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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. GY

    Prove to me PROOF of creationism.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  2. Lee Dorsey

    If God created the universe, then who created God?

    October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  3. RonFromNM

    So, evolution and the Big Bang are lies from some imaginary place in this Senator's empty head? The only thing vile here is that someone like this is in a position of power.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • foxfire

      Now we know why our country is in such a mess. Who would vote for some like this is beyond me.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  4. NJGuest

    He needs to be voted out of office and sent back to school to learn science again. He should also know that Bible was penned by man and it did not just appear from heaven and get printed by itself. I am a devout Christian but that does not mean that I am oblivious to concepts of evolution.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • asm_ith

      Unfortunately, he is running unopposed. What does that say about his district?

      October 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  5. City On A Shining Hill

    There is much evidence showing our earth is only about 6000 years old. Fish fossils have been found in Antarctica and the Artic, and the top of high mountains, as the world wide flood of Noah described in Genesis really happened. And, dinosaur fossils and foot prints have been found with human bones, meaning that man was alive before the Flood and existed with the huge beasts that evolutionists existed millions of years ago, before man 'evolved'. The meteroic dust on the moon, only a few inches thick, shows the moon is only about 6000 years old, too. Layers of rock from a younger geologic period that evolutionists cite have been found buried much lower than older layers, showing that evolution is totally false!

    And, the great complexity of our bodies, and even simple one cell organisms point to a Creator. How could the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner come into being, without the aid of thousands of professionals to design and build it. Could it come about on its own?

    "In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth, and all matter"-Genesis 1-2,

    "nothing was made that was made, without the Word, Christ, and God, speaking it into existence"-John 1:1-2.

    "Jesus Christ holds all matter, including the atoms in our bodies, together, by the word of His power"-Colossians 1:16.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • MDAT

      Shut up.Then how come dates go far beyond that?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      Go back to school and take a science course. The bible is 2000 – 5000 year old mythology. Nothing more. I'll take modern science any day over ancient mythology. Grow a brain.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • mama kindless

      6000 years?? Oh this joke just gets better (sadly). But you did almost make me choke on my lunch from laughter.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • OOO

      Name the scientist(s) that received the nobel prize for the incredible fallacies you listed above?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Huff

      Simply because you do not understand the universe is not reason a creator exists. We know a tiny fraction of 1% about our universe and being. Heck, take todays technology back 1000 years and you would appear as a God to the locals who would not understand the technology.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you really need to read a book that you didn't get in a Christian book store.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Oh jeese, I hope you're kidding.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Cristiabella

      Why didn't god just create the Boeing 787?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Huff

      The dust layer theory has long been dispelled. Generally creationists no longer use that concept in their arguments...except here!

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

      Do some more homework. There isn't a single scrap of evidence that the Earth is 6000 years old. There just isn't any such evidence. Anything you read that you may think is evidence would absolutely be re-explained (correctly) by an actual scientist in the field of whatever you're referencing. But one doesn't even need to go that far. For me, realizing that no common knowledge that proves or even indicates a young Earth could even theoretically be possible-would be well known indeed. Known worldwide throughout the common vernacular. If such facts existed-most everyone (at least in the US) would be aware of them. The church would be astronomically powerful too, i'd wager.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  6. allenwoll

    Here is a question for you - It is intended to be a serious one :

    If we decided to divide this nation into two pieces - Religious and NON-religious - Which piece would MOST willingly take the wars with them ? ? ? . WHICH would be the blood mongerer ? ? ?

    October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  7. Kent

    Ahh... the problem that will never be solved by man. It is really interesting how both sides are equally wrong on this debate. The bible does say the earth was created in 6 days. The bible also says that "one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day". Man generally thinks of a day as a 24 hour period, which would mean one spin of the earth. What was time before the earth was spinning? To God there is no time, it was established for Man. Who knows how old the earth is? People who don't believe in God and think Science has all the answers are just as lost as people who don't believe in Science and think their interpretation of the Bible is the answer. People in Science want to disprove anything in the Bible, because if they can prove one thing false, then all the rest can be said to be false... a perfect out. The Bible and Science are both true. The best Science validates the Bible. The most foolish Science does everything to prove their is no God. This debate will not end while man is alive.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      There is no debate. Science consists of facts. Religion consists of ancient mythology. Period. End of story.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • OOO

      If to go there is no time, then why does the bible even mention time?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • MDAT

      Heh.The bible is 2000 years old and is written by men.The Big bang theory was made in 1923 and has been improved on ever since.Also,the higgs boson gives crucial evidence of the big bang.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  8. Bilbo

    And the earth is the center of the universe, right Pope? er...I mean Congressman. I forget...which verse mentions the Big Bang again? Personally I believe the Big Bang is just a theory like many others since it's contrived from observations limited to what we can detect. The important thing is there's much that the Bible doesn't say and it's not wise to fill in the blank with your unscientific opinion. It makes you look stupid....to some.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • allenwoll

      Bilbo - Don't be a Bimbo !

      If you wish to use a term, use it correctly. . You said "theory" and meant "hypothesis".

      Look them up ! ! ! . It IS a common error, but I have declared Jihad on this MIS-use ! ! !

      October 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  9. what1ever

    Believing in evolution should be required to serve in any sort of public office.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Colin

    Here is his email address

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

    PLEASE send him an email of protest. If you like just copy and paste one (or more) from below.

    I was appalled to hear that you, as a member of the US Committee on Science, Space and Technology would seriously say something as utterly absurd as you did. Please resign.

    I will do everything in my power to ensure you are never again in a position to influence my children. You must resign.

