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On June 5 the South Carolina General Assembly adjourned its current session. Among the proposed bills killed by this action was S153, which had passed the Senate and was waiting for action in a House committee. As outlined in another story on this page, this bill would have established a 19-member "Science Standards Committee" to "(1) study science standards regarding the teaching of the origin of species; (2) determine whether there is a consensus on the definition of science; (3) determine whether alternatives to evolution as the origin of species should be offered in schools. "
On April 29 the South Carolina Senate passed S153 and forwarded it to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Committee on Education and Public Works. This bill originally dealt with instructional materials for public schools. On April 9 Sen. Michael Fair proposed an amendment which would have required a disclaimer in all kindergarten through 12th grade science books stating "The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable.
The South Carolina Senate is considering S153, a bill dealing with instructional materials and textbooks. On April 9 an amendment was offered by Sen. Fair with the following key provision:
(B) The following must be placed in all science books published for kindergarten through twelfth grade:
'The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Therefore, empirical science cannot provide data about the beginning of life.'
On December 11, 2002 the South Carolina Board of Education voted 10-5 to approve a number of new biology textbooks for local adoption across the state next fall. Several board members had objected to the way evolution was presented in some of the books, but a motion to remove two biology texts from the list failed by a 9-6 vote. Some board members were quoted in a December 22 news story in the Charleston Post & Courier as opposing one book because its preface referred to "creation science" and "intelligent design" as "pseudoscience".