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wilbur
10-28-2008, 08:06 PM
In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."

It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.

In this case, it could be argued, Palin was not just being a fool in her own right but was following a demagogic lead set by the man who appointed her as his running mate. Sen. John McCain has made repeated use of an anti-waste and anti-pork ad (several times repeated and elaborated in his increasingly witless speeches) in which the expenditure of $3 million to study the DNA of grizzly bears in Montana was derided as "unbelievable."

snip

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.


http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

Hitchens nails one...

Honestly, the GOP's animosity towards science is what dismays me most about the party these days.

Lager
10-28-2008, 08:16 PM
After reading the article, I can see why she's labeled a religious fanatic. She dares to libel the leftist mantra that global warming is without a doubt, caused by humans! She's a witch. Burn her!!!

She turned me into a frog once, but I got better. :D

wilbur
10-28-2008, 08:22 PM
After reading the article, I can see why she's labeled a religious fanatic. She dares to libel the leftist mantra that global warming is without a doubt, caused by humans! She's a witch. Burn her!!!

She turned me into a frog once, but I got better. :D

This article was more a reaction to her fruit fly comments... as she marveled at the supposed absurdity of funding fruit fly research and pledging to clean up the waste.

MrsSmith
10-28-2008, 08:55 PM
a woman who is a religious fanatic

Palin's "extreme religious beliefs," which are shared by approximately 51% of the US population... 150 million people in the US alone...Hitchens nailed himself as a proud, boastful ignoramus.

wilbur
10-28-2008, 09:24 PM
Palin's "extreme religious beliefs," which are shared by approximately 51% of the US population... 150 million people in the US alone...Hitchens nailed himself as a proud, boastful ignoramus.

I bet if you look at some countries in the middle east you can find upwards of 75% who believe in extreme version of Islam. That make it right? For someone who is proud of ignorantly bucking consensus when it comes to evolution and other scientific theories, you sure do like to appeal to it here. :eek:

Anyways, 51% of the US population are not pentecostal.

Care to defend her fruit fly remarks as anything but unabashedly and proudly idiotic? Or deny that the republican agenda has largely been anti-science on almost all major scientific issues of late and Palin/McCain are upping the ante?

MrsSmith
10-28-2008, 09:35 PM
I bet if you look at some countries in the middle east you can find upwards of 75% who believe in Islam. That make it right? For someone who is proud of ignorantly bucking consensus when it comes to evolution and other scientific theories, you sure do like to appeal to it here. :eek:

Anyways, 51% of the US population are not pentecostal.

Care to defend her fruit fly remarks as anything but unabashedly and proudly idiotic?

Palin's beliefs are mainstream Christian, which is more than 51% of the population of the US. In a country with the freedom to pursue almost limitless education (unlike most Islamic countries, since freedom is largely a Christian concept), the fact that at least 51% of the population shares these beliefs...and in truth, quite a large percentage of Catholics do also...does certainly make them closer to right than some of the whackier beliefs held by small portions of the population.

Why are we finding research in Paris, anyway? I thought we didn't like "shipping jobs overseas." Let's fund research in the US instead...let France fund the fly research and we'll use the money for adult stem cell research, which has shown immense promise in curing all kinds of damage and disease.

FlaGator
10-28-2008, 09:39 PM
I bet if you look at some countries in the middle east you can find upwards of 75% who believe in extreme version of Islam. That make it right? For someone who is proud of ignorantly bucking consensus when it comes to evolution and other scientific theories, you sure do like to appeal to it here. :eek:

Anyways, 51% of the US population are not pentecostal.

Care to defend her fruit fly remarks as anything but unabashedly and proudly idiotic? Or deny that the republican agenda has largely been anti-science on almost all major scientific issues of late and Palin/McCain are upping the ante?

Would you like to elaborate on the benefits that fruit fly research have given mankind other than sterile mutated fruit flies whose existence in the wild would be improbable?

I would deny that the republican agenda has been anti-science. All major scientific issues? Please list for me all the major scientific issues and demonstrate how the republican agenda has stiffled them.

For the record, Palin devotion to religion seems to be less than mine so I guess I could be described as a fanatic. Is she a fanatic because her views are different that yours and she's accepts the existence of the excluded middle where as you don't. I suppose a lot of people could be considered fanatics by that standard.

Constitutionally Speaking
10-29-2008, 02:59 AM
http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

Hitchens nails one...

