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Vis
10-27-2008, 03:37 PM
Sarah Palin's War on Science
The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledge and learning.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at 11:43 AM ET
In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."

It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.

In this case, it could be argued, Palin was not just being a fool in her own right but was following a demagogic lead set by the man who appointed her as his running mate. Sen. John McCain has made repeated use of an anti-waste and anti-pork ad (several times repeated and elaborated in his increasingly witless speeches) in which the expenditure of $3 million to study the DNA of grizzly bears in Montana was derided as "unbelievable." As an excellent article in the Feb. 8, 2008, Scientific American pointed out, there is no way to enforce the Endangered Species Act without getting some sort of estimate of numbers, and the best way of tracking and tracing the elusive grizzly is by setting up barbed-wire hair-snagging stations that painlessly take samples from the bears as they lumber by and then running the DNA samples through a laboratory. The cost is almost trivial compared with the importance of understanding this species, and I dare say the project will yield results in the measurement of other animal populations as well, but all McCain could do was be flippant and say that he wondered whether it was a "paternity" or "criminal" issue that the Fish and Wildlife Service was investigating. (Perhaps those really are the only things that he associates in his mind with DNA.)

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

Videos taken in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska, which she used to attend, show her nodding as a preacher says that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the Last Days." For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times," that some parts of the world will end at different times from others, and Alaska will be a big draw as the heavens darken on account of its wide open spaces. An article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism with which Palin has been associated in the past (perhaps moderating herself, at least in public, as a political career became more attractive). High points, also available on YouTube, show her being "anointed" by an African bishop who claims to cast out witches. The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare," in which true Christian soldiers are trained to fight demons. Palin has spoken at "spiritual warfare" events as recently as June. And only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who said that he and his lovely wife, Shirley, had convened a prayer meeting to beseech that "God's perfect will be done on Nov. 4."

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.


http://www.slate.com/id/2203120/

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-27-2008, 03:44 PM
Thank you Vis for ANOTHER Op-Ed piece on how the right sucks and the liberals are great.

:coffee:

You are a wonderful contributor to the forum....really.

....I mean it.....really.

Vis
10-27-2008, 03:47 PM
Sorry, all the Hannity BS was already posted. I'll be quicker on the Fox links in the future, sir.

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-27-2008, 03:52 PM
Sorry, all the Hannity BS was already posted. I'll be quicker on the Fox links in the future, sir.

So you use BS as a ruler...nice.

You would burst in flames if you watched Fox.....


...this last post of yours is possibly the absolute worst piece of worthless garbage posted here in some time....try finding a post with actual FACTS instead of hateful venom. Even those on the left wont be able to give your post any credibility.

A little discernment would go along way.

Vis
10-27-2008, 03:55 PM
Does she believe the end of days is near? Does she know how dumb the fruit fly criticism was? Tell me where he was wrong.

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-27-2008, 03:59 PM
Like your little buddy...you may want to show the forum that you are capable of talking football every once in awhile instead of just trying to convince the forum that Obama has some type of credentials based on everything but his qualifications.

You have only twelve threads started by you and here is a list of the last several...

Hitchens give Pittsburgh a shoutout while slamming Palin

Endorsements

McCain needs a nap

McCain backer fabricated attack

Funny Candidates

Hitchens on the embarrassing GOP Ticket

Rats deserting the sinking ship

Serious Questions for the guys on the right.


Getting old there smokey....rty to show yourself to be a little more well rounded.:wave:

Vis
10-27-2008, 04:02 PM
So you aren't up to addressing the actual article.

MACH1
10-27-2008, 04:03 PM
So you aren't up to addressing the actual article.

About as much as you care to answer LLT's question.

Vis
10-27-2008, 04:06 PM
About as much as you care to answer LLT's question.

Point to a question he asked me.

It's all ad hominem attacks.

MACH1
10-27-2008, 04:19 PM
Point to a question he asked me.

It's all ad hominem attacks.

I think not.

.the list of his achievements should be interesting....and one that we all truly DO want to hear about

I'm sure you can answer that can't you? After all it should be nice n short.

Vis
10-27-2008, 04:25 PM
I think not.



I'm sure you can answer that can't you? After all it should be nice n short.

Start an Obama achievements thread. This is a Palin is pathetic thread. She will split your party. But she entertains us.

tony hipchest
10-27-2008, 04:26 PM
I think not.



I'm sure you can answer that can't you? After all it should be nice n short.he has solidified the base and wrangled it from the hands of hillary.

what more do you want? :laughing:

MACH1
10-27-2008, 04:27 PM
Start an Obama achievements thread. This is a Palin is pathetic thread. She will split your party. But she entertains us.

What, still no answer?

Vis
10-27-2008, 04:29 PM
What, still no answer?

Changing the subject all you can do? I know you can start threads. I'll join you in one on Obama. You won't respond in a serious, thoughtful way, I bet, but let's give it a try.
Now tell me why Palin isn't as Hitchens describes. Bet you can't

fugawzi
10-27-2008, 04:30 PM
Does she believe the end of days is near? Does she know how dumb the fruit fly criticism was? Tell me where he was wrong.

I can't say whether Palin thinks "the end of days is near" but I do believe she has some extreme religious views. She has a Pentecostal background (not all but many of them speak in tongues.) She also claimed that Pastor Thomas Muthee helped her get elected as governor of Alaska (as if God has some party affiliation.)

