South Carolina school board considers change in how evolution is presented in schools

A South Carolina panel is considering a small change to how evolution is presented in the state’s public schools.

The proposal calls for evolution to be presented as something open to further testing and observation, and it was discussed Tuesday by members of the Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee, according to the State.

Sen. Mike Fair (R), who in 2005 proposed changes to how evolution was taught, characterized the new proposal as giving teachers, “more elbow room to stimulate critical thinking.”

If approved, the revised standard would include two additional provisions, including one that reads, “Scientific conclusions are tested by experiment and observation, and evolution, as with any aspect of science, is continually open to and subject to experimental and observational testing.”

The second provision reads, “Students should understand assumptions scientists make in situations where direct evidence is limited and understand that all theories may change as new scientific information is obtained.”

The language does not require teachers to change how they teach evolution, Fair said.

2005 science standard set guidelines for how evolution should be taught. According to these standards, evolution is a theory backed by anatomy, embryology, biochemistry and paleontology, and is a result of genetic variability environmental factors.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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