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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. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • JJ

      Wow...you got in quick that time...you sick fuck.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but all of you your assertions to date have been unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things stated once again and again and again, over and over, Ad Nauseum,
      "Prayer changes things"

      Earlier I challenged you to do something positive for humanity by praying to stop the international forced sëx trafficking of an estimatated 800,000 people.

      To wit,

      I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders have not worked.

      Wait since prayer changes things (your claim) and this horrific practice is still going on, that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

      Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

      Matthew 21:21:
      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
      _______________________________________________________________________
      [A true believer can ask a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will be done. LOL!]
      _______________________________________________________________________

      Mark 9:23
      All things are possible to him who believes.

      Luke 1:37:
      For with God nothing will be impossible.

      John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

      John 14:14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.
      So there you have it, straight from Jesus in the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

      You are a sincere believer are you not?

      So go ahead and pray to stop all the international sëx trade, child abuse, bacterial disease, viral disease, genetic disorders, famine, and wars. Jesus stated, "nothing will be impossible"; So do it!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  2. Brad

    Congressman Broun also challenges the general notion that tortoises are slow-moving animals. Afterall, he once read in a book that a tortoise beat a hare in a footrace.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL Love it!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Raptor-Jesus Went Extinct For Your Sins

      If you continued reading the story,you would of found out that the turtle beat the hare ONLy because the hare fell asleep,allowing the turtle to pass him.

      http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/perry/226.htm

      Brad=Illiterate idiot

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Brad

      Right, and if you go on to read the rest of the bible you find out that it claims men lived for hundreds of years, which we all know doesn't actually happen. So perhaps timelines in the bible aren't meant to be taken literally, and that "a day" in biblical terms is most likely meant to be considered "a period of time." Assuming that the bible actually suggests God created the early in 6 consecutive 24-hour periods as we currently know them to be is just as foolish as assuming that a tortoise is capable of moving at a faster maximum velocity than a hare, thus further illustrating how my silly comment is mocking a silly belief.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Brad

      Hmmm autocorrect changed earth to early. Clearly wasn't science, must've been divine intervention.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  3. Jaginaz

    Don't go to that guy for a medical examination – that's for sure.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • James

      Seriously. "Well, you have strep throat. But instead of antibiotics, I'm going to prescribe a daily prayer regiment."

      October 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  4. Raptor-Jesus Went Extinct For Your Sins

    "he Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell"

    Okay,I don't like The Big Band Theory that much,but it isnt THAT bad.Calling it a lie from the pit of hell is a tad exaggeration.There are worse things on TV,y'know

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  5. No another wingnut!

    This guy makes Rep. Todd Akin sound rational and intelligent.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  6. abc123

    He was elected. That says something very scary about the U.S. public at large. Darwinian natural selection may have us in its crosshairs before long.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  7. C3vink

    THIS JUST IN: 46% of Americans are morons. Further bulletins as events warrant.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  8. mistamista

    Clearly, we're all more stupid now than we were 10 minutes ago...or maybe this guy is just a mentally inept simpleton.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      No, you were borne with hinduism, stupidity.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRanierBraendleinism

      NO DOGS! Triple abdullah path to truth absolut crystal.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  9. No Hate

    The Bible Does and did not say "Six >24hr Days" it is in reference to creative time periods, "days" ....interesting still is how the fossil evedence supports what it says in the holy writings about how things appeared "according to their kinds".

    Hey were did that new Sony camera come from? It made it self...no wait I put all the parts in a box and shook it for a million years and this great new Nex5R popped out...yeah and our much more complex cells just made themselvs or evolved...ok sure wink wink

    October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Time ratio to truth absolute GOD' time and human is 1000 year's, 7 day's = 7000 human year's.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      I knew people like you existed, I just wasn't sure they let you out this late in the day. Seriously, you can't equate an electronic device to one that is living. IF god created man, he did a sorry job and I'd fire anyone who built me an electronic device with as many flaws as the human body has, for sure.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Dennis

      The mental gymnastics you're doing would score you well by the judges at the Denial-Olympics

      10-10-10-6

      October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Yeah boy, you got 'em there. I bet you're smarter than all those generations of PhD level scientists combined. They just think digital cameras can come from shaking boxes, huh?

      you smart

      October 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Human,,,, did you pull that out of your rearend? Could you share the source for the seven years is a thousand years with us?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      I almost puked through my nose when you said, "holy writings."

