IDiocy Reigns in South Carolina
A lawmaker in South Carolina is hailing the approval of new evolutionary biology standards for public high schools. The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee has approved these standards, which require students to "summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory."
State Senator Mike Fair, a member of the Education Oversight Committee, believes the update of the public schools' biology curriculum guidelines is a step in the right direction. "That, we think, is going to give a new freedom to teachers and a new freedom to the students in the science classrooms around South Carolina," he says.
With these standards in place, students will be less afraid to ask questions, Fair asserts. And likewise, these educational objectives will give teachers the freedom "to answer questions and to do what we think good science is all about, and that is to always be asking questions," he says.
Opponents of the new standards want to protect "philosophical materialism," the South Carolina senator contends. He describes this mindset as a "religion" that runs rampant on college campuses.
"Biology departments in the universities around our state are absolutely controlled by people who are afraid, for some reason or another, to look into and encourage students to look at all aspects of the question of evolution," Fair says. He believes the newly established biology standards will help change this situation.
According to the Seattle, Washington-based Discovery Institute, South Carolina is the fifth U.S. state to require students to learn about scientific criticisms of evolution. The state's new guidelines do not, however, require the teaching of alternative theories to Darwinian evolution.
Senator Fair believes the new biology standards for South Carolina high schools will help create an atmosphere where science education can flourish without materialist ideology. Also, he says it is his hope that these guidelines will be a precursor to allowing alternatives to the theory of evolution, such as intelligent design, to be taught in the state's schools.
South Carolina is also having a vote on a anti-gay marriage amendment.
SC State Amendment
Article XVII of the Constitution of this state would be amended by adding:
A marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This State and its political subdivisions shall not create a legal status, right or claim respecting any other domestic union, however denominated. This State and its political subdivisions shall not recognize or give effect to a legal status, right or claim created by another jurisdiction respecting any other domestic union, however denominated. Nothing in this section shall impair any right or benefit extended by the State or its political subdivisions other than a right or benefit arising from a domestic union that is not valid or recognized in this State. This section shall not prohibit or limit parties, other than the State or its political subdivisions, from entering into contracts or other legal instruments.