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Inherit the Wind


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> {quote:title=Sprocket_Man wrote:}{quote}

>

> In the end, the only form of eugenics in which we should be allowed to indulge is in the selection of a mate based on his or her physical characteristics (excessive emphasis on which will typically doom a marriage). Beyond that, the idea of shaping the human race according to a generally accepted or government-mandated idea (see entry on Lebensborn, the system of maternity homes, financial assistance and encouragement of those with approved "Aryan" traits to produce offspring established by Nazi Reichsminister and SS head Heinrich ****) is, and should forever be, repugnant.

 

You should watch the film *Gattaca*, if you haven't already. It's a modern take on eugenics, and sadly quite plausible. Personally, I do believe in genetic counseling for couples who want to procreate. The purpose being to produce a child without any genetic diseases they may carry, say like Huntington's disease, or sickle cell anemia. I see a difference between screening out genetic disease, and trying only to select for the 'best' traits.

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> Sprocke Man wrote . . .

> No, the real reason the film changes the names of the characters is because (drum roll)...those are the names of the characters in the 1955 Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee play whose film rights Stanley Kramer purchased. Kramer wasn't about to change the names and situations in the property he'd purchased (even if his rights had included the freedom to do so, which I doubt). It was a very successful play and, while it hews to, and distills the basic facts surrounding the Scopes trial, a significant amount of what's in the play and film is fictionalized for largely dramatic purposes, and not to coddle the sensibilities of John Scopes.

 

Well then, if not the movie, of course the play! It was always the play first to later on be translated to the screen. Scopes never expected anything to change or at least be closely related to the reality of his plight.

 

> Sprocket_Man wrote . . .

> Wrong again. Director William Wyler had already cast March as Dan Hilliard when Bogart, who'd co-starred in Wyler's DEAD END eighteen years earlier, approached him about playing fugitive Glenn Griffin.

 

The Tracy/Bogart connection was discussed at the planning stages. This is a fact! Anyway, I do agree that Wyler would have never settled on Tracy due to the billing issue and he knew March well enough to be an excellent choice.

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Kelly's third film for MGM was a forgotten WW2 story called "Pilot # 5" with Franchot Tone in 1943. Some other dramatic roles were:

"The Cross of Lorraine" 1943

"The Three Musketeers" 1948

"The Black Hand" 1950

"The Devil Makes 3" 1952

"Crest of the Wave" 1954, all of these were before his role in "Inherit the Wind".....

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An insanely interesting film that got this (at the time) young person to think. My only complaint is that Marche's skull cap make up looks weird. Once read that the ACLU advertised for a teacher to come forward so the could challenge the law and Scopes answered.

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> {quote:title=chaney7 wrote:}{quote}

> An insanely interesting film that got this (at the time) young person to think. My only complaint is that Marche's skull cap make up looks weird. Once read that the ACLU advertised for a teacher to come forward so the could challenge the law and Scopes answered.

 

That?s correct. Scopes attorneys were essentially ACLU attorneys. They were trying to gain control over all the school books in the US and the curricula of all the state school systems, so their lawyers could set the standards for what was taught in US public schools, and take that legal right away from the separate state legislatures.

 

This battle is still going on today regarding various public school topics, such as history, anthropology, civics, multiculturalism, and various science subjects.

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Just curious, is there any...um...evidence for the contention that during the

mid 1920s the ACLU was trying to gain control over all the school books

and curricula of all the state school systems? Or is this just the detritus

of an overactive imagination?

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Don't know about all the school books. What I read concerned the law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools. I think the ACLU advertised in 3 states for a number of months for some teacher to come forward as a spearhead (or target, if you prefer) and challenge the law.

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I don't know if they advertised in other states, but Scopes, with some nudging from

the town fathers, who thought a trial would be a great publicity bonus for Dayton,

was the one who agreed to be a test case.

 

Apparently there is no evidence for the idea that the ACLU was out to take control

of both the school textbooks and the curricula of all the states in the mid 1920s?