      October 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  10. KRHODES

    Rational Libertarian

    "I don't want to believe in evolution. I believe in it because it's a fact. Anybody who doesn't accept evolution is either retarded or has a massive agenda."

    Facts...i love it. What exactly are the facts that prove macro evolution? Can we test it? Can we repeat it? Can we observe it? Thanks for playing.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      It is a fact from inception, but not cause of inception itself.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The old macro evolution thing again. I assume you accept micro evolution. Add up over a billion years of micro evolution. What do you get? Macro evolution.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • jarstfer

      Compare the hyptheses: evolution explains life on earth.
      God did it. COmapre teh evidence. Which wins? Which is more consistent with the data? All the data point to evolution. No need to invoke a God.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • jarstfer

      This is exactly the kind of debate ROmney had with Obama. Lots of BS no fact. Stympied Obama since he was expected someone married to reality and not fantasy. The Old Gish Gallop approach.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Micro and macro evolution are not official scientific terms. The model of evolution does not differentiate, because doing so is completely non-sensical. Those terms were coined by dishonest pseudo-science fucktards so there would still be a gap for the god of your choice.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Rational Libertarian

      "The old macro evolution thing again. I assume you accept micro evolution. Add up over a billion years of micro evolution. What do you get? Macro evolution."

      If that is so then shouldn't we find miilions of transitional fossils? Why is it we have none?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Wouldn't the use of the single term "evolution" to encompass the very different ideas regarding "evolution" be equivocal and therefore deception? Of course that is why folks want to do that..they know there is not a shred of proof for macro evolution so mixing the proven with the unproven is a nice deception.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @KRHODES

      What differing ideas?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Seriously RHODES, what differing ideas are you talking about from people who have actually studied and worked in the field? Like I said, micro and macro evolution are not terms used by the scientific community to differentiate different ideas of evolution. I've never seen any kind of consensus from those working within the field on those distinctions.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Pete

      Since every thing that has ever been born is slightly different than it's parents every fossil ever found is a transitional fossil. If you are looking for a fossil that is half one species and half another then you are out of luck because that is not how evolution works.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  11. Dasea

    i pretty much have proof growing right here, of course the devil would like this peach too, jury is still out, bush

    October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  12. Dasea

    a lie from hell would be the truth because they use inversion and juxtapositioning

    October 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  13. JCAN

    As I read this article, I found myself praying. Praying that the people of Georgia will do whatever it takes to get this nutbar out of congress. This delusional sits on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Seriously? Who let that happen? Atheists/agnostics might be the fastest growing group in the debate on religion, but they'd better ramp up the activism/lobbying–and soon–if they want to prevent de-evolution in the US.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  14. E

    hopefully all of these old conservative dinosaurs will die off soon along with their misinformed, ridiculous beliefs.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • JCAN

      They're not misinformed because they're old and come from an era with outdated beliefs. They're misinformed because they believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Do you think that group is going to die off any time soon? Until that's dealt with, expect this type of ignorance to continue to adversely affect our society.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  15. jarstfer

    The Bible says money belongs to the Government so you should pay taxes without question. Why is he picking the mythology at the beginning and not the message of his lord and savior Jesus Christ? For Christ's sake. Literally.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      hey, did ya hear? they got Bogfoot on video!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  16. euphoniusmunk

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

    It only makes sense.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • JCAN

      Worse, he's convinced he's a scientist, and he holds himself out as a scientist. Getting a BS Chem doesn't make one a scientist, and neither does having a medical degree. He is, however, a religious fundamentalist, which puts him at odds with anything scientific, including calling oneself a scientist.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Republicans are our Taliban.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • jarstfer

