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Palin misunderstands science and sneers at it


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Fellow scientists, if you vote for McCain-Palin, you are voting for your own de-funding. That's not a scare tactic, that's a fact. It would be like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-palmer-...d_b_138089.html

 

Todd Palmer and Rob Pringle

Posted October 27, 2008 | 09:18 AM (EST)

 

In Case You Weren't Scared Enough: Palin on "Fruit Fly Research"

Read More: Autism, Cancer, Election 08, Fruit Flies, Fruit Fly, Genetics, John McCain, Palin Fruit Flies, Research, Sarah Palin, Science, Green News

 

Today, we are blogging from Durham, North Carolina, where we are trying to do our humble bit to help elect Barack Obama. On Friday, Sarah Palin gave us yet another reason to feel good about what we're doing here.

 

We are far from the first people to comment on this subject -- even within the Huffington Post -- so we'll keep it brief. But Palin's mockery of "fruit fly research" during her October 24th speech on special-needs children was so misconceived, so offensive, so aggressively stupid, and so dangerous that we felt we had to comment.

 

Here's the excerpt from the speech:

 

"Where does a lot of that earmark money end up, anyway? [...] You've heard about, um, these -- some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes these dollars they go to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not!"

 

It's hard to know where to begin deconstructing this statement. This was a speech on autism, and Palin's critics have pounced on the fact that a recent study of Drosophila fruit flies showed that a protein called neurexin is essential for proper neurological function -- a discovery with clear implications for autism research.

 

Awkward! But this critique merely scrapes icing off the cake.

 

Fruit flies are more than just the occasional vehicles for research relevant to human disabilities. They are literally the foundation of modern genetics, the original model organism that has enabled us to discover so much of what we know about heredity, genome structure, congenital disorders, and (yes) evolution. So for Palin to state that "fruit fly research" has "little or nothing to do with the public good" is not just wrong -- it's mind-boggling.

 

What else does this blunder say about Palin and her candidacy? Many people have used it as just another opportunity to call her a dummy, since anyone who has stayed awake through even a portion of a high-school-level biology class knows what fruit flies are good for. But leave that aside for a second. Watch the clip. Listen to the tone of her voice as she sneers the words "fruit fly research." Check out the disdain and incredulity on her face. How would science, basic or applied, fare under President Palin?

 

We have other questions. Who wrote this speech? Was he or she as ignorant as Palin about the central role that fruit flies have played in the last century of biomedical research? Or was this a calculated slight to science and scientists -- a coded way of saying, "We don't care what you know or what you think"? We find it odd that, of all the examples of dubious expenditures of public funds, the speechwriters alighted on this one.

 

Whatever the explanation, it scares us. Everyone who has suffered, either personally or indirectly, from an inherited illness, and anyone whose life has been lengthened or enriched by modern medicine, should channel Palin's flip comment when they stand in the voting booth on November 4th.

Also, a better-written article by Chris Hitchens in Slate: http://slate.com/id/2203120

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Intellectually, she's just like Bush. She has no interest in learning about things, even though she is running for the second highest office in the nation. I still think that politically she is much more similar to Dick Cheney, since both are apparently fond of secrecy and opposing any efforts to let the public in on their affairs (she has fought against releasing her tax records, along with her medical records, both of which are standard operating procedure for presidential and vice-presidential candidates). It doesn't matter how important the issue is or not, people like Palin and Cheney on principle oppose giving the public any information that they want without a fight.

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I wouldn't say she is intellectually like Bush. At least Bush is a Yale graduate. He makes some stupid decisions, but at least he (kinda) understands what he's saying... (I can't believe I just said that). Palin just sounds like she is incredibly lost and has absolutely no business being in the situation she is in.

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I wouldn't say she is intellectually like Bush. At least Bush is a Yale graduate. He makes some stupid decisions, but at least he (kinda) understands what he's saying... (I can't believe I just said that).

 

I can't believe you just said that either. :lol Yale Graduate when you have a father like George H. Bush does not equate to anything near intelligence.

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Understanding how fruit flies are important to biomedical research is high-school science (well, it was for me. Maybe it's because I was in the IB program). Then again, how do you know Biden is ignorant about that as well? Answer: you don't. This wasn't a minor gaffe, this was a super-gaffe, considering the audience to whom she was talking.

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I wouldn't say she is intellectually like Bush. At least Bush is a Yale graduate. He makes some stupid decisions, but at least he (kinda) understands what he's saying... (I can't believe I just said that).

 

I can't believe you just said that either. :lol Yale Graduate when you have a father like George H. Bush does not equate to anything near intelligence.

 

Do you think the Yale professors looked at all his tests and assignments and said "Ok, he's Herbert Walker's kid. We'll let him slide this time"?

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I wouldn't say she is intellectually like Bush. At least Bush is a Yale graduate. He makes some stupid decisions, but at least he (kinda) understands what he's saying... (I can't believe I just said that).

 

I can't believe you just said that either. :lol Yale Graduate when you have a father like George H. Bush does not equate to anything near intelligence.

 

Do you think the Yale professors looked at all his tests and assignments and said "Ok, he's Herbert Walker's kid. We'll let him slide this time"?

 

Maybe not that simple, but I do think he was probably given the easiest possible route to get a degree in four years and yet he still barely slid by. Yale wouldn't let the son of a powerful person like GHB fail.

