Monkey Trial

 

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan

 

The so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” began July 10, 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, when high school biology teacher John T. Scopes (1900-70), faced court proceedings on the charge of having taught evolution in violation of the Butler Act. The trial was originally conceived as a publicity stunt in promote business in Dayton, and it truly became a media circus, with reporters from all over the world sending reports back home. One of Scopes’ lawyers was the famous agnostic and criminal defense attorney Clarence Darrow and one of the prosecuting attorneys was the famous populist and fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan.

The following is a quote of the judge’s instructions to the jury:

Gentlemen of the grand jury, on May 25, 1925, John T. Scopes was indicted in this county for violating what is generally known as the anti-evolution statute. There is some uncertainty as to whether or not this indictment is valid, and, in order to avoid a possibility of it being invalid. I have determined to convene this grand jury for the purpose of reinvestigating these charges, I now use substantially the same charge I gave the first grand jury.

The statute, which it is alleged the said Scopes violated, is Chapter 27 of the acts of 1925, which makes it unlawful to teach in the universities, normals and all other public schools of the state, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the state, any theory that denies the story of Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible and teach instead theory that man descended from a lower order of animals. This act became the law in Tennessee on March 21, 1925.

 

The defense did not argue that Scopes was innocent of technically violating the law – instead, they argued that evolution was valid, that it was compatible with certain interpretations of the Bible, and hence that the original law itself was wrong. The court refused to rule in such matters and instead stuck strictly to whether or not the law was violated – and so found Scopes guilty, fining him $100. The state supreme court later reversed this judgment, but Scopes and the trial were already famous around the country.

Although Scopes technically lost the case, many perceive it as a victory for evolutionists and rationalism. It put a spotlight on the beliefs of fundamentalists, holding them up to public ridicule – and indeed, there was widespread rejection of their anti-science stance. It also opened the door to wider dissemination of the ideas behind evolution, leading more people to give it serious consideration. In the end, however, the prejudice against teaching evolution in public schools remained in force through much of the country until the Cold War, when the United States saw the launch of the Sputnik artificial satellite as a sign that the Soviet Union was gaining scientific superiority.

 

 

The Search for Life: The Drake Equation

 

thedrakeequation4

 

For many years our place in the universe was the subject of theologians and philosophers, not scientists, but in 1960 one man changed all that.

Dr Frank Drake was one of the leading lights in the new science of radio astronomy when he did something that was not only revolutionary, but could have cost him his career. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenback in Virginia, he pointed one of their new 25-metre radio telescopes at a star called Tau Ceti twelve light years from earth, hoping for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Although project Ozma resulted in silence, it did result in one of the most seminal equations in the history of science – the Drake Equation – which examined seven key elements necessary for ET intelligence to exist, from the formation of stars to the likely length a given intelligent civilisation may survive. When Frank and his colleagues entered the figures, the equation suggested there were a staggering 50,000 civilisations capable of communicating across the galaxy.

However, in the 50 years of listening that has followed, not one single bleep has been heard from ET. So were Drake and his followers wrong and is there no life form out there capable of communicating? Drake’s own calculations suggest that we would have to scan the entire radio spectrum of ten million stars to be sure of contact.

The answers to those questions suggest that, far from being a one off, life may not only be common in the universe but once started will lead inevitably towards intelligent life.

To find out about the equation’s influence, Dallas Campbell goes on a worldwide journey to meet the scientists who have dedicated their lives to focusing on its different aspects.

 

 

The Mayfair Set

 

themayfairsetstill

 

Unreported and almost unseen approach that capital and capital markets have taken since 1945 to gradually take control of the political systems of the USA and the United Kingdom. Adam Curtis outlines several key points and analyses at great length various events and personalities.

These so called market movers were all members of the Clermont Club in Mayfair, London. What at first seemed to be an audacious and unrealistic strategy to take control of the market economy turned into something almost unstoppable, destructive, cruel and completely bereft of feeling or scruple.

What is so shocking is that the corruption and immorality did not start as commonly assumed in the 1980’s with the ascent of Reagan and Thatcher to power but with the beginning of the global economy in the late 1950s. There is much material shown here that should be much more discussed and explained because it depicts aptly how moribund and fragile the economies of the developed world have become.

How they are built up on tenuous and shallow assumptions that market cycles are no longer applicable. The greed and deception of the business elite reaches far further and far wider than beyond anyone’s common knowledge or understanding of politics.

 

Episode 1 – Who Pays Wins

The opening episode, Who Pays Wins, focuses on Colonel David Stirling.

 

 

Episode 2 – Entrepreneur Spelt S.P.I.V.

The rise of Jim Slater who became famous for writing an investment column in The Sunday Telegraph under the nom de plume of The Capitalist.

 

 

Episode 3 – Destroy the Technostructure

This episode recounts the story of how James Goldsmith became one of the richest men in the world.

 

 

Episode 4 – Twilight of the Dogs

By the 80s, the day of the buccaneering tycoons was over. Tiny Rowland, James Goldsmith and Mohammed Al Fayed were the only ones who were not finished.

 

 

Drugs and the Brain: Opiates and Tranquilizers

 

brainandpsychology

 

Depressants are drugs that depress the central nervous system and are therefore potentially very dangerous if not treated with the utmost respect and care. They should be a last resort to treat any condition and only used for a short time. Some of the more common psychoactive depressant drugs include; barbiturates, tranquilizers and opiates.

The opiates, (drugs that are synthesized from opium) include morphine, heroin, and codeine. Generally known as narcotics, these drugs create both psychological and physiological dependence.

With the availability of major tranquilizers, the management of mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, became somewhat easier. The minor tranquilizers, which include such drugs as diazepam and Librium, are used to treat anxiety and muscle tension. Long-term use of these tranquilizers may produce psychological and physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms whenever the minor tranquilizers are overprescribed.

 

 

The Secret: Evidence We Are Not Alone

 

thesecretevidencewearenotalone

 

The Secret presents the story of how leaked government documents prove that the United States has been recovering crashed unidentified flying objects, often known as flying saucers, since 1941, and has been successful in keeping this information from the public.

These documents have been examined using forensic techniques and are declared genuine by those who examine the subtleties of paper, ink age, watermark, type fonts, classification stamps and markings. The central basis of the documentary is the content of the documents and the amazing story they tell – a different approach. This program is not a rehash of the old Roswell crash scenarios, providing evidence that the first U.S. crash was in Missouri in 1941.

Not only does this documentary have some distinguished advocates taking compelling supportive positions, such as Astronaut Ed Mitchell, and researchers Stanton Friedman, Timothy Good, and Michael Lindemann, but some dissenting views are also included from skeptical corners.

 

 

A Brilliant Madness

 

abrilliantmadness

 

A Brilliant Madness is the story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness. At the age of 30, John Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger.

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent the next three decades in and out of mental hospitals, all but forgotten. During that time, a proof he had written at the age of 20 became a foundation of modern economic theory. In 1994, as Nash began to show signs of emerging from his delusions, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. The program features interviews with John Nash, his wife Alicia, his friends and colleagues, and experts in game theory and mental illness.

Go beyond the Oscar-winning drama “A Beautiful Mind” and learn more about the life of troubled mathematician and Nobel Prize-winner John Nash and his struggle with mental illness in this PBS “American Experience” documentary. Exclusive interviews with Nash and wife Alicia are included.