Just some unsupportable hot air masquerading as fact. Even in a movie forum, it's

good to separate fact from fancy.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> Scopes attorneys were essentially ACLU attorneys. They were trying to gain control over all the school books in the US and the curricula of all the state school systems, so their lawyers could set the standards for what was taught in US public schools, and take that legal right away from the separate state legislatures.

>

> This battle is still going on today regarding various public school topics, such as history, anthropology, civics, multiculturalism, and various science subjects.

 

Typical "answer" that gets things exactly backward. Firstly, the Scopes trial had nothing to do with Tennessee's school curriculum, but the criminal law on the state's books that made it a crime to teach Evolution.

 

Secondly, as regards school curricula, the problem is not one of state legislatures having control, but allowing local school boards that may be stacked with unqualified individuals and those far less interested in educating the community's children than the are in advancing their own religion to set it (and what, exactly, is your agenda in misinforming the people here, Fred?). Of course, this can also happen at the state level (one need look no farther than the current textbooks approved by the Texas Department of Education, though the department's latter word really does need to be written in quotation marks), but that inevitably invites more scrutiny and involves more checks and balances between proposals and enactment of policies.

 

In INHERIT THE WIND, Henry Drummond knows that a criminal court at its lowest level cannot determine or even consider the justness of a law, which is why the Judge -- who is clearly sympathetic to the defendant -- keeps ruling against the admissibility of Drummond's witnesses who have come to testify as to the validity of the Theory of Evolution, and the workings of science, in general. The only thing this court can do is determine whether Bertram Cates broke the laws of the State of Tennessee on the date he was accused of having done so.

 

Drummond only called the witnesses he knew would be disallowed because the courtroom was filled with representatives of the press and radio microphones. He was, then, appealing to the court of public opinion, because he knew it was the only thing that could get the state legislature to revisit such an unjust and parochial law. He was counting on pressure from both inside and outside Tennessee that would force the state government to overturn the law, which in the case of the real Scopes case, is what happened (Scopes's conviction -- in which he was fined the relatively token sum of $100 -- was also overturned on appeal).

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> {quote:title=MovieProfessor wrote:}{quote}

> *STRANGE* . . . That at this very moment, in several states there is an educational crisis looming, amid severally state governments asking the unions for concessions and a change in give-backs.

 

The racist human evolution material in the specific textbook that Scopes taught from in 1925 is not only still banned in the State of Tennessee, but it?s banned in all US public schools today.

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Don't think that's aimed at education only but all state workers/unions. Cops & Firemen are sometimes not included. Scopes trial was pretty specific in it's aims. Saw a documentary years ago about a college (Wheaton ?) where students requested a course on evolution be included in the curriculum. They got it but some of the parents went nuts. One mother wrote to the school saying she'd rather see her daughter dead than have her question her faith. This renewed my interest in the movie and I tend to keep an eye on the people in the crowds. It still goes on today but with the net and information so available there may be alot more closet evolutionists out there.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> I don't know if it was banned, but it's also too old to be used at a textbook today.

> The state of Tennessee mandated the use of that particular textbook, so Scopes

> was just using the same book that other teachers used.

 

No, you don?t have the correct information.

 

You need to read the full transcript of the trial to see what actually happened. As of the time of the trial, the human evolution section of Hunter?s ?A Civic Biology?, 1914 edition, was illegal for Scopes to teach from, in any public school in Tennessee, and today it?s illegal for any public school to teach from that same section of the book, in all of the 50 US states.

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As far as I can piece together the chronology, A Civic Biology was mandated as

the Tennessee high school biology text prior to the passage of the Butler Act in 1925,

which outlawed the teaching of evolution. So Scopes must have taught the evolution part

of the textbook, which made up a very small part of the overall text. In 1927 a revised

edition titled A New Civic Biology was published, which excised the evolution section.

I really don't see any reason to think that the textbook became illegal in all 50 states (and

it's difficult to believe that it would still be in use in 1959) especially as the evolution section

was no longer part of the book. I think it's more likely that due to some lingering controversy

and the age of the book it was dropped by the school systems that had used it.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> As far as I can piece together the chronology, A Civic Biology was mandated as

> the Tennessee high school biology text prior to the passage of the Butler Act in 1925,

> which outlawed the teaching of evolution. So Scopes must have taught the evolution part

> of the textbook, which made up a very small part of the overall text. In 1927 a revised

> edition titled A New Civic Biology was published, which excised the evolution section.

