The Salem hypothesis is an old chestnut from talk.origins. It was proposed by a fellow named Bruce Salem who noticed that, in arguments with creationists, if the fellow on the other side claimed to have personal scientific authority, it almost always turned out to be because he had an engineering degree. The hypothesis predicted situations astonishingly well—in the bubbling ferment of talk.origins, there were always new creationists popping up, pompously declaiming that they were scientists and they knew that evolution was false, and subsequent discussion would reveal that yes, indeed, they were the proud recipient of an engineering degree.
Stating the Salem hypothesis was also a good way of stirring the pot, because there are always engineers around who have not succumbed to creationist nonsense, and they’d get all huffy and denounce the very idea. Of course, it doesn’t say that engineers are all creationists: it says that creationists with advanced degrees are often engineers, a completely different thing altogether.
Here’s an excellent example of the Salem hypothesis in the form of letters to the Electronic Engineering Times. Engineers, your honor is safe: for every foolish declaration that organisms are examples of design, there are a couple of sharply worded smackdowns.