Whereas, Olivia McConnell, Eight-year-old, wrote her South Carolina state representatives; and
Whereas, Olivia provided a legitimate reason to suggest this legislation:
1. One of the first discoveries of a vertebrae [sic] fossil in North America was on an S.C. plantation when slaves dug up wooly mammoth teeth from a swamp in 1725.
2. All but seven states have an official state fossil.
3. “Fossils tell us about our past.”
Whereas, She sent the letter to Representative Robert Ridgeway (D) and Sen. Kevin Johnson (D), asking them to sponsor a bill officially making the woolly mammoth the official state fossil.
Whereas, Representative Robert Ridgeway (D) and Sen. Kevin Johnson (D), sponsored a bill officially making the woolly mammoth the official state fossil; and
Whereas, “the benefit to this is to the children and young people of South Carolina, letting them realize that they do have a say-so in what happens in South Carolina and, No. 2, it gives them experience and information about the governmental process and legislative process in South Carolina.”
Be it enacted by the citizens of the United States of America, that Olivia McConnell, Representative Robert Ridgeway (D) and Sen. Kevin Johnson (D), be designated at true patriots in their work to separate religion from government.
The reason this is of interest is that creationists in the state legislature tried to insert biblical references.
State senator Kevin Bryant (R), who had said, "I think it's very important that we acknowledge the Creator when we're acknowledging some of his wonderful creations", proposed an amendment to insert three verses from the creation story in the book of Genesis as the "official state passage from an ancient historical text". The Daily Beast noted that Bryant is "a pharmacist and self-described born-again Christian who has compared President Obama with Osama bin Laden, voted to sustain a veto by Governor Nikki Haley of funding for a rape crisis center, and called climate change a “hoax”".
After the amendment was ruled out of order, state senator Mike Fair (R) placed an objection on the bill; Bryant claimed Fair merely wanted to rewrite the amendment. "Fair has previously gone on record as saying “To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong," and has blocked South Carolina from adopting newer education standards on the teaching of evolution." (HuffPost)
Bryant introduced another amendment mandating that the state fossil "must be officially referred to as 'the Columbian Mammoth', which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field."
Those Wooly Mammoths must have made that ark sink a little, especially if there were 14 of them.