Saturday, October 25, 2008

Everything She Says Is A Punchline.

It's been obvious for as long as she's been on the national scene that Sarah Palin is a buffoon, a cretin with little to no plausibility as an upright-walking human being, let alone a candidate for vice president. Now there's this little gem.

Firstly, one very obvious point. The scientific community is international, it's work is peer-reviewed and made available to other scientists the world over, so for the most part where research is taking place is irrelevant. The second more crucial point is this.

The common fruit fly, Drosphila Melanogaster is probably the single most important model of genetics currently available to researchers. So much of what we know about gene expression as a whole comes from research on this tiny insect, and it is vitally important work that underpins research on any species. Our knowledge of Hox genes, large groupings of genes that control development of large strctures such as body segments, comes from research on fruit flies. Even prior to the discovery of DNA, it was research on Drosophila that showed decisively that chromosomes were a vector of heredity, work that won the Nobel Prize.

As for the idea that this work does not serve the public good, that's plain wrong. We share many of these genetic traits, because we (whisper it) have a shared genetic heritage with every other creature on the fucking planet. You want advances in medicine? Make nice with the Drosophila.

This woman revels in her ignorance, positively basks in her fundamental lack of awareness of the world. Worse than that, she is representative of a strain of people, certainly not limited to America, for whom a lack of any sort of intellectual curiosity in their public servants is seen as a boon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sorry, Al.

In light of the news that Alan Greenspan himself has given up and said that the Neocon free market philosophy has failed, it seems churlish of me to point out that he has a face like eighteen scrotums nailed to a monkey's skull.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Just as an aside to all the ranting, some comedy genius. Stick with it. I promise it's worth it. Apparently literal takes on videos are what the kids are doing these days. I can live with just this one.

Slandering Epidexipteryx.

Yet another of those non-transitional forms that creationists keep talking about. A feathered lizard is always 'too lizard' or 'too birdlike' to be 'truly transitional' if you're batshit crazy.

I wonder if this one is either too much like a bird or too much like a sauropod? I wonder if confusion between sauropods and tetrapods will cause another one of those 'little misunderstandings' that passes for an answer from creationists?

I wonder if the fact that it has feathers but no wings will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it has both a beak and teeth will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it demonstrates sexually-selected characteristics in it's exaggerated tailfeathers (so very common in modern birds) will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it has the tree-climbing claws, as you would expect from the arboreal precursors to creatures with powered flight, will be seen as significant?

I suspect that, just as before, anyone capable of rational thought will see this as a wondrous example of the many splendid things evolution has thrown at our feet. And I suspect that there will be a small fringe element in flyover country flinging out their usual crap as to what constitutes a transitional species. I'm sure there are more than enough people who will claim to be 'experts', and weigh in.

Furthermore, I am certain that these people have enough money and enough followers to drag this out for years. But all that provides them is an opportunity to spend their money on nothing whatsoever, and anyone with half a brain the persistent joy in knowing that these people take such fierce pride in being demonstrably, totally and utterly wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still, There's Always John.

And Another One. (No Sniggering At The Back).

Why haven't you been posting anything you (well, three of you) cry? Here's why. Too scared. Cannot come out from behind sofa.

That these people are able to breathe, let alone type is nothing short of miraculous. Fear teh witchez!