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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.

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Evolution • Politics • Science

soundoff (5,886 Responses)
  1. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    If your religion is threatened by scientific discovery your god is a myth.

    October 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      Agree 100%. God and the bible are the essence of true science. The science of sciences is the plan of salvation for man.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " God and the Bible are the essence of true science." Um, no. You can choose to live in that alternate reality all you wish – foisting it on the rest of America as if it were actually true won't happen.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If you agree 100% then you would know the bible is not "true".

      October 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Franklin

      Funny how none of the old religions have ever made discovery, reason, or science virtues. Quite the contrary. All of them warn people against using their reason instead of just following blind faith.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers, i mean you no offence. i liked the way you put that – but i think i can improve your statement.

      your religion is threatened by scientific discovery.. and your god is a myth.

      there – fixed!

      October 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Veritas

      Franklin. Yes, in Texas the GOP are trying to get critical thinking removed from the curriculum. Wouldn't want the brainwashing to go to waste.

      October 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Franklin

      Veritas
      Texas must be a great place for con men and ponzi schemers.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but everything you have ever asserted regarding atheism and prayer is 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 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • the AnViL

      sorry – gotta say this... wouldn't be doing my job if i didn't...

      there isn't a shred of credible evidence that prayer does anything. it has been proven, using the scientific process that prayer has absolutely no effect on anything.

      you've been lied to.

      everyone else:

      do not tolerate religious ignorance!

      enough is enough

      October 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~...

      October 15, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  3. Bibletruth

    Read Genesis

    October 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I did,

      I laughed my ass off that some people find it to be a reasoable explanation.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • LinCA

      Reading the bible for truth is like sifting through shit for corn. You may find a kernel or two, but is it really worth it?

      October 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • truth be told

      @linca
      You tell us it appears you are the one fascinated by your bodies evacuation.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The bible is the evacuation of human kind.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • === o ===

      truth be told: "You tell us it appears you are the one fascinated by your bodies evacuation."

      "truth be told" ("Ronald Regonzo", "pervert alert", "Bible Truth", etc.) hopes that, in the afterlife, his god will teach him basic English. Too bad, he'll just be dead.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Franklin

      Bibletruth
      Read the Iliad, and as many other mythologies as you can. Then compare them with Genesis and realize that they're not at all different.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • FYI

      Bibletruth,

      Here is a summary of several ancient creation stories:

      http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/creationmyths/tp/090808CreationMyths.htm

      October 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What would Turd Topper know about the Bible? The dolt doesn't know the difference between "gall" and "Gaul." That's doubly hilarious, considering that "gall" is mentioned in the Bible–it's what the Roman soldier gave Jesus to drink as Jesus was being crucified. Even an agnostic atheist knows that.

      Turd Topper is a waste of oxygen.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Bob

    Chad, you keep referencing the bible to support your arguments about its claims and stories. Apart from that being circular reasoning, maybe you could try to answer this question:

    Re this "god" of yours, why can't it get with the times and produce its own website, and maybe even push some tweets out? It can't reasonably expect smart people to believe in it based on an nth translation of a thousands of years -old self-contracdictory mishmash that the bible represents.

    October 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  5. GY

    There goes the dinosaurs:
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1038/1038_01.asp

    October 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • GY

      I thought everyone would enjoy a good laugh.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • fintastic

      dinosaurs on the ark..... ya gotta love it...

      "And god should know, after all, he was there...."

