The Darwin Correspondence Project was presenting yesterday the first instalment of the Darwin and Human Nature film series, “Inherit the wind”.
If you ever have wondered about the title, it comes from Proverbs 11:29, which in the King James Bible reads:
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart…
In 1925, John T. Scopes created trouble in the house and was convicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in high school, contrary to the Butler Act, a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man’s origin.
The 1960 famous Hollywood adaptation of the same name, based on the 1955 play (the first film ever showed on a plane) is still a favourite today, especially thanks to Spencer Tracy, Fredrich March and Gene Kelly’s powerful portrayals of Drummond, Hornbeck and Brady.
Yesterday evening, the movie was introduced by Joe Cain (University College, London) and David Kirby (University of Manchester).The discussion that followed the show raised some interesting points. For instance, whilst the film does not claim to be a historical representation of the Scopes trial, it is often taken at such. This, in turn, put into perspective past and contemporary representations of Darwinism and its opponents. Joe Cain also pointed out that the build-up of the movie, and, as a matter of fact, of the trial itself, were a deviations of what was really at stake – a discussion of the origins of man somehow veered into a discussion of the whole creation.
Listen to the film introductions by Joe Cain and David Kirby here.
To come back to yesterday’s session…it was almost certainly the first time that the Arts Picture House audience had been led into a heartfelt a cappella rendition of “Give me that old time religion…”
If you are in Cambridge, please join us tomorrow evening for the Elephant Man. The film will be presented by Vanessa Toulmin from the University of Sheffield.