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.
this congressman – and people who think like him should never be allowed to vote, serve in public office, purchase firearms or be allowed to teach in public schools.
tolerance for religion and all the delusional thinking that goes with it has to end.
these people should be ashamed to be this ignorant in the 21st century.
there's no gods – no tooth fairies and no santa claus.
enough is enough
Everybody has the right to vote and hold public office. This is good thing.
rational libertarian: sure – as it is right now they can.. but
people who suffer from delusional thinking shouldn't be allowed to be a part of any decision making process.
these primitives need to be kept at arms length where they can do the least harm.
religion has done nothing but cause division and retard progress. it's high time mankind shed these antiquated, idiotic, retarded ideologies.
there's no gods – no heaven – no hell... no devils no angels no tooth fairy no easter bunny
deal with it.
science NEVER bends to religion – ever.... it's ALWAYS the other way around.
in the not too distant future, humanity will close the chapter on this form of mental illness and those who suffer from it won't be able to effect the rest of the world with their childish idiocy.
@Rational Libertarian: its not a good thing for anyone to be able to hold public office. Only fully qualified people should be able to. You just can't have any off the street moron making decisions that affect us. That is the fallacy of the American political system and it must be corrected if we are to survive the next 100 years.
you are right - the believers should be told to convert or leave ...
Anvil. Are you referring to those same types of people who have done more throughout history to build hospitals, feed and care for the sick and homeless, take in orphans, respond to famines, give aid during natural disasters, etc... Those same people? You are, and I say this with all due respect, an ignorant human being.
devin – i was clear about things.
but heck – why not...
all those people who did nice things and built hospitals and fed orphans and helped the sick and etc...etc..etc.. were not xian or muslim or hebrew or scientologist -and while people may do nice selfless things – that doesn't mean they should be allowed to spread their idiocy or compound the mega-ignorance this world already suffers from.
let me reiterate – people who reject science, intelligence, learning, wisdom and enlightenment for antiquated, anachronistic, delusional, retarded, ignorant religious ideologies should NOT be allowed to hold public office, vote, purchase firearms or teach public school.
conservative xians are disgusting. they wish to legislate their morals onto the majority... they want to stifle freedom and liberty and as a result they deserve none.
yes devin, i mean them specifically – even if they did some nice stuff.
deal with it.
Anvil. Would you like to know what real delusional thinking is? I'll tell you, it's that of an individual who fails to understand that there are many scientists, physicians, engineers, etc... who embrace faith and believe that there is a God in heaven who is the Creator. And yes, you must live with that.
delusional thinking as it pertains to this thread most certainly refers to the belief in imaginary men in the sky – or gods.
yes, devin... there's a lot of people who are generally educated in the sciences who hold these delusional beliefs. and yes – they should be prohibited from holding public office, voting, purchasing firearms and teaching public school.
why is this so hard for you to grasp?
Anvil. Actually, what is hard for me to grasp, is how a finite being who is on the scene for 100 years at best, can unequivocally conclude that we live in a closed system, in which the possibility of a supernatural being does not exist and that those who would beg to differ are relegated as delusional. That is the epitome of arrogance.
yes devin.. i see you're confused.
there are no gods. belief in something that is non-existent is a delusional construct. a figment of the imagination. it's an ideal that was planted into your mind at some point that you've adapted and assimilated and now accept as a personal "truth".
you've got difficulty grasping the fact that there's no gods – why should anyone expect you to understand why it's bad to set public policy based on delusional beliefs?
I'm sorry Anvil, I just had to laugh. Your authoritative insistence on " there are no gods' , is just simply, well, silly. I have a degree of respect for the agnostics position, but this strong ( I use this in the technical sense) atheism approach is just foolishness.
I realize you perceive your ad hominem attacks bolster your position, unfortunately all they do is reveal your character.
devin.... are you mad, bro?
what bloody ad hominem attacks?? lol – seriously?
see – this is the ignorance xian conservatives are so famous for. i'd suggest you look up the term before you ignorantly accuse someone of ad hominem attacks.
as for there being no gods – it's plain that there are none to everyone who isn't trapped in the throes of delusional thinking.
no virgina, there's no gods. you can get as huffy as you like but it won't change the fact.
remember what christopher hitchens said "that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
My apologies Anvil, I took you for a brighter bulb than is perhaps the case. I'll spell it out for you: I was referring to your attacks on Christians in general, you know, " those primitives..., retarded..., idiotic..., mental illness...., disgusting Christians". Hope that clarifies.
"It is plain that there are none to everyone who is not trapped in the throes of delusional thinking". I'm guessing you're referring to the < 5% of the world population that would agree with you?
