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Antievolution legislation in South Carolina dies


When the South Carolina legislature adjourned on June 5, 2008, Senate Bill 1386 died in committee. If enacted, the bill would have amended the state's education code to provide: "The State Board of Education, superintendents of public school districts, and public school administrators may not prohibit a teacher in a public school of this State from helping his students understand, analyze, critique, and review the scientific strengths and weaknesses of biological and chemical evolution in an objective manner." Its main sponsor, Senator Michael Fair (R-District 6), spearheaded a number of previous antievolution efforts in the legislature; the Greenville News (May 1, 2003) reported that Fair said, with reference to a previous bill he sponsored, that "his intention is to show that Intelligent Design is a viable scientific alternative that should be taught in the public schools." South Carolina is the fourth state in which "academic freedom" antievolution legislation failed in 2008, after Florida, Alabama, and Missouri; similar legislation is still active in Louisiana and Michigan.