February 29, 2012
Hay Watson Smith, a Little Rock (Pulaski County) Presbyterian minister and son-in-law of prominent lawyer U. M. Rose, was a leading opponent of the attempts to outlaw the teaching of evolution in the 1920s. Many opponents labeled him a heretic for his belief that evolution was a scientific fact and posed no threat to Christianity. He actively spoke out against both the passage of a proposed anti-evolution law in 1927 and the eventual passage of a state initiated act. An investigation by the Arkansas Presbytery determined that his beliefs did not affect the necessary doctrines of the Church.