Not "huffy" at all. I actually enjoy the banter.
As for Hitchens ( God rest his soul.... Oh, I almost forgot) he was brilliant in his own right, but don't equate his verbal eloquence and uncanny knack for turning a phrase with that of making truth statements. He often did not. Your quote is one example.
primitives: a word used to describe people who still believe in millennia old ideals, proven false or superseded since their inception.
retarded: developmentally slowed or delayed in advancement – this is an excellent term to describe all religion, most certainly conservative xians.
ignorant: the state of being uninformed. the basic state of most xians in denial. paul broun for example – is a fine showcase for georgia baptist brand ignorance.
idiotic: basic, instinctual, divisive, carnal thinking, unresponsive to the demands of reality... really great summation of xianity.
mental illness/delusional disorder: COMMON psychiatric disorder – belief in non-existent things, like gods or devils or heavens or hells.
ignorance, idiocy, primitiveness, and delusional thinking in public office, teaching public school, walking around with firearms and voting: all DISGUSTING.
look – if the cold hard indifferent reality of my words is offensive to you, i'd suggest you take a long hard look at yourself, and what you believe in... if you're ever capable of doing it, you'll see... it's all inside your head, devin.
as for christopher hitchens, a very fine anti-theist mind passed.... and his eloquently stated ~end to all arguments~ about your imaginary man in the sky...
that which can be asserted with no evidence (god) can be dismissed without evidence...
fairly well sums up the fact that you believe in something you can never prove. you place your faith in an ideal that's false- an ideal i and others like me do not have to disprove – and are doing you a favour by pointing it out... relentlessly.
deal with it – better.
" if the cold hard indifferent reality of my words is offensive to you..." Let me quickly dispel the two blatant misconceptions in this phrase. First, your words are not offensive to me. I've discussed and argued these issues with greater minds than yours, no offense intended, and while I may vehemently disagree on the issues, It's not something that causes me to lose sleep. I'm very familiar with all the standard arguments, only the names change. Second, and I wish somehow you could comprehend and wrap your brain around this concept, while your words are " cold, hard, and indifferent" they are in fact not "reality". And on this point I imagine we will never agree. Never-the-less, until you recognize that what you perceive as reality is in actuality subterfuge for your own conscience, the self deluding will continue.
Excellent response from Devin.
my words must have been offensive/insulting to you – because you mistakenly defined them as "ad hominem". simply by hitting the reply button – you not only displayed the fact that you were offended, but that you're ignorant as well.
mind you – i'm not attempting to reason with you... i'm using you for a jumping board... my words are undoubtedly pertinent and useful to others who are most definitely reading. thank you for that.
it's ok, devin.. you can be offended – there's nothing wrong with that. no one wants to be referred to as ignorant or delusional or primitive or retarded. those words, while they may have elicited a negative response inside your cranium, are absolutely excellent words to describe those who identify with ancient religious dogma. if you don't like it – maybe you should abandon your delusional thinking and recapture your critical thinking skills. it's the 21st century, devin – evolve and join us.
46% of Americans believe in creationism? That can't be right. I mean, I know we're not number one in education, but no way half of us are deaf, blind, and R3TARDED.
Not retarded, just deluded.
BELIEVE IT – and be scared of what it means
You are right, half of us aren't deaf, blind and retttarded. It's actually 54%.
All readers must immediately convert to become followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, every bit as real as a young earth. Check out http://www.venganza.org/
Funny, caustic, scary in terms of our country's trajectory.
With any luck, Jack Wu will be elected in Kansas, and Broun will look like Sir Isaac Newton in comparison.
Paul Broun, you ignorant s l u t... Evolution is not even a theory, it's an indisputable FACT.
Now go fix your name!
Wrong. It's a Theory. But like the Theory of Gravity, it has attained "fact-hood". There is not one piece of evidence against it, and mountains of evidence for it.
Thank you, Fluffy Gerbil Doomy person. Few realize that science proves nothing.
Sorry... You are two very different questions: 1) Did humans evolve from from apes? and 2) Does anything evolve?
I never said anything about question 1, but question 2 is -I'll say it again- an INDISPUTABLE FACT.
I just taught you something. You may now re-enter your ignorant existence.
Uh, ok: How is it evolution is a fact? Wait, you don't work for the US Postal Service, do you?
Hey Fluffy, like evolution, gravity is not a theory, its a fact. If you are in doubt, go jump off a bridge; you will receive positive proof that gravity does exist.
