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October 10th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Congressman draws fire for calling evolution, Big Bang ‘lies from the pit of hell’

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” U.S Rep. Paul Broun said in an address last month at a banquet organized by Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Speaking at Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, he said that “a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”

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“I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” Broun said in the speech, which Liberty Baptist Church posted on its website via YouTube.  “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says."

Scientists say that the Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years.

In his speech to the church group, Broun called the Bible the “the manufacturer’s handbook. … It teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society.”

“That’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the congressman, Meredith Griffanti, said that Broun was not available for comment on Wednesday and that the video showed him “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”

The congressman’s remarks about science have drawn attention online, with critics taking aim at his role on the science committee.

Bill Nye, the popular science personality, told the Huffington Post in an e-mail that "Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest."

"For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old," said Nye, a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Broun "is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."

Talking Points Memo reported on the church video over the weekend after being tipped off by the Bridge Project, a progressive group that tracks conservative activity.

Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

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In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution.  Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for 30 years.  In June, it released its latest findings, which showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

– CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Evolution • Politics • Science

soundoff (5,886 Responses)
  1. joe

    "Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
    "I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says."
    ------------
    What the? Is this some kind of a joke?

    Unbelievable. Now I've heard everything.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Engineer

      I know. I know.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Bobbert

      Are you denying the bible as the truth!? Think carefully about youre answer.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      That's right, bobbert; it's a book of tales compiled by storytellers. Truth has nothing to do with it.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Engineer

      science is golden.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Engineer

      bobbert, i went to class and actually loved what i learned. i wont even talk about the laws of thermodynamics as it really would put the wonder to rest but if you want to know a truth, there are books out there. really? i am serious.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • hispeed

      Bobbert: I thought about it, and yes, the Bible is not the truth. At least the way that it's interpreted by the right wing fanatics of which you appear to be a member.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Bobbert

      Are you denying the bible as the truth!? Think carefully about youre answer.
      .
      Truth is most often used to mean in accord with fact or reality. Do you consider Mythology to be the truth?

      October 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Bobbert – Are you denying the bible as the truth!? Think carefully about youre answer."
      oh there are some parts that can be considered historically accurate in terms of archeaology with regards to some names, places and such but walking on water? yeah im calling BS.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  2. jeef

    I wonder how he views and treats drug resistant infections in his patients, because they are a textbook example of natural selection.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  3. James PDX

    We can only base our theories on the facts that we currently have. Unfortunately, the knowledge man has is an infinitesimal mote compared to the knowledge he does not yet possess. Therefore, asserting that your personal theory is absolutely correct, be it based on religion, science or tea leaves, is ignorant. Sadly, Christianity (and most religions) require ignorance to succeed. But what do you expect from a religion that has a god who evolved from demanding daily ritual sacrifices to being completely hiddden from us, who went from ultra-violent to a pacifist, who favored the Jews but then dumped them for Christians, who created imperfect beings and then wants to torture them for all eternity for their imperfections, and who thinks the world is a giant Etch-a-Sketch and when his creation isn't to his liking just erases it and starts over with a family of incest?

    October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Dave Jaipersaud

    And Americans vote for guys like this and a Party the believes this nonsence. No wonder Republicans are becoming more and more stupid. They don't believe in science. Any yes, that have at lease 150 million supporters in America. Go figure.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Engineer

      I agree. I agree.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Faithless

      Of course God made their computer for them so they could express themselves HAHAHA

      October 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  5. Engineer

    morons or mormons. I see such similarity in the wording.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Faithless

      That is where the word came from, Joesph Smith who started the Mormon religion ate spoors off a cow patties and then climbed a mountain and spoke with an angel named Moroni.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Engineer

      I just learned about the mormon underwear and can't believe it. and to think a magic underwear individual might be in charge of the country along with a medically trained politician in charge of science and technology who.......(just read those comments.
      I just wonder about this country sometimes. next will be highlander II, welcome to planet zeist.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  6. Seth Hill

    The earth is only about 6,000 years old. All those layers of rock and fossils and ratios of radioactive elements were placed there by God to tempt us into believing in 4 billions years of evolution. I'm not sure why God would want to fool us, but maybe the Creationists can explain.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bobbert

      They were put there by satin to deceve us. Of corse you beleve man over the word of GOD.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • sam

      Satan planted all that stuff just to confuse us! Oh that crazy guy!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " They were put there by satin to deceve us"

      Satin is ebil! Silk is the way to go.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "They were put there by satin to deceve us"

      question,....how did satan get the power to make this stuff? how come he has god like powers?

      October 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      Bobbert – So "satin" (a textile weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back.) the evil lord of textiles, went to quite a bit of effort to "plant fake fossils" ,"fake sedimentary rock layers" and then "hid" all evidence proving god's existence, just to confuse mankind????? And he did that LONG before mankind even existed, huh? WOW! Now THAT has got to be the wierdist, wackiest and most ridiculous conspiracy theory I have EVER HEARD!!! What a hoot!...