Muthee is the same guy who claimed a woman in Africa was causing car accidents because she was a witch so he went on a witch hunt against her Muthee is also the same guy laying his hands on Palin in her Wasilla church praying for her to be protected from all forms of "witchcraft" while Palin stands there. I'd say because of Muthee's tie to Palin's church, and Palin's tie to Muthee, she does have some extreme religious views. This is only fair game if people are going to bring up Reverend Wright.

As for the fruit fly comments, they were a little stupid considering fruit fly research has led to advances in understanding autism, as issue close to Palin. It's funny to see people say this was somehow a liberal piece by Hitchens. He's been criticized by many liberals for his many conservative views including his support of the Iraq war and the foreign policy which led to the war.

Before people start labeling me or accusing me of hating on their religion, let me say my comments are in regards to Palin and nobody around here. I was raised Catholic myself, though I wouldn't say I am a religious person at this point in my life.

MACH1
10-27-2008, 04:42 PM
Changing the subject all you can do? I know you can start threads. I'll join you in one on Obama. You won't respond in a serious, thoughtful way, I bet, but let's give it a try.
Now tell me why Palin isn't as Hitchens describes. Bet you can't

Bet you can't answer the question.

As far as my thoughtful response. "It's all ad hominem attacks." :thumbsup:

Vis
10-27-2008, 04:47 PM
Bet you can't answer the question.

As far as my thoughtful response. "It's all ad hominem attacks." :thumbsup:

I started the thread for you. Go for it. And i don't doubt you could give thoughtful responses. I just don't believe you will.

Now, about the woman who wants the world to end during her lifetime.....?

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-28-2008, 06:11 AM
Start an Obama achievements thread. This is a Palin is pathetic thread. She will split your party. But she entertains us.

Not as entertaining as someone who cant back their own candidate with facts...so has to attack the other party as a poor substitute.

...and I will be happy to help you start the Obama achievement thread.

It should look something like this

1)....... :uhh:....:huh:.....:tap:......:hunch:

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-28-2008, 06:49 AM
Here is the problem with the article..the writer and people like yourself who decide that these writings have some sort of merit.

The Liberals cry out to the world that they are the party of tolerance....they speak of the ignorance of those on the right who dont "accept" other cultures...religious beliefs...sexual orientations..and all the other social injustices that the left "champions".

Now look at the writings of this idiot and tell me where the "tolerance" of a thought outside of his own comes into play...tell me why you would post something like this if you are the representative of the party who champions diversity.

,
it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday,

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain

she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument)


this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times,"

the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism

The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare,"

only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family,

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.
"

Now....let us, for one moment pretend that this article was written by a newspapers conservative writer....and he was talking about the Hindu or Muslim faith...

Something like....This is a reference to a crackpot belief who brood on Mohammed being the one true prophet"

or.... The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "hadeeth"

The Left would be up in arms and indignant in their pursuit of the writers job..

But in the left's hypocricy...yourself included....you treat articles like this as water cooler fodder...self-congratulating yourselfs for "proof" that conservatives are hysterical and uneducated....never thinking for a second that "tolerance" isnt a tool to be used by the liberals only....taken out only when it fits your agenda.

Yeah...not very diverse.....not very tolerant.

revefsreleets
10-28-2008, 09:11 AM
I have no problem going on record (and this won't be the first time, nor the last) stating that I disagree with many of Palin's religious views, and I am in 100% agreement that extreme fundamentalist christian views have set science in this Country back 100 years.

There IS a war against science being waged by the extreme religious right, and it IS hurting our standing in the World.

But I'm still voting for McCain.

Godfather
10-28-2008, 09:15 AM
I only read the first paragraph and I already saw a ridiculous statement. Apparently Palin is a xenophobe because she doesn't think American tax dollars should fund research in France. Even if you accept the premise that the private sector has no incentive to do useful research, are there really no scientists in America who could have done the work?

I'll admit I stopped reading at that point, because I figured right there that this was a typical Hitchens piece--intellectually dishonest, arrogant, and smug.

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-28-2008, 09:18 AM
I have no problem going on record (and this won't be the first time, nor the last) stating that I disagree with many of Palin's religious views, and I am in 100% agreement that extreme fundamentalist christian views have set science in this Country back 100 years.

There IS a war against science being waged by the extreme religious right, and it IS hurting our standing in the World.

But I'm still voting for McCain.

My point is about the hypocricy of the left....if we had such an unqualified candidate they would be all over it, but they choice to try and cover Obamas inexperience with attacks on McCain/Palin

If Palin was a Democrat she would be a liberal "icon"...a "revolutionary"...a "groundbreaker"...and we all would be sexist for not voting for her.

As I said...tolerance is an arbitrary word when used by the left....I'm sure none of the usual suspects will want to comment on my example of a writer bashing the Muslim or Hindu faith.

Godfather
10-28-2008, 09:29 AM
With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

Here's another ridiculous paragraph. There is no logical reason to claim that DNA is meaningless to a creationist. Even "fundies" believe in microevolution. Hitchens is either a fool or a liar.

Sequencing the DNA of the flu virus is more useful if it doesn't change than if it does. The global warming argument is yet another non-sequiter...if the world's about to end anyway, she wouldn't have bothered culling the wolf population, or started a massive natural gas pipeline project, or challenged the crooked Murkowski machine.