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Inherit the Wind – Creationism vs. Evolution

In the play “Inherit the Wind,” two opposing viewpoints are brought up: creationism and evolution. Both sides are very recognized and are major issues in this story and even in our world today. The main ideas are: that God created man and everything else in seven days vs. the scientific principle that humans descended from monkeys. Creationism, which is followed in the Bible by Christians, Catholics, etc., requires a lot of faith, and that is very eminent. But in this story, the debate against creationism is extremely believable, thus decreasing the number of people who believe in creationism to a shallow point. “Inherit the Wind” leans so heavily in favor of evolution; that after reading it, people are left questioning the thought of creationism.

That is because of how realistic and convincing the influence of evolution was exposed in this play. Though creationism didn’t have as much influence in this book, there were still some credible reasoning’s. Some examples were brought up when Brady spoke about when Reverend Brown cursed his own daughter. It was when he said, “He that troubleth his own house, shall Inherit the Wind,” that he grabbed the attention of many. The Tennessee Law was also brought up in the play, which prohibited the teachings of evolution in public schools in Tennessee, thus making Cates’ actions illegal. Brady also made a point when he said, “God created man in His own image- and man being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” This quote emphasizes God created that man, and only God, and we as people, made him known to the rest of the world in return.

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Because the book’s main point was to expand a new idea to the reader, the thought of evolution carried on much more credible, realistic, and convincing reasoning. When Drummond called Brady to the stand as an expert on the Bible, he asked him certain Biblical questions that led Brady to feel off balance. Like when he asked Brady about the story of Jonah or even the story of Adam and Eve. It was at this moment that Drummond gained many supporters in the courtroom. Then Drummond asks Brady to explain how the first day was twenty-four hours if neither the moon nor the sun was created yet; this proved a major point and left Brady feeling uncertain about himself and his beliefs. Drummond had a slick yet professional style about the way he worked in the courtroom, and yet even when he was denied of doing certain things, he still found a way to come out on top.

In addition to Drummond’s clever techniques, he knew exactly what to make known, for example, when he spoke about Brown’s mishaps. Bringing up how even a Reverend, who is supposed to be the top example for all Christians, cannot seem to follow the Bible perfectly. He explained to people how Reverend Brown was the one who bragged about how Tommy Stebbins would be damned in hell only because he wasn’t baptized. He also made it known to people how the Reverend had previously cursed out his own daughter when she decided to speak out for herself for the first time. Here, Drummond was additionally introducing a new issue which was the right to think; and by doing this, he created even more commotion and gossip within Hillsboro. But what made Drummond’s new issue famous was his story about Golden Dancer.

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He used this story to emphasize the deceiving nature of superficial beauty as a way to encourage Cates to continue searching for the underlying truths of the world for both himself and his community. He said to Cates, “Bert, whenever you see something bright, shining, which seems to be perfect, look behind the paint! And if it’s a lie, show it up for what it really is!” While reading “Inherit the Wind,” many of my beliefs were questioned at one point as a Christian. For example, when the first-day incident was brought up and the story of Jonah, my initial feelings were, of course, they’re acting as a conscience to what I was interpreting.

But at the same time, I didn’t hold back from understanding the evolution part of the trial. I read it with an open mind and found it rather interesting how a man who was actually Christian managed to speak out against what he really believed in to win a trial. I gained respect for Henry Drummond (Clarence Darrow) because even after the trial, he himself learned the lesson he was preaching. He learned the right to think, and when he was leaving the courtroom on that last day of the trial, he took with him the Bible, along with the book of Darwin.

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Inherit the Wind - Creationism vs. Evolution. (2021, Sep 07). Retrieved August 14, 2022, from