Good news! Religion expunged from South Carolina fossil bill

Reader Barry called my attention to a piece on yesterday’s Raw Story that, for once, gives good news.  You may remember the kerfuffle in South Carolina about making the wooly mammoth the state fossil. That suggestion, which came from an eight-year-old girl, Olivia McConnell, riled up some creationist legislators, and though the legislature voted to adopt the fossil, they insisted on inserting creationist language into the bill, to wit:

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 7.48.06 AM

The Raw Story reprises Rachel Maddow’s report on the fossil:

It passed the state House, said Maddow, “But then it turned out that this fairly harmless, fairly adorable official state fossil bill just didn’t sit right with some members of the South Carolina state Senate.”

One tried to block the state from naming any further state symbols, another said that the bill should go forward, but should include verses from the book of Genesis from the Christian Bible.

Including the Creationist language, Maddow said, invalidates the whole exercise.

“Behold our official state thing that we don’t believe in!” she quipped.

The rewritten bill stalled out in the state House and now, conservative lawmakers have finally agreed to strike the Biblical and Creationist lines from the bill altogether.

“Good work, Olivia,” concluded Maddow. “You’re almost there.”

Well, the governor still has to sign it, but I’m hopeful.

Here’s Maddow’s  3.25-minute report.  I love that woman—and Olivia too!



  1. samitchell79
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink


  2. Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    There is a god after all – figuratively speaking, of course!

  3. Matt G
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    This is indeed good news. When I was first reading this, I thought it might be about the expunging of prayer from MIT graduation ceremonies.

  4. Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink


  5. Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Amazing that it took so much to do the right thing.


    • Mark Joseph
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Depressing, yes. Arduous, yes. But amazing? No. Kind of to be expected in South Carolina.

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Meh, it’s only taxpayers’ money…

      • Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        …and going right into the pockets (by way of salaries) of the legislators, and buying them all sorts of free publicity as stalwart Christian soldiers to boot.

        You’re quite right. No clue how I managed to miss that….


  6. michieux
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Good story. And I share your affection for these two fine Americans.

  7. W.Benson
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The first fossil found was from South Carolina. I propose that the species be renamed Olivia’s South-Carolinian Mammoth.

  8. johzek
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I hope the lesson that Olivia learns from all this is that there are many adults with their heads buried in the sand who might just as well be fossils themselves.

  9. moarscienceplz
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    So did it happen because there are enough legislators with functioning brains in the SC House to stop the god-botherers from running roughshod over the US Constitution, or was it because there are so many “kinds” of wackaloons there that they couldn’t agree on which bits of Bible drivel to insert and thus had to throw it all out?

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Strike “House” in that comment, and replace with “Senate”… that plus the Governor finally got the House cretins to back down, pissing and moaning all the way, I’m sure.

      It seems Houses all over get populated by the “common clay”.

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