African-American slaves correctly identified the first North America vertebrate fossils ever found in recorded history. The specimens were excavated from land belonging to a South Carolina plantation owner who stupidly thought they were the bones of giants that died in Noah’s flood. But the slaves recognized the teeth came from a species of elephant not too different from the beasts they knew so well from their homeland. Mark Catesby, the naturalist discussed in my blog entry previous to this one, was able to confirm the identification because he had seen elephant teeth in an English museum. The lily white world of paleontology during the 19th and 20th centuries had difficulty admitting that the earliest American pioneers in their field were black.
White politicians in today’s South Carolina’s state legislature still have difficulty swallowing some truths. An 8 year old girl wrote a cute handwritten letter to Governor Nikki Haley, nominating the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus colombi) as the state fossil because it was the first vertebrate fossil found in South Carolina. She also noted South Carolina was 1 of just 7 states that didn’t have a state fossil.
The concept of having a state fossil is trivial and silly, and the motion should have passed without controversy, but 2 anti-science Creationists have managed to crap all over the proposal. Mike Fair voted against it because he thinks the Theory of Evolution shouldn’t even be taught as fact in public schools. Kevin Bryant added a New Testament biblical passage to the bill and it got bogged down due to the possibility it would now be unconstitutional. The national media picked up the story though most media outlets as well as the South Carolina legislature demonstrated great confusion between the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and the Columbian mammoth which were 2 completely different species. The national spotlight shamed Mr. Fair into dropping his opposition to the bill, while Kevin Bryant withdrew his biblical passage amendment. Meanwhile, the correct species of mammoth was inserted into the language of the bill. The bill seemed headed for clear sailing, but Kevin Bryant then inserted an Old Testament biblical passage into the bill and it is bogged down again. He thinks the Old Testament passage will pass constitutional muster because so many different religions include the Old Testament as part of their bible. I’m not even going to waste time commenting on how stupid Mr. Bryant’s thought processes are.
Kevin Bryant, the mentally handicapped moron in the South Carolina legislature who wants to insert a bible passage into a bill making the Columbian mammoth the state fossil.
Mike Fair, another idiotic redneck in the South Carolina state legislature , who thinks bible stories should be taught in science class.
Artist’s rendition of a Columbian mammoth. This species ranged all over North America south of the ice sheets. The woolly mammoth ranged as far south as Virginia and South Dakota, but its primary range was Beringia and Eurasia. I suppose learning of the existence of 2 additional species of elephant-like animals in North America–the mastodon and gompothere–would make the heads of most members of the South Carolina legislature explode, and reporters would even get more confused.
I don’t often discuss the Evolution vs. Creation debate controversy on my blog because I think it is boring. It’s like debating reality vs. some clumsily compiled fantasies written by ignorant religious fanatics thousands of years ago. I think all religions are stupid, and the people who follow them completely shut down their brains and become zombie-like automatons. The thought that people just stop thinking when they get inside a church is a little scary. It’s also known as brainwashing. The most popular religion in the United States is Christianity, but most Christians don’t even realize they are members of a very bizarre end-of-the-world cult. I believe in what I can actually see…the facts, not some ridiculous fairy tales. I got into trouble mentioning my opinion on The Fossil Forum message board where they have a rule against disparaging religion. I think giving too much respect for religion is a major problem in this country. Religion is a scam, and preachers are making millions of tax free dollars selling their garbage to the gullible. The moderator at The Fossil Forum privately informed me that my opinion was an embarrassment. I posted under my real name on that forum, and I’m proud that I tell the truth and never hide behind phony respect. I will never post on that forum again. I never like message boards with anal moderators anyway. Anyone who feels the need to police what other people think needs to find a new hobby.
Auspex (I don’t know his real name), the top moderator at the Fossil Forum website. He’s the shmuck who told me my opinion about religion was an embarrassment. I used my real name on that forum and feel no shame in my honest opinion. This stupid fascist needs to find a new hobby.