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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. TparTpatriot

    Why is it drawing fire? It's true. Leave it to the liberals to find the truth offensive.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Towelie

      TparTpatriot, do you wanna get high?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • TparTpatriot

      No thanks. I don't need drugs, I have Jesus. The greatest joy a man could possibly have! Why don't you try putting down the pot and worship Jesus instead?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Towelie

      Oh man why is everyone riding me today, God damn it.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      "I have Jesus. The greatest joy a man could possibly have! "

      Sounds pretty gay to me.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Rastafarians believe that pot gets them closer to God.
      Since nobody has a device capable of intercepting and translating divine psychic messages, are you sure they're wrong?
      Try smoking next time you pray.
      And don't forget to bring a towel!

      October 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • BU2B

      Someone who has been dead for 2,000+ years cannot help you.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Frank Rizzo

      Believe all the silly non-sense you want. But when you are a member of a science board, you need to use science to make decisions not fairy tale books.

      God, like santa and the easter bunny is a fairy tale told to small children in an attempt to get them to behave.

      Grow up.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Leave it to a tea partier to have no concept of truth.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • xyx25

      @BU2B, you are perfectly right in your statement.

      "Someone who has been dead for 2,000+ years cannot help you."

      But Jesus is the Living God. Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity.

      October 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Nature of hindu atheist self centered, denier's of truth absolute, they all way's fire their hinduism, absurdities on truth absolute God, and follower of truth absolute GOD. hindu's criminals by nature.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      TparTpatriot

      TparTpatriot

      I have Jesus. The greatest joy a man could possibly have!
      .
      Okay so you are a gay christian...more power to you bro

      October 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • tjkarani

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Good one.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • MrAnonymous

      TparTpatriot-
      I have faith in Jesus, too. I go to church regularly. But I'm also a biologist. The theory of evolution is as sound as any scientific concept out there. I'm not sure what Broun doesn't accept about embryology. I really just don't see what there is to question regarding the development of an embryo into a fetus. It seems well understood and thoroughly demonstrated at this point, so I'll just have to say he's completely ignorant on that. I'm not well versed in cosmology, astronomy or particle physics, so I can't really comment much on Big Bang, but I am aware that it is very well studied and widely accepted by the scientific community. I don't deny any of these scientific ideas despite the fact that I am a Christian. Why? Because science and religion answer different sets of questions. Science cannot, nor is it intended to, answer questions about why I am here, what happens when I die, or any other similar questions. Religion, likewise does not, nor is it intended to, answer questions about how the world works–how species adapt, how tornadoes or hurricanes form, or how volcanoes form. The thing is, when we talk about "truth," there is no way for us to determine any truth about religious beliefs here on Earth. If there is a hereafter, we'll learn it there but until then we take those beliefs on FAITH, not fact, as facts are based on actual experience or observation of things that are known to exist. Science, on the other hand, provides plenty of truth and FACTS for us in the here and now. And what Broun said was definitely NOT the truth.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Magic vs Science

      Leave it to christians to be threatened by knowledge and the study of the universe around us. It wasn't that long ago that you all thought the Earth was the center of the universe. Saying otherwise was blaspheme. How'd that work out?

      October 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • tekcomputer

      If God made the earth in 6 days then he also created weed. If he created weed then it was meant to be used by men.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • JLS639

      Tpar Tpatriot: You should go to political events with undecided voters to show them the aspect of conservatism the GOP tries to hide after the primaries are over. A liberal can appear with you and call you a fool for believing the Big Bang and Evolution are lies and Earth is <10,000 years old, you can answer him and the undecided voters can be informed about the core supporters of the people they are considering voting for.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Ed Vedder

      Shouldnt you be out on a ledge somewhere?

      October 11, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  2. Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Congratulation Congressman for speaking truth absolute about hinduism, illegality of hindu fabrication evolution, religious faith of hindu's, criminals to hind, fool humanity. Evolution is way of hindu ignorant animals not human. hindu's ignorant evolunist take their guidance from animal's not truth absolute GOD. Word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han to be in greatness, hin, negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity. Way of hindu atheist's, criminal, self centered, denier's of truth absolute GOD. For more visit limitisthetruth.com

    October 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • thedoctor

      Just for grins (I have a curious nature) I went to this guy's Web site. Man....this guy fell out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down.

      ......or.....is his "frontier gibberish" (a tip of the hat to the poster for the "Blazing Saddles" reference) a form of haiku?

      October 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Now who can argue with that?

