People: The Roaring 20’s
Darrow believed this law violated the no establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment. He told the Tennessee court, “If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools… At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers… we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots burn[ed] the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.”
The most dramatic moments in the trial came on the seventh day, when Bryan volunteered to serve as a witness based on his Biblical expertise. During Darrow’s examination, Bryan acknowledged that not everything in the Bible should be taken literally, and that indeed creation may have taken place over years. Though Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution, Darrow’s arguments are considered a landmark defense of the First Amendment’s prohibition on establishment of religion.