      October 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  6. Alex

    This guy needs to be sacked. Immediately.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • midwest rail

      The voters will decide his fate at the ballot box – if nothing else, he should be immediately removed from the House Science Committee.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Hi everyone,

      @the AnViL and Rufus have provided a way to help.

      the AnViL
      hey everyone! hope your weekend's great...

      just wanted to take a moment to encourage everyone – even if you do not live in the united states, to take a few minutes of your time and visit the website for the committee on science, space and technology (science.house.gov) to demand that congressman paul broun be removed from this committee. if you want to go the extra mile – go ahead and post this story to all your friends on facebook or any other media outlet you can think of.

      don't let repugnant ignorance like this ride.

      enough is enough.

      tolerance for religious ignorance has got to end.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      Rufus T. Firefly
      Here is the link:

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

      October 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
      a reasonable atheist
      Thanks for the link – message submitted:

      "Subject: Rep. Broun's place on the committee is an embarrassment

      Message:
      To whom it may concern,
      I was astonished to read of the public views expressed by Rep. Broun regarding evolution, modern cosmology, and other forms of scientific endeavor. If he truly believes what he espouses, his total ignorance of the scientific method demonstrates that he should be immediately removed from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Perhaps there is a Committee on Superst.ition and Ignorance that his expertise would be better suited to? If, on the other hand, he was merely pandering to a church-going audience, he has amply demonstrated his lack of moral fort.itude through his disingenuous public proclamations. In this case, he should not only be removed from the committee but also from the House. We cannot afford to have our leadership espousing this superst.itious garbage. The United States needs to lead in Science, not wallow in ignorance while other countries pass us by."

      October 13, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |

      October 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • truth be told

      He should be promoted to chair the science committee !

      October 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense – but you already knew that, Ronald.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Franklin

      midwest rail
      His voters believe the exact same tripe. Sad, but true.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Franklin – true, unfortunately, stupidity is not a proscription against voting. hence, his election in the first place. While that cannot be remedied, his place on the Science Committee can be.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Franklin

      midwest rail
      Having a guy who doesn't believe in science on the science committee is like having a pacifist totally against our having a military on the House Committee on Armed Services.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Franklin, not true. A pacificist has a legitimate point of view or philosophy that might assist in making balanced decisions. Denying science that has been tested and proven, especially on religious grounds, is not legitimate or helpful.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  7. mama k

    I'm really starting to like the big bounce theory. It makes a lot of sense. I almost want to say it gives the universe history a kind of heartbeat, but gosh – you know what kind of crazy ideas creationists would do if they run with that. I like it enough, though, that I was thinking of ordering a Big Bounce bumper sticker; but then I thought I'd probably get a lot of dumb questions from soccer moms, etc. at the grocery store asking why I would advertize dryer sheets.

    October 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama,

      the big bounce is nothing but the big bang followed by a gnab gib.

      Then rinse and repeat. ;)

      October 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama

      "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” ― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

      The gnab gib reference is also from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" which along with the whole Hitchhikers' Guide series I thoroughly recommend, if you've not read them already. (Douglas Adams is very much one of us.)

      October 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • mama k

      Lol. But I wonder if big bounce can be a possibility for a creationist. Maybe they would just say someone had to push the start switch on the washer.

      October 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • mama k

      Oh thanks for the recommendation, not a GOPer – I have heard of that Hitchhiker's Guide quite a long time ago. I will check that out.

      October 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama,

      or God's souffle maker – it rises and it falls ad infinitem.

      http://www.heartofeugene.org/images/February-10.089.jpg

      Thinking of Gary Larson:

      http://politicalmonkey2010.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/farside.jpg

      October 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Lol. Thanks for that not a GOPer – I needed a laugh. I miss Mr Gary Larson – I think I stopped looking at the comic section of the newspaper when they disappeared from there.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @mama k,

      The Hitchhikers series is fiction. They are novels written with extraordinary wit that skewer so much of life as we know it without being directly offensive to anyone.

      Adams (though not in the Hitchkers books) famously imagined a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, "This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" to demonstrate the fallacy of the fine-tuned Universe argument for God. (This is a great illustration of his wit and style.)

      Richard Dawkins dedicated The God Delusion" to Adams.

