CLARENCE DARROW QUESTIONS WILLIAM
DARROW: "Mr. Bryan, do you believe that everything in the bible should be literally interpreted?"
DARROW: Do you claim that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?
BRYAN: I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there. Some of the Bible is given illustratively; for instance, "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people.
DARROW: " When do you think the flood was, according to the bible?"
BRYAN: "Two thousand three hundred and forty eight years, B.C. and everything was destroyed but the fish, because
they could swim."
DARROW: When was that flood?
BRYAN: I wouldn't attempt to fix the date. The date is fixed, as suggested this morning.
DARROW: About 2400 B.C.?
BRYAN: That has been the estimate of a man that is accepted today. I would not say it is accurate.
DARROW: "Don't you know that there are ancient civilizations thousands of years older
than that date?"
BRYAN: "That is not so, or the bible would have told us."
DARROW: Do you say that you do not believe that there were any civilizations on this earth
that reach back beyond five thousand years?
BRYAN: I am not satisfied by any evidence that I have seen.
DARROW: You do know that there are thousands of people who profess to be Christians who
believe the earth is much more ancient and that the human race is much more ancient?
BRYAN: I think there may be.
DARROW: "Do you believe that the sun was literally made on the fourth day?"
BRYAN: "Of course, yes."
DARROW: "Well then, according to the bible story they had an evening and a morning the first
three days without the sun."
DARROW: Do you think the earth was made in six days?
BRYAN: Not six days of twenty-four hours.
DARROW: Doesn't it say so?
BRYAN: No, sir.
DARROW: Does the statement "The morning and the evening were the first day" and "The morning and the evening were the second day" mean anything to you?
BRYAN: I do not think it necessarily means a twenty-four hour day.
DARROW: You do not?
DARROW: Then when the Bible said, for instance, "And God called the firmament heaven, and the evening
and the morning were the second day," that does not necessarily mean twenty-four hours?
BRYAN: I do not think it necessarily does.
DARROW: Do you think it does or does not?
BRYAN: I know a great many think so.
DARROW: What do you think?
BRYAN: I do not think it does.
DARROW: You think these were not literal days?
BRYAN: I do not think they were 24-hour days.
DARROW: What do you think about it?
BRYAN: That is my opinion -- I do not know that my opinion is better on that subject than
those who think it does.
DARROW: You do not think that?
BRYAN: No. But I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make
the earth in six days as in six years or in six million years or in six hundred million
years. I do not think it important whether we
believe one or the other.
DARROW: Do you think those were literal days?
BRYAN: My impression is they were periods, but I would not attempt to argue as against
anybody who wanted
to believe in literal days.
DARROW: Have you any idea of the length of the periods?
BRYAN: No I don't.
DARROW: Do you think the sun was made on the fourth day?
DARROW: And they had evening and morning without the sun?
BRYAN: I am simply saying it is a period.
DARROW: They had evening and morning for four periods without the sun, do you think?
BRYAN: I believe in creation as there told, and if I am not able to explain it, I will accept it.