Posted by Steve Reuland on June 9, 2006 11:19 AM

As I reported awhile ago, the Discovery Institute’s attempts to add “critical analysis” language to the parts of the South Carolina biology curriculum that deal with evolution have failed. The Board of Education did not add those changes, and the Educational Oversight Committee, led by creationist Sen. Mike Fair, finally conceded on that front and decided to accept the standards without the creationist language. Fair and his ally Bob Walker, who is a representative in the lower house, are apparently banking on a budget proviso requiring all textbooks adopted by the state to contain no less than 10% material be given up to 10% weighting for the promotion of “higher-order thinking skills”. In the Bizarro world inhabited by the Discovery Institute, where words mean the precise opposite of what they normally mean, this apparently implies creationism. Walker tried to get the House Education and Public Works committee to add an amendment to a bill to codify this somewhere other than in an obscure budget proviso, but that attempt failed miserably.

So that’s where things stand. But remember: The Discovery Institute exists on Planet Bizarro. In their world, things are the opposite of what they seem:

South Carolina Set to Join Four Other States Calling for Critical Analysis of Evolution.

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC) will vote Monday, June 12, on whether to give final approval to science standards for biology that require students to summarize how scientists “investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” The standards were approved unanimously by the South Carolina Board of Education on May 31. Four other states (Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and New Mexico) already have science education standards encouraging critical analysis of evolution.

Back here on Planet Earth, the Board of Education did not add the “critical analysis” language to the curriculum standards, and the EOC cannot accept standards containing that language without the Board of Education adding them first. But when declaring victory, why let a little thing like defeat get in your way?

Edited to add: It was brought to my attention that the science curriculum does actually contain one sentence about “critical analysis” that was added a year ago, so the DI press release isn’t technically untrue. It is, however, grossly misleading in that the changes they lobbied for all throughout the first half of this year, which included adding “critical analysis” language to each and every indicator dealing with evolution, were rejected. It was these changes, not the one from last year, that created the impasse between the EOC and BOE. The EOC’s June 12th vote is noteworthy in that it will end this impasse with the Discovery Institute failing to get the changes they wanted.