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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. lbpaulina

    OK. I need order. Who is this guy? A doc? Are you serious? Is he telling that all the scientists of the entire world are ignorant and wrong? Is he telling that he and all the brain-washed like him are the only individuals to be correct? Are you telling me that he got a doctorate in medicine and he doesn't believe in Science? Does he have patients? If he did, they should know about him because he is scientifically dangerous. And these people are so brave to criticize other religions....I'm just thinking...

    October 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      US Rep. Paul Broun M.D. (R) Georgia
      Yes, Chair of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes from the Medical College of Georgia in 1971
      Not any more – from 2002 he only did house calls – probably specialized in diseases of the rich

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What I don't get is that the Georgia 10th congressional district is centered around Athens and the University of Georgia.

      They have a biology department! Yet there's no one in the fightin' 10th (as Stephen C. would say) who is even willing to run against this clown. He is running unopposed. The guy who opposed him in 2010 lost more than 2:1 (138,062, 66,905).

      Apparently they are redder 'n red down there in the red clay of Georgia.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  2. Cindy

    Broun is like an ostrich with its head in a hole.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      That is exactly what I would say of Atheists - as the death approaches ...

      October 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Answer

      And here is that time ole fashion threat ....

      :You won't be saved except that I will be .. because I have my sky daddy."

      October 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Answer

      "You can be saved too if you're an idiot like me.. believe in my brand of fairy tale. Oh please not those muslims.. nor those buddhists or whoever.. they're all wrong except my sky daddy."

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Ed

      More like up his Petootie.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • ogre12

      Cindy that is exactly what I say about atheists. In answer to "answer's" arrogance – there will come a time when you will deeply regret your words from your black heart when you face "sky daddy" that I am well assured of.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      "Broun is like an ostrich with its head in a hole."

      And guess which hole that is?

      October 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  3. waheid

    . . . and, as an ignorant Republican from Georgia, he's almost certain to get re-elected.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @waheid,

      particularly since he's running unopposed!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • ogre12

      no more likely than an idiot libdemwit.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  4. Jim

    He should resing. If you are that narrowminded you don't belong in Government.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  5. Pavel

    We don't allow mentally ill people to own guns. Why should we allow mentally ill people to vote on the next leader of our country??? If a person thinks that our universe is less than a few billion years old, they should loose ALL rights to vote or own a firearm. The sad part is that I cant get that idea into law. So I'm stuck with a bunch of people that believe that Zeus or Santa Claus or Jesus is real and voting who they feel like into power... Isn't that what screws up the countries in the first place? If I believed that electricity is given to us by Zylord Fairies wouldn't YOU not want me to be able to vote in the first place? And if I believe in Science instead of fairy tales people would condemn me into the lowest part of the crowd... I want Mitt Romney to win so that he will drive this country into pure chaos and I would sit back and say "I told you so" But then again how many Christians actually know that Mormons believe that god lives on a planet in a different galaxy?... Truth hurts and if you think that god lives in some other galaxy you should not be allowed to run for president. What are your opinions on that?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  6. Pope on a Rope

    The only problem with democracy is idiots get to vote too. Idiots have a tendency to vote for fellow idiots. So you get what we've got here.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  7. Gadflie

    Speaking of science and religion here's a truth for you. Science has answered a LOT of questions over the years. Some scientists are believers, some are not. But, every single question that has ever been answered by science, every scientific discovery over the years has had something in common, it was made by someone who didn't settle for "God did it" as the answer to the question that they were trying to answer.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Non Atheist

    God has given us a process to directly realize Him. We just need to be humble enough to try. Now that is the fundamental problem - we think we know or we will figure it out. That is the delusion.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Wrong. Most atheist came from religion. They tried. They saw the bullsh1t. They gave it up. Try harder.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "we," Nonny? You have a gerbil in your back pocket?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Answer

      Man has given itself a delusion called god. Get the facts straight you nut.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Yep, listen to those voices in your head. Just the Christian approved ones though....

