A long-extinct animal is at the center of a legislative debate in South Carolina, where lawmakers are arguing over whether or not to officially credit God with its creation.
The state government is considering making the Columbian mammoth South Carolina’s official fossil, but the measure reportedly stalled in the Senate after Republican Sen. Kevin Bryant added three Bible verses about creation from the book of Genesis to the bill’s amendment.
“I just had a notion that we ought to consider acknowledging the creator as we acknowledge one of his creations,” Bryant told Reuters.
The fossil bill was then killed temporarily last week after Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell viewed Bryant’s amendment as “out of order” since it introduced a new subject, according to the Greenville News.
McConnell later withdrew his objection after learning that it was a child who was advocating for the fossil.
While the Genesis verses weren’t adopted, Bryant will reportedly attempt a new amendment that refers to the Columbian mammoth “as created on the sixth day with the beasts of the field.” Of the new language, Bryant told the Greenville News that he believes it should be permissible.
“Since we’re dealing with the fossil of the woolly mammoth then this amendment would deal with the beginning of the woolly mammoth,” he said.
This controversial move came after the same bill, absent biblical texts, previously passed the state House overwhelmingly.
The initial proposal to consider the woolly mammoth was later changed to the Colombian mammoth (the two are different species). It came after Olivia McConnell, an 8-year-old, wrote a letter to lawmakers noting that no fossil currently represents South Carolina.
State Rep. Robert Ridgeway and Sen. Kevin Johnson, both Democrats, received the letter and were moved by her request and decided to take action. There’s no telling whether Olivia’s dream will come to fruition.
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