Thank goodness. The vote was scary close:
The South Carolina Education Board approved a biology textbook Wednesday for public schools, despite questions from critics worried about how the book teaches evolution.
The board voted 9-7 to approve the textbook’s latest edition, which can be used in ninth- and tenth-grade biology classrooms. Science teachers from across the state erupted in applause after the vote.
Board member Charles McKinney argued the origin of life is an incomplete mystery and thinks the book presents evolution as fact rather than theory.
He asked the board to “carefully weigh the impact that distorted science opinion presented as scientific truth in adopted text will have upon youth.” He said evolution was used by Nazi Germany and other totalitarian states as an excuse to kill millions of people.
“I need to assure that neo-Darwinism is not allowed to project lies that could once again allow the emergence of social Darwinism,” McKinney said.
The former teacher said teaching evolution doesn’t bother him, as long as students are taught it’s an incomplete science. He said he realizes creationism can’t be taught, because the courts have ruled against it.
The book’s co-author, Ken Miller, disputed the criticisms and said the updated book’s section on evolution is unchanged from the textbook already used in South Carolina and all 49 other states.
Miller challenged the board to find a single reference to evolution as law or fact rather than theory. No one could.
Miller called it absurd and insulting to blame the theory of evolution for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were driven by racism, anti-Semitism and socialist utopianism, not scientific theory on the origin of the species, he said. …
Props to these folks for their excellent work on the issue.