Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palin on Science

So in a speech she just gave, Sarah Palin said this: "You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not."

Here's the video:

As if I needed more reasons not to vote for McCain-Palin. McCain's repeated insistence that Obama wanted to spend $3 million dollars for an overhead projector (without mentioning that it was actually for a sophisticated projection system for a planetarium) was bad enough. This example nicely shows how the pair of running mates don't have the first fucking clue about science.

Here's a brief primer: Drosophila is genus of flies, informally called "fruit flies", that are a model organism in biology and heavily used in research involved in understanding genetics and development. Why is this the case? Because they are a robust, easily-bred organism with a very fast reproductive cycle (D. melanogaster produces a new generation about every two weeks). This lets scientists view a population whose genetic makeup is changing very rapidly (e.g. a fruit fly population will go through 20-30 generations in a year). D. melanogaster was one of the first organisms to have its DNA sequenced, and as a scientific tool, research with fruit flies has been essential to our understanding of evolutionary and developmental processes.

Of course, Sarah Palin either doesn't know the first damn thing about biology, doesn't care, or both. All she apparently cares about is appealing to Joe Sixpack by making it sound as if studying flies (in Paris, France of all places) is the silliest possible thing scientists could be wasting their time on. She might as well have said "You've heard the stories of where some of this money goes. To things like mouse research in Cambridge, Massachusetts." I mean, what well-respected scientist would spend their time playing with mice? Why test drugs on model organisms first, right? Let's just skip straight to human trials.

This scientifically-illiterate idiot doesn't need to get anywhere near the White House. Not even for a visit.

I kid you not.


Rob said...

I would hope that most educated people in our country would understand the significance of scientific research to the world. The problem is that the audience they are playing to does not include many educated people as they are products of a piss-poor public education system. She IS playing to the people that have boxed themselves in the corner with debt and are looking to the government for an answer. They don't understand anything other than their world and really don't care whether some college professor gets a grant to study monkeys.

Politics is performance art. She is playing to her audience just like Obama is playing to his. You can take comfort in the fact that the Democrats have just as many self-centered, myopic dumbasses in their ranks as the Republicans. And their vote counts just as much as yours or mine.

Emily said...

Evolution? What you talking bout, boy? Don't you know that goes against all God's teachings? Get your Bible and settle down with your Abstinence Only Sex Education primer, and that's all the book-learning you're gonna need.

Yeah, appalling.

Jill said...

ah, yes, Sarah Palin...the gift that just keeps on giving (to the Democrats!)

Kenny Wyland said...

Rob, you amaze me. How can you watch the things Palin says and just shrug them off with a dismissive "Obama does the same thing" type of response?

Yeah, Obama's work for actual child healthcare is self-centered and myopic.... His belief (and mine) that if we ensure that children stay healthy they grow into healthy adults and the whole system and country improves... so narrow-minded. It's exactly like Palin saying she's for funding Autism research in the same breath that she insults the funding and researchers who are studying genetics which will benefit Autistic children.

Seriously, I'm amazed by the words that post here every time you post them. Sometimes I sit here wondering if you really believe the things you are saying.

Philip said...

Wow, these connections are just too easy, aren't they?

Jill said...

Apparently our pal Hitchens is on her case as well...