COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina state senator was recently slammed for his opposition to proposed science education standards after he raised concerns over the promotion of evolution and natural selection.
Senator Mike Fair represents District 6 in the South Carolina General Assembly and is a member of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC). An outspoken Christian, Senator Fair believes in intelligent design and the historicity of the Bible.
Last week, EOC members met to discuss an update to South Carolina’s science education standards. The revised standards outline academic standards for biology, chemistry, physics, and other scientific subjects.
Included in the proposed revisions is a two-page section titled, “Biological Evolution – Unity and Diversity.” The section requires students to “demonstrate an understanding of biological evolution and the unity and diversity of life on Earth.”
“Scientific evidence from the fields of anatomy, embryology, biochemistry, and paleontology underlie the theory of biological evolution,” the document states. “The similarities and differences in DNA sequences, amino acid sequences, anatomical features and fossils all provide information about patterns of descent with modification. Organisms resemble their ancestors because genetic information is transferred from ancestor to offspring during reproduction.”
The proposed standards also mention numerous evolutionary terms, including “common ancestry,” “a phylogenetic tree,” “natural selection,” “genetic variation,” and “speciation.”
After reviewing the proposed standards last Monday, Senator Fair objected to the standards’ usage of evolutionary terms, especially the reference to “natural selection.”
“Natural selection is a direct reference to Darwinism,” Fair argued, according to The Post and Courier. “And the implication of Darwinism is that it is start to finish.”
“To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong,” he added. “I don’t have a problem with teaching theories. [However] I don’t think it should be taught as fact.”
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais also weighed in on the issue, admitting that the creation/evolution debate is divisive.
“This has been going on here in South Carolina for a long a time,” Zais told reporters. “We ought to teach both sides and let students draw their own conclusions.”
After Fair expressed his opposition to the science standards’ evolutionary terminology, evolutionists sharply criticized his statements.
“Another uneducated and unintelligent buffoon attempting to mentally molest children into thinking that philosophy (religion) is the same as real science,” one commenter alleged. “If uneducated and unintelligent buffoons like Fair continue to be a part of education committees, students will suffer because the education they are provided will be of low to no quality.”
“Senator Fair, you are an embarrassment to your state,” another stated. “It is a travesty that South Carolina would have such an uneducated individual on the Education Committee. South Carolina is already near the bottom of the nation in education; it’s difficult to conceive how ignorant South Carolinians will be of science in coming decades.”
However, according to local reports, Fair has now dropped his opposition to the proposed evolutionary terminology after reviewing the academic standards in detail.
“I support the scientific standards as they were given to our subcommittee,” he told Charleston City Paper on Thursday. “I just needed a few days to look at the possible overreach of the terminology, and it’s not there.”
Though the new science standards will now likely be implemented, Fair is expected to continue his fight against evolutionary overreach.
“You know, the thing about Senator Fair is he believes in what he believes in, and he stands up for it,” said Barbara Hairfield, vice chair of the EOC. “He does not always win, but he continues with his same message.”