Sunday, September 26, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist - Slouching Toward Washington - NYTimes.com
Holy Roddy McDowall.
Christine O’Donnell doesn’t understand why monkeys can’t turn into people right before her eyes.
Bill Maher continued his video torment of O’Donnell by releasing another old clip of her on his HBO show on Friday night, this time showing one in which she argued that “Evolution is a myth.”
Maher shot back, “Have you ever looked at a monkey?” To which O’Donnell rebutted, “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?”
The comedian has a soft spot for the sweet-faced Republican Senate candidate from Delaware, but as he told me on Friday, it’s “powerful stupid to think primate evolution could happen fast enough to observe it. That’s bacteria.
“I find it so much more damaging than the witch stuff because she could be in a position to make decisions about scientific issues, like global warming and stem cells, and she thinks primate evolution can happen in a week and mice have human brains.”
In the Republican primary, O’Donnell beat Congressman Mike Castle, who had the temerity to support stem-cell research and acknowledge global warming. O’Donnell’s numbers are dropping, while Castle is still beating the Democratic candidate, Chris Coons, by almost 20 points in a theoretical matchup.
In 2007, O’Donnell frantically warned Bill O’Reilly, “American scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”
The field of human-animal experiments is dubbed “chimera” research, named for the she-monster in Greek mythology that has a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail.
Dr. Irving Weissman, director of Stanford’s Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, did the first experiments injecting human brain-forming stem cells into the brains of immune-deficient mice 10 years ago.
He assured me that the mice did not suddenly start acting human. “There were no requests for coffee from Minnie,” he said. “The total number of human brain cells in the mouse brain was less than one in a thousand. I don’t think we would get a mouse with a full human brain. And even if the mouse made it to a human mouse it would still have a mouse-brain offspring.”