Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to the Future

Here we go again, with the Bush administration and the radical right's war on science. And, once again, reports The Times, the teaching of evolution is under fire.

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

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.

That the omission occurred at all is worrying scientists concerned about threats to the teaching of evolution.

The administration says it was a clerical error, and evolutionary biology will be restored to the list of fields of study eligible for grants, but, reports the Times, scientists who knew about the omission find the clerical explanation unconvincing, "given the furor over challenges by the religious right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. “It’s just awfully coincidental,” said Steven W. Rissing, an evolutionary biologist at Ohio State University."

It may very well have just been some sort of clerical error, but given the history of these people, I don't give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. More likely, they were thinking they could just quietly get away with it, a little omission buried deep in the myriad of paperwork, and it would never be brought to public attention.

They really are determined to make this country a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.

No comments:

Blog Archive