Go watch this trailer for the movie Jesus Camp. Yikes.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Educators Question Absence of Evolution From List of Majors Eligible for New Grants
By SAM KEAN
Like a gap in the fossil record, evolutionary biology is missing from a list of majors that the U.S. Department of Education has deemed eligible for a new federal grant program designed to reward students majoring in engineering, mathematics, science, or certain foreign languages.
That absence apparently indicates that students in the evolutionary sciences do not qualify for the grants, and some observers are wondering whether the omission was deliberate.
The question arises at a time when evolution has become a political hot potato at all levels of education. While the theory of evolution has overwhelming support from scientists, some conservative Christian groups argue for alternative explanations of the origins of life, including "intelligent design," which holds that an intelligent agent guided the creation of life.
Even President Bush has weighed in, advocating teaching "both sides of the debate."
The awards in question -- known as Smart Grants, for the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent program -- were created by Congress this year, with strong support from the president. The grants are worth up to $4,000 and are awarded in addition to Pell grants.
Recipients must be college juniors or seniors enrolled in one of the technical fields of study that the Department of Education has deemed eligible for funds. Many different topics, as varied as astronomy and Arabic, qualify.
But evolutionary biology is absent.
The department has an index of classification numbers -- referred to as "CIP codes," for the Classification of Instructional Programs -- for all academic areas of instruction.
Under that classification scheme, there is a heading for "Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology," under which 10 biological fields are defined. For instance, ecology is 26.1301, and evolutionary biology is 26.1303.
But on a list that defines majors eligible for the grants, issued by the department in May, one of those 10 is missing. On that list, the classification numbers rise in order from 26.1301 to 26.1309 -- with the exception of a blank line where 26.1303, or evolutionary biology, would fall.
Lawrence M. Krauss, a physics professor at Case Western Reserve University and an outspoken defender of evolutionary sciences, noted the subject's absence from the list in a letter to the department.
"I'm not making any accusations," Mr. Krauss said in an interview on Monday. "I'm concerned it's not there."
Mr. Krauss said he sent the letter to the department when he learned of the absence, which he called "a serious omission."
He also asked for more openness in determining what majors qualify for Smart grants: "It would make sense to consult directly with organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and other professional scientific organizations asking for input."
Barmak Nassirian, an associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, also wrote to the department about the omission.
In an interview on Monday, Mr. Nassirian said the absence of evolutionary biology was disconcerting. "I'm hoping it's inadvertent and unintentional."
Officials from the Department of Education who could comment on the matter were not available, but a spokeswoman said she suspected that the absence of evolutionary biology was a "clerical consolidation of some kind," and that evolution might fall under other topics.
Indeed, the word "evolution" is not entirely absent from the registry of eligible majors. It is still listed as a subtopic under other fields eligible for Smart grants. For instance, paleontology and genetics, both of which draw on evolutionary theories, list "evolution" as a potential area of focus for students in those subjects. There is also an "other" category, under which studies of evolution might fall.
Still, the absence is conspicuous: the only major with evolution in its title was one of only three among the physical sciences that appears to have been deleted from the list. For unknown reasons, "behavioral sciences" and "exercise psychology" are also absent.
Stephen Burd contributed to this article.
So I haven't been able to post for awhile, in part because work is back with a vengeance and I've been hellishly busy. ALSO alienating me from my beloved rant vehicle, however, is the all-out banning of forums and blogs on our school's network. I have no idea what happened there, except that students periodically post something deeply moronic on their blogs and get in trouble at school. I'm assuming this ban stems from such.
Users have reached my site through the following Google and Blogger searches since my last post:
Title link will take you to a section of the website of a mega-church in the OKC area. It's like that website where people send in postcards with secrets on them, but much weirder. Some of the submissions are quite funny, but all too many seethe with Arthur Dimsdale levels of self flagellation. It's very unsettling to read entry after entry of desperately self-hating homosexuals or (more amusingly, I confess) evil masturbators, all seeking repair from the very people who convinced them they were broken in the first place. (This is the place that saved my son on guest night by the way. Yes, I still abhor them.)
Warning: Some of the confessions below should be considered content appropriate for adults only and should not be viewed by those under 18 years of age.
Sometimes when I see other couples, I picture them having sex in my mind. I have no idea why.
I have had sex with a married couple. And sometimes I think thats not a bad thing. I have been invited to do it again with a diferent couple.
I have been born again as a Christian for over twenty five years just out of high school. I had a serious gas poisoning accident 21 years ago today (7/31) that affected me physically, mentally and emotionally as well as spirtually. I regained my sprituality and have once again become grounded in the Lord, walking in the Spirit with a great joy, however, as a result of a few personality changes and women/couples I dated during the aftermath of the accident, I got involved in the 'chic' bisexual scene to some degree. I am now married for many years with children yet still bisexually inclined, like according to recent statistics, many, many other married men. I know that doesn't justify my feelings and I do prefer women, specifically my wife (yes, she knew/knows), yet I have bi desires... it's been two decades and the curiosities turned to desires which have been partially fulfilled. I have been honest with these feelings with her and even a few friends. with mixed acceptance.
I like to masturbate. I would never cheat on my wife physically. When I masturbate I still think of her. She hates sex and I hate masturbation. God help me.
Just over 2 years ago I had an affair on my wife. I tried to hide it but God had other plans. God allowed it out in the open! I have been in the ministry for a long time an thought this would never happen to me but just when I thought I was bigger than life God brought me down. Thank God for his Grace and my wife's love for God and me. It has been hard but God has restored our marriage and it is stronger than ever. Never give satan a inch because that is all he needs to destroy you.
I John 4:4
I do not believe in sex before marriage. I believe that God has a plan. I have had sex before marriage, but made a vow that I would not do it anymore about a year ago. Since then, I have taken up masturbation, which I never did before. I also started dating someone and then slept with him, even though I know better. I think that sinning when you know better is even worse. He is a Christian and part of me is really mad at him, because he is the man and he should have been stronger. Part of me knows I was there too and I shouldn't blame him. We continue to have sex and I know it is wrong but I don't know how to be the one in the relationship that stands up and says we aren't doing this anymore. I think he should be the strong one and I get tired of always being the strong one. I am scared I will lose him if we stop having sex and I know in my heart that if I lose him over something like this, he wasn't worth it in the first place. Can God forgive me now? Even though I did something I knew I shouldn't?
I have always struggled with sexual behaviors. I started having sexual thoughts in junior high school, and of course they continue today even thought I am in my twenties. Don't get me wrong, I love women. I am married and love my wife dearly. However, many of these thoughts I have are homosexual in nature. I find myself "stumbling" across gay porn on the internet and masturbating to it. Not in a way that I desire to have sex or a relationship with one of those men, but simply in a physical way. Maybe wishing I could look like one of them or something. I don't know. This has gone on for many years. Way too long as a matter of fact.
The Bible says to flee from sexual sin, and that the marriage bed is undefiled. I desperately want that. This has gone on way too long, and haunts me all the time. I want a healthy marriage, and a healthy sex life with my wife.
Title link takes you to a post over at Mad Sheila Musings that blew me away.
Something I Do Not Like:
1) I haven't had much time for blogging because (sigh) I'm back at work.