The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Why did so many people hate evolution? 

In 1925, an American school teacher was put on trial for teaching evolution. The 'Scopes Monkey Trial' was global news and an important moment in the ever-changing relationship between science and religion. Join the John Innes online lecture on September 17 to find out more.

The speaker is Professor Joe Cain. His research interests focus on evolution, both as a science and as a subject of public debate in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He currently leads the Legacies of Eugenics project at University College, London (UCL). In his lecture, the speaker will argue for a reappraisal of the generally accepted view that the Scopes trial marked a conflict between progressive science and a fundamentalist belief in the Story of Creation. William Jennings Bryan (the chief prosecutor) has generally been thought of as a biblical literalist and Scopes as a campaigner looking for a fight. Professor Cain puts both these myths to bed and gives a more nuanced view of the trial, its prosecution and defence. Bryan's overarching concern was the threat to society posed by extrapolations of evolutionary doctrine to humans. The spread of “Social Darwinism” and Eugenic thinking was prevalent in USA in the 1920s. 

See the video clip above for a trailer about the lecture.

The lecture lasts for roughly 60 minutes and will be followed by a moderated Q&A with Professor Cain (20:00 – 20:45). You can submit questions by emailing, or on twitter using the hashtag #Innes2020

To watch the lecture join the live event at 19:00, Thursday 17 September


To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk