"Evolutionary biology" becomes extinct on list of college majors
Actually, I don't see what the big problem is, because as the article also notes, "references to evolution appear in listings of other fields of biological study." The list of acceptable fields also includes "26.9999 Biological and Biomedical Sciences, other."
Of course, the money-grubbing ACLU smelled another opportunity for a big attorney-fee award rip-off -- the NY Times article said, "Jeremy Gunn, who directs the Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that if the change was not immediately reversed 'we will certainly pursue this.' " Yeah -- big church-state separation issue.
Different theories have been propounded to explain the extinction of the "evolutionary biology" listing. Some think that the cause was just a clerical error while others think that the fundies are responsible.
Frankly, I don't understand why anyone would want to have the words "evolutionary biology" on his/her diploma. It sounds overspecialized and could be a particularly bad liability if evolution theory ever falls into disfavor.
I am not just singling out "evolutionary biology" for criticism -- there are other overspecialized and/or unnecessary college-major fields out there. As an engineer, I know that "aerospace engineering" ( similar classifications are "aeronautical engineering" and "astronautical engineering") -- which is a job classification of the US Dept. of Labor as well as a college major -- is a particularly useless classification. Broadly, an "aerospace engineer" is any engineer who works in the aerospace industry, regardless of discipline, and most of the degreed engineers in the aerospace industry do not have aero degrees. Few universities grant degrees in aerospace or aeronautical engineering, and the courses in AE programs are mostly just mechanical engineering courses. I knew someone with an aero degree who said that he regretted not having a mechanical engineering degree instead because the aero degree made it hard to get jobs that he was qualified to perform.
Panda's thumb has more information and thoughts about the absence of "evolutionary biology" from the list.
Labels: Evolution controversy (3 of 4)