"The battle then and the battle now is not science vs. religion," Olasky said. "It’s the battle of two religions, of two worldviews. Both views are held by intelligent people.

"It’s not smart against stupid."

Scopes never returned to teaching after a jury found him guilty, but that doesn’t mean classrooms haven’t felt his influence.

Perry said the debate between evolution and creation continues to rage throughout the country because "what you think about where you came from affects everything."

According to a recent Gallup poll, 38 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds believe God created human beings. Forty-three percent believe humans "developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided" the process.

Olasky said those statistics show that schools don’t have much effect on students’ beliefs concerning the origin of man. "There’s a natural human tendency that evidently can’t be beaten out of people that something can’t come out of nothing, and that is essentially what schools are trying to teach."

Perry would like to see "Monkey Business" used in classrooms as an accurate record of the Scopes trial instead of literature such as the play "Inherit the Wind," which veers greatly from the court transcripts of the case, but often is the only exposure students receive to the trial.

"If you’re educating your children properly, you must present them with all the facts," Perry said. "People need to know they don’t know the truth about the Scopes trial, they don’t know the truth about evolution, they don’t know the truth about creationism."


© 2005 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.