It’s official – the government *does* consider evolutionary biology to be a science

Last week there was a minor uproar in the academic world when the government presented the list of majors that qualified for money under the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant program. The problem was that evolutionary biology was left off of the list. The feds claim that this was an oversight and on Friday added evolutionary biology back to the list of qualifying majors.

So, even I am not so paranoid as to think that this was a conspiracy to keep students from studying evolution. But at the same time, I am not so dumb as to think this was accidental. The list of majors comes straight from the Classification of Instructional Programs codes. In the biology section, there are ten biology related programs. Of those ten, only one was missing – evolutionary biology.

Like I said, I don’t think it was conspiracy. Instead, I suspect that a low to mid ranked staffer assembling the list thought that s/he would make the boss happy by leaving off that nasty “e” word.

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