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A good question. Cates was found guilty of teaching evolution. If you judge the case based on the simple verdict of guilt or innocence, he lost. However, if you look at the issue in a larger context, he won. A huge amount of public attention was put on this matter. Henry Drummond defends the case as an issue of free thought, and the media makes fun of the fundamentalist position. The result is that science wins and a certain kind of religious position loses, and so Cates won.
Bert Cates won because his lawyer showed all the holes in the Creationist theory. He was found guilty of teaching evolution, but that was not the point.
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