occasional cognitive scientist, continue to speak of humannnature. What is more, their views are remarkably similar,nalthough neither side much cares to admit it.nDo Darwinists point to the prime significance of reproductivensuccess? They might quote Genesis: Be fruitful andnmultiply. For the Darwinist emphasis on competition andnstrife, we have the enhre Old Testament—beginning withnthe story of Cain and Abel—to illustrate the humannpropensity for strife. On point after point—from sexualndifferences to social order—Darwinists (especially sociobiologists)nhave been providing ammunition for the almostnempty cartridge belts of Christian apologetics. While mostnDarwinists mistakenly regard the Christian view of man asntoo static and rigid to have anything in common with anscience based on evolution, in fact Christianity is a remarkablyndynamic faith that has consistentiy held out thenpromise of improvement. It is doubtful that Darwin’sntheory could have been arrived at in anything but anChristian civilization whose peculiar sense of linear tirnenencourages a belief in evolution and progress. To put thenmatter as plainly as I can, an atheist Darwinist sometimesnser’es the faith more effectively than a convention ofndeacons or a convocation of bishops (or is that a tautology?).nIt must be said that journalists on both sides have donen’er’ littie to advance the discussion. Entrenched modernistsnin the fashionable opinion journals are forever cantingnabout the threat to civil liberties posed by fundamentalists.nIn their iew, it is a crime against humanity when familiesnand local communities attempt to have some say in whatntheir children are taught. On the other side, some conservati-enjournalists have made capital out of the (comparatively)ntrivial disagreements which divide the Darwinist camp.nBiologists may quarrel over theories of punctuated equilibriumnand cladistics, but the main outiines of the neo-nDarwinist synthesis are not being debated by serious,nmainstream scientists. To convert a scientific discussionninto a political issue works great mischief, no matter whondoes it.nStill, when the intellectual part of the debate is set aside,nthe fundamentalists have a point. The political Darwinistsnha’e not been content simply to advance their views in thenforum of scientific debate. Like Galileo, some have gonenout of their wa’ to make extravagant statements: they knownthere is no God, no right or wrong, and they have a right tonindoctrinate the children of the taxpayers who pay themntheir salaries.nIn many ways, the Scopes Trial illustrates the tragicnnature of the conflict. From first to last, the Darwinist causenwas moral and political—not scientific. Scopes was himselfna science teacher who only substituted in biology, but henwas egged on by an eccentric immigrant from New York,nGeorge Rappleyea, who had been teased by fundamentalistnfriends for his belief in evolution. He told them he’d getneen, and he did. The ACLU, which had posted a rewardnfor anyone who ‘iolated Tennessee’s antievolution law, wasnthe principal agitator of the case, although its representaties—DudleynMalone and Clarence Darrow—nrepeatedly insisted that the whole affair was the fault of thenprosecution’s star counsel, William Jennings Brvan.nThe Great Commoner was not in good health during thentrial (he died in Dayton), and his speeches showed only anreflection of the oratorical brilliance for which he wasnfamous. Still, the prosecution had two effective arguments:nfirst, that states had the right to proscribe and prescribe thencurriculum content of state-supported schools, and secondn—this was Bryan’s strong point—that teaching of evolutionnled to social dissolution and moral anarchy.nIn the course of the trial and in his summation speechn(published but not delivered), Bryan made effective use ofnthe Leopold and Loeb case. Darrow, the murderers’ attorney,nhad attempted to shift the blame to Nietzsche and thenintellectual climate of the universities. Didn’t the schoolsnand the states have the obligation, not just the right, tonprevent an entire generation from growing up like thenspoiled rich kid who killed a boy just for the thrill of it? It isna question we are still asking ourselves.nAlthough Bryan was a fundamentalist hero, his viewsnwere not as strict as the sterner brethren might have liked.nUnder a rude and merciless interrogation by Darrow, Bryanncheerfully admitted he didn’t know how long the creationntook. Privately, he confessed he did not know whether ornnot Darwin was right. (Besides, it became clear in the trialnthat neither Bryan nor Darrow had a grasp of evolutionarynbiology.) Bryan did not even like the Tennessee law: as ancivil libertarian he was opposed to penalities for any honestnexpression of opinion. It was enough, he thought, to forbidnthe teaching of evolution without punishing the miserablenoffender.nBryan’s ignorance of biology is not surprising. He wasnrarely good on details. His free silver campaign was economicallynnaive; his support for the income tax and thennationalization of railroads was positively harmful; but henhad a sound heart, one that was peculiarly American. Henwas born in Illinois, the son of a Southern father and anMidwestern mother. A Democrat in the Land of Lincoln,nhe grew up in two churches—-Presbyterian and Methodist.nHe was, to use the military phrase, a general Protestant.nMoving to Nebraska in his late 20’s helped to give him anN’ision of Middle America that was not appreciated in whatnhe called “the heart of the enemy’s country,” New York.nHis populist crusade against the robber barons cost him thenPresidency—the robber barons subsidized the McKinleyncampaign to an unprecedented degree—but it helped steernthe nation out of the doldrums of plutocracy known as then”Gilded Age.” Despite Mencken’s jeers at the booboisie andnthe anthropoids from Tennessee, the plain people of American(in Bryan’s phrase) were sounder then and now than thenrich and well-educated who presume to be their masters.n(What good is wealth, education, good family, even talentnand intelligence if you end up like Gore Vidal?) Bryan hadnthe courage to stand up against American imperialism innthe Philippines, a mess from which we have yet to extricatenourselves, but his finest hour was his resignation as Secretarynof State in protest against President Wilson’s dangerouslynone-sided support for the allies in WWI. When thenmuch-dreaded war came, however, Bryan, .as a loyalnAmerican, volunteered to serve in any capacity.nAt Dayton, too, Bryan had his heart in the right place.nWhy did he get involved in the evolution controversy in thenfirst place? His v.ife records that Bryan had become increasinglyndisturbed by his conversations with college studentsn(continued on page 18)nnnAUGUST 1986111n