Tuesday, September 27, 2005

William Jennings Bryan

Bryan is probably most (in)famous for the Scopes Monkey Trial rather than remembered for being a leading progressive of the populist sort, anti-eugenics, a leading Democrat and so on. The thanks you'll get for opposing forms of proto-Nazism and Darwinism will be propaganda and personal attacks, as they are similar patterns of thought.

Since attacking the urge to merge is a thankless task, Bryan's propagandistic portrayal ran like this:
Bryan, prosecuting the poor school teacher, is portrayed as "a mindless, reactionary creature of the mob," a bigot who quotes the Bible and rejects all science as "Godless." He dogmatically asserts that "the Lord began the Creation on the 23rd of October in the year 4004 B.C. at--uh 9 a.m." Darrow mocks him by retorting, "That eastern standard time?"
(Six Modern Myths About
Christianity & Western Civilization
By Philip J. Sampson :53)

The charlatans of Darwinism seem to revise history and filter all things to support their progressive creation myth. It is the myth that is protected. So Bryan's opposition to eugenics and the textbook at issue devoting a chapter to supporting the science of eugenics is gone. Instead he is turned into a rube. That's typically the attitude of those who believe in whatever the current scientism is, everyone else is a rube. If you even try to engage in a dialectic about their creation myth then you are a rube, like some peasant from the Dark Ages. The template of a bigot's mind is strong enough to overcome all truth about a person once the stereotype is activated and the imagery and emotional conditioning typical to propaganda come into play, so even someone intelligent and demonstrably proven correct by history is still cast into the bigoted template. Although Bryan was clearly vindicated in his concerns by history and the advent of Nazism the charlatans and propagandists for Darwinism seem so numerous in academia that the truth is hidden away in peer reviewed journals of history or old books and papers that no one reads.

It seems that most progressives are ignorant enough to believe the scripts about rubes, scientists, etc. For example:
In 1925, John T. Scopes, a high school science teacher in Dayton, Tenn., was indicted for the crime of teaching the theory of evolution to his students.

Journalist and author H.L. Mencken convinced the legendary trial lawyer Clarence Darrow to defend Scopes. Former Democratic presidential candidate and Christian fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan volunteered to join the prosecution.

What followed was perhaps the greatest spectacle to have ever taken place in an American courtroom. For most Americans, the Scopes trial was the moment when fundamentalism was exposed to the world as being anti-science, anti-reason and anti-logic.

Anyone who has read Mencken's now-famous coverage of the trial, or remembers the dramatization of the trial in the play and film, "Inherit the Wind," knows how ridiculous it all was. And even though Scopes was eventually found guilty and fined $100, the spectacle in Tennessee left fundamentalists as objects of laughter and ridicule for decades afterward.

However, when one reads about what has been happening around the country over the past year or so regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools, it's as if the Scopes trial never happened. [...]

Opinion polls that show about two-thirds of Americans support teaching creationism and evolution side-by-side in public schools. Even when the fundamentalists dress up creationism with a bit of science and call it "intelligent design," it still is pushing the Bible's version of events, a version thoroughly and completely discredited by science.

"Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life's work of Charles Darwin, is a theory," wrote David Quammen, an award-winning science author, in the November 2004 issue of National Geographic magazine. "It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity and diversity among Earth's living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say it's 'just' a theory. In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is 'just' a theory." [...]
(Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)
July 11, 2005 Monday
HEADLINE: Scopes on trial again?)

By their own account Mencken convinced Clarrow to defend Scopes and then reported on the trial as one of the "objective journalists." In so doing he helped other journalists and artists create the myths that "everyone knows" as represented in Inherit the Wind. Apparently one charlatan cannot make the distinction between fact, fiction and bias in the work of other charlatans, so they build on each other.

It seems to me that the case should be remembered as the one where the ACLU began to establish its template of contrived victimization as the path to power for petty tyrants.
Scopes did not instigate this historic legal challenge: He was merely the willing tool of others who objected to the statute. The idea began with the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU"), then an obscure organization of socially prominent, politically radical New Yorkers.
(The Scopes Trial and the Evolving Concept of Freedom
By Edward J. Larson
Virginia Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 3. (Apr., 1999) :512-513)

By "politically radical" he means communists and socialists.

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