TCAP Success Grade 8 ELA Chapter 9

TCAP Success Grade 8 ELA Chapter 9 Sample

Passage 3

"Taking a Stand Against Mr. Darrow and the Evolutionists," published by J. Robert Kershaw in 1925 in the Nashville Gazette

1 We have long suspected that Mr. Clarence Darrow’s purpose in coming to Tennessee was to slander Christianity, spout his agnostic views, and generally embarrass the God-fearing people of the state. Yesterday confirmed our suspicions beyond all doubt. Ostensibly, the purpose of an attorney interrogating a witness is to hear what the witness has to say. But Darrow engineered his questioning of Mr. William Jennings Bryan for the sole purpose of giving himself a platform to spew evolutionary nonsense. For two hours, Darrow prodded and badgered Mr. Bryan, generally trying—and consistently failing—to make a fool of him. For his part, Mr. Bryan took this "questioning" patiently and gracefully and put forth an impressive defense of our shared faith.

2 What agnostics and evolutionists like Mr. Darrow will never understand is that our religion—that which he seeks to make a mockery of—is a fundamental part of the average Tennessean. The God-fearing citizens of this state will never submit to the evolutionists, because to do so would be to turn our backs on who we are. This is not to say we disregard science, but as Mr. Bryan so eloquently put it, "It is better to trust in the Rock of Ages than to know the age of the rocks."

3 Proponents of so-called "science" like to equate scientific advancement with progress, but as we all know, they are mistaken to make such a connection. Again it is best to quote Mr. Bryan, who said, "In war, science has proven itself an evil genius; it has made war more terrible than it ever was before… Now we are told," he explained, "that newly discovered instruments of destruction will make the cruelties of the late war seem trivial in comparison with the cruelties of war that may come in the future." We can only hope Mr. Bryan is mistaken in this prediction, but he is a wise man, and his dire warning is well-taken. Whatever the case, war proves that science and progress are not fundamentally related.

4 What Tennesseans know—and what so many other Americans, especially the so-called "journalists" in the big cities, would do well to know—is that without Christian values, our society will collapse on itself. Science espouses no values and loves only itself. As Mr. Bryan said, "Science is a magnificent force, but it is not a teacher of morals… It not only fails to supply the spiritual element needed, but some of its unproven hypotheses rob the ship of its compass and thus endangers its cargo." The "cargo" of this state—that is, the working, faithful people—has never faced more spiritual danger than it does now. If Mr. Darrow has his way, the "values" of the agnostics—which are really not values at all—will be forced into the hearts of even the most devout members of Christ’s flock. So, then, it is time to make a stand. We, the people of Tennessee, will never tolerate, believe in, or teach evolution to the most impressionable and vulnerable among us—our children. Mr. Darrow would do well to take note of our position.

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Passage 1 is an example of a(n) __ essay.

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Passage 2 is an example of a(n) ___ essay.


Passage 3 is an example of a(n) __ essay.

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The sentence "Have you ever heard of the theory of evolution or studied it in school?" in Passage 1 is best described as a(n)—

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The sentence "Let’s explore what happened" in Passage 1 is best described as a(n)—