Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Science and Learnin' Be All Evil, Says Palin/McCain

Perhaps one day we could apply some scientific methodology and discover how serious-minded people in 2008 really supported the Palin nomination and whispered dreams of her future presidency. I get the feeling should she ever gain actual authority, Science will be outlawed.

In a recent stump speech, she said more could be done for special needs children, like those suffering from autism, by stopping the funding of what she called "fruit fly research' which does little or nothing for the public good. The research she sneered at (as crowds cheer the sneer) in fact has helped identify specific proteins on nerve-cell connections, and offers possible advances in, among other things, autism. So her plan to promote research to alleviate suffering from autism is to end research which could alleviate suffering from autism.

With that kind of bold policy decision, she must just be double-plus-good Smart in ways Science cannot measure.

Her would-be boss, John McCain, also can't grasp either truth or education or science. He made a catchy campaign blurb to make fun of Sen. Obama's request for financial aid for the planetarium in Chicago, calling it a wasteful cost for an "overhead projector". Wrong.

First, he claims the proposal cost 3 million dollars when it really was for 4.8 million dollars. Second, the measure never passed, and third, the item sought was:

The one-ton, 10-feet-long instrument is the central component of the Adler, the first planetarium ever built in the Western Hemisphere. It projects the night sky on the dome of the Sky Theater at the planetarium, which has hosted more than 35 million people since it opened, including more than 400,000 schoolchildren every year. In fact, the request -- made by Obama along with others in the Illinois congressional delegation, including three Republicans -- wasn't granted.

If it had been, it wouldn't have been a waste of government money. The National Academy of Sciences has targeted science education as a key goal in preserving the economic competitiveness of our nation. Similar "overhead projectors" in Los Angeles and New York have recently been replaced with the help of federal funds."


At this rate, I'd expect them to start demanding NASA use diet Coke and Mentos as propulsion systems in the space program.

1 comment:

  1. You know, fruit fly research might have a lot of beneficial applications, from agriculture to stopping the spread of disease. When I heard Palin slamming it, I found it odd; it's not exactly a teapot museum. Everyone thinks flies are icky and I'd think equating federal funding and research into flies wouldn't really resonate with people.

    But this is what happens when know-nothings turn issues like funding of scientific research into political footballs. They really could care less what it's about as long as it sounds good in a stump speech.