There hasn’t been much creationism action in South Carolina lately, but that may be changing. We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from SC senator’s Darwin skepticism halts adoption of state K-12 science standard for evolution, which appears in the The State, located in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. The headline and the story keep changing, but we’ll go with the latest version, to which we added some bold font for emphasis:
A state senator’s skepticism about Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory held up the full adoption of South Carolina’s K-12 standards for what students learn in science class. The S.C. Education Oversight Committee — the state’s education research and accountability arm — approved most of the state’s revised science standards at its meeting Monday, sending the standard on evolution back to subcommittee for review. The standards were last updated in 2005.
One state senator’s skepticism did that? Let’s read on:
State Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, objected to the proposed revision of the evolution standard, which asked students to “analyze and interpret data, using the principles of natural selection, to make predictions about the long term biological changes that may occur within two populations of the same species that become geographically isolated from one another.”
That sounds like a good version of critical thinking. What was Fair’s objection? We continue:
“There’s not but one theory coming from the principles of natural selection,” Fair said, before the committee voted to give the standard more review. “There are more than one (theory of evolution). But the one that is being taught and will continue to be taught is Darwinism,” Fair said.
Mike Fair … that name sounds familiar. Haven’t we run into him before? Yes, back in 2008 — see South Carolina — Creationism in Science Class? He was also a state Senator back then, and he submitted an Academic Freedom Bill in the South Carolina State Legislature. Casey blogged approvingly about it, so Mike Fair has been one of the Discoveroids’ useful idiots for a long time. His bill died that year, but he’s still fighting. Wikipedia has a writeup on him, Mike Fair, which says:
Fair, a conservative Christian, has been a supporter of abstinence based sex education and has proposed legislation mandating that sex education classes include information that homosexual behavior is “unnatural, unhealthy and illegal.” Fair has also been an outspoken opponent of evolution. In 2008 he introduced a bill that would have specifically allowed public school teachers to critique evolution in their classrooms.
The procedure for approving the new standards in South Carolina seems complicated, so we’re not clear on what’s supposed to happen next. Anyway, here’s one more excerpt from the news story:
The state Board of Education approved the standards at its Monday meeting, rejecting an effort to include “creation by design” as an alternative theory to how life on earth began.
So the news isn’t all bad. We’ll let you know if we learn anything more.
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