      If you read them subst'tute "digital watches" with "smart phones". The originals date back to the 70s and this reference is now dated.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • mama k

      Thanks for that -not a GOPer-. I have begun to listen to and read some of Dawkins' works. I will check out more on Adams. It sounds like it could be both enlightening and entertaining for me. Someone had posted a video of Dawkins sitting by a fireplace, I think, reading his hate mail – I got a big kick out of that.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  8. LC

    Have creationists ever wondered why Genesis doesn't mention bacteria or galaxies? You know, things that mere human beings using only their natural senses couldn't know about? You'd think that the great, all-knowing God of the Hebrews would tell them where infections actually came from, and that some of those stars were actually great swarms of them instead. It would have been confusing at first, but lots of stuff in scripture doesn't make any sense yet and is supposed to later on in prophesy. Obviously, he would know that we would discover what he meant eventually by references to such things had he made them, but they're just not there. Nope, only what the backwater people of that area knew which wasn't much considering that the Bible calls a bat a bird, and pi = 3.

    October 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile

      @ LC,,,,,

      Don't you know that the kingdoms of the Gods are upon our insides? We are nothing but buidings in which God and His kind exist and flourish without much thought as to our living and/or dying trivialities. Luke 17:21 and 1 Corinthians 3:9

      October 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, BG, how convincing....a quote from a book.....impressive indeed

      October 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  9. Bob

    At least Chad is willing to go on debating. There might be hope for him yet.

    October 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • LC

      Haven't you ever heard of the boxing term "punch drunk"? Chad is beaten so senseless that he actually thinks that his arguments are valid.

      October 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Sure, LC, I maybe get as frustrated with the vapid arguments of the believers as anyone and I hear you. I'm just glad though that there is any engagement and continuing dialog. I get some hope from that.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  10. Jesus was a Jerk

    I'm happy that he died in agony.

    October 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • LC

      Jesus was probably nowhere near the jerk that the new testament makes him out to be.

      October 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  11. Droopy Dong

    Not surprising at all. Science and math are actually illegal in the great state of Georgia.

    October 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  12. BigSkyHumanist

    Those who believe in the literal interpretation of the bible live in a very strange universe. It drives them crazy that the rest of us can't accept their version of god. You can't be a true believer if you don't think we are put on this earth for the sole purpose of worshiping their god. He created the earth for his amusement and designed most of us to fail his standards and then punish us for being mere humans. The whole idea we were created perfect, set up and then billions of us will burn in hell forever is insane. This creator is incompetent.

    October 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • LC

      Yes, they embody the very essence of closed-mindedness and intolerance.

      October 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      From the "foundation of the world" Jesus took responsibility for His creation. The bible clearly says that Jesus death was for all, that it paid the price of all sin, etc., and that every human being now decides his own future, whether to remain in the sinful race of Adam and be lost or choose the race of the second Adam, Christ, and be saved. To choose Adams race is to choose eternal death-annihilation. Since the the kingdom of God includes all his creation, to reject god is to choose to be outside of or apart from his kingdom/creation which simply means choosing annihilation.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      From the "foundation of the world" Jesus took responsibility for His creation. The bible clearly says that Jesus death was for all, that it paid the price of all sin, etc., and that every human being now decides his own future, whether to remain in the sinful race of Adam and be lost or choose the race of the second Adam, Christ, and be saved. To choose Adams race is to choose eternal death-annihilation. Since the the kingdom of God includes all his creation, to reject god is to choose to be outside of or apart from his kingdom/creation which simply means choosing annihilation. Choose Life.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Franklin

      Bibletruth
      How, exactly, does immortal God sacrificing himself to himself have any more meaning than you giving up the username Bibletruth for something different? Jesus knew that he was immortal, right? All anyone can imagine is that his life as Jesus was like some video game avatar that he lost after playing the game all the way through. Big whoop!

      October 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Xerxes

    Religious fvcktardation at its finest.

    October 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where'd you learn that word, Xerxes? I used it here first. Poor little you. You can't even come up with an original insult?

      Do you still wear Pull-ups?

      October 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  14. Robert

    What I find the most surpising, even depressing, is all of the people on here who profess that there is no God. Sad. I will pray for you that you find out the truth before you meet him upon your death. I pray it won't be too late for you.

