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The climax of the play occurs in this scene. When Drummond gets Brady on the witness stand, he is able to demonstrate the incompatibility of a literal reading of the Bible with rational thinking. In the process, he succeeds in making Brady look foolish, causing the audience in the courtroom to laugh at his ignorance.
Two main ideas surface during Drummond's questioning of Brady. First, Drummond proves that the idea that God created the world in literally six days, as they are currently defined, is absurd. He proves this point by going first to other Bible stories, such as those about Joshua and Jonah; he successfully proves that a literal reading of them makes no sense. Drummond's approach is calm and rational; he begins to turn the audience to his side, as he pokes holes in Brady's irrational thinking. Secondly, Drummond makes his point that all people should be granted the power to think for themselves. Even Brady has to agree that the thing that makes man different from the other creatures is his ability to think and reason. Drummond then states that Bert Cates just wants to be able to have his own thoughts. He accuses Brady, and all the others like him, of gross arrogance in trying to force their own ideas on others, while depriving them of personal thought and expression. The audience is fully behind Drummond by the conclusion of the trial, laughing at the foolishness of Brady.