Early conversations around evolution and creation focused on a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. What led this to shift in America?

Now consider theology. It took 66 years from publication of Darwin’s book on the divergence of species (1859) to the Scopes Trial in 1925, regarding a man (Scopes) who tested the state of Tennessee’s Butler Act (made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school) by teaching evolution. Over that 66 year span we saw terms coined like “monkey’s uncle.”

The not-quite-fluid flow of ideas managed to dig claws into the way people read Scripture, and the notion that Scripture’s description of how the world came to be might have skipped a few details was, to deeply conservative Bible students, like fingernails on a blackboard. And that shock wave has been causing slow snarls in discussion groups ever since.

As a reference, “Taliban” translates as “Bible Students” – you might dwell on the peril of absolutist thinking.

GOD made this world, but told us over and over that we would never figure it all out. Yet we have folks whose need to reverse-engineer the process leaves them feeling put-upon by “uppity science-religionists” who simply want to understand the data on the ground.

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