T. T. Martin's stand in Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925

What was I maundering about? Oh yes, the Science League of America’s essay contest in 1925, on the evergreen topic, “Why Evolution Should Be Taught in Our Schools Instead of the Book of Genesis,” with a top prize of $50. In part 1, I discussed the contest, its funder the freethought writer William Floyd (who, fifteen years later, attempted to collect $1,000 from the creationist Harry Rimmer for finding scientific errors in the Bible), its judges (including Miriam Allen deFord, the third wife of the Science League of America’s founder Maynard Shipley), and the three winning entries. A fourth entry, which cleverly appealed to the precedent of Jesus’s rejection of tradition to argue for the rejection of the Genesis account, taken literally, in favor of evolution, was published in Shipley’s The War on Modern Science (1927)—but not because it won. Why, then?

+ read

You remember the Science League of America, don’t you? Founded by the polymath Maynard Shipley (shown here) in 1924, it fought antievolution legislation, helped teachers discharged for teaching evolution, argued for evolution in articles and letters to the editor in magazines and newspapers, lectured and organized meetings all over the country, and basically served as “a vast clearing-house and information bureau” with respect to the teaching of evolution—the NCSE of its day, really, which is part of the reason that NCSE’s blog is named in its honor. Additionally, in 1925, the Science League of America conducted a prize contest on the evergreen topic, “Why Evolution Should Be Taught in Our Schools Instead of the Book of Genesis.” And thereby hangs a tale, which Shipley (partly) tells in The War on Modern Science (1927).

+ read

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by the hosts of the NonTheology podcast, and that recording is now online. We spoke for a little over an hour on three topics: the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate” (which had taken place two days before), the nature of creationist opposition to evolution education, and ideas about human uniqueness. Check it out!

+ read
Crystal Disco. ballA Crystal disco ball to celebrate the crystal anniversary of the Disco. 'tute's entry into the creationism business.
+ read

Brave Sir Casey

Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot
He was not afraid to die, oh brave Sir Robin
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin

+ read