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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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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Finnish Band Nightwish Releases Latest Single, Featuring Narration by Richard Dawkins

The Finland-based symphonic metal band Nightwish is about to release their new album, drawing inspiration from the natural world and the work of Richard Dawkins. (In fact, Dawkins appears on the album as a narrator for two of the songs.)

I posted the first single last month. Today, they released their latest single (audio only), “Shudder Before The Beautiful,” and it’s one of the songs featuring Dawkins (albeit briefly):



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According to This Guy, Evolution is a Myth because We Can’t Explain the Planet Mercury

I thought I had heard all the bad arguments Creationists use to discredit evolution: Calling it “evilution,” talking about “missing links,” and there are the 3209412 arguments from ignorance.

But Alan Horvath, whose website tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him, offers a new reason in the video below: The planet Mercury destroys evolution:



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Middle East Edition of National Geographic, About the War on Science, Removes Evolution Example from Cover

Remember the March, 2015 issue of National Geographic? It was a fairly popular one focusing on the war on science:

The cover highlighted a few of the “battles” in this war:

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