Home > April 2007 > A Celebration of the Birth of Clarence Darrow; the Bane of the Proponents of Intelligent Design

A Celebration of the Birth of Clarence Darrow; the Bane of the Proponents of Intelligent Design
By Dr. Chuck McGowen

On April 18th the village of Kinsman Ohio will honor one of its more famous sons by declaring the 150th anniversary of the birth of Clarence Darrow the first of many annual Clarence Darrow Days in that northeastern Ohio town. Darrow was born on April 18, 1857 to a coffin maker and erstwhile abolitionist, Amirus Darrow, and his women’s suffragette wife Emily, respectively. The fact that Darrow was sired by a coffin maker is ironic since he would eventually do his best to forever bury the teaching of creation in the public schools, by hammering the first nail in its metaphoric coffin at the infamous Scopes Monkey trial in Dayton Tennessee. There he defended a teacher’s right to teach evolution in the class room. That is a right that his proponents do not now afford to those of us who are firmly convinced that the universe speaks loudly and clearly of an intelligent design.

Darrow was totally unlike his opponent in that trial, the honorable William Jennings Bryan. Darrow was an agnostic and a hedonistic adulterer who cheated on his wife, from whom he was ultimately divorced. He was also dishonest, being indicted on one occasion for bribing a jury. Bryan, a man of God, was three years his junior, born in 1860. Bryan was the Democratic nominee for president at the age of 36, and he lost the general election to William McKinley. He ran again in 1900 and 1908 but lost those general elections as well; first again to McKinley and later to William Howard Taft. Bryan was a devout evangelical Christian, a believer in a literal interpretation of the Bible and he actually won the case against John Scopes. Unfortunately while resting in Dayton, TN following the trial he died. The evolutionists lost that battle but have since won the war.

Darrow opened his first law office near his boyhood home in the adjacent town of Andover Ohio and later in Youngstown Ohio, my birth place. He represented Leopold and Loeb, the two wealthy teens who had murdered a 14 year old boy merely for the sport of it. He strongly opposed the death penalty and favored the separation of church and state. Darrow lived until 1938 and not surprisingly his special day in Kinsman will be sponsored by the ACLU and the Unitarian Universalist church of Youngstown Ohio.

Darrow and I have two things in common, our northeastern Ohio origin and the early practice of our respective professions for a time in the formerly thriving steel city called Youngstown; there the similarities end. Darrow was against the death penalty, and I stand on God’s Word that demands it. (Genesis 9:6) It has been my passion since 1970 to defend the cause of first, that which was called scientific creationism, and now argue for what is known as the theory of Intelligent Design. I am just as committed to the truth of that position on origins as Atty. Darrow was against it. He was a friend of the ACLU and I am its arch enemy. He would deny the existence of God and I find all who take that position to be blind to the obvious, sadly naïve and utterly ignorant of true science; that which clearly demonstrates intrinsic design and purpose in everything we see.

Friday, April 13, 2007, 03:11 PM

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