Science, Evolution 131
brotherhood in the support of our educational institutions. Many
friends of the College were much gratified at the moderateness and
reasonableness of the statements, when they first heard them read, and
they will stand as historic evidence that the Baptists of North Carolina
of the time were not ignorant and unreasoning fanatics on the subject
of evolution, such as in other States called for the signing of tests by
those who taught in educational institutions, and led the legislatures of
some states to pass acts forbidding under penalties the teaching of
evolution in the schools supported by the State. An appeal to the
General Assembly for such laws was indeed planned in North
Carolina, but with the attitude of the great Baptist population of the
State already known, the friends of the University had little difficulty
in securing the election of a legislature overwhelming opposed to
prescribing an anti-evolution biological curriculum of the tax-
supported educational institutions.
It remains to be said that without doubt this reasonable attitude of
the Baptists of North Carolina was chiefly due to the influence of
Wake Forest College-down through the years. Former students in the
philosophy courses of Professor Charles E. Taylor often recall how he
insisted that they should not be afraid of the truth, but follow
wherever truth led. This same spirit pervaded the other departments of
the College and in particular the department of biology in charge of
Professor Poteat. With such encouragement from men so highly
approved for their Christian character and activities the students could
not fail to become convinced that there was no fundamental conflict
between religion and science, and in this belief they went out to work
among the churches.
The resolutions, however, were only a part of the program of those
who insisted on a new order. There remained to be effected a change
in the method of electing trustees for the College and other
denominational institutions. This was an old matter of contention; it
had given trouble from the earliest days of the College, as has been
told in the first volume of this work6 The
See page 101f. and other places listed in the index.
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