Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel are co-authoring Rainy Day Thought. New posts will be on Saturdays and otherwise randomly as a subject arises. Comments are always welcome-- invited, even begged :)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Inherit the Wind

If you are feeling down about the election, about our culture, whether your side won or lost, might I recommend a classic film-- Inherit the Wind which starred Spencer Tracy and Frederic March.

This film is so pertinent to what we are seeing today in our culture, the conflict between faith and reason; and yet it came out in 1960 about an event of 1925. The film is based on the play, a fictionalized version of the actual [Scopes Monkey Trial].

I cannot remember what triggered my interest in ordering from Netflix, although thinking about it, it seems very fitting. It arrived the day after the election. The movie is funny and poignant in the way humans are. It's the conflict between thinking and faith, between science and religion. When it came out, the United States was dealing with McCarthyism. It's not like much changes.

A few prime quotes from the film:

"As long as the prerequisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry and hate, I say the hell with it."

"Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it."

"I didn't come here to make this town different. I came here to defend this man's right to be different."

" The individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted "amens" and "holy holies" and "hosannas." An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters. "

15 comments:

robin andrea said...

It is such an interesting thing to see for how long these same conflicts have plagued humanity.

mandt said...

Magic is always easier and critical reasoning. In America magic creates our total consumer reality.

Kay Dennison said...

I loved this film!!! I'm on my way to see if I can get it from Netflix.

Thanks!!!!

Paul said...

I saw this movie about a week ago on Turner Classic Movie Channel...Great cast and a great thesis as well...Scopes had the right (in my opinion) to teach Darwinism and other teachers have the right to teach creationism...My point is put both theories out there ...That is the point of education-to present the facts ...

Rain said...

What is the scientific evidence for creationism, Paul? How do you teach a religious view of something in a class on science? I have no problem with creationism being in a class on philosophy as one philosophy of life but where it the scientific evidence that man is 6000 years old? That god direction created him from clay with taking woman out of his rib? I'd be interested in hearing what science that would be.

The real issue of Inherit the wind is about the right to think, to use our deductive powers to reason out a truth using 'evidence' and 'facts'. If we stick our kids with something like creationism as a fact instead of faith, we negate everything else we try to teach which might be part of the problem with a lot of Americans today.

Where I won't be writing about partisan politics here or in the other blog, issues like this one will be fair game and I definitely will be writing about it again when it's a blog of its own... someday.

Paul said...

Creationism can be presented an an idea that many people believe in Rain. You present it - not indoctrinate with it. A lot of people also do not believe in Darwinism, but they should be exposed to it nonetheless. This is the purpose of education. Restrictions should not be put on the right to think just because you or I may not agree with Creationism.

Rain said...

But how do you present it in a science class? That's the issue here. What science do you have behind it? In a philosophy class, history even, political, religion, but science? You are wanting it given equal weight to what does have real evidence behind it even if you don't interpret it as someone else might.

Evolution can be taught without saying there is no god or there is one. That's how my children were taught it in their high school. You cannot, however, teach man was created out of clay or woman out of a rib and expect it to be in science. That defeats the whole purpose of what science is.

Rain said...

And it likely is part of the mentality that is proving so dangerous to our world today when faith outweighs facts and even adds value to the faith in the eyes of those believers. Watch Inherit the Wind again *s*

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh, interesting. I'm going to add it to my queue right now. Thanks, I've never seen it. :)

Darlene said...

I loved Inherit the Wind when I saw it for the second time many years ago. I especially loved the quote "I suppose that if the Bible says Jonah swallowed the whale you would believe it?" (I may not have that exactly right, but it has been many many years since I saw it and my memory is not what it used to be.)

Creationism is a religious belief and has no place in any school unless the class is one on religions of the world.

joared said...

Yeah, "Inherit..." really was a good movie. Amazing to me the issue has come into such prominence again. Next thing you know we'll start hearing the earth is flat again.

Paul said...

Okay teach Creationism in a philosophy class-present the ideas and let students decide what to believe or not believe. Teach Darwinism too in a science class, but be sure to present the good and the bad of it. Be sure to teach the biography of Charles Darwin too. His life affected his point of view. True science questions-even Darwinism.

Rain said...

Fine on creationism being taught there but the history of Darwin belongs in maybe a class on the culture of man because scientifically his is not the last word on evolution and you can teach the science of it with a brief mention of his original ideas comparing it to earlier scientists who bucked an existing trend (thinking Galilelo). Darwin's took the brunt of the hate but there is a lot more to it now than what he believed.

As best I understand it, his theories about what this all means have been evolved *s* into ideas that better express how earth has evolved which probably would delight him since he believed that things move on. What he had potentially to look at when he came up with his book, is now only a tiny part of what is available. You could teach evolution with bones and evidences and like I said don't use it in a classroom to discredit belief in a creator or to credit it. Evolution is about a process not proving definitively how it has happened.

I haven't read Hawkings latest book trying to definitively prove that no god was needed to have earth be here, that something can come from nothing without a creator, but that's not needed in a study of evolution itself. Kids have more to do in biology than learn about evolution.

I have seen some excellent documentaries, through netflix, that show how earth developed and man's part on it is tiny. We must hope we are wise enough to not keep it as short as some other previous species that ruled for awhile and disappeared ;)

Rain said...

Evolution is actually a very exciting process if you think about it at all whether it was god directed or happened out of the right natural elements coming together. We do see that with so many things-- bring the right elements together and wow! And the little quote from Jurassic Park is so good on this-- Life will find a way! Now to me, that is an exciting thought and far better than a stagnant universe that sits there waiting for a divine touch to mold something like a cosmic artist. This is like a cosmic scientist who could watch something unfold that excited it constantly with what would happen by itself and with these elements.

Is there a god behind it, watching, enjoying, sometimes upset by it, I have no idea. I will write about this again eventually because it's important, hard to believe it's even being discredited again which says our concept of science has been badly distorted.

Farm Boss has an interesting theory on it that deserves a blog of its own sometime when I have time to do it justice which isn't here and now ;)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a perfect film to see the day after this election! Indeed, it is a "classic" with two of the greatest actors of the 20th Century....That we are STILL struggling with ignorance and bigotry on so many fronts is--to say the least--Rather Discouraging!