@Greg G. Moore - Fruit flies are often used to show evolution at work because their lives are so short we can witness generations happen in a very short time. As for humans... We are FAR taller than humans that lived only a few years ago. When I was 17 years old, there was not enough demand for size 15 shoes to make it worthwhile for shoe manufacturers. Now size 15 shoes are commonplace. I'm taller than my parents, who were taller than theirs. That's ALL evolution. It's just that really dumb people seem to evolve much more slowly, maybe you all just can't see the changes. Your mail's here!
Fluffy. No, not Biola, even worse, Penn State University.
Hide your kids.
This upsets the liberal because the truth always hurts.
I'm not a liberal. I'm also not retarded, which is why I accept the scientific fact which is evolution.
And things like atheist billboards upset Christians because they're true, I suppose?
How can some ignoramus like this get elected to ANYTHING?
I could understand in Afghanistan, but in the US?
A guy that doesn't accept verifiable evidence that the earth is more than nine thousand years old can't be trusted to make good calls on anything. And this guy is making decisions about the future of this country (including on science, medicine and space exploration) all day long! God help us!
The two guys in the race for the White house say there are devils in the room with them. And they control the nuclear briefcase.
Ignoramuses like him can get elected because he's saying exactly what many other ignoramuses believe, ignoramuses who vote.
God days are different from human/earth days.
Yeah. His weather is better, since He makes it and everything. I bet He has a great 50-year-old bottle of scotch to keep him in nightcaps as well. Lucky ba5tard.
How long does it take Kolob to revolve on it's axis?
u mean man modified interpretation days....
kind of funny how science proves things right or wrong then mysteriously the BIBLES change to adjust
How long are god days in earth days? Or do you know it in Mars days?
U got god's cell # ? I wanna call him an see what he has to say about this!!!
Does God live on some star-facing planet slowly rotating every, what, billion or two years? What kind of "day" would an immortal being existing EVERYWHERE possibly have?
Nope, the Bible clearly states that God worked for six days, rested on the seventh, and then required us to do the same thing. The same word is used throughout.
Hey, Jim, good for you. I just laughed out loud. Out of curiosity, did you know that mitochondria were once bacteria? Which are now a vital part of our cells, producing the energy by which you write your inane drivel?
Consider the idea that Evolution and The Big Bang are how the Creation was propagated.
Impossible. Spacetime began AT the Big Bang. A god can't "act" if there is no time, or causality in place already.
(Alec Baldwin talk-bubble) – "I'd say it was nice to meet you, but I can't possibly lie that egregiously, and let me tell you, I've told some real whoppers."
WWJDD? (What Would Jack Donaghy Do?)
Please write Rep. Paul Broun. Let him know how you feel about this. I just finished my letter. Hand written no doubt. I just can't believe someone in his position can hold such radical views that are so different than mainstream scientific consensus. Let the scientist, the EXPERTS in the various scientific fields be the final word in areas of science. You can find is mailing address on his congressional website.
You're assuming he can read.
middle_eastern_religious thoughts demonstrating ignorance
He's a liar. He doesn't believe it. He's talking to a room full of dipschidts, and that's how they decide their vote. Imagine how far ahead we would be as a society if we no longer had to accommodate these dumb a$$es. PLEASE vote them OUT!!!
Great point, I often wonder exactly how many of our politicians actually believe in the god of their choosing, especially considering the information available to them, not to mention the sheer statistics. 15% doesn't sound like much, but that's 65 seats in the House of Representatives. Imagine if 65 members of the house were openly agnostic! 65 of them very well may be, perhaps more.
This congressman's comment is awaiting moderation.
Religion has ruined conservatism and the GOP.
And threatens even further damage to Our Great Republic.
Why the hell is Alec Baldwin (of all people) in the pic at the top? Is he a creationist? Did I miss a memo from the Flat-Earth Society or something?
Innocent bystander (I hope)
Baldwin is an ass, so is Broun.
A little off topic, but something I've always been curios about. As a conservative Christian, I have no problem accepting the idea that God created man ( Adam ) in a literal space time event as recorded in Genesis. Likewise, if God actually chose to use the mechanism of evolution over a large period of time to bring "man" onto the scene, that would not surprise me. The reality is, no one knows for sure, we weren't there. But here's my dilemma: how is it that those in the scientific community who so vehemently espouse the evolutionary model are the very same individuals who either participate in or support, animal experimentation, specifically that of chimpanzees? Shades of Josef Mengele?
You are just deluded by ignorance and until you get the "god" fantasy out of you head, you will understand noting.
You've got a bit of a point in the species argument, but if it comes down to us or them (in animal testing, genetic similarity is everything, and rapid scientific progress is required to save lives), I'm going to pick us. You?
@ x. And yet, you still did not answer the question.
What exactly are you talking about.
