Evolution debate reaches South Carolina

May 09, 2006

South Carolina lawmakers are again embroiled in the continuing evolution controversy to decide how textbooks should present scientific theory.

Supporters of two bills before the legislature claim they only want to ensure textbooks enhance students' development of critical thinking skills, The (Columbia, S.C.) State reported Tuesday.

Critics say "critical thinking skills" are code words for inserting religious theories like intelligent design into biology lessons.

"On one hand, it looks completely innocuous, but if you understand the context ... it's directed at high school biology standards on biological evolution," Rob Dillon, a College of Charleston associate biology professor and president of South Carolinians for Science Education, told The State.

Supporters claim the textbook selection and evolution issues are not linked.

"They'll tell you this only deals with science and intelligent design, and this is not true," Rep. Bob Walker, R-Spartanburg, told the newspaper. "What this is doing is asking that when we look at textbooks, we look at the process a textbook uses in teaching when it comes to critical thinking and analysis."

Last fall, Walker tried unsuccessfully to revise state biology standards to allow the teaching of alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Study shows more than half of peer-reviewed research articles published during 2007-2012 are now open access

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Maths brilliance in systems engineering

Oct 08, 2014

"I was trained as an applied mathematician with a strong emphasis on statistics as a student at Dhaka University, Bangladesh. It transpired that this is not a common combination and I then went on to do my ...

Unexpectedly speedy expansion of human, ape cerebellum

Oct 02, 2014

A new study published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 2 could rewrite the story of ape and human brain evolution. While the neocortex of the brain has been called "the crowning achiev ...

Recommended for you

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

Oct 21, 2014

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

Oct 21, 2014

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

What labels on textiles can tell us about society

Oct 21, 2014

Throughout Chinese history, dynastic states used labels on textiles to spread information on the maker, the commissioner, the owner or the date and site of production. Silks produced in state-owned manufacture ...

User comments : 0