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Intelligently DesignedHow Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution$
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Edward Caudill

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038013

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038013.001.0001

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The Contrarian and the Commoner

The Contrarian and the Commoner

Darrow and Bryan

(p.30) 2 The Contrarian and the Commoner
Intelligently Designed

Edward Caudill

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan's contrasting worldviews of science and religion. Bryan and Darrow personified two major, antagonistic streams of thought in American society. Bryan believed religion informed all walks of life, including politics and science, whereas Darrow saw it as an impediment to enlightenment. Bryan had unshakable faith in the common man; Darrow called himself a pessimist, apparently with little faith in humanity, but he fiercely defended the rights of the common man. This chapter first discusses Bryan's background as “The Great Commoner,” focusing on his views on religion and politics and especially on Darwinism and evolution. It then describes Darrow's life and career as a public intellectual, a contrarian who was sympathetic to the cause of socialism. It also looks at the clash between Bryan and Darrow over the subject of literalism. The chapter concludes with a detailed analysis of the two men's arguments at the Scopes trial.

Keywords:   evolution, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, science, religion, politics, Darwinism, common man, literalism, Scopes trial

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