In Texas, where they pay a $500 bonus for catching a rich man violating the liquor statutes, where the "unwritten law" and the "hip-pocket move" as defenses for killers still bulk large in the eyes of the courts, where they impeach a Governor, elect his wife to the office, and then complain because she follows his advice,--in Texas, they don't believe in evolution either. A dispatch yesterday from the Lone Star State throws light on the mental processes of Texans and their beliefs and disbeliefs.
"All reference to evolution," it said, "has been eliminated by Governor Miriam A. Ferguson from a textbook on biology used in Texas. One of the passages deleted states with an egotism which is entirely unwarranted, we are accustomed to speak of man and animals whereas we ought to say man and other animals, for certainly man is an animal just as truly as the beast of the field."
It is a curious paradox that in the very state where, it is insisted, men are men and not animals, that men's actions should exhibit so few of the attributes of higher intelligence. The news stories of late have not represented Texans in at all a favorable light; the recent evolution dispatch is only one of many cases in point.
Be that as it may, however, this fresh stirring of fundamentalism in Texas is a phenomenon of considerable significance. Since the conclusion of the famous Dayton episode, and the death of William Jennings Bryan, the fundamentalists have been unwontedly quiet. But signs are not lacking which indicate that this silence is by no means permanent. If Texas can produce another Scopes, and the nation another Bryan, the Lone Star State may well be the next battleground in a war which, it is not impossible, will be fought up and down the country. in politics and out, before it is concluded.