On Nov. 3, 1930, a debate was held in Little Rock between Rabbi Ira E. Sanders of Temple B’Nai Israel and Clarence Darrow, the famous lawyer and agnostic, on the question “Is Man Immortal?” This was five years after Darrow had argued for evolution — against William Jennings Bryan — in the Scopes trial in Tennessee.

That such a debate was even permitted in Little Rock might be considered a moral victory for the freethinkers, but no more than that. The Arkansas Gazette account of the event says “No decision was rendered,” and the Baptists predominant in the region probably didn’t recognize the rabbi as a legitimate champion for God’s side anyway.

Advertisement

Arkansas Times: Report for America

Imagine the power of a dedicated voice bringing to light the challenges and triumphs of Arkansas’s largest industry. With a $25,000 match from Report For America, the Arkansas Times will bring on a reporter dedicated to covering agricultural and environmental issues in The Natural State. This role is crucial: agriculture employs 243,000 Arkansans and generates $19 billion annually. Help us ensure that our farmers and agricultural workers are given the coverage they deserve. Your donation makes a direct impact—support local journalism that supports Arkansas.

Previous article Navigation concerns slow Little Rock marina Next article Beware of caterers bearing gifts UPDATE