for one thing, a very large percentage of scientific discoveries are done while they were looking for something else. Who knows if they'll not stumble upon something that cures cancer while trying to invent a new rocket fuel or something.
Yeah but that approach is going for the proverbial 'Two birds in the bush".
I don't condemn all research, just spending so much on it for purposes that aren't that important or have immediate benefit. Knowing what a rock is composed of, is not an immediate benefit.
Condemning research just because it isn't directly tied to things your world-view holds important is extremely short-sighted; not only are you neglecting the distinct possibility that it might indirectly benefit your field of interest, you are also ignoring
the way scientific research works as a whole. I for one am glad you're not the one assigning research grants.