When 8-year-old Olivia McConnell proposed that her state, South Carolina, adopt a state fossil, she may not have expected her request to prompt a drawn-out fight with creationists in the state legislature.
In letters to her local representatives, Olivia asked that the woolly mammoth be made the official state fossil, because mammoth teeth dug up by slaves in a South Carolina swamp in 1725 were among the first vertebrate fossils discovered in North America.
Her senator, Kevin Johnson, told CBS News this week that he thought a bill honoring the request "would just fly through the House and through the Senate." But the bill is currently languishing in the House, months after it was proposed in January, because some lawmakers with creationist beliefs have objected on religious grounds.
The original text of the bill simply read: "The woolly mammoth is designated as the official state fossil of South Carolina."
In its most recent iteration, which was shot down in a vote on April 9, the bill had been amended to read as follows:
"The Columbian Mammoth, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field, is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina and must be officially referred to as the 'Columbian Mammoth', which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field."
Written By: Megan Gannon
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