 

I would agree that neither are the smartest people in the world, but I give Palin a lot more credit for rising to positions of powers without the benefit of nepotism. Would anybody in the world argue that if GWB's parents were school teachers he would be anything more than an alcoholic who fails at business and skates by in life, much less the freakin' president of the United States???

 

Without his dad, he is nothing.

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Maybe not that simple, but I do think he was probably given the easiest possible route to get a degree in four years and yet he still barely slid by. Yale wouldn't let the son of a powerful person like GHB fail.

 

I would agree that neither are the smartest people in the world, but I give Palin a lot more credit for rising to positions of powers without the benefit of nepotism. Would anybody in the world argue that if GWB's parents were school teachers he would be anything more than an alcoholic who fails at business and skates by in life, much less the freakin' president of the United States???

 

Without his dad, he is nothing.

 

I'm not denying that H.W. had some sort of an influence on his son's graduation from Yale, whether it be actually getting him accepted to the scool or seeing that he graduates, but what I'm arguing is that you have to have at least some intelligence to graduate from Yale. He couldn't get by if he were some deadbeat who never studied and never completed assignments. I think he's--without question--more intelligent than that bonehead Sarah Palin.

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I don't see much of an intellectual difference between the two. Regardless, neither have much interest in learning. I can't believe how many different people who have met GWB have all commented on how shocked they were that he was so uninterested in knowledge. It's unprecedented for a POTUS.

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Maybe not that simple, but I do think he was probably given the easiest possible route to get a degree in four years and yet he still barely slid by. Yale wouldn't let the son of a powerful person like GHB fail.

 

I would agree that neither are the smartest people in the world, but I give Palin a lot more credit for rising to positions of powers without the benefit of nepotism. Would anybody in the world argue that if GWB's parents were school teachers he would be anything more than an alcoholic who fails at business and skates by in life, much less the freakin' president of the United States???

 

Without his dad, he is nothing.

 

I'm not denying that H.W. had some sort of an influence on his son's graduation from Yale, whether it be actually getting him accepted to the scool or seeing that he graduates, but what I'm arguing is that you have to have at least some intelligence to graduate from Yale. He couldn't get by if he were some deadbeat who never studied and never completed assignments. I think he's--without question--more intelligent than that bonehead Sarah Palin.

 

If we could have some sort of definitive intelligence test between GWB and Palin I would bet every single penny and possession I own plus my left arm on Sarah Palin and that's after me admitting that Palin isn't exactly a Rhodes scholar.

 

Hell, I think I'd put everything I own on YOU to beat GWB and I don't even know you...

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The liberal media makes me chuckle. It really is amazing how far left they're leaning in this election.

No, it's amazing that people still believe in the myth of the 'liberal media' especially when FOX News is the most popular of the cable news channels.

Ever think it's the most popular (at the moment) because every other channel is making Obama out to be a saint and McCain out to be scum?

 

The media is always going to favor the leader/winner but even when the polls were tied to the decimal point in September, more than half of the McCain related press was negative. More than half of Obama's was positive.

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If you can't win, blame the media. :rolleyes:

 

Pathetic, and childish.

No, what's pathetic and childish is the way the media can't be fair and balanced.

 

The liberal media makes me chuckle. It really is amazing how far left they're leaning in this election.

the liberal media which is owned by multi-national corporations that get tax breaks from ??????????

 

hint: it aint democrats

Irrelevant.

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The liberal media makes me chuckle. It really is amazing how far left they're leaning in this election.

No, it's amazing that people still believe in the myth of the 'liberal media' especially when FOX News is the most popular of the cable news channels.

 

 

Come on guys, remember only FOXNEWS is biased. All the rest are extremely fair and balanced.

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If you can't win, blame the media. :rolleyes:

 

Pathetic, and childish.

No, what's pathetic and childish is the way the media can't be fair and balanced.

 

The liberal media makes me chuckle. It really is amazing how far left they're leaning in this election.

the liberal media which is owned by multi-national corporations that get tax breaks from ??????????

 

hint: it aint democrats

Irrelevant.

everything you say is trumped by the fact that you are voting for john mccain

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The liberal media makes me chuckle. It really is amazing how far left they're leaning in this election.

No, it's amazing that people still believe in the myth of the 'liberal media' especially when FOX News is the most popular of the cable news channels.

Ever think it's the most popular (at the moment) because every other channel is making Obama out to be a saint and McCain out to be scum?

 

The media is always going to favor the leader/winner but even when the polls were tied to the decimal point in September, more than half of the McCain related press was negative. More than half of Obama's was positive.

So the media should be blamed for there being so many negatives about the McCain campaign?

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hi i'm benched i think john mccain and the republicans are getting f***ed over by the LIEberal media and thats why democrats have controlled all three branches of government for the past 28 years

 

hi i'm benched i'm voting against my own economic interests

 

hi i'm benched i'm afraid that b hussein is gonna tax the wealthy and one day i might be wealthy under obama will increase my income taxes by less than one percent

 

hi i'm benched and me and my fellow republicans will continue to blame everything and everyone but ourselves for our losses next week

 

URGGGH

 

 

LIIIBERALS

 

hi i'm benched i scoff at scientists and their "evidence" supporting their "theories" on evilution and global warming is al gore bitter about losing in 2000 heh

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