At the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists), we find this new article: Inherit the Wind at Christianity Today.
It’s written by John West. Most of you know who he is (we affectionately call him “Westie”). It’s in his honor that we have adorned this post with our jolly Buffoon logo, because he’s a winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award. Westie is Associate Director of the Discoveroids’ creationist “think tank,” which consumes almost half of the Discovery Institute’s’ $4 million budget (see Their 2007 Tax Return). That makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy.
Westie now reveals to us that he’s a fan of William Jennings Bryan — the Great Populist Blowhard. Bryan supported Woodrow Wilson for the presidency in 1912, and he served as Wilson’s Secretary of State. Bryan also championed the income tax, the Prohibition amendment, and debased currency. He was opposed to free enterprise — especially banks and railroads — always favoring increased regulation and government control over the economy. Bryan also supported the 17th Amendment, which changed the process for selecting members of the US Senate from the original method — according to which they were appointed by state legislatures — to our present method of direct election. And Bryan always enjoyed the support of the Klan in his election campaigns. All in all, he was an extremely loathsome character.
In addition to his other abominable deeds, Bryan can be credited for being the original ape-ancestor of all creationists in the so-called “social conservative” movement. Most such people now vote Republican, but we should remember that in Bryan’s day they were fiercely loyal Democrats. We explained that peculiarity of history here: Let’s Have William Jennings Bryan Day! And as all the world knows, Bryan’s greatest (i.e., most infamous) moment was in 1925, in Dayton, Tennessee — as prosecutor in the Scopes Trial.
Westie likes Bryan. He says:
Completely contrary to [the impression given by film Inherit the Wind], William Jennings Bryan was not a Biblical literalist when it came to Genesis 1, and he most definitely did not believe that “the world was created only thousands, not billions, of years ago.” Consider the following excerpts from the trial transcript:
Then Westie quotes from Bryan’s testimony in the Scopes trial transcript, where Bryan says that the six days of creation might have been millions of years. Bryan was an old-earth creationist, which makes him Westie’s kind of guy. Then Westie says, with our bold font:
I should add that Bryan was far from the stick-figure buffoon portrayed in the film [Inherit the Wind]. Indeed, he was pretty thoughtful and well-read about contemporary scientific debates over Darwinian theory, which is more than can be said about some of his critics of the time.
Ah yes, Bryan was no buffoon. He was “pretty thoughtful.” Then Westie plugs a new movie about the Scopes trial, about which we’ve already written when it was touted by Answers in Genesis. See “Alleged” — a New Movie on the Scopes Trial. But we’re not interested in that movie.
Instead, we want to return to the Scopes trial to see how “thoughtful” Bryan really was. Recall that the court had excluded all of Darrow’s expert witnesses, so Darrow — being out of experts — called Bryan as an expert witness on the bible. Westie gives us some old-earth quotes from Bryan’s testimony, intending to show us how smart and informed Bryan was.
That’s fine, but it’s a very selective mining of what Bryan said. We have a bound copy of the trial transcript. The movie in which Spencer Tracy played Darrow gave an accurate portrayal of his examination of Bryan. We’ll give you some of Bryan’s testimony that Westie didn’t mention. You may recall some of this from the movie, but we’re taking it from the actual trial transcript:
We have more. How about this:
Skipping a bit, let’s get to the Flood:
Okay, that’s enough. As we said, Westie likes Bryan. We assume it’s because, iike the Discoveroids, Bryan is an old-earth creationist. Also, in Westie’s words: “… Bryan was far from the stick-figure buffoon portrayed in the film. Indeed, he was pretty thoughtful and well-read about contemporary scientific debates over Darwinian theory …”
Yes, Bryan was a thoughtful guy. As are the Discoveroids.
Addendum: We just found something on this subject that we posted three years ago: Scopes Transcript: Darrow’s examination of Bryan.
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