The Courthouse at the Center of the Scopes Monkey Trial May Soon Get a Statue of Lawyer Clarence Darrow

The Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee is famous for hosting the legendary Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. (Quick summary: Substitute teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution, which was illegal in that state at the time. He was found guilty and fined $100.)

The two prominent lawyers in the trial were William Jennings Bryan, arguing for the state, and Clarence Darrow representing Scopes. (If you haven’t seen Inherit the Wind yet, stop reading this post and go do that.)

Anyway, outside the courthouse today stands this statue of Bryan, which went up in 2005:

As you might imagine, they still love Bryan in that area. It’s one of those places where acceptance of evolution is still seen as heretical in many circles.

But now there’s a push for the courthouse to include a similar statue of Clarence Darrow:

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A Controversial Ten Commandments Monument in Fargo (ND) Could Come Down Due to City Council’s Folly

Back in August, I posted about a Ten Commandments monument in the city of Fargo, North Dakota.

It was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1958 and was the only religious monument of its kind on city property. Long story short, it remained there even after two separate legal challenges.

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Schocker: Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns In Expenses Scandal

Aaron Schock, a conservative Baptist, went down in ignominy today, after a journalist caught the Illinois congressman and GOP Boy Wonder doctoring his expense report.

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock resigned Tuesday, less than 12 hours after Politico raised questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements he received for his personal vehicle.

Schock billed the federal government and his campaign for logging roughly 170,000 miles on his personal car between January 2010 and July 2014. But when he sold that Chevrolet Tahoe in July 2014, it had only roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer, according to public records obtained by Politico under Illinois open records laws. The documents, in other words, indicate he was reimbursed for 90,000 miles more than his car was ever driven.



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Ted Cruz Thinks NASA Spending on Earth Sciences Should Decrease; NASA Administrator Tells Him How Wrong He Is

On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), noted science denier and chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, voiced his concerns with NASA spending allocation during a committee meeting. Of particular concern to the senator was an increase in Earth sciences spending. Presenting a chart that showed an increase from the 2009 budget to the 2016 budget of 41% in Earth science spending, coupled with a decrease over the same period in space exploration of 7.6%, Cruz (below) argued that space exploration is the core function of NASA. Current spending was not honoring that mission, he felt.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden didn’t see things quite the same way. He began by noting that NASA has been actively seeking cost reduction for launches, and has managed to drive the costs down. But studying Earth is a critical function of NASA he argued, that “has enabled us to understand our planet far better than we ever did before.”

He also emphasized that he was not committing to Cruz’s numbers, as there is more to space exploration than the chart might accurately encapsulate.



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Rick Santorum Wants the Bible Back in Public Schools (Not That Anyone Removed It in the First Place)

Over the weekend, ever-hopeful presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a conservative audience at Liberty Counsel’s The Awakening conference that the Supreme Court could be ignored; if they wanted Bibles in public schools, dammit, they could have them!



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