(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Scopes Trial

Darkness, fallen…

On the heels of North Korea’s unsuccessful “satellite launch,” a look at “the land of the morning calm” (AKA The Hermit Kingdom) from the altitude their rocket failed to achieve…

 source

The bright dot halfway up the Western coast is the capital, Pyongyang… one of the (very) few spots in North Korea with access to appreciable amounts of electricity.

Other photos from above here and here.

As we spend a day in fear of trembling, we might send locquatious birthday greetings to lawyer and civil libertarian Clarence Darrow; he was born on this date in 1857.  Darrow’s most famous court appearances were probably his defenses of Leopold and Loeb (the “thrill killers” who murdered Bobby Franks in 1924) and of John T. Scopes (where Darrow argued Scopes’ right to teach evolution against William Jennings Bryant in what came to be known as “the Monkey Trial”); he was an early leader of the ACLU.

 You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free. (source)

Spinning a (World Wide) Web…

 

click here for larger, interactive version

In commemoration of Chrome’s birthday, Google enlisted Hyperakt and Vizzuality to create a celebratory chart of the evolution of the internet…  The interactive timeline has bunch of nifty features– your correspondent’s fave: clicking a browser icon allows users to see how the browser’s window has changed in each release…  a stroll down “memory lay-out,” if not memory lane– and a concrete reminder of the importance of design.

[TotH to the ever-remarkable Flowing Data]

 

As we resolve yet again to clean out our bookmark cache, we might wish an acerbic Happy Birthday to journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and critic Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken; he was born on this date in 1880.  Mencken is the auuthor of the philological work The American Language, and is remembered for his journalism (e.g., his coverage of the Scopes Trial) and for his cultural criticism (and editorship of American Mercury– published by Alfred Knopf, also born on this date, but 12 years after Mencken ) in which he championed such writers as D.H. Lawrence, Ford Madox Ford, and Sherwood Anderson.  But “H.L.” is probably most famous for the profusion of pointed one-liners and adages that leavened his work…

The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. I am against any man and any organization which seeks to limit or deny that freedom. . . [and] the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Truth would quickly cease to be stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.

H.L. Mencken, photograph by Carl Van Vechten (source)

 

 

Inheriting the Wind*…

From DetentionSlip.com (“your daily cheat sheet for education news”), a sobering infographic on the state of education in the U.S., “Creationism vs. Darwinism in the U.S.”; an excerpt:

Click here to see the infographic in full (and then again on the image there, to enlarge).

* Inherit the Wind, the play (then movies) that fictionalized the Scopes trial, took it’s title from Proverbs 11:29, which (in the King James version) reads:

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

As we own up to ontology, we might might recall that it was on this date in 1950 that T.S. Eliot, then 62, observed that “the years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet are not decrepit enough to turn them down.”  Among those nagging tasks: picking up his Nobel Prize for literature two years earlier.

source

Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign!”
The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
Swaddled with darkness.
– “Gerontion”

Yes, but what *is* “a ball”?…

Sticking with yesterday’s focus on sports…

Coming to a stadium in North London this Sunday: a tribute/replay of Monty Python’s “The Philosophers’ Football Match,” featuring Socrates Wanderers vs. Nietzsche Albion, all in support of the Philosophy Shop’s “Four Rs” campaign (a movement to get “reasoning” added to “reading, writing. and ‘rithmetic”).  Great cause; great fun.

As we hear “Frege” and “Kant” exclaimed in response to a Yellow Card (…at least, that’s what it sounded like), we might recall that it was on this date in 1925 that John T. Scopes was served the warrant that led to his being the defendant in Scopes vs. The State of Tennessee (aka “the Scopes Monkey Trial”).

Tennessee had responded to the urgings of William Bell Riley, head of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association, and passed a law prohibiting the teaching of evolution– the Butler Act; in response, The American Civil Liberties Union offered to defend anyone accused of violating the Act.  George Rappleyea, who managed several local mines, convinced a group of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, a town of 1,756, that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton some much needed publicity. With their agreement, he called in his friend, the 24-year-old Scopes, who taught High School biology in the local school– and who agreed to be the test case.

The rest is celebrity-filled history, and star-studded drama.

Scopes in 1925

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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