the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 23, 2006

No Grants for You, Evolutionary Biologists!


The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that evolutionary biology is mysteriously missing from the list of subjects the US Department of Education will provide “Smart Grants” for study in. Political Animal, the Carpetbagger Report, Shakespeare’s Sister, Hit and Run, and dozens of other blogs have mentioned the story, but so far none that I’ve seen has included a graphic like this (derived from the original PDF), which shows exactly how blatant the omission is:

Notice the blank line between 26.1302 and 26.1304? According to the classification system used, that’s exactly where 26.1303, evolutionary biology, would belong.

The formatting makes the removal of that subject so obvious that it leads me to wonder whether the obviousness was intentional. Perhaps the order came down in the department to remove the offending subject (to avoid upsetting the fundamentalists), but the bureaucrat assigned to the task actually believed in education rather than the Republican antiscience agenda and so did the job badly in the hope that it would be discovered — a little deniable undermining of the Bush war on science.

It’s true that in general bureaucrats should support the administration they report to, but when it comes to policies that conflict with reality, oppose the purpose of the department, and impose religious tests on governmental funding, there has to be a limit.

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