      For example, there are two states in the country where you cannot legally run for office if you are not Christian! Think these are red or blue states. You are dead on with this. Where are the intellectual conservatives fighting for their party? The wackos have taken over. I guess it was a deal they made in the 1960s to gain support of ignorant whites. But good lord, can't they grow up! Aren't poor whites tired of being finacially damaged by the GOP they vote for?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  18. KRHODES

    The most interesting thing about this article is that a doctor does not believe in evolution, but the majority will listen to "Bill Nye the science guy" who has a mechanical engineering degree. It is like i have always said...belief in evolution is not as much about facts as wants. The folks who believe it want to believe it, because it has no compelling evidence to support the idea of all life evolving from a single source.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Dennis

      Face palm.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I don't want to believe in evolution. I believe in it because it's a fact. Anybody who doesn't accept evolution is either retarded or has a massive agenda.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Yeah, no evidence whatsoever besides genetics, biology, taxonomy, paleoanthropology, the fossil record, modern medicine, zoology, paleontology, lactose intolerance, sickle cell anemia, antibiotic resistance, whale hipbones, feathered dinosaurs, eukaryotic cells, kin selection, costly signaling, mitochondrial DNA, animal behavior, the human appendix, hox genes...etc.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Is that it Dennis...is that the best you have? As far as your Taliban comment, i think liberalism are much more ideology aligned with the Taliban. I mean who else besides liberals want to control every aspect of our lives?

      October 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And the former head of the Human Genome Project, a self-professed Evangelican Christian, stated that the DNA evidence alone was enough to confirm common descent. If you have some kind of "proof" that evolutionary theory is wrong, go get your nobel prize for turning a basis of modern biology completely on its head, open up an entirely new field of study. Or perhaps you, like Broun, don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • jarstfer

      You are wrong. There is tons of evidence for evolution. None for creationism.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • jungleboo

      @KRUDS Answer: Republicans

      October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Hawaiiguest: *like*

      October 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What about non liberal sane people? You don't have to be a liberal to accept evolution.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Looks like everyone has been studying up on "talk origins," I would have never seen that coming.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Thanks Rufus. I don't expect RHODES to answer though. He'll probably come up with some ad hom or some other irrelevant idiocy.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww he beat my post! Hey RHODES, try bringing some evidence instead of irrelevant bullshit. Wait, that would require actual work on your part, never mind.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • KRHODES

      Rational Libertarian

      "What about non liberal sane people? You don't have to be a liberal to accept evolution."

      I never stated you had to be liberal to accept evolution. Evolution is the doctrine of liberalism and they treat it as such. If someone wants to believe it then fine with me.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • 1man

      Ummm no evidence? Maybe you should go to a museum. Are you serious ?no evidence? What there is no evidence for is a god. Never has been , never will be. Get educated.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • xirume

      KRHODES you are drowning ion your own ignorance and there ain't no god that can save you.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Actually, liberals are ideologically opposed to evolution in practice. Their beliefs are anti Social Darwinism.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • niteowlneils

      So, if the universe is only about 10 thousand years old, how can we see stars more than 10 thousand light years away?

      And, if humans and dinosaurs co-inhabited the planet, why are there no cave drawings of dinosaurs, and why are they absent from our oral-history traditions?

      The Bible is full of allegories and the like. Who can definitively say that the six-day creation story isn't a similar case, not meant to be taken literally?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Rational Libertarian: Social Darwinism is not evolution. It is not even Darwinism – it is the product of a 19th century sociologist named John Lubbock.

      Besides, nothing in evolutionary theory says that cooperation and altruism are not viable evolutionary strategies.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Rational Libertarian

      Yea I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Social Darwinism is.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  19. lynnmarie2u

    A scary man he is.. To think he is Doctor and yet he still rejects science. The even more scarier thing is,many will vote for this man,and he dictates policy based not on the law of man,but on the law of "god'.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  20. Dasea

    here's something nobody thought about. is taking wolves and making chichuahuas a deal with the devil?

    October 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • jungleboo

      huh?

      October 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Jaginaz

      Must be the devil's work right ? Since genetically altering a life form is impossible according to God's word.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
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About this blog

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.