Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom

Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom

by Brandon Haught

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Before William Jennings Bryan successfully prosecuted John Scopes in the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial,” he was a prominent antievolution agitator in Florida.

In Going Ape, Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of how the war over teaching evolution began and unfolded in Florida, one of the nation’s bellwether states. It still simmers just below the surface, waiting for the right moment to engulf the state.

The saga opens with the first shouts of religious persecution and child endangerment in 1923 Tallahassee and continues today with forced delays and extra public hearings in state-level textbook adoptions. These ceaseless battles feature some of the most colorful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that descends into their small town. The majority of participants, however, have been, and still are, average people, and Haught expertly portrays these passionate citizens and the sense of moral duty that drives each of them.

Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbors and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813047577
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Brandon Haught is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and current public information officer with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. He is a founding board member and volunteer communications director for Florida Citizens for Science.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" 1

2 "Un-American, Atheistic, Subversive, and Communistic" 24

3 "A Spirit of Compromise and Conciliation" 51

4 "A History of Hoaxes, Deception, and Deceit" 71

5 "A Conspiracy to Destroy the Faith of Children" 91

6 "It Was Historic, Wasn't It?" 102

7 "One of the Primal Evils in Our Country" 122

8 "There Are Razor Blades in That Apple" 139

9 "I Want God to Be Part of This" 162

10 "Who Gets to Decide What Is Science?" 187

11 "Standing Up for the Little Guy" 220

Epilogue 232

Acknowledgments 235

Notes 237

Index 269

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“William Jennings Bryan launched the creationist crusade from his home in Florida, and the state has been a battlefield in the evolution wars ever since. In Going Ape, Haught provides the definitive blow-by-blow account of the Sunshine State’s ninety-year struggle over the teaching of evolution.”—Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education
“A fascinating and important account of the battles over evolution in one of the nation's largest states.”—Michael Ruse, author of The Gaia Hypothesis
“A compelling read about key issues of our time that have stirred deep passions and fervent protests for over a century.”—Edgar Canter Brown Jr., coauthor of The Supreme Court of Florida, 1917–1972

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