Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just Like It Didn't Exist

A mysterious gap has appeared on the list of acceptable majors for low-income students seeking federal grants. The New York Times:
Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,” Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.”

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Mr. Nassirian said students seeking the grants went first to their college registrar, who determined whether they were full-time students majoring in an eligible field.

“If a field is missing, that student would not even get into the process,” he said. Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List

OK, raise your hand if you think this was "inadvertent."

Mmm hmm, I don't see any hands on either side of the room.

You know what's going on here.
That the omission occurred at all is worrying scientists concerned about threats to the teaching of evolution.

One of them, Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University, said he learned about it from someone at the Department of Education, who got in touch with him after his essay on the necessity of teaching evolution appeared in The New York Times on Aug. 15. Dr. Krauss would not name his source, who he said was concerned about being publicly identified as having drawn attention to the matter.

An article about the issue was posted Tuesday on the Web site of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Krauss said the omission would be “of great concern” if evolutionary biology had been singled out for removal, or if the change had been made without consulting with experts on biology. The grants are awarded under the National Smart Grant program, established this year by Congress. (Smart stands for Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent.)

The United States still has a chance to beat Turkey for the title of Most Ignorant About Biology, if we keep on going like this.

Man, this is something else. Follow the link here and see this for yourself:
The list of eligible majors (which is online at is drawn from the Education Department’s “Classification of Instructional Programs,” or CIP (pronounced “sip”), a voluminous and detailed classification of courses of study, arranged in a numbered system of sections and subsections.

Part 26, biological and biomedical sciences, has a number of sections, each of which has one or more subsections. Subsection 13 is ecology, evolution, systematics and population biology. This subsection itself has 10 sub-subsections. One of them is 26.1303 — evolutionary biology, “the scientific study of the genetic, developmental, functional, and morphological patterns and processes, and theoretical principles; and the emergence and mutation of organisms over time.”

Though references to evolution appear in listings of other fields of biological study, the evolutionary biology sub-subsection is missing from a list of “fields of study” on the National Smart Grant list — there is an empty space between line 26.1302 (marine biology and biological oceanography) and line 26.1304 (aquatic biology/limnology).

There's still nothing there. You look down this whole page, and there's line after line of majors, and then ... a gap. Nothing.

Inadvertent. Sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evolutionary biology is a rabbit hole. The harder one looks, the more ridiculous the theory of evolution seems. At some point, one must say enough is enough.

August 24, 2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like another global catastrophe scare gone bad: a storm off the coast of Africa has had the media predicting hurricane all week for the U.S. eastern seaboard. Alas, it now appears there will be nothing but a little rain in Greenland or Labrador.

Who ever heard of global warming without hurricanes?

Not that there aren't other good reasons to eliminate the burning of fossil fuels. The free market will take care of that though.

When you think of the failed predictions of hurricanes by the looney left, you start to wonder about their election predictions this fall. Remember when they were just sure John Kerry would be the next president? Or when they thought MCPS was days from piloting the Fishback revisions a couple of years ago? They're amusing- I'll give them that.

August 24, 2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who ever heard of global warming without hurricanes?"

Do you actually think hurricanes are the only measure of global warming?

To track severe storms worldwide, go to this website:

From this severe storms page, interested readers can click on the icons on the right hand side to find worldwide Crops & Drought, Dust & Smoke, Fires, Floods, Volcanos and Unique Imagery.

The spring floods in New England caused "the most dramatic change in a New Hampshire river course in recorded history." Read about it and see the satelite image of the river course's alteration here:

August 24, 2006 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The spring floods in New England caused "the most dramatic change in a New Hampshire river course in recorded history.""

Egad! Say it ain't so. It's a big world. The "most" in history of something is always happenin' somewhere.

August 24, 2006 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They paved over paradises and put up a parking lot. those virgin woods and fields not only looked good but they also absorbed rain water. Now the water just flows into the river.

August 26, 2006 5:33 PM  

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