Thursday, October 30, 2008

This banana doesn't like fruit flies

Less than a week ago, Sarah Palin made what is now considered the stupidest comment of her life (despite all the competition from her many other stupid comments). This was in a public policy statement: "dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not." And she sniggered as she said it. I must tell you that the snigger really got to me.

But much as I would like to rant about her, it's best if I point you to the eloquent blog of P.Z. Myers, a biologist (and self-confessed "godless liberal") at the University of Minnesota. There you will find a link to the video of her brilliant statement, as well Myers' well-chosen remarks about her. Enjoy!


Shanth said...

This isn't that surprising, considering the joke both Palin & McCain have made about a project studying grizzly bear DNA., and asking if it is paternity issue or a criminal one. McCain is also famous for criticising the overhauling of the projector at the Adler planetarium, calling it a $3 million "overhead projector".

However, I don't think it's a stupid statement at all on her part. It's a calculated ploy to her target audience base to garner populist support. Unfortunately for her, it doesn't seem to be working very well, but then you never know ...

Cheeta said...

In America, there's a strong strain of anti-science - strange in a country and culture which has produced so much in science and technology. An offshoot, perhaps, of the general anti-intellectualism which the right-wing favours? Politicians take full advantage of this; sometimes because of personal conviction (Bush's stance against stem cell research, and even his views on climate change) and of course because it's politically advantageous (such as the U.S. Congress's cancelling of the Superconducting Supercollider project in Texas).

Sarah Palin's remark is of course a bit of both. But before we despair about this attitude and this lack of knowledge in someone in such an important position (and, thanks to her candidacy, with such a large potential audience for her pronouncements), let's console ourselves by remembering Ronald Reagan. He's the President, you will remember, who claimed that "trees cause more pollution than cars do". The U.S., and the world, survived Reagan (and may yet survive the legacy of Reaganomics!). We'll survive Sarah. Alaska, of course, may not.