      October 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • 54StaryNights

      If anything was put on earth to deceive us, it would be Akin, Broun and their ilk.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  7. icharliem

    only in Georgia ...

    October 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      i wish is was only in Georgia

      October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • fekt

      sadly, it's not that localized. as a trained medical professional he knows better. he's pandering to the lowest common denominator. if he truly believed in that crap he'd have you bathe in the river to cure leprosy and pray away the disease. he knows better and he's preying on the weak minded for votes.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  8. NOT MY CHAIR

    i am so glad that these articles are on the internet... thanks you republicans you are doing good job making our country look dumber and dumber everyday. i can not wait till have Romney as our president then maybe we, as a country, all make it to kolob

    October 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Philip Mark Edwards

    I think we're generically modified organisms – some more than others. It's evolution with a twist ( of lime, lemon, fate ...)

    October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  10. Johnny 5

    The congressman's statement is from the " pit of stupidity"

    Reality denial syndrome.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Engineer

    Paul Broun is a joke. Sorry, he is a LOSER! He has no proof and his claims of being a scientist is a shame. You can earn the degree and guess what.....still be a FOOL. The proof is Paul Broun. Congratulations....IDIOT!! Do they come out any dumber than that.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      There is not a single believer with proof for any of their beliefs...

      October 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  12. The Dude

    America is full of morons.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      its sad but yes there are a lot of them

      October 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • jon

      It WOULD seem that about half of this country are morons. Sad.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • 54StaryNights

      In Georgia it is easy to identify a lot of the m0r0ns, they have Broun bumper stickers on their vehicles, Broun signs in their windows and on their lawns and they wear Broun buttons and attend Broun rallies.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  13. Bobbert

    God made great men like this congress man. Satin created liberals and science is the decever.
    Lord deliver us from evil on 2012 and elect Mitt and president of the usa!

    October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Joe The Plumber

      Please take your meds!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      you know that thing you are using right now called a computer? you should thank scientists.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      oh don't for get medicine, electricity, cars, and flight all thanks to science do you denounce them all or the thing don't fit into you small narrow ignorant mind?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • James PDX

      Although I really like Satin, especially for my bedsheets, I'm pretty sure it did not create me.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • groundedinfact

      You're ill. Seek help.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • hispeed

      Satin is a fabric or a non-glossy paint finish ...

      October 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • AndrewO

      I totally agree. Satin is just awful stuff and I just can't sleep in any bed with sheets or covers made from that stuff. 100% cotton all the way.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bobbert

      I said Satin not saten!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Engineer

      Bobbert, I take the best parts of you fell out of the gene pool and went splat on floor. I dont have to forgive, it is truly your nature. Where are you from the KY? Do I hear a banjo. Secretly, you love your 1st cousins. lol. What....did you say sister?

      October 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • 54StaryNights

      For the spelling impaired, the correct spelling is Satan.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  14. Amniculi

    Everyone, please contact the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (http://science.house.gov/contact-us/email-us) and let them know you don't want Rep. Broun or Rep. Todd "Legitimate R'ape" Akin representing you on this committee.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  15. debb

    Um... only 15% believe in atheistic evolution. Sheesh. Evolution is not just for atheists... it's for all thinking people. How anyone in this day and age can believe in the Bible's version is akin to believing the world is flat.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Boisepoet

    Yet ignorant Republicans will continue to vote for this ignorant Republican.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  17. reldra

    HOW did this guy get on the science, space and technology committee?

    October 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      By hanging out in bathroom stalls on Capital Hill

      October 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • OOO

      Why don't you ask them?

      http://science.house.gov/contact-us/email-us

      October 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Well, a majority of people in his riding elected him. Then, fitting in well with the beliefs of the GOP, he was promoted in that party. Then, the American people voted in a Party with beliefs from the 17th century, then he got on the Science committee. Then, America's status in the world fell further.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • jon

      Maybe he was another Republican taking a "wide stance" in the airport bathroom stalls.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  18. Jeff Cox

    "Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology."

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    October 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Billy Baldwin

      Another insecure old white GOP guy – go figure. The whole thing is made up bro – god didn't write the bible – hell, christ didn't write the bible...everyone by paul were illiterate – so who even knows WHO wrote the damn thing and this guys is saying it governs how we vote. You know what – if there's any reason this country is going down, it's because of this type of moron.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  19. What do I Know

    Medical doctor by training?? Wonder if he tells his patients to just pray rather than take medicines!! AND he serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology !! Wow, help us God!

    October 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Ronilyn Mussared

      it guys like this that scare me.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • jon

      The big question is – how do guys like this ever get elected, and how do they ever get into important positions? Weidoramma!

      October 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  20. Nunya

    Lemme guess...Alabama...Alabama...Alabama...? No! It's Georgia! Close enough...

    October 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      South = 3rd World Country within the USA

      October 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.