Honestly, the GOP's animosity towards science is what dismays me most about the party these days.


There is no animosity toward real science. There IS an animosity for political policy dressed up as science.

Sonnabend
10-29-2008, 03:25 AM
Another Palin hit piece brought to us by one of our resident liberals.

Yawn.

AmPat
10-29-2008, 04:32 AM
This article was more a reaction to her fruit fly comments... as she marveled at the supposed absurdity of funding fruit fly research and pledging to clean up the waste.

The article appears to be another "I'm a Liberal dingbat and I hate Palin article." It was full of opinion unsupported by sufficient facts. Palin can be anti-fruit fly research without being anti-science in general. She can also disagree with scientific theories such as a flawed and debunked evolution and an inadequately supported global warming theory.

How many years do we study fruit flies before we exhaust the apparently inexhaustible wealth of information they provide us? :rolleyes:

Sonnabend
10-29-2008, 05:50 AM
How many years do we study fruit flies before we exhaust the apparently inexhaustible wealth of information they provide us

Oh I dont know...fruit flies help make better fruitcakes.

Like wilbur :p

3rd-try
10-29-2008, 06:15 AM
http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

Hitchens nails one...

Honestly, the GOP's animosity towards science is what dismays me most about the party these days.


WIlbur, global cooling, the ozone hole that will eventually encompass the continent, more and more SCIENTISTS who discredit the g-warming.......Yea, the Dems are the only ones interested in science. Oddly, their interest doesn't include any real need for accuracy, just as long as it's alarming.

biccat
10-29-2008, 07:11 AM
Care to defend her fruit fly remarks as anything but unabashedly and proudly idiotic?
Sure.

Why should the government be in the position of funding scientific research? Especially when that research doesn't even occur in our own country?

I support scientific discoveries, but I should have the choice if I want to fund them or not. Either through donations to universities, private grants, or buying products from a company which provides scientific research funding.

Even if you support the government spending money on fruit fly research, by what logic should we send money to a foreign country for research which can be done here? The illogical worship of all things government by the left is dismaying, to say the least.

Sonnabend
10-29-2008, 07:36 AM
Even if you support the government spending money on fruit fly research, by what logic should we send money to a foreign country for research which can be done here? The illogical worship of all things government by the left is dismaying, to say the least.

Biccat...research done overseas and funded by the US, does have value in many instances.

Medical for one..there is precedent.The US Government helped fund a lot of the neonatal research here after the Thalidomide disaster, and that's had a direct impact on advanced in neonatal medicine.

With all due respect, not all the best talent lies within the US.

Goldwater
10-29-2008, 08:03 AM
If research is done overseas it isn't done to piss people off, it's done because it is either cheaper or of higher quality.

Or the politician takes a bribe. :p

Welcome to the free market.

movie buff
10-29-2008, 08:22 AM
To Christopher Hitchens, anyone who believes in God is a "Religious fanatic."

asdf2231
10-29-2008, 08:38 AM
To Christopher Hitchens, anyone who believes in God is a "Religious fanatic."

So he and Wilbur are kindred.

Gingersnap
10-29-2008, 08:50 AM
This doesn't appear to say anything about Palin's views regarding "science". Being in the game myself, I'm well aware of the need to prune and cut some areas of publicly-funded research and concentrate on areas that offer the most bang for the buck.

Everybody believes that their line of research is critically important or is poised to reveal fundamental discoveries that will advance science and so on and so forth. Everybody. Nobody ever says, "Sure, cut my funding. I've been milking this cow for 20 years and frankly there's not much there." It would be great if we had unlimited funding for every project but we don't.

LogansPapa
10-29-2008, 09:45 AM
Isn't NASA funded by the government? :confused:

biccat
10-29-2008, 01:22 PM
Biccat...research done overseas and funded by the US, does have value in many instances.

Medical for one..there is precedent.The US Government helped fund a lot of the neonatal research here after the Thalidomide disaster, and that's had a direct impact on advanced in neonatal medicine.

With all due respect, not all the best talent lies within the US.
I'm not saying that all the best talent lies in the US, but there is a lot of competition among US researchers for federal dollars. To send research dollars overseas and deny dollars to Americans (who may want the money for different studies) is not in our best interests.

Sorry Sonna, but if Australia wants research money, then let them spend Australian dollars, not American. We will pay you back in licensing fees (through purchases) if you develop a better drug.