    October 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • tallulah13

      Do you have any substantial evidence that your god exists, Robert? If so, please provide it. The world has been waiting thousands of years.

      October 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • ME II

      Apparently there is no way to "know" God, except through personal revelation. So, if God has not chosen to reveal himself to someone, then either it is as He planned or the believers have not be praying hard enough for the non-believers.

      So, get to work and pray harder. Stop posting useless comments on this blog and pray harder.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Robert

      I find it even more depressing that you have to have a deity to bring meaning to your life.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Robert,

      I am open minded. Prove to me that there is a god and it is specifically the god you believe in and I will change my mind.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • LC

      As sad as those who don't believe in Santa anymore. Some even tell their children that he's not real. Crazy, eh?

      October 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Robert' is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      October 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • LC

      Robert
      If any gods do happen to exist what makes you think that it has to be yours? You could just as likely end up facing Horus or Hades after you die, or an unknown superior being who will judge you on how logically you chose your beliefs, or how good your fashion sense was, or any number of other equally pointless criteria like how much you believed in them.

      It's like telling a little child to beware the ghosts that they might encounter in an old house when anyone sensible would know that wild animals, weak floors, psychopaths, fire hazards and a host of other things are actual proven hazards.

      October 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      Robert: Some of us hope that you get off your knees and try to be a real man instead of a subservient excuse for one

      October 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  15. Chad

    @Franklin "The big bang and evolution do not require a god to have occurred.
    @Chad "really? Then what external agent was responsible for the Big Bang?
    How do you reconcile what we know of the nature of natural selection and purely random genetic mutation with the fossil record clearly showing stasis and periods of rapid change?

    ========
    @Franklin " Genesis disagrees."
    @Chad "where? and with what does it disagree?"

    October 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, as always:
      1) even if there is something before the big bang, that something something doesn't have to be your God. It could any god, or no god. Not knowing something doesn't prove god, it proves we don't know.
      2) you would explain that the same way every biologist or paleontologist does, through natural selection. Haven't you read about Punctuated Equilibria? Aside from the parts you quote mine, the argument is a model of how evolution works, not a demonstration that it doesn't.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Chad

      The BB could have been started by an internal agent. I don't see why an external agent is necessary.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      You know this stuff already, you're just hoping for someone new to try out the same old tricks with. That's why people call you out on being disingenuous.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, let's skip the never-ending Arguments from Ignorance and move straight to your positive (active) argument. In your view how does God cause new species to arise?

      If I understand your particular "theistic evolution" you will say "through mutations."
      How does God cause mutations? through processes like increases in solar radation.
      How does God increase solar radiation? through things like solar flares.
      How does God cause solar flares? and on and on....

      This is an infinite regress unless at some point you can tell us how God causes changes in physical things. At some point either God has to be doing something supernatural, or there is no need for God in your argument in the first place. How does the supernatural part work?

      October 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Has Chard managed to show that his sky-fairy was the force that caused the Big Bang or evolution? Why didn't this make the national news?

      October 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • mama k

      OK – who knows where this response goes, but in any event, it looks like there are two issues there.

      1. Chad, you need to have a little more imagination to think of at least some possibilities for what could have existed before the big bang (or the last big bang [lbb] if you subscribe to the big bounce idea which I think has some merit). Since we know so little about before lbb, why can't one imagine an agent that, by current knowledge, is neither biological, nor spirit, possibly not intelligent, possibly not a singularity, but that could have affected current life. I know that probably sounds ludicrous, but if we don't know about the properties of things before lbb, then how can we discount their ability to morph to other properties and/or apply properties as they transition through lbb only to then turn off afterwards (like you turn the gas off on your stove); or maybe some of those properties are still here and we can't yet detect them? There are so many possibilities. And yes, maybe a higher being is another possibility, but there would be no more validity to the notion than any other bazillion notions that someone can come up with since there is no evidence. Which leads to #2.

