Matt Brauer posted Entry 2536 on August 22, 2006 01:13 PM.
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Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education has a news article by Sam Kean that describes more creationist shenanigans in the Federal Government. Kean reports that a new “SMART Grant” makes funds available to science, engineering and foreign language students – with the exception of students majoring in evolutionary biology.

The Education Department has a system of codes for undergraduate majors–the “CIP codes”– which includes evolutionary biology (code 26.1303). The list of majors eligible for the SMART grant omits only this code among all the biological disciplines.

What can we conclude about the omission? As with the drafts of “Pandas and People”, the perpetrators of this deletion seem to have been rather careless about how they used the ctl-X and ctl-C/ctl-V commands. In the list of acceptable majors, evolutionary biology is missing, but there is a space where it ought to have been. It’s reasonable to conclude from this that someone inelegantly and inexpertly yanked the line at a late stage in the document’s development.

The CHE article quotes Prof. Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve, who “said he sent the letter to the department when he learned of the absence, which he called ‘a serious omission.’” Professor Krauss was unwilling to make any accusations as to the reason for evolutionary biology not being on the list. And a Dept. of Education spokesperson called it an unspecified “clerical consolidation of some kind.”

Odd, though, that of all the biological disciplines only evolution should face this “consolidation”. Has anyone kept track of where George Deutsch has moved to?

UPDATE: Poking around, I found what I think are all of the anomalous deletions.

They are:

15.0501: Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology
26.0908: Exercise Physiology
26.1303: Evolutionary Biology

From “Inter/mulitdisciplinary studies” 30.17 (Behavioral Sciences) is also missing, but a lot of other majors from this category are excluded as well, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

The obvious question is: Why do the creationists hate air conditioning?!

UPDATE 8/25/06: Reader TW points out that Sam Kean at the CHE has more information and a Dept. of Education response. In brief, Evolutionary Biology is a valid major. No word on the fate of HVAC engineering.

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Comment #121718

Posted by fnxtr on August 22, 2006 1:53 PM (e)

It was probably just a clerical error: they meant to delete genetics and palaeontology too, but slipped up.

Comment #121728

Posted by Inoculated Mind on August 22, 2006 2:00 PM (e)

Don’t forget geology, archaeology, astronomy, cosmology…

Comment #121729

Posted by Nick ((Matzke)) on August 22, 2006 2:04 PM (e)

I call “shenanigans”!
[/south park]

Comment #121732

Posted by Richiyaado on August 22, 2006 2:09 PM (e)

Astonishing and sad.

Now will Dembski apply his foolproof “explanatory filter” to determine whether this omission was indeed intentional, or will he merely crow about it?

Comment #121733

Posted by steve s on August 22, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

Everybody grab a broom, it’s Shenanigans!

Comment #121743

Posted by Dunc on August 22, 2006 2:35 PM (e)

Why don’t they just delete science and replace it with “Bible study”?

Comment #121745

Posted by Popper's ghost on August 22, 2006 2:40 PM (e)

What can we conclude about the omission?

That it was by design. 1 for us, 0 for the IDiots.

Comment #121750

Posted by Vyoma on August 22, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

Interesting. I just got a SMART Grant, and I’m a biology major in the evolutionary/ecological biology track at my university. However, there’s no particular indicator of which track I’m in; my major is given as biology, just as are pre-med majors, pre-vet majors, etc. But it’s right there in my Financial Aid profile; I got an extra $4000 over the course of the coming year on this grant.

I probably shouldn’t have said anything. They’ll probably take it away from me now.

Comment #121754

Posted by Gerard Harbison on August 22, 2006 3:08 PM (e)

‘Exercise science’ and ‘Behavioral sciences’ are absent with a similar gap.

Comment #121757

Posted by Grand Moff Texan on August 22, 2006 3:27 PM (e)

US education and R&D policy: unintelligent design.

Comment #121760

Posted by Inoculated Mind on August 22, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

I think our laws and regulations can often be used to make a case for the fact that you can get incredible complexity without intelligent design.

Comment #121766

Posted by Michael Hopkins on August 22, 2006 3:49 PM (e)

15.0501: Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology

If this year is any indication, we will need more people in AC tech.

Comment #121767

Posted by Mike Elzinga on August 22, 2006 3:50 PM (e)

They probably hate air conditioning because they hate any hint of climate change.

