Tea Party = Tiny Brains?

So, I’m really hoping that Christine O’Donnell’s nomination to be the Republican candidate in Delaware really does mean a win for the Democrats, because she’s starting to make Sarah Palin look like a member of Mensa.

The Tea Party movement has been generating some of the most intellectually ill-informed and ideologically fired-up people I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s a scary combo. I don’t want people in political power who say things like this:

“American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

Yes, O’Donnell said that.

The thing is, in scientific research, animal cells are sometimes fiddled with to make things more human-like so that drugs and such can be tested on them and we can have a reasonable chance to feel like when human testing time rolls around (a.k.a. clinical trials) that the drug will work properly in humans.

To show just how far off O’Donnell was though, click here to read a story about the real situation and how badly O’Donnell mangled the truth of it.

So, 1% of the mouse’s brain being a “human brain” is pretty far off, even for the average uninformed Tea Party candidate (hey, show me a well-informed, well-educated Tea Party candidate and maybe I’ll stop ragging on them, but I haven’t seen one yet). But let’s assume for a moment that a scientist really did get clearance to do 100% human brain cells in a mouse.

What does O’Donnell think is going to happen?

That the little tiny mouse skull with a tiny collection of human brain cells is going to develop human-level thinking? Does she think we’re going to end up with a scenario like “Pinky and the Brain” with a super-genius mouse trying to take over the world?

I’m just shaking my head, and preparing for the end of the world, or the rise of Fourth Reich fascist state, or whatever is in the works if the Tea Party keeps gaining momentum in the United States and we really do put people this dangerously uninformed and activist into power.

3 thoughts on “Tea Party = Tiny Brains?

  1. Tabi

    It really is scary. As they say: the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the Republican extremists certqainly are noisy. I just hope that someone of substance manages to stand out in all of this mess and sets things straight.

  2. Mike

    The things that are being changed in the neurons of transgenic mice are very specific details at the molecular level. The fundamental functioning of human brain cells is indistinguishable from those of any other mammal.

  3. Deacon Blue

    @ Tabi

    I’m always amazed at the human capacity to do stupid crap like vote for folks diametrically opposed to the current crop of humans, simply because the current crop doesn’t have a magic wand to make everything all right within two years or so. I fear there may be a lot of ugly before enough people come to their senses again.

    @ Mike

    Too true. But these folks don’t want to let any truth get in the way of their Dr. Frankenstein-fueled images of mad scientists trying to make human-mouse hybrids. People like this see terms like “humanized mice” and they don’t even try to understand what that really means. Just like they see “stem cell” and freak out, even when people are doing work with stem cells from adults instead of embryonic ones.

    I’m not scientific genius by any means, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to get the basic gist of things, especially with Wikipedia around to give the broad strokes…but these people just have no interest in making the effort.

    Of course, they also make no effort to really read the entirety of the Bibles they often hold so dear, and develop a real understanding of what Jesus was calling for. So much easier to pick and choose from the book and make judgments.

    Willful ignorance just riles me up, especially among people who aspire to positions of influence.


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