Quote 3

The individual human mind. In a child’s power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity than in all your shouted “Amens!”, “Holy, Holies!” and “Hosannahs!” An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man’s knowledge is more of a miracle than any sticks turned to snakes, or the parting of waters!

In Act Two, Scene II, Drummond strives to demonstrate to the court the power of the human mind. To Drummond, human intellect has the power to advance humankind, while religion stifles human inquiries. This quotation not only defines one of Drummond’s most strongly held personal philosophies but also speaks to the main conflict of the play—that of creationism versus evolutionism—on an abstract level. The Hillsboro townspeople initially see Drummond’s words as extreme, for, in their conservative mindset, they see any free thought that questions the Bible as dangerous and blasphemous. However, Drummond’s case gains momentum as the trial progresses. He wins over the townspeople by probing witnesses playfully and ironically, exposing the contradictions beneath their too easily assumed beliefs. Ultimately, by trapping Brady in the inconsistencies that riddle his fundamentalist thinking, Drummond turns the tables and changes the momentum of the case.