Darwin in Dayton — Oh Dear!

EVERYONE knows that back in 1925, Dayton, Tennessee was the site of the Scopes Trial, during which that great populist blowhard, William Jennings Bryan, champion not only of creationism, but the income tax, prohibition, debased currency, and several other idiocies, contended with Clarence Darrow over the theory of evolution.

Dayton is also the home of Bryan College, which proudly describes itself as:

Founded in 1930, Bryan College is named after William Jennings Bryan: statesman, orator, and renowned prosecuting attorney in the famous Scopes Evolution Trial.

A list of the Bryan College academic programs, in alphabetical order, begins: “Biblical Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Christian Ministry, Christian Leadership, Christian Thought …”

Surely, this is a blessed and tranquil part of the US. But outsiders are always looking to make trouble. A local newspaper reports that a Wisconsin-based group has erected a large billboard that proclaims: “Praise Darwin” with a border that looks like stained glass.

Your Curmudgeon is uncertain about such things. On the one hand, there’s freedom of expression. On the other hand, why not leave the people of Dayton alone? It’s obvious that they don’t want to know about evolution.

Anyway, the billboard is controversial — to put it mildly. So what’s going to happen now? Maybe nothing. Or maybe the billboard will cause Darwin day to be a bit stressful for the good citizens of Dayton, Tennessee. We hope not.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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4 responses to “Darwin in Dayton — Oh Dear!

  1. It’s time for atheists to come out of the woodwork. [Deleted the rest.]

  2. Sandra, this blog isn’t about atheism.

  3. While I appreciate what the sign says, it is rather a slap in the face of Dayton area residents. they’ve been the butt of “Monkey Trial” ridicule for 84 years and this just rubs their face in it. It will do little but rile the local creationists.

  4. The Herald-News, serving Dayton, TN since 1898, reports ( http://rheaheraldnews.com/story/14555 ) about a local group that put up a billboard in response, “EVOLUTIONISTS COME FROM MONKEYS”. An article at WorldNetDaily ( http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=88878 ) said the group planned on unveiling another, even more flagrant billboard but I couldn’t find anything that tells us what that said.