William Jennings Bryan

As a leader of the anti-evolution movement, Bryan offered to assist the prosecution during the Scopes trial. In the early 1900s, Bryan had become increasingly alarmed about the teaching of evolution in public schools and what he perceived to be the application of the "survival of the fittest" doctrine in society, which could be used by the powerful to justify marginalizing the powerless. Bryan also believed that adherence to this theory led to German militancy and contributed to the slaughter of World War I. By 1921, Bryan was one of the leading critics of evolution in the United States. However, Bryan's views were more nuanced as he was mainly against teaching evolution in public schools at taxpayer expense. Bryan and many of his followers believed it was unfair that taxpayers were paying for the very instruction that was undermining their children's religious faith. Bryan was also against teaching evolution as fact instead of theory, and he was more concerned with teaching evolution as applied to humans. Bryan was not really concerned with its application to lower forms of life. Bryan Letter to Darrow