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The Frauds of Evolution #7: Postscript to Nebraska Man – On “Inherit the Wind”


“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” –Psalm 2:4

Sometimes we creationists are just too serious. I plead guilty as charged. This article is in the spirit of adding a little levity to the creation-evolution debate.

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Because the “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925 and the Nebraska Man Hoax were intertwined, I thought it might be a good idea to make some quick comments about the film, “Inherit the Wind.” Recently, for the first time, I watched the 1960 movie, “Inherit the Wind,” a movie which has been touted by some as a great powerhouse of a production dramatizing the events surrounding the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. I had been intending to watch the movie for many years but somehow never got around to it. What the movie has been touted as being and what I expected to see, compared to what the movie actually is, were worlds apart; my expectation of what “Inherit the Wind” was going to be is a demonstration of the power of evolutionary propaganda upon the uninformed mind.

I had been aware of the existence of the movie since I was at least 12 or 13 years old, but somehow never had occasion to actually watch the movie before or read any extended literature about the movie. I have vague recollections of my mother talking about the movie when I was a teenager. I had heard offhand comments about the movie down through the years in the media, and seem to remember seeing short clips on TV, and I knew it was coming from an evolutionist’s perspective upon the events of the Scopes Trial. What I was expecting from the movie was a tour-de-force defense of the particulars of evolutionary dogma in dramatic form. Those of you who have seen the movie know, of course, that the movie is nothing of the kind.

Inherit the Wind” is actually embarrassingly juvenile in its intellectual level. It appears to be aimed at 9 – 12 year old kids, not adults. I feel certain that devout evolutionists of any degree of sophistication whatsoever must cringe when watching the movie at how given over to low-brow caricaturization the movie is. The movie is not by any stretch of the imagination a serious attempt to defend the fairy tales of evolutionary dogma. Of that, there is virtually zero. The movie is wholly given over to caricaturizing Bible-believing Christians as religious nutcases ambushing poor, innocent, unsuspecting John Scopes. In the fantasy-world of “Inherit the Wind,” the Scopes trial was initiated by whacked-out Bible-believing lunatics. In the real world, of course, the whole trial was orchestrated by the ACLU beginning with their ad in the Chattanooga Times newspaper on May 4, 1925 soliciting a local teacher willing to help them challenge Tennessee law. Thus, the movie, “Inherit the Wind,” qualifies as another fraud of evolution.

In 1871, “A Venerable Orang-outang”, a cartoon of Charles Darwin as an ape, was published in The Hornet, an English satirical magazine. Satire of evolution and evolutionists is hardly new. I have an idea in keeping with this satirical tradition. Let me draw an analogy to make my point. In 1937, an anti-marijuana movie titled “Reefer Madness” was produced to warn the world about the evils of smoking marijuana. Reefer Madness is also given over to much caricature, something which potheads who watch the movie instantly recognize. I became aware when I was a teenager that there were a group of potheads in my neighborhood who got together about once a year to have a Reefer Madness party while watchingReefer Madness.” To them, the inane caricatures in the movie (combined with the effect of the marijuana) were a cause of great hilarity and the basis for a good party. The Reefer Madness parties were basically to make fun of the movie and get stoned.

Let me suggest that creationists should do roughly the same thing with the movie, “Inherit the Wind,” (minus the marijuana, of course), with significant editorial additions to the movie. Here’s an idea for the beginning narrator’s promotional script in the style of 1950’s movie promotion:

“Finally, the long-awaited remake of ‘Inherit the Wind,’ now retitled ‘Pass the Gas’.”

Creationists should have an annual “Inherit the Wind” party with the express purpose of making fun, not only of such an inane and asinine movie, but of evolution and evolutionists in general in the spirit of Psalm 2:4–“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

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Evolution (and evolutionists) should be made fun of and scoffed at in the production. At strategic intervals in the movie, there should be numerous cut-aways to “Pass the Gas” segments in which famous evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins and other dimwits of evolution are satirized. Here’s one idea: an interview with “Richard Squawkin” in which “Squawkin” sits there smoking pot while being interviewed and giving outrageous answers to serious journalistic challenges to his ideas. Additional “interviews” would be conducted with famous evolutionists such as astronomer “Carl Fakin-It” explaining the “genetic memory” of dragons/dinosaurs, “Neil deGrasse-Toking Tyson,” etc. Each year, there would be a new version of the production.

Another idea: remember Mystery Science Theater 3000 in which two robots, silhouetted against the bottom of the movie screen, are sitting in the theater making humorous comments about and during the movie? We could do a variation on the theme. Instead of robots, we would have Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man, ludicrous-looking ape-men, sitting there at the bottom of the screen making comments while “Inherit the Wind” drones on.

In fact, why don’t we make the party a COSTUME party? In addition to running the movie, we would all come dressed up as ape-men and ape-women, or as cavemen (with clubs, of course), or as Charles Darwin as per our featured image, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Java Man, Lucy, etc.

Do we have a script-writer in the house?


We will continue our survey of evolutionary frauds in installment #8 with a look at “Evolutionists, Museums and the Naming Game.”

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Written by Tom Shipley

I am a former atheist and was an evolutionist during my college days, but came to faith in Christ at the age of 20. I regard my pro-creation activities as part of the work of the kingdom of God. I believe that a very tough, strident and unapologetic stance against evolution is called for though I may soften my tone if and when Mark Armitage and David Coppedge, fired for their creationist beliefs, are given their jobs back. Articles copyright Tom Shipley. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. There are extensive resources available that refute “Inherit the Wind”, with its thinly-veiled defamation, history rewriting in the guise of fiction, and its propaganda. Another movie, “Alleged”, treated the Scopes trial factually, and added in some additional elements for dramatic purposes (but not at the expense of accuracy for the Scopes material). It’s not exciting, but interesting.

    We just finished the 5th annual Question Evolution Day. In a similar fashion to your suggestion of an “Inherit the Wind” party, Chris Rosebrough of “Fighting for the Faith” thought we should have a celebration. I ran with it, and took a picture of our supper and posted it: primordial soup, ancestor fish fry, geologic column layer cake. (I had my wife make pea soup to represent the primordial, because in my wise guessing, I figured the stuff from which all life supposedly arose must have been green.)

    I thought you were done, and posted the first four of these articles at The Question Evolution Project on Facebook. The next three are now scheduled as well, as well as your series on the Propaganda Machine. Is this article the last installment of this series?

    By the way, in the last article, you quoted Wolf and Mellett, “Finally, the issue relates to the fundamentally different values that creationism and science place on error”. There we go, poisoning the well that creationism and evolution conflated as “science” (as you pointed out, Naturalism) are mutually exclusive — who ya gonna believe, us guys with the lab coats, or st00pid uneducated Xtians?

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