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.