It was only a few days ago that we reported about South Carolina state Senator Mike Fair, who has a history of introducing creationist legislation. He seems to have single-handedly halted adoption of his state’s public school science standard for evolution — see South Carolina Battle over Science Standards.
The news we’re about to report doesn’t appear anywhere yet, except in an alternative press weekly, the Charleston City Paper of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a bit of a shopping center giveaway paper, but maybe they’ve scooped everyone else. Their headline is S.C. Sen. Mike Fair drops opposition to evolution teaching standards.
We usually report only from sources we know, but this is too good to pass up. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
S.C. Sen. Mike Fair made national headlines this week when he put up a roadblock against new science education standards for the state, particularly as they dealt with the topics of natural selection and evolution. But now the Upstate Republican lawmaker says he has reviewed the standards and will not oppose their implementation.
If true, this is good news. Let’s read some more:
“I support the scientific standards as they were given to our subcommittee,” Fair said in a phone interview Wednesday evening. “I just needed a few days to look at the possible overreach of the terminology, and it’s not there.”
That’s quite a change from his usual position. A few days ago he was quoted as saying:
“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.
Fair’s sudden turn-around is most unexpected. What changed his mind? Let’s read on:
Fair is a member of the Statehouse-appointed Education Oversight Committee, which has to sign off on all changes to education standards. In the latest round of revisions, which updated previous standards that were written in 2005, Fair says he was caught off guard by some of the language on natural selection (specifically section HB5B, p. 78) and wanted time to review it before stamping his approval on it.
Fair says he took the snow day Wednesday to review the standards, and he is now comfortable with how they were written.
That’s essentially all we’re told. There’s likely to be more news about this, but for the moment, what we thought was a problem seems to have gone away. If the Charleston City Paper really did scoop everyone else, then good for them.
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