I think I now understand why Creationism/Intelligent Design is so popular in some areas of the United States. I am studying for my first exam in EEB 516: Principles of Evolution. It is an interesting course, certainly pertinent to my area of interest and academic specializzazione, as we say in Italian. A lot of the genetic aspects of evolution are very complicated, and I am certainly having a tough time wrapping my mind around a lot of the important concepts and methods. But holy effing crap! the worst part of all is how much I have to read about those goddamn fruit flies.

I’ll admit, it has been a while since I picked up and thumbed through a Bible. But I’m fairly familiar with the text, and I’m pretty sure there’s absolutely no mention of Drosophila melanogaster, D. yakuba, etc. None of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt think Drosophila is really sweet.” David didn’t hurl fruit flies at Goliath. When Delilah cut Samson’s hair, he didn’t turn into a fruit fly. Noah tried to ‘accidentally’ leave them off the Ark, but it didn’t quite work out. When Jesus died on the cross, he sure as crap didn’t do it for those fruit fly bastards. And there are, what?, seven horsemen of the Apocalypse–but I think there are only like three fruit flies associated with the End.

A PubMed search, however, for “Drosophila” turns up 62,907 results; that’s not simply how many times the word is used, it’s how many papers contain (and probably are all about) that damn genus. If you do the math–which I absolutely refuse to do–that has to be about, I don’t know, a billion times the word Drosophila is used, which is unacceptable. If Drosophila species are so effing special, how come God himself doesn’t give a crap about them?

Maybe they’re not that bad. But I’ve about overdosed on fruit flies at the moment.

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5 thoughts on “

  1. That’s the least science-y post you’ve made yet! Fruit flies are only important to evolution-studies because they have such short life spans compared to humans. We can literally observe millions (or so) of generations in one academic’s lifetime… which makes for zillions of articles on the damn things. This is why it is better to be a paleoanthropologist studying HUMAN evolution, instead of a biologist studying evolution in general. Good luck on your exam!!!

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