      2. Religions, imho are nothing more than rehashed folklore – all dreamed up by men. And the keyword there is "rehashed". I'm not just being flippant about it – it's really obvious and as simple as that. I guess another way to look at it is that even if the first recounting of a real encounter with a higher supreme being were true, it still make the whole story today false, because of how obvious it is that the story changed and modified through time to meet some political**, need along the way and to adapt to the religion-of-the-day (**which includes a group's survival I might add).

      October 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mama k

      political**, need along the way and

      my comma is in the wrong place – should be:

      political** need along the way, and

      October 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Why, in the 21st century, do we even tolerate the "god did it" argument when its proponents have not even come close to establishing that any gods exist? They have no evidence – nothing at all after several thousands of years of claims and seeking. Nothing! They have no material that would stand up to a scientific review or in a court. Their claims are no more, and are perhaps less, credible than astrology.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Franklin

      Chad
      How could the Big Bang need to have an external agent to get it started if it was the beginning of the universe? Talking about things "before" the BB makes about as much sense as asking what's north of the North Pole.

      "Rapid Change" in the fossil record can still be counted in millions of years, plenty of time for dramatic changes to occur.

      There are many places where Genesis and evolution do not agree. The "fall" of Adam supposedly ushered in a decline in life on this planet, but the evidence suggests the opposite. The idea that there was no death prior to the fall, and that God designed animals with this lifestyle in mind, is ridiculous considering that many animals are clearly evolved to eat meat. God supposedly made Creation "good", but evolution requires much suffering.

      Also, the same word for "days" in Genesis clearly refer to ordinary days and nights, as in:

      Genesis 1
      14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was ...

      Where we know that evolution required millions of years. Genesis teaches that God created fruit trees before fish, the earth before the sun and other things out of sequence. These and other problems make Genesis and evolution fail to considered together. If you believe in Genesis then you're not believing in evolution, and vice versa.

      October 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus "even if there is something before the big bang, that something something doesn't have to be your God. It could any god, or no god. Not knowing something doesn't prove god, it proves we don't know.
      @Chad "there must be something, there must be that external agent.
      Seems pretty willfully ignorant just to stop and say "well, we dont want to investigate any further, because we might find out it's the God of Abraham, so we'll just stop at that point and say "we dont know""

      =========
      @Rufus "you would explain that the same way every biologist or paleontologist does, through natural selection. Haven't you read about Punctuated Equilibria?
      @Chad "I think the different mechanisms being discussed are confusing you..
      Natural selection is the process by which beneficial traits become either more or less prevalent based on benefit.
      Punctuated Equilibrium is merely the observation that the fossil record is characterized by long periods of stasis interrupted by brief periods of rapid change.. It says no more than that..
      Allopatric speciation is the process that the authors of PE claimed could explain the stasis and rapid change.

      Actually, of the two of us, one has actually read PE (me)..

      ========
      Damocles"The BB could have been started by an internal agent. I don't see why an external agent is necessary.
      @Chad "the universe created itself? You're going with the "from nothing, by nothing"? which is metaphysically impossible.. (which is why no serious cosmologist entertains it)

      Note also that Kraus's "a universe from nothing" isnt talking about nothing in the sense that the entire world uses it (an absence of everything), his "nothing" is vacuum space, which is most certainly NOT what existed "prior" to the singularity (Kraus has been forced to admit this..)

      October 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus "This is an infinite regress unless at some point you" can tell us how God causes changes in physical things. At some point either God has to be doing something supernatural, or there is no need for God in your argument in the first place. How does the supernatural part work?"

      @Chad "in other words, how exactly did God speak all of the matter in the universe and time itself, into existence?

      The answer is: I dont know.

      Now, I'm sure you are comfortable with that answer, because as you are forever telling me "Why isn't "I don't know an acceptable answer if we don't know?""

      October 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      UNBELIEVABLE! The Chard saying something retarded yet again!

