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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. porovaara

    http://www.facebook.com/PaulBrounIsAnIdiot

    These are the people we elect to our congress? To lead our country? And you wonder why America has fallen behind?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      America has fallen behind by focusing on 'honey boo boo' and nonsense like that ... trash on TV ... Americans have always believed in God even when they were ahead - only change is over-abundance of 'honey boo boo' like non-sense and partisan bickering and all kind of divides emphasized by the media – including believer-atheist divide.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Americans have NOT always believed in GAWD! Just look at some quotes from THOMAS JEFFERSON:

      "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."

      “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

      “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

      “To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise…without plunging into the fathomless abyss of dreams and phantasms. I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.”

      “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

      October 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Wow you present one individual Thomas Jefferson as proof the Americans in general have not always believed in God. What non-sense! If we present statistical trend - % of atheists have gradually risen over last 50-100 years - so what is the correlation between that and America falling behind - positive! For once God is out of the picture - 'honey boo boo' like non-sense becomes more prominent.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Let the World See You

    And we elect these people?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • really?

      I'm sure they usually keep that info on the DL until they're in office then they can go all religious zealot on us.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  3. bibleverse1

    Did he ever think that God is behind science.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Way behind. With no chance of ever getting back in the race.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Answer

      Here is something for you idiot bible dolts...

      Science = logic and reason.

      If you state that god is behind science and is contributing to science ; then ; by that logic - god doesn't agree with your stupid faith. So shove your empty faith away and embrace logic.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  4. StuporDave

    If you're going to buy what the Bible tells you as a child, what is the point in then going to school to acquire a formal education? The important things God wants you to know will be presented to you after you acquire critical thinking skills, not when you are an impressionable child.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  5. really?

    /universe sized facepalm

    October 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  6. ron

    de·lu·sion·al  [dih-loo-zhuh-nl]
    adjective
    1. having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
    2. Psychiatry . maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  7. Britannia

    Those Gallup poll results in June are really scary!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  8. OMG

    Oh fer gawd sakes...don't our congress people go to college? those banksters must look for a certain type...that they can get to follow for money. no wonder we're in wars alll the time.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • rafael

      I think you need to go through college to get to medical school.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  9. Realist

    In my view, anyone who believes in god is not only weak-minded, but .. incapable of making rational decisions.. and is quite possibly insane. There is no god. There never was, and there never will be. I fail to understand the allure of religion, as it obviously causes only hardship, pain and suffering for humanity.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      No, he recognizes truth absolute GOD of life.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRanierBraendleinism.

      Not GOD of life. GOD of ALL LIFES.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Men, who all *say* they believe there are actually devils in the room with them, at this moment, all want control over nuclear secrets. How scary is that ?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Correct.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      What is the use of your paltry insignificant and temporary existence over cosmic scale of time and space. You are insignificant - be humble,

      October 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just as soon as you are, Nonny.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  10. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Hey you DOLT, Broun! Do you realize that human embryos have TAILS during part of their development? Think that could possibly be a sign of, oh, EVOLUTION? DOLT!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      There has to be a spirit for embryo to form.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      And an alleged "spirit" has to do with the fact that TAILS are present, how?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • rafael

      So there are spirits for mosquito, mistletoe, and fungus embryos too?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  11. Rufus T. Firefly

    Please make your voice heard with regard to Paul Broun being on the Committee for Science, Space, and Technology. Here's where to make your complaint:

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

    October 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  12. Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Based on spirit, program and so does human body.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  13. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Leave it to a fucking retard Southern Republikkkan to revile the facts of evolution, science, et al. What a dolt!

    YEP, them thar fossils are all lies made up by them demon scientists who're under the influence of SATAN! Praise the Lord, I know the truth of invisible sky fairies, faith in unprovable, unobservable figments of imagination, prayer, etc.!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  14. GOOD NEWS

    Jesus absolutely endorsed the Son of Man here (=John 6/27, 40),

    and the Son of Man has absolutely proven now
    Big bang and Evolution are the most Powerful and Superb "Creation Acts" of GOD:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com

    ===UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES===

    October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Gadflie

      This website is hilarious. I strongly recommend it to anyone needing a good laugh.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      How is a book, written by a believer, about what they believed, useful to tell that same man what to believe ?
      It's the definition of circular Logic.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  15. sqeptiq

    You cannot fix stu*id!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      sqeptiq

      yea .. you cannot be fixed then

      October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      non Atheist
      Is that the kind of charity your Jeebus taught you ?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  16. david burgett

    Look at the academic catalog of any major university. The Bible is taught in religion and literature classes and definately not in science classes. Biblical teachings cannot be classified as a Science. For example, Evolution and the Big Bang theories can be tested (in parts or as a whole) using the "scienfitic method". How can you possibly prove or disprove Creatioinism or that the Earth is only 9,000 years old using the "scientific method" ?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      And actually, if you go to a mainline university, such a Harvard or Princeton's Biblical Studies Department, and suggested the Bible was literally true, you would get flunked, and laughed out of town.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • sharoom

      Um you can prove whether or not the Earth is 9000 years old. That's the whole point. Science DOES NOT go after God to say whether God is real or not. Science has no say in the matter because God is NOT TESTABLE in the same manner that the flying spaghetti monster is not testable, but what science does do is go after the physical CLAIMS that religious people make.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  17. Brampt

    Heb 3:4: "every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God" And ther is NO HELL!!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • rafael

      But who constructed god? That's a stumper.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  18. tfbuckfutter

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

    All of this scares the crap out of me.

    It's baffling enough that he even got elected to public office....but this is REALLY scary. A guy who doesn't believe in science if on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology?

    That's as stupid as Sarah Palin being on.....I don't know....the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The words "Governor Palin" were scary enough for me.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  19. ramos

    Republicans love it when one of their own makes such foolish comments; it deflects from their own beliefs which are almost just as nutty.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • No Atheist

      Why are you equating republicans with believers. Didnt DNC vote to include God into their statement - and doesnt Obama profess himself to be a Christian church-goer?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @No Atheist,

      is Paul Broun not a Republican?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      " Didnt DNC vote to include God into their statement – and doesnt Obama profess himself to be a Christian church-goer?"

      Yeah, sadly because they feel the need to pander to the religious voter. I'd love to see a candidate stand up and say he/she is NOT a believer. They might get trounced, but it might start something.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  20. huh

    Biblical stories are just Indo-European / Greek myth passed on. I will stick with science.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Atick with truth absolute, constant, GOD, essence of every thing.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Stick

      October 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • RonZ

      Looks like a huh will visit satin soon and you will wish you would accept and know His Truth. for every science book of lies His Word is laughing at them. ROMNEY/RYAN 2012.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • huh

      Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

      October 10, 2012 at 9:19 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.