One-Liner Wednesday — The Monkey Trial


“Do you think about things you do think about?”

Clarence Darrow

Today’s One-Liner Wednesday comes from the recorded transcript of the Scopes (Monkey) Trial, which took place in a Dayton, Tennessee courtroom in July of 1925.

Dayton teacher John T. Scopes was being prosecuted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in his high school class, despite a new Tennessee state statute banning the teaching in public schools of any theory that denied the biblical story of Creation.

Chicago criminal attorney Clarence Darrow served as the defense attorney for Scopes and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan acted as opposing counsel.

It was day seven of the trial and Clarence Darrow had called William Jennings Bryan, as an expert on the Bible, to the stand.

Darrow was asking Bryan when the “Great Flood” took place and Bryan said he couldn’t fix the date, although he did say that some biblical scholars put it at 4004 BC.

Darrow then asked, “What do you think?”

Bryan responded, “I do not think about things I don’t think about.”

Darrow then asked Bryan, “Do you think about the things you do think about?”

7 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday — The Monkey Trial

  1. Marilyn Armstrong February 27, 2019 / 9:09 am

    One of my favorite subjects. Garry was watching it again the other night. We have it on DVD, but lately, it has shown up often on TCM. I wonder why?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong February 27, 2019 / 10:12 am

    I hitched up to your post. “Inherit the Wind” was the first movie Garry brought to my house for viewing. After that, we moved to “Time After Time” and discovered we both had a thing for time travel. But Inherit The Wind has lasted. We still watch it. We are still astounded that was was true in 1925 seems even MORE true in 2019.

    It’s not even like revisiting history. More like we are in a tight little circle and go round and round and round in an historical circle game (apologies to the author).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 27, 2019 / 12:54 pm

      I loved that movie (Inherit the Wind). And yes, it is remarkable how, nearly a century later, we are still arguing about evolution and creationism.


  3. Marleen February 27, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    That’s a pretty funny — and yet also sad — exchange of words. I went to, both, public and private schools (speaking of preschool through twelfth grade), mostly private schools. I’m glad time wasn’t wasted (in my opinion), in public school, teaching evolution [while I don’t think it was illegal, just not fit into the curriculum]. I’m also glad time wasn’t wasted (my opinion again), in my private schools, teaching against the idea of evolution. What was focused on was empericism, the scientific method, observations of the world of nature. I also remember, as a happy experience, at the public school I attended, biodiversity as conveyed via numerous strains of apples being brought for us to experience for a week during recess — many more varieties than are now usually in grocery stores (back then when there were usually only two or three varieties for sale).I

    Of course, when one studies archaology, ancient art, etc., geology, and so on, one encounters a timeline that is quite curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen February 27, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      We did study ancient art. But there’s ancient, and then there’s ancient.

      Liked by 1 person

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