The bitterness of relgious conservatives over the outcome of the Scopes trial is understandable, but misses the point. The religious views of Biblicists seemingly used to crtitique Darwinism, if we look closely, were in part inspired by Darwin critics (such as the founder of the theory, Wallace), but also by a robust sense that a reductionist theory was not working. But to inject creationist literalism, and even Bryan did this, forced the issue and ensured a victory to the defenders of Darwin. We can see from the history of the trail that all the confusions of the current debate were there, on both sides, and that nothing has changed much since then.
And that is a disgrace for science. The entire brigade of highly trained, highly intelligent (?) biologists and their broader scientific cohorts cannot clarify the issues of this trial or show evidence on any level of the issues after 90 years of reflection/research time. The literature exposing the problems is large, but carefull delimited by sophistical and dishonest historis. Etc, etc…
The creationists were confused, but they understood they didn’t have to believe in Darwin’s theory. And yet the whole cohort of scientists can’t manage this much.
We can see the interior rot overtaking science on this score. The debate was too easy for the scentists. They could distory this trial, as in the famous movie, but the religious right moved on to a more sophisticated attack. They miscalculated, in a way, once again: starting with Michael Denton’s clear and scientific critique of Darwinism they overreached with an argument by design. IN fact the design argument was always inevitable in the evolution debate, as the works of Wallacce, with a mere few years after Origin, make clear. But the particular brand of Intelligent Design simply stalemated the debate all over again.
But the debate is stalemated.
We can’t continue with science in this fashion. We need a more efficient review process, a less deceptive public science, ombudsmen who can cut through the baloney machine, and some new way to achieve objectivity on the evolution question.
Conclusion: science is a failure, and open to fraud and intellectual corruption. We need to debrief science, and create a new form of secularist culture with a different foundation. Most of the process of science research can continue, but we need to realize that the legacy of evolution research, no matter how many tried to correct it, was unable to proceed with falsification routes, or empirical counters. Some is serious wrong with the claims of scientific method, and the result is still another social org based on conditioning of view points.
Clear? The social weight of control by science can make the domination of scientism almost immortal, along with its swift spawn of pseudo-religious feints like the New Atheism movement. But the real future of science should be something different. We need to move toward a new post-science secularism not because we are anti-science, but because the general crop of scientists is a gang of brainwashed idiots. The social-educational effort failed.
But beyond this melodrama, and a well-deserved slap in the face, it is useful to consider that science as we know it is still primitive and forces itself into obvious Kantian metaphysical quagmires as oblivious as a woolly mamoth charging into a tar pit.