Fight Over Evolution Still Simmers 85 Years After Scopes Trial

July 23, 2010

Author: Bob Smietana

Source: The Tennessean

Rachel Held Evans had a choice while growing up in 
Dayton, Tenn., site of the 1925 Scopes Monkey 
Trial. Believe the Bible or believe evolution.

"I was taught that if you don't interpret Genesis 1 
and 2 literally, then you don't take the Bible 
seriously,'' said Evans, 29. "I held on tightly to that 
for a long time.''

Evans says creationism — the belief that God created the Earth around 6,000 years ago in six days — was commonplace in her town. Unable to reconcile science with her faith, Evans embraced evolution.

"I learned you don't have to choose between loving 
and following Jesus and believing in evolution,'' she 
said. She chronicled her personal journey in a new 
memoir, Evolving in Monkey Town.

Evans is part of a movement of mostly Protestant 
writers and scientists trying to reconcile faith and 
science, 85 years after the trial ended. Instead of 
choosing sides, some prefer the middle ground of 
intelligent design, which claims God designed how 
life evolved. Tennessee gubernatorial candidates 
Ron Ramsey, Zach Wamp and Mike McWherter all 
advocate teaching intelligent design in schools.