      October 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      speaking of not finding him ... your great Bonhoeffer : "The god who is with us is the god who abandons us". make an appointment with him.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      only a few determined ones get to the final destination - God is not cheap!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Gadflie

      why assume all believers are Christians? You are not dealing with a Christian here .. you are dealing with a Vedic scientist.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      The god who created men for hell, is not a god I would want to have anything to do with.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Sue Thom

      NonAtheist, you are another insane delusional who has to cling to lies because you can't stand facing reality. Morons like you waste your lives worshipping imaginary, invisible, and non-existent deities.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      many are called, but few are chosen"
      "no one shall come to me, unless the Father draw him".
      I hope you know that Paul was a self-admitted liar, and he thought only the saved/redeemed were immortal.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Doesn't really matter the flavor. It's just another delusion.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • ogre12

      I could not have said it better...but dont waste your breath on arrogant atheists..they are so sure they are right but really dont have a clue.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Sue Thom

      you waste your life - it is temporary - anything temporary must be used to search for the eternal - for it cannot be end in itself - at best it can be means to attain the eternal. it will be lost anyways - i stand a chance of finding something eternal - you dont. if we i dont find it - we are equal. if i find it - then I hit the treasure. you just lose in all situations.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      according to vedic philosophy there is absolute or eternal hell - there are temporary and relative hellish existences - like we see even on this planet - this plane of existence we are in now.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Real charitable. Is that how Jesus taught to to act ? Calling people arrogant ?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      i meant there is NO absolute or eternal hell ....

      October 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Now you just have to explain why I should listen to Vedic anything.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      you dont have to if you want to stay ignorant on a relative platform of so-called knowledge.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • lbpaulina

      I think that in the moment we want our truth to be the "one", we miss a crucial teaching of God: humility. Who says that 6 days are to be thought in our terms? Who is so sure that the right translation arrived integer? Where is the evidence that demonstrates that evolution is absurd and creationism is the real origin of "life"?
      I believe in evolution, but I would never say to anyone: "You are wrong, and creationism is ridiculous." I think that we have to be less arrogant and more respectful, and this is fundamental to a Christian education.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      You don't "believe" in evolution. There exists mountains of evidence for evolution. There is no evidence for Creationism. They are in no way equivalent. You can expect I respect your right to have a belief. I don't have to respect that you believe that there is 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  9. 2357

    God can create and destroy the universe in six nanoseconds. Six days is a relatively long time. A billion years? Pfft. Whatever.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure he can. He just hasn't bothered to do anything to prove he exists. Idiot.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • 2357

      Proof will hit you like a windshield, gnat gnat.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  10. petros

    The congressman from planet ass***e!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  11. Christopher Columbus

    It took the world's civilizations from 200 BC to 1600 AD to figure out the earth was actually round. What fools they appear to be today... Still think the world is flat?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  12. Russell

    Oh, geez, another Republican on the Science committee who doesn't know science from the big, giant, hollow hole right in the middle of his head! And I'm embarrassed to say he is from Georgia. Sorry, folks, we're not all ignorant like this guy is. This is yet another example of why I could never be a Republican. They have WAY to many dunderheads like this guy. It's so unfortunate that "Christians" like this guy are so afraid of science that they always see it as a threat. (And this guy is a doctor – extra scary!) "Christians" like this have little faith. They have to tear down everything else in order to build up their beliefs. They seem incapable of realizing how brilliant evolution is and how God made it to make us and everything else. God and science are not mutually exclusive, but this guy isn't capable of seeing that. One day they may realize that it doesn't matter how God created the world or how long it took . . . it only matters that he created it. And they might also realize that the Bible does not have to be literally true or the inerrant word of God or any of that stuff in order for people to believe in God (or for God to exist). Yes, one day people like this might actually start using the brain God gave them . . . but you won't find me holding my breath, that's for sure!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  13. Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

    Not to worry. These idiot ignorant old farts will die off soon enough.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Russell

      Unfortunately, they tend to raise new ones in their own image.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Anon

      The problem is that these idiots have already done way too much collateral brain-damage.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  14. Non Atheist

    Why are some here equating republicans with believers. Didnt DNC vote to include God into their statement – and doesn't Obama profess himself to be a Christian church-goer?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      No they didn't. Didn't you watch. The "vote" was 50/50. 50 years ago such a vote would be unimaginable. Progress is inevitable. Millenials don't buy your load of crap.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Why would you vote for Obama - the self-professed Christian church-goer - who wanted God included in the statement?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Duh, Nonny. Because he's a better choice than Romney. How stupid are you?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      still democrats also want God on their side ... vote or no vote - it is in the statement because Obama wanted it there.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Non Atheist

      You said, "Why would you vote for Obama"
      There simply is no contest. Anyone with half a brain will vote for him. Democrats in general are far better at virtually everything that is important for this country. The one thing that republicans are good at is rewarding their buddies that help them get elected.

