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Evolution theory delays approval of state science standards - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Evolution theory delays approval of state science standards

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - While state committee members work to issue the new science standard for grade school classrooms across the state, one clause of the 112-page document, is standing in the way.

The issue is centered around natural selection, a fundamental theory in biological evolution.

For College of Charleston biology professor Rob Dillon, the idea of excluding the topic is "demoralizing."

"These pages can't be pulled out, singled out, treated differently, for political or religious purposes," he said.

The clause in question reads as follows:

"Analyze and interpret data, using the principles of natural selection, to make predictions about the long term biological changes that may occur within two populations of the same species that become geographically isolated from one another."

It's found on page 78 of the South Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science, which was predominately approved last month.

Dillon says opponents of the natural selection theory are asking to "teach the controversy," which he says doesn't mention God specifically, but references a God-like figure.

"They want to introduce doubt or controversy into the evolution curriculum and then they simply say, let all sides be heard."

State senator Mike Fair, has voiced opposition on the topic.  Fair told Live 5 News via email,

"I have opposed the Evolution standard's language on Natural Selection because it seems to imply Macro-Evolution and Micro-Evolution. Micro is observable macro has never happened or if it has happened , there is no evidence."

The state science standards will be reviewed again next month.  If approved, natural selection will be taught in Biology I, a standard course for 10th grade students across the state. 

A spokesman in charge of the science standards in the Charleston County School District says the process has been included since 2005.

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