The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s

[Source description: Brock Barkley, "Poole Seeks to Bar Darwinism Out of Schools." Charlotte Observer, January 9, 1925, p 1. Republished with permission of The Charlotte Observer. Copyright owned by The Charlotte Observer. About this source.]

Charlotte Observer, January 9, 1925

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Hoke County Representative Wants No "Monkey Business."


Will Address the Legislators at Noon -- Few Bills Offered. Committees Named.


RALEIGH, Jan 8. -- Representative D. Scott Poole, of Hoke county, wants no monkey business in the public schools, so he indicated today by a resolution introduced in the house, to prohibit any teacher "drawing pay from public taxes" to teach Darwinism, or "any other evolutionary hypothesis that links man in blood relationship with any other lower form of life."

The teaching of such subjects, Mr. Poole's resolution suggested, "is injurious to the welfare of the people of North Carolina."

The measure went to the education committee and if by chance it comes out again the general assembly will have its first opportunity to join in the discussion on evolution.

The Poole resolution was one of eight measures to go into the house hopper, bringing the number of bills and resolutions for the first two days to 16.

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With the announcement of this resolution by Poole, North Carolina entered a contentious debate that would engage the politicians and people of the state for the next two years. North Carolina had dealt with the subject of evolution in the past, most notably when Wake Forest President William Louis Poteat was harshly criticized for his beliefs on evolution in the early 1920s, and then in 1924 when two biology textbooks were rejected for use in state schools because of their treatment on evolution. However, neither occasion held the attention of the state for as long, nor was the subject of as much heated rhetoric, as the debate over this resolution.

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