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pus6XF_qh38&w=640&h=390]

      October 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Slap on on hindu ugly face of hindu's deniers of truth absolute GOD. cry of hurting hind of hindu atheist. lair self centered.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Insane in the brain

      October 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Trollercoaster

      Your ideas seem intelligent, I thank you for the insight. However, I have some unfortunate news for you....Hindu is a religion...so I don't understand the logic of calling it atheism, but what ever floats your arc.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • soupe

      Did a whois on this moron's website.

      Mohammad Dar
      1107 highway 146
      kemah, TX 77565
      US
      Phone: +1.7136771037
      Email: dqkemah@yahoo.com

      October 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Methusela's Grampa

    Let us commence with the burning of the non-believers!!!! Spain had it right some years ago. However, let thee use some un-leaded regular gasoline as kindling. (splash-splash) Now I ask that thee stand still......

    October 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • BU2B

      How very Christian of you.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Where is your God now?

    A 10 day old infant newborn was killed when her mother, who was reportedly high on drugs, threw the baby into the washing machine where the baby died after going through an entire washing machine cleansing cycle.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      It is an act of her hindu criminal mother, not of God, the truth absolute, take your own responsibility hindu, ignorant, always laying your hinduism, illegality on other's. Way of hindu atheist, filthy self centered to avoid responsibility for their hinduism, illegality borne out of hindu atheism, filthy self center ism..

      October 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • soupe

      ^^^^

      Mohammad Dar
      1107 highway 146
      kemah, TX 77565
      US
      Phone: +1.7136771037
      Email: dqkemah@yahoo.com

      October 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • soupe

      This guy is a Pakistani and from his tone he sounds like a future terrorist.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  5. bobobo

    Those that can't, legislate.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  6. Me

    Do you not recognize political pandering when you see it?

    Broun is at a Baptist Church in rural Georgia telling them what they want to hear from their congressman. Do you think Harry Reid would denounce gay marriage at an LGBT convention in Las Vegas? Of course not. He'll tell them what they want to hear just like any other politician who wants to be re-elected.

    Honestly, is this worth getting that upset over?

    October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • MB

      When you live in the town where Dr. Brown lives and hear this kind of thing regularly, it matters a lot. He is an embarrassment to our town and our state and I cringe every time I read another Broun-ism.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Old Sailor

      Just one more step – he is an embarasment to humanity!

      October 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Alan Foster

      If he wants to babble to the attending, fine. But as a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology he has a vote on matters regarding national policy, and that is worth getting attention.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • MCJ

      Once upon a time, Congressmen were men of conviction, persons of strength. Now they are are just panderers, reprobates who will say anything to get re-elected. It's funny about this God-business. Science is bunk when it contradicts the Bible, yet it really works fine in all the smart-bombs and other military toys we must buy for our military! Can't we just pray our enemies away? Sorta like the walls of Jericho? I think not!

      October 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  7. Duckadoo

    Living proof that not all minds evolve to a point of actual intelligence...

    October 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    this moron is on the science committee! unbelievable.

    brown, invent a time machine. go back to the pilgrim days. enjoy living with people that believe the same ignorance as you.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • OTOH

      That moron, Todd Akin – the "legitimate ra'pe" clown - is also on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. **Sigh**

      October 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  9. ART

    Rethuglicans are nothing more than a bunch of backward thinking idiots

    October 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Grendel

      It took a real genius to think that zinger up, Art. People with simple minds make absolute statements.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • krussell

      Absolutely. All people with simple minds make those kinds of statements.
      Without exception. Very simple really.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • moragami

      Good one Krussell, seriously!

      October 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Where is your God now?

    You are at a friend’s house. It is a party with a few friends and a girl you are interested in getting to know better. You have to go to the restroom, which is visible from the kitchen where everyone is gathered. You go in and do number 2. You have diarrhea. It smells bad and there is no air freshener. You reach for the toilet paper and there is none. There is a knock on the door, you recognize her sweet voice.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Meatwad

      All you have to do is take a shower and light a match. If they ask you what took so long say your were praying. That is what I always do in that situation.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Towelie

      Towelie says, "If you have diarrhea and are going to a party, don't forget to bring a towel!"

      October 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  11. Reality

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock/comet and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    October 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  12. Geeeez

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  13. Reality

    Akin now Brown!! Where in the H did these guys go to school??

    For said Rep. Brown:

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

    https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

    " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable JOURNEY. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

    "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

    Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

    It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

    Part of the project: $199 and a DNA swab:

    "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

    Do doubt Akin and Brown will find substantial Neanderthal markers in their DNA!!!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Reality

      Ooops, make that Representative Broun.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  14. Where is your God now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth….

