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Palin on Fruit Flies

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I have written about the anti-intellectual, anti-science appeals in McCain’s campaign in the context of his derisive comments on earmarks for research on bear DNA and the request for federal support of a new “overhead projector” for the Adler Planetarium. In both posts, I indicate or provide links to explanations of what’s really going on. Today, Slate posted an article by Christopher Hitchens about Sarah Palin’s War on Science. He describes her mocking last Friday of federal spending on fruit-fly research, notwithstanding the decades-long importance of fruit flies in genetic research because of their role as a “model organism.”

I suppose that if one doesn’t believe in evolution, it is natural to question genetic research or the value of model organisms. But presumably Palin is using fruit flies, like McCain’s bear DNA, as a self-evident object of derision, independent of the actual science being done.

In any case, see Hitchens’ article, which concludes as follows:

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.

Categories: Politics, Science, Today's News