Last night at #nwc36 we were talking about evodevo, and one of the topics that came up was the importance of Drosophila reasearch in providing the foundation for comparative genetic analysis…which led to Sarah Palin. Remember Palin’s ignorant mockery of fruit fly research? This is what we get from the Republican party.
Now Michelle Malkin’s blog chimes in with a similar complaint. John Logsdon got an NSF award to study reproduction in snails. WASTE OF MONEY! CUT THE DEFICIT! HOW DARE THEY SPEND MONEY ON SOMETHING SO STUPID!
Malkin’s blogger, Doug Powers, and the majority of the commenters there are embarrassingly ignorant. They quote the award announcement with some annotations.
The study, first funded in 2011 and continuing until 2015, will study the New Zealand snails to see if it is better that they reproduce sexually or asexually – the snail can do both – hoping to gain insight on why so many organisms practice sexual reproduction.
“Sexual reproduction is more costly than asexual reproduction [just paying for the drinks can end up running into the thousands of dollars over a lifetime – DP] [fucking moron – PZM], yet nearly all organisms reproduce sexually at least some of the time. Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs,” the study’s abstract asks.
And then doubles down on the cluelessness.
“Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs”? Seriously?
Yes. Seriously. That’s an important question in biology. Selfish stupid libertarian/republican idiots ought to understand this clearly.
Look at it this way, Doug. When you go to reproduce, you — perfect, powerful, independent, self-serving you — need to go to a mere woman and in order to produce offspring, you only pass on half your genes, and they are mingled with half the genes from your partner. That’s what we mean by the cost of sexual reproduction. You don’t get to produce a literal self-made man: you need to cooperate with a partner, and your genome will be diluted with that of some other person. That other person is using YOU as well, parasitizing off the perfect efficiency of your genes to propagate her patently inferior genes.
Any good conservative Republican ought to be outraged at this state of affairs. Think about it: your God, President Ronald Reagan, instead of cloning himself, had to randomize his genes with some other person and produced a son, Ron Reagan, who is a politically liberal atheist. You ought to be throwing far more money at this problem!
Snails are an interesting choice to study this problem because, unlike humans, they have options to either reproduce in that familiar sexual way, or to do it asexually and essentially clone themselves. The question is why any individual would elect to throw away half their genes each time they reproduce.
If Doug Powers can explain that, he could get published in some big name science journal instead of the blog of an ignorant political hack.
Hey, we should study that choice, too, except we haven’t yet found any molluscs stupid enough to have to decide whether they want to be published on Michelle Malkin’s site or not.