ends on religion. They were close on politics: both were very liberal supporters of big government. They both relentlessly attacked conservatives on economic issues. Bryan was politically powerful in 1925 and had a strong base in The South, which always voted for him by huge landslides.RJJensen 09:55, 15 February 2009 (EST)
OK, Bryan did advocate soft money going back to 1896. I don't think anyone is claiming he (or Darrow) was a conservative. But just as atheists, Muslims, and Jewish people voted Democratic in high percentages in 2008, it would be misleading to characterize the three groups as political allies.--Andy Schlafly 10:05, 15 February 2009 (EST)
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