Friday, June 1, 2007

A typo gets the US Department of Education in hot water

Transcript of today's show:

A new education grant rewarding excellence in science has mysteriously omitted evolutionary biology from its list of eligible majors. Speculation is circulating that this demonstrates a deliberate bias against students in the evolutionary sciences, who apparently, need not apply. As for the Department of Education, who made the list, the omission has been blamed on a typographic error. This error was not intentional, just an honest mistake. [source: The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
What is the true nature of such coincidental and convenient errors? We may never know with certainty if this typographical was indeed an honest mistake, or if it was a sneaky little strategy of the Bush administration, done in the hope no one would notice. As with WMD, we can never know with these guys. They seem to be quite comfortable substituting fiction for fact when it suits their ideologic agenda.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
Speculation is speculation and should be treated with requisite doubt. It is, of course, disappointing when an honest mistake can be so easily misconstrued. Naysayers delight in such circumstances, which feed their need to discredit those with whom they disagree.