Comment #121771

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

The obvious question is: Why do the creationists hate air conditioning?!

Well, clearly the Executive is being paid off by the global warming industry.

Comment #121773

Posted by DragonScholar on August 22, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

Ten years ago, I would have assumed a clerical error easily. These days, I feel a slight need to make a tinfoil fedora and speculate in a paranoid manner about something like this.

Comment #121861

Posted by Collin DuCrâne on August 22, 2006 5:40 PM (e)

It is the role of any judiciary to protect rights of ownership (property law).

The current administration simply recognizes that information (including genetic) is never ownerless.

Why should genetic material be considered public domain and legally derilict of original ownership? The Darwinian narrative merely seeks to open a loophole in property law. It is legalism at its very worst: defraudment via “reasonable” doubt.

Evolution is simply adaptation framed as a bio-genesis. It is creationism in a cheap hairy gorilla suit. Remove this suit of psuedo-legalism and you are staring directly at an orginal author.

So, this might answer the question of why “Evoltionary Biologists” are persona non-grata in terms of winning goverment grants - it is like paying to wolves to watch over the sheep.

See “” for venomous replies to this post.

Comment #121868

Posted by Coin on August 22, 2006 5:52 PM (e)


Comment #121869

Posted by Collin duCrâne on August 22, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Not “What” - but rather “Who”.

“Who” is on first (causes)
“What” is on second (causes)
“I dont know” is the beginning of wisdom…

Comment #121873

Posted by Karthik on August 22, 2006 5:59 PM (e)

Why do the creationists hate air conditioning?!


Comment #121876

Posted by Jim Wynne on August 22, 2006 6:07 PM (e)

Collin wrote:

See “” for venomous replies to this post.

Gee, Collin, what happened to the Big Talk Theory? You were the inaugural recipient of my Stupid Blog of the Week Award, and now this.

Comment #121881

Posted by Randomfactor on August 22, 2006 6:18 PM (e)

It’s because air conditioning, like evolution, violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Just like Exercise Physiology violates the First Law of Motion. (A body at rest tends to remain at rest…)

Comment #121899

Posted by Collin DuCrâne on August 22, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

Dearest Mr. Wynne,

I have been trembling at the mere thought of another encounter with your formidable intellect.

Is there a cash prize for your award? I am sure all of creation awaits your response.

Comment #121909

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on August 22, 2006 6:55 PM (e)

I’ll point out that the omission of HVAC is different than the other two. There is no blank space where it should be.

Comment #121917

Posted by Matt on August 22, 2006 7:07 PM (e)

Trollish posts will be moved to the bathroom wall. I’m not interested in hosting any multi-board feuds.

(Incoherent rantings may or may not be allowed to stay here, depending on amusement value.)

Comment #121991

Posted by Wheels on August 22, 2006 10:43 PM (e)

Creationists hate air conditioning because, being composed largely of hot air, it would take the wind out of their sails.

Comment #122018

Posted by Shalini, BBWAD on August 23, 2006 1:42 AM (e)

[Why don’t they just delete science and replace it with “Bible study”?]

Nah…that’s a little MORE obvious than whatever the IDiots have been doing so far….

Comment #122104

Posted by delurking on August 23, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

On the same day I saw this post, I happened to look at the new NASA ROSES
solicitation (ie: call for proposals).…

Of the 68 programs, the three related to astrobiology have been canceled.

From NASA’s astrobiology roadmap, the fundamental questions are:

* How does life begin and evolve?

* Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?

* What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

I note that one of the cancelled programs is called
“Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets”.
Exploration of planets falls right in line with the President’s
vision for the future of NASA, but I guess the tie to astrobiology
is the kiss of death.

No, no politics at all in scientific decision-making.

Comment #122375

Posted by Ben on August 24, 2006 9:31 AM (e)

Randomfactor wrote:

Just like Exercise Physiology violates the First Law of Motion. (A body at rest tends to remain at rest…)

Unfortunately I confirm the first law of motion… extremely well.

Comment #122499

Posted by Tony Whitson on August 24, 2006 5:01 PM (e)

Where’s a good “explanatory filter” when we need one? Which do you suppose is the “best explanation,” in terms of probabbilities: (1) this single specific omission was purely a random “mutation” of the list (as the DoE people are now saying), or (2) it happened by intentional design?