Palin: “Where does a lot of that earmark money end up, anyway? […] You’ve heard about, um, these — some of these pet projects they rilly don’t make a whole lotta sense, and sometimes these dollars they go to projects having little or nothin’ 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.
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.
Evolution? Nope. Sarah believes in Creationism. That means she believes that Noah had a little fruit fly cage aboard the ark, where he kept Mr. & Mrs. fruit fly alive, right next to millions of other little cages with married insects in them. But. Sarah is clearly jealous of the little critters. They’ve been to Paris, after all; she hasn’t.
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?
You need to ask?? Look. Sarah bounced through four or five colleges before she fled to Wasilly to take on the corrupt Republicans there. (Funny she never smelled out Ted Stevens, eh?) But speakin’ of stink. She don’t need no stinkin’ fruit flies, and she sure as hell don’t need no stinkin’ sign-tists telling her she descended from monkeys. “I kid you not.” Just more librule elites pretendin’ edumacation is somethin’ our government should be payin’ for.
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”?. . .
Now you’re gettin’ it boys. Sarah and the Creationistas understand each other; they know the debul is workin’ with the scientists to make the jelly between your ears go bad, so he can march us all right into hell. There’s a culture war going on, and you scientific types better get hip to it before your grant money runs out and you are left to your own heathen devices.
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.
If you’re not going to vote for change with Obama, we recommend you stay home— and keep yourself busy by swattin’ a few flies. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.