    October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Human, be aware of dogs of hindu, filthy Atheism, self centerism, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE DOD.

      Truth absolute GOD is present, but you are a hindu, blinded by your hindu soul filthy desire like a hindu filthy dog, unable to recognize truth absolute GOD in you on front of you.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  15. clubschadenfreude

    Mr. Broun is a hypocritical idiot. I do demand that Mr. Broun cease using anything that the theory of evolution has helped create: antibiotics, the modern forms of grain, vegetables and meat animals. And since he probably is sure that the Big Bang didn't happen and modern physics is also from hell, he should henceforth cease using automobiles, computers, cell phones, GPS systems, etc. Indeed, if Mr. Broun is so afraid of science and its effects on his purported soul, he should go live in a mud hut, eating nothing but the most primitive of grains and have to hunt his own meat. He should also have the "priveledge" of dying of diarrhea since he is so sure that science doesn't work.

    But one knows, of course, that he would never do such a thing, only having trouble with science when it says his magical myths are wrong and he's not a special snowflake of some god. It's a pity that such willfully stupid people such as Broun are on our gov't science committee. As for those who would whine that their god created this universe, well dears show me it was your god. Where's the evidence for this? You'll claim "just look around you" and well, all religions do that. How do I know which god was *really* responsible? You could very well be wrong with your ignorance of anything but your own religion. It could be Brahma, Quetzalcoatl, Gitche Manitou, Damballa, etc. All you have are lies and myths. Not one scrap of evidence among all the religions of the world.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Seconded. Motion to pass?

      October 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Aye!

      October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Meatwad

      I don't think I am allowed to vote.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Old Sailor

      I left my movement to pass in the bathroom this morning.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  16. BRC

    @Topher,
    See Amniculi's comment for one theory. Another is that there are very large crateres, you know them as oceans. Remember 2 very important facts- 1) That over the course of the earth's existence it's geography has greatly changed, so you cannot say that there wasn't a giant more singular crater in its early existence. 2) The force applied by gravity is inversly proportional to the sqared distance between the two bodies, this means that the moons rate of drift is not constant. When it was closest to eart there was a greater pull holding it in place, as it drift farther away, the force decreases, and the rate of drift will increase, if at 238k miles it's moving a quarter mile every 10000 years, I'm pretty sure it was going nowhere fast when they were touching.

    As for your comments on radiometric dating. Bull. Give 1 fault with it, with any of it. I want to see some kind of comment other then "Christian Scientists don't trust it" or we can all just ignore that you even said it.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • BRC

      Crap, replied in the wrong place.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Human, be aware of dogs of hindu, filthy Atheism, self centerism, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE DOD.

    Congratulation Congressman for speaking truth absolute about hinduism, illegality of hindu fabrication evolution, religious faith of hindu's, criminals to hind, fool humanity. Evolution is way of hindu ignorant animals not human. . Word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han to be in greatness, hin, negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity. Way of hindu atheist's, criminal, self centered, denier's of truth absolute GOD. For more visit limitisthetruth.com

    October 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • clubschadenfreude

      wow, what amazing lies and pure stupidity. How nice to know that theists will do such things. It's just more evidence that religion makes no one a good persion, and indeed it gives an excuse for bad person to do many pathetic things.

      You're an idiot. Merriam Webster: Hinder Middle English hindren, from Old English hindrian; akin to Old English hinder behind

      October 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Human, be aware of dogs of hindu, filthy Atheism, self centerism, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE DOD.

      Pickle juice is just another name for cuc.u.mber pickle-ism, dill weed ism, sour tart of back yard garden, old cuc.u.mbers with another pickled lid mason jar, feed humanity based on how many jars-ism of pri.ckly beef steak ism 180 tomatoes, okra, tomatoes too absolute american dill pickles in support of American bar food ism.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • john

      Check in to a mental facility for your own safety. I say this out of pure concern .

      October 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Trollercoaster

      Good troll, you got a good amount of fire.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    A small town doctor starts hitting the ether a bit too much and decides to run for congress. Nothing unusual about that, but how did he wind up on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology? Only in a Republican House.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TTTOO,

      even worse, he chairs the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

      "The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight has general and special investigative authority on all matters within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology."

      October 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  19. Amniculi

    Man, I am having problems with working the comments section today. As I was going to say – Alec should wash his hands before he catches crazy.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Which God?

      Umm, in case you haven't seen or heard of his 'antics,' Alec is crazy as well.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Yes, but his antics are amusing and don't affect the political path of this country.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  20. Roxx

    Why we Must keep government and church as seperate as possible... example shown above!!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:47 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.