> I really don't see any reason to think that the textbook became illegal in all 50 states

 

It?s the key text in the textbook ? the stuff said in the textbook, the concepts in the textbook ? that became illegal to teach in all 50 states. Mainly the parts comparing humans to apes. This is offensive stuff today, and it began to be offensive as published in school textbooks in the early 20th Century.

 

This information was freely discussed among intellectuals in the late 19th Century and early 20th, but when it began to turn up in high school textbooks early in the 20th Century, many people became offended by it.

 

The textbook Scopes taught from claimed that lower types of humans were ?anatomically? closer to the great apes than the great apes were to the humble monkeys. People don?t like their kids to be taught that they are almost as primitive as apes. And the book implied that humans descended from apes.

 

During the Scopes trial, a new biology textbook was put into use in Tennessee that was much less offensive to human dignity, yet it still taught the basic scientific theory of evolution.

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It's hard to believe the actual text itself is illegal in 50 states, because it was taken

out in the 1927 revised edition. It's also hard to believe that the concepts are

illegal either. Some of the concepts are now outdated and for that reason would

no longer appear in a textbook. I doubt that that had much to do with state

governments making them illegal. Is there any proof that all 50 states made them

illegal?

 

People are right to be offended by bad science, but if some of the conclusions

of good science offend them, that's their problem, not science's.

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This isn't just a reply to Fred but to everyone who seized upon eugenics after watching Inherit the Wind. Not to beat a dead horse, but remember discussing The Bad Seed, and the possibility of Rhoda's having inherited murderous genes? It is true that people have been sterilized to prevent passing abnormalities to their progeny. Back to the question: are they truly born bad, meaning without a conscience, born to become bad because of environment, or just going off the deep end?So, did we really evolve from apes, did God cause the big bang, or are we all products of the primordial ooze? Either way, the movie was fabulous, the acting moving and hard to match, and thank God for TMC for giving us such good choices, which compel provocative and enjoyable discussions.

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I covered this type of stuff in the news business over the years, and if you don?t believe me, then why don?t you mail these two pages from Hunter?s ?A Civic Biology?, 1914 edition, around to some of your local school districts and to various state departments of education and see if they will approve them for use in their public schools:

 

Page 195:

 

1ftijp.jpg

 

Page 196:

 

wwenud.jpg

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I believe you covered some of these stories and that some states have had

laws that dealt with how evolution should be taught. Tennessee didn't allow

the teaching of evolution until 1967. What I don't believe, and what you haven't

shown, is that every state made it illegal to teach some of the concepts found

in A Civic Biology.

 

Of course no public school would use an almost one hundred year old science

textbook today. Some of it is offensive and some of it is outdated and no longer

accurate. As I said before, that is likely the reason why it was discontinued, not

because every state made it illegal.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> Some of it is offensive

 

That's the point. That's why it was banned in Tennessee in 1925. There is a lot of offensive material in the textbook that Scope taught from. And the offensive material is banned in every state today. This point was left out of the movie.

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What was likely offensive in 1925 in Tennessee was not so much how evolution

was presented, but the fact that the very concept itself, however it was presented,

was offensive to the religious sensibilities of that time and place. So it became illegal

to teach evolution, period, until 1967. That this happened in Tennessee does not

mean it happened in every other state. You keep making the statement that it was

illegal in all 50 states, but you haven't provided any evidence for that statement.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> What was likely offensive in 1925 in Tennessee was not so much how evolution

> was presented, but the fact that the very concept itself, however it was presented,

> was offensive to the religious sensibilities of that time and place. So it became illegal

> to teach evolution, period, until 1967.

 

You are wrong. You just don?t know the facts. You don?t have a copy of the textbook or the trial transcript. Students learned about evolution in Tennessee schools during and after 1925. How do you think they became doctors and biologists at Tennessee universities?

 

The key to the trial was the gross and inhumanitarian way it was taught in ?A Civic Biology?.

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