The Judean priests took the Sumerian creation myths, (The Enuma Elish ), and assembled them into Genesis, with the J source, the E source, and added their own material. Read "Who Wrote the Bible", by Dr. Richard Elliott Freidman. There is not one iota of history in Genesis. Even Abraham was mythological. Camels were not domesticated in the Near East until 1000 BCE. It is impossible for Genesis to be true.
@t3. I pick "us" also, although I'm sure for different reasons than you.
@devin, that must be because you're so awesome.
@common. If you can't decipher my relatively simple point, I will attribute it to a lack of the attribute found in your username.
Fluffy, actually camels were domesticated somewhere between 2000 BCE and 6000 BCE. They have found camel saddles dated before 1000 BCE
@Halkes. Thank you. You are very insightful.
Fluffy. The higher critical approach is old news. Find yourself some decent scholarship.
I don't understand your question. Why would the fact that we evolved have anything to do with how we treat other beings? If we evolved from protozoa it is not OK to kill mosquitoes but if we didn't evolve from protozoa it is OK? What kind of reasoning is that?
We are different species from the animals we experiment with. Period. The fact that we share common ancestors doesn't make a difference since we are separated from them by millions of generations. If experimenting with animals is wrong it is because they can suffer, not because they are related to us.
And no, the fact that we weren't there has no relationship to whether we can say it is true or not, we weren't there when Hiroshima exploded in flames and I can tell you it was pretty hot.
Not "camel" saddles. Cattle saddles. And the camels in the couple decorative examples were royal dromedaries. There are no widespread camel bones, and no baby camel bones.
Lets hear ONE piece of it refuted.
I sure hope you didn't go to Biloa.
Herby. I'll dispel your last point first. Yes, you were not in Hiroshima, but others were, others who have testified in history what exactly took place. It was a silly comparison. Second, and I don't think there is anyway I can help you here, if you fail to see the difference between a humans relationship to a protozoa and that of a humans relationship to a chimpanzee, well, like I said, I don't think I can help.
Fluffy. Not Biola, even worse, Penn State.
What is the point of your question? Most scientists, of all branches, most definitely do not support animal experimentation. Besides, it is no longer needed these days. We have DNA sampling and computer models to do that for us. You have heard of DNA and computers, haven't you? And what makes you think that human beings have the right to dominate this planet. Just because we can? Because it was made for us? This world doesn't belong to us, we belong to it, and soon I'm afraid that that fact will become painfully obvious.
It is called being at the top of the food chain. And that's an evolutionary result.
You have quite an imagination Devin, being polite. How does believing in evolution negate using animals for scientific research? I am btw not a fan of using animals for scientific research, but that has nothing to do with my recognition of evolution as scientific fact. Bringing the nazi 'doctor of death' into the equation is plain weird. It is difficult to answer your question because of the dots you connect with it. Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Frank. Not sure where to begin with your illogical thought process. To say that most scientists do not support animal experimentation is just simply factually wrong. The recent advent of computer models in no way erases decades of vivisection. Tell me again, exactly where did I say I believed man was to dominate the earth? For the record, if I was not a Christian I would be one of those Green Peace guys jumping off a damn with a parachute.
Nope. thanks for your insight. That was deep.
O.K. then why don't you resign and lead a revival . Politicans who take religous stances especially if they say they use the Bible as a guide for how they vote are violating church & state . Unless they want a theocracy .
I am a believer and I that is both in scripture as saying there is a God and sciencew cause I see what science reveals tells me there must be a Goiod, creator, maker take your pick. But where I live I can see mountains that tell me this is no accident it was planned by someone. Even big bang leads one to ask who put the bits & ppieces there for to happen in the first place ? SWo abandon theocrats.
Scripture = literary fiction
You = clouded by ignorance
... But where I live I can see mountains that tell me this is no accident it was planned by someone.
This someone is an ignoramus from within.
I respect your right Paul to believe in both. For those that believe faith is ignorant: They cannot know what they do not experience.
Faith is not experience, it is self suggestion. Recognizing an ignoramus from within is experience.
It is time for ANOTHER kind of Inquisition, I thnk.
About 50-% of our population needs to be sent to Antarctica for "safe storage" where they can be prevented from harming themselves and others !
'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.”'
How is there any question as to why congress is so ineffectual? How can any modern legislative body produce secular laws with men like this trying to drag the country backwards in time? The founding fathers would not have allowed a man like this to influence even a single letter on any of their legislation, as they were very much against organized religion and especially its role in secular affairs. The country is experiencing another wave of religious fervor, like in the late 1800s. It always waxes and wanes though, it's like a child going through a phase.
We MUST crush the godmongers before the crush US
So he wants slavery and multiple wives.
I have a "crush" on the US that makes me sad that guys like this are amongst our leaders.
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.