      You said, "the self-professed Christian church-goer – who wanted God included in the statement?"
      Odds are that Obama is an atheist. He probably wanted the god reference in the platform as to not alienate some christians. He knows that the smart crowd will realize it is just for show.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      I don't want him. I don't want Romney even more.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  15. Chris

    This saddens me and in my opinion is the root of a lot of the educational problems in the United States. The idea that you need Jesus instead of an education is ridiculous. No. I need both.

    Science and religion are NOT mutually exclusive, and anyone who says they are is trying to push an agenda.

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

      You think religion and science are compatible, Chris? Perhaps - in the same way that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Wicked Witch of the West are compatible with science.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  16. Gary

    Athens, Georgia are you listening to this? Vote for president Obama and take clowns like this out of power.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  17. nsam

    Blame really falls for the dumb and stupid American people who elect this kind of people for official position.

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

      Yeah, I agree. I say if you want to blame someone for the problems in Washington, you'd better remember to look in the mirror.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  18. RonZ

    athiests need to get over them selves and start listening to His Truth. It is everywhere since He is everywhere. there is not some different place that He doesn't see don't you get it? we cant tell how old the earth is but it is written and proven in His Truth all we have to do is listen to Him. ROMNEY/RYAN 2012

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

      Remember that part about dinosaurs in the bible?
      Me neither

      October 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Gary

      Keep your god out of my business. Sure you think he's better than everyone else's god, but you're an idiot that won't take responsibility for your own life. Just because you need a crutch doesn't mean the rest of us do.

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

      A rule of thumb that I find useful is that people who use a capital T when they wrote "Truth" generally wouldn't recognize actual truth if it bit them on the keister.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ronny, if he sees you, he must be shaking his head and wondering what the hell he was thinking, putting some putz like you here.

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

      Adults need to get over them selves and start listening to Her Truth. It is everywhere since She is everywhere. There is not some different place that She doesn't see. Don't you get it? We cant tell how old the earth is but it is written and proven in Her Truth. All we have to do is listen to Her. The Tooth Fairy!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • RonZ

      @LinCA do you see Her anywhere in the Bible about Him? No.

      @Tommy you will never know and only will BURN.

      @Gadfly – Truth is not something you can feel it is some thing you know since you must not know it

      October 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • RonZ

      @Gary only He knows my life not you so your the idiot. there's your sign.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • RonZ

      I am thanking Him every night that you atheists will be gone in November.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Russell

      Really, RonZ? Do you actually think that kind of talk would win over any atheists? There's no problem with God, but there are a lot of problems with religion, since it is ultimately a bunch of people trying to figure out how to behave and people are imperfect. And then some of them turn around and try to act like God to everyone else. If religion were as perfect as God (not possible, but bear with me), there might be no atheists. But as it is today, religion does a lot of damage in the name of God and probably creates many atheists. So just spouting off about "He is everywhere" and "listen to Him" is not going to have much effect.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      @ron: "I am thanking Him every night that you atheists will be gone in November."

      Lemme guess... you're envisioning us all jumping into a microbus after the election and scooting out of town? Or maybe you're thinking we'll all board a spaceship?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • xirume

      RonZ = GOP comment bot

      October 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • LinCA

      @RonZ

      You said, "@LinCA do you see Her anywhere in the Bible about Him? No."
      What does your book of fairy tales have to do with anything? You might as well wonder whether Santa Claus not appearing in Sleeping Beauty means that he doesn't exist.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It's always interesting to see people like RonZ. You know he's either A) A poe, or B) A sociopath.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I actually think Ronny is a hoot. He's so beyond ridiculous that he's become a piñata.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Life began on the planet Kolob.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  20. mendacitysux

    Not sure which is more scary. Him or that enough people voted for him to get elected.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      or that he's running unopposed

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

      Look how many people (allegedly) voted for George Dubya Dolt! People (Americans especially) are STUPID as FUCK!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      people like you are most scary .. tbh

      October 10, 2012 at 9:28 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.