Pesky Science

Here is Palin spewing more idiocy without any help from those gotcha journalists.

Now if you had a high school or college biology class you might know that fruit fly experiments provided the foundation for the field of genetics. Palin said thanks but no thanks to biology. She was too busy filling out transfer applications to community colleges so the “baracuda” could find a roster spot with a college hoops team.

This fruit fly research is wasteful spending and cannot possibly help to unlock the mysteries of genetic diseases. Or can it?

* * * Uila Update * * *

From the evolutionary biologist, PZ Myers, via John Cole:

This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.

Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.

This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we’ve got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice.