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What was the Significance of “Monkey Trial” ? 1925 Scopes Trial Pits Creationism Against Evolution in America

Under pressure by a coalition of strict Christians, Tennessee became the first state in the United States to pass a law — the Butler Act 

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William Jennings Bryan, center, arrives at Dayton, Tenn., in 1925. Bryan, a fundamentalist, is associate prosecutor in the trial of the State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes, a public school teacher who violated the law when he taught Darwinism. VOA

US, July 23, 2017: To understand the significance of the so-called Monkey Trial, one must try to imagine the America of 1925; specifically, the southern state of Tennessee.

Evangelist T.T. Martin's books against the theory of evolution are sold at an outdoor stand in Dayton, Tenn., 1925, scene of the Scopes trial.

Evangelist T.T. Martin’s books against the theory of evolution are sold at an outdoor stand in Dayton, Tenn., 1925, scene of the Scopes trial.

Under pressure by a coalition of strict Christians, Tennessee became the first state in the United States to pass a law — the Butler Act — that deemed it illegal to “teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animal.”

Prof. John T. Scopes, a high school biology teacher charged with teaching evolution, is shown at the time of his trial that is dubbed the "Monkey Trial" by the media in Dayton, Tenn., July 1925.

Prof. John T. Scopes, a high school biology teacher charged with teaching evolution, is shown at the time of his trial that is dubbed the “Monkey Trial” by the media in Dayton, Tenn., July 1925.

The act alarmed many in the legal community, including the recently formed American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which persuaded John Scopes, a 24-year-old high school science teacher and football coach from Illinois, to test the constitutionality of the law in what became known as “The Monkey Trial.”

ALSO WATCH– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdvjcvTpQo

The trial also attracted intense media attention, including live radio broadcasts of the trial for the first time in history, according to an award-winning documentary by PBS’s American Experience on the trial.

Clarence Darrow, left, and William Jennings Bryan speak with each other at the "monkey trial" in Dayton, Tenn. in 1925.

Clarence Darrow, left, and William Jennings Bryan speak with each other at the “monkey trial” in Dayton, Tenn. in 1925.

Attorney Clarence Darrow represented Scopes; William Jennings Bryan, a Democratic conservative, represented both Tennessee and the fundamentalists who were deeply opposed to Charles Darwin’s theory.

“I knew, sooner or later, that someone would have to stand up to the stifling of freedom that the anti-evolution act represented,” Scopes wrote in his 1967 book Center of the Storm: Memoirs of John T. Scopes.

The trial ended on July 21 with a guilty verdict and $100 fine.

A year later, the ACLU issued its appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which upheld the law, but overturned the conviction of Scopes on a legal technicality.

Decades later in 1967, Tennessee repealed the act and teachers were free to teach the theories of Darwin without breaking the law. (VOA)


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Sanatan Dharma and Hindu practices in Ancient America Before the European Invasion

The existence of Asiatic culture in the Ancient America and Mexico is highly indicative of the presence of Vedic connections and Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism

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Mayan Pyramid
Mayan Temple in Mexico showing great resemblance to the South Indian temples. Pixabay
  • Existence of Sanatan Dharma and Buddhism in Ancient America is observed by the author Sushma Londhe in her works and in dates back to the time before Europeans invaded America
  • American Indians were a part of the Old World while the New World was discovered by Columbus
  • Many Mesoamerican civilizations had similarity in culture, cosmology, and economics to the Asian Civilization

New Delhi, July 31, 2017: We all know that Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religion and can be dated back to 5500 BCE. The scholarly work of an Indian origin author Sushama Londhe gives us an insight to the existence of Sanatan Dharma and Hindu practices in Ancient America. She writes about the existence of Asians and the Hindu and Buddhist cultures in parts of America and Mexico. The article is a brief account of the opinion and ideas shared by the author.

Discovery of the Old World:

It is widely known that when Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Hispaniola which marked the establishment for European colonization in the New World, he confused the inhabitants as Indians although he corrected himself subsequently; in his third visit Columbus discovered the Mayan Civilization, which was the foundation of argument that the American Indians were part of the Old World, establishing a link between the Old and the New World.

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Similarities Between Mayans and Indian Civilization:

It has been debated for a long time that the Americans were the only native inhabitants. However, many historians also believed that the Asians crossed over through Bering Strait via Alaska and reached the American continent some 12,000 – 15,000 years ago. Despite the existence of this corroborative theory and the discovery of Columbus, these findings were shielded in the veil of mystery and very little is known about the American Indians, the absence of any definitive evidence is due to the European invasion, the rulers had destroyed all possible links due to their misguided religious zeal.

Baron Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) an eminent European scholar and anthropologist, was the first one to theorize the Asiatic origin of Indian civilization in the Americas. According to Sushama Londhe, the zenith of Mayan civilization was reached at the same time as India was at its cultural peak, during the Gupta period.

Astrological references: 

In her work, which is seemingly inspired by the European anthropologist Alexander von Humboldt’s discoveries she tells us about his visit to Mexico, where he discovered that there was a lot of similarities between the Hindu and Mexican astrology. After he founded a systematic study of the Ancient America, he was convinced of the Asian origin of the American-Indian high civilization.

According to him, if the languages lacked the evidence of the communication between two worlds, the communication was established between them through the cosmogonies, the monuments, the hieroglyphic characters, and the institutions of people of America and Asia. In 1866, a French artist Eugene Viollet-le-Duc also noticed the similarities between ancient Mexican structure and those of South India.

The study also points to the Hindu-Mexican trinity, which was considered very resembling to each other. The three Hindu deities namely, Vishnu-Brahma-Shiva and the Mexican trinity Ho-Huitzilopotchli-Tlaloc had a lot of similarities in their description. The Aztecs also followed the same caste system as in the Hindu culture and practiced Sati, child birth and cremation in the same manner as they were performed in Hindu culture.

Also Read: Mexico Aztecs Followed Hinduism Caste System Upanayana

Use of Zero:

The Mayans of Yucatan were among the first people besides the Indians to use the Zero sign and decide the number value by the position of basic symbols. The logical references suggest that the two are similar, but the expression of the principle are different. The Indian system of notation was decimal, same as that of Europe, the Mayan was vigesimal – according to Londhe’s research.

Many scholars have called the language of Mayan, Nahuatl, and Zapoteca of “Hindu origin”. Be it cultural or be it religious or cosmological, there are innumerable references to the corresponding truth that the Americans and Indians were in fact of the same descent.

The way Indian temples and American pyramids have synonymous structures and the Mayan elephant symbol has more roots prominent in the Indian symbol as compared to the local tradition or anywhere else around the globe, are a strong indicative that these are not just culture and traditions spreading across the boundaries in a large melting pot but in fact a close call for historians and scholars to examine the closely linked Asian and Ancient American culture as they are too similar to have grown independently. And Sushama Londhe has beautifully and carefully enlisted her attention to these details in her work “A Tribute To Hinduism”.

Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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