A bill that recently passed the state House to designate the
Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil stalled in the Senate after
Republican Senator Kevin Bryant added two verses from the book of
That amendment was ruled out of order but senators this week will
debate a new amendment that says the mammoth was "created on the
sixth day along with the beasts of the field," Bryant said on
"I just had a notion that we ought to consider acknowledging the
creator as we acknowledge one of his creations," Bryant said.
The original measure followed a letter to elected officials by
Olivia McConnell, an-8-year-old from New Zion, South Carolina.
In it, she pointed out that there is no state fossil, said
Democratic Representative Robert Ridgeway, who received the letter
and sponsored the measure.
McConnell suggested the elephant-like mammoth because an early find
of its remains took place in 1725 on a South Carolina plantation
where slaves dug up a tooth, Ridgeway said.
The woolly mammoth was a huge, shaggy, tusked mammal that roamed
northern Europe, Siberia and North American tens of thousands of
years ago and became extinct about 4,000 years ago.
Bryant said he does not intend to hold up the mammoth's official
designation but would like a vote on his amendment and sees no legal
problems with it.
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Reaction from some South Carolina residents has been "nasty," he
"Please stop making our state look like backwards hillbillies who
believe in fairy tales," Alex Davis commented on Bryant's website.
"Keep your religious views out of the government."
Ridgeway said he was surprised at the controversy.
"I was just trying to support a young child who is interested in
science," he said. "We should support children in any endeavor that
they seem interested in. That's one thing the state should be
(Editing by Kevin Gray and Lisa Shumaker)
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