Sigh. McCain.

So John McCain is at it again. Not satisfied with the sending of his inept running mate out into the big evil world of science and reality a few months back, McCain has decided to wade in to the pool himself – and he’s just as over his head as Palin was.

On Wednesday, McCain himself grabbed for the fruit-fly swatter at a press conference to unveil his new anti-earmark legislation.

After a long takedown of research into lobsters by the University of Maine that involves a “Lobster Cam,” McCain, a Senator from Arizona, turned on the fruit flies, saying, “also, there’s one in Paris that — yes — $212,000 for Olive Fruit Fly research in Paris, France.”

It’s pretty well established how important fruit fly research is in science. Given his lack of familiarity with the field, his election would have been as devastating to science as the past 8 years. But now he has decided to pick on lobster research, in my home state, no less. Personally, I’m not a fan of these sea cockroaches. However, I do enjoy the boost they give to the Maine economy. McCain apparently does not. He apparently believes citing a lobster cam shows how much of a MAVERICK!!! he is about pork-barrel spending. The truth is much more interesting.

This research by the University of Maine is done through its Lobster Institute, an organization devoted to the health of the Maine lobster industry. It is through this organization, not the $188,000 grant, that the lobster cam is funded. The grant money, on the other hand, goes toward “research of microbial diseases that devastate lobster stocks”.

I don’t know about any other readers, but I personally prefer politicians from Arizona to stay out of vital sectors of my state’s economy. More importantly, I prefer them to stay out of science if it is only utter ignorance they are able to profess.

Lobster Institute

Scientists Endorse Obama

An Open Letter to the American People

The year’s presidential election is among the most significant in our nation’s history. The country urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

We have watched Senator Obama’s approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation’s and world’s most urgent needs.

Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world’s leading country. We hope you will join us as we work together to ensure his election in November.

Clicking on the link will show the signatures 76 Nobelists, 3 of which are winners from this year.

It doesn’t help that McCain and Palin deride scientific research into bear DNA in Montana, fruit fly research critical to olive grove crops in California, and the use of an “overhead projector” which would bring Chicago’s planetarium up to date with those in L.A. and NYC, not to mention that fact that one of these two scientifically illiterate mooks doesn’t think understanding climate change is important toward stopping it.

No, science only has a bias toward reality.

Apparently, some people think science can be either conservative or liberal. Well, it can’t. So why do the nuts over at Conservapedia think otherwise? What’s more, why do they think creationists tend to win debates with ‘evolutionists’?

Morris also said regarding the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.”

You may be wondering, who the fuck is that guy? Well, that’s Henry Morris, one of the founders of the Institute for Creation Research – an organization which does nothing but undermine science. Apparently, Conservapedians believes if they cite the opinion of a creationist on the issue of debating evolution that they have an air-tight case that creationists tend to defeat those EVILutionists in debates. This is about as valuable as those text polls FOX News took after the presidential debates where McCain apparently destroyed Obama, winning roughly 90% of the votes. What’s more, the fact that even if there were some empirical way to measure debate winningness*, it wouldn’t matter since, just as Hitler has no bearing on the truth value of evolution, the random opinions of anti-science mooks is rather irrelevant.

*Creationist would likely reject such a measure were it possible since they believe science to only be science when it gives them results they already like.