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Called the “world's most famous court trial” at the time, the case of State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes (1925) concerned a young biology teacher who taught that man had descended from a lower order of animals rather than having been divinely created as described in the Bible.

The Scopes trial occurred as a result of legislation advocated by John Washington Butler, a Primitive Baptist and former farmer and schoolteacher who had learned that evolution was being taught in the public schools of Tennessee. As a member of the Tennessee legislature, Butler succeeded in passing a law that made it unlawful to teach evolution in the public schools. The Butler Act, as it came to be called, was also being promoted by William Jennings Bryan, ...

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