    And we wonder why Europe and Asia continues to surpass us in science and math. Please resign immediately.

    Paul Broun should NOT be on the Committee for Science, Space and Technology. He should also be banned from any school.

    Is there a law to keep Mr., Broun away from our children? I know there is one for $exual predators. Is there one for complete simpletons

    Um, Mr. Broun, just wondering, what are oil gas and other fossil fuels? I learned at school (in Europe) that they were the fossilized remains of organisms from the Cretaceous and Devonian Periods. Note the name – FOSSIL fuels. What are they under your “talking snake” theory of geological formation, and why did God give them all to the Muslims?

    October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Nice. I'm going to send another. Lets blow his email account up with emails.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • OOO

      I posted the same thing a few pages ago. Implored people to flood this e-mail.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      I'll send him a note of appreciation and admiration for having the guts to call a spade, a spade risking the ire of countless unbelievers currently enroute to permanent residence in the eternal fires of hell unless they take a walk down "Romans Road" (Romans 10:8-10)

      October 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  11. lamb of dog

    Let our voices be heard.
    Here is the link to contact the committee. I just sent amessage and urge everyone who disagrees to do the same. http://science.house.gov/contact-us

    October 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      ,,,and Aethiest Bill Nye is uniquely unqualified to vent on spiritual matters!

      Thanks be to God forevermore, here we finally have a politician devoid of myopia able to see past the end of his nose (or something other than how many dollar bills are currently stuffed inside his pockebook-)!

      October 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Arlen Crawford

    I find it so sad that Rep Broun is being criticized by so many people in this forum who can only make themselves appear intelligent (an optical illusion, most definitely) by cutting someone down for his views. There is a plethora of evidence on his side. Look around you. To say that we have evolved to this degree is parallel to an explosion at an auto parts store producing a car. And the name calling, totally ridiculous. "And when the gunfighter was finished, he threw in his hand." Horace Greeley

    October 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Mike

      No, there is not any evidence on his side.

      None.

      Zero.

      October 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • GY

      He is being criticized b/c his viewpoint has no leg to stand on. He is also unfairly criticizing science and religious people who believe in science.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • mama kindless

      So tell us, Arlen, why you think the earth is only 9,000 years old? I'm quite anxious to hear your reasoning on that?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JustRight

      I love the claim "there is a bunch of evidence". No there isnt. For any one piece of evidence that the Christian "scientists" twist to try and support thier world view there are hundreds of pieces of evidence they have to ignore. Its not science and its not true.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • OOPS!

      What you should find sad, Arlen, is that a blithering idiot like this doorknob is anywhere near the Science Committee.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      The only so-called evidence is an ancient book of mythology and ignorant superst!tions, written thousands of years ago by primitive tribes. I'll take modern science over ancient mythology any day.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Charles in NJ

    Thank God that zealot is not representing my district.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      W-h-a-t "God", exactly, are YOU "thanking"?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      Thank God, Charles in NJ, I don't l-i-v-e in your District!

      October 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  14. bananaspy

    Bumping this link again:
    http://science.house.gov/contact-us/email-us

    Complaining on CNN won't get you anywhere, voice your opinion where it matters.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  15. Big_D

    The GOP is the USA's Taliban.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Mr Smiley

      A little extreme don't you think?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Mr Smiley,

      yes, I agree with you. It is a little extreme.

      The American Taliban holds the GOP's choke collar – the so called "value voters".

      The GOP is enslaved to the American Taliban – a confederacy of 'religious right' political activists.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The American Taliban, just like their Afghani Muslim brothers use sacred texts to ensure the complicity of voters and the politicians in their thrall.

      Unlike the Afghanis the American Taliban uses the bible.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  16. mcguireatneuroticadotcom

    I am a Christian, and I say this guy is nuts and needs to go find a new career.

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

      Excellent. Write him

      October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      You must be a mainline denominationalist-–

      October 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  17. PVS1

    the magical sky fairy strikes again.

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

      Such ignorance is beyond me. It is hard to believe he is a truely credential MD.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • foxfire

      Such ignorance is beyond me. It is hard to believe he is a truely credential MD. Where did he get his degree?

      October 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      If I'm in shouting distance of you on that ever-nearer day when Christ returns in the eastern skies in a blaze of glory I will be sure to remind you of your comment about your demeaning commentary--

      October 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  18. SFRich

    Does anyone else ever notice that all these wackos happen to be republicans?

    October 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Huff

      Nope. the idea that Democrats are all athiests is wrong. About the same % as Reps are Christians or other faiths. I'm a Rep. who feels that creationism and evolution and the big bang are not necessarily exclusive of each other.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      In one way what you say, SFRich, is true and the reason it is true is because it is an established FACT heathens congregate within the DemonCratic Party.

      October 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Does he actually believe what he is spouting, or is he just pandering to his political base?

    October 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dave

      That's irrelevant, the fact is he's saying it and there are idiots who believe that crap. You are part of the problem even saying that. The reason these clowns can continue to get support is people like you think he's just saying it. It's time to demand accountability from these fools in public office!

      October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • wiliam tells

      What (may I guess?) do you believe in? Self?? Godless Barack Obama???

      October 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  20. Say It Isn't So !

    And the story says he is a "Medical Doctor" (MD) by background, LOL! Did anyone catch that? Two questions:

    1) What MEDICAL BOARD accredits MD's who don't believe in SCIENCE ??

    2) Should he have to tell all his PATIENTS he doesn't believe in science, before he can "treat" them, HA HA HA ??

    October 10, 2012 at 3:52 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.