      "Seems pretty willfully ignorant just to stop and say "well, we dont want to investigate any further, because we might find out it's the God of Abraham, so we'll just stop at that point and say "we dont know""

      Who's "stopping," you witless azz? Science isn't "stopping" investigating. The only idiots that are "stopping" are religious nut-jobs like you, Chard.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Franklin "How could the Big Bang need to have an external agent to get it started if it was the beginning of the universe? "Talking about things "before" the BB makes about as much sense as asking what's north of the North Pole."
      @Chad " that is why I always put "before" in quotes..
      The thing is, it is not necessary to share a time frame to have a causal relationship. See for example the multi verse theory on the origin of the universe

      =========
      @Franklin ""Rapid Change" in the fossil record can still be counted in millions of years, plenty of time for dramatic changes to occur."
      @Chad "dramatically incorrect. The time frames discussed for the periods of rapid change are in the 10 to 15,000 year time frame. Remember, it has to be short enough that it is reasonable that all those occupants could have escaped fossilization, this leading to the "sudden appearance in the fossil record of fully formed species"

      ============
      @Franklin "There are many places where Genesis and evolution do not agree. The "fall" of Adam supposedly ushered in a decline in life on this planet, but the evidence suggests the opposite."
      @Chad "When did the fall of man occur? What was the nature of the world outside Eden before the fall of man? Without being able to answer either question conclusively how can you possibly make that statement?

      ===========
      @Franklin "The idea that there was no death prior to the fall, and that God designed animals with this lifestyle in mind, is ridiculous considering that many animals are clearly evolved to eat meat. God supposedly made Creation "good", but evolution requires much suffering."
      @Chad "again, what was the nature of the world outside of Eden?

      =======
      @Franklin "Also, the same word for "days" in Genesis clearly refer to ordinary days and nights, as in:"
      @Chad "How much time elapsed between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2?

      =======
      @Franklin "Genesis teaches that God created fruit trees before fish, the earth before the sun and other things out of sequence"
      @Chad "all of the universe, the sun, moon, everything was created by the end of Genesis 1.
      The sun became visible later, presumably some early atmospheric obscuration..
      The fruit before fish, I dont have an answer for that one..

      October 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • mama k

      Tom is right about this, Chad. I'm sure no one here said nor insinuated: [Chad:] ""Seems pretty willfully ignorant just to stop and say "well, we dont want to investigate any further, because we might find out it's the God of Abraham, so we'll just stop at that point and say "we dont know"". First of all, as Tom said, science nor most people here stop searching to uncover all there is to know about the universe's creation – why would you think that? And secondly, why would you assume that people who have already ruled out the possibility of the god of Abraham might be concerned about the contrary? Are you telling us you can read their minds – is that what leads you to say such things?

      October 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Chad' is an instance of the Begging The Question fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      October 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Franklin

      Chad
      10-15,000 year is still enough time for as many generations in some species. Look at how much change dog breeders have managed to make in less time. There are cases such as the Peppered Moth that demonstrate even more rapid change, so arguing that even such short periods is inadequate for change doesn't work.

      Considering that man evolved far after obvious carnivores such as sharks and T-Rex how could their adaption to eating meat have occurred after the fall?

      You would be reading a lot between the lines to imply that everything "outside" the Garden was natural because one of the points of the Genesis Garden story is to describe how misery and pain entered the world. The readers of Genesis would have lost that point had they imagined that misery and pain were part of God's original plan for the entire planet, but that the Garden was only a special refuge.

      What does it matter how much time elapsed between Gen. 1 and 2? If God is separating "day" from "night" in Gen. 1, and you want to argue that God's "days" were millions of years long then the day he was separating was also this long but, obviously, the original readers of Genesis read day as a literal 24 hour day, the same as we have now. Surely, if the whole point of the creation story wasn't to describe why the Sabbath was holy, then the authors of Genesis, having God piping them this story, would have been told that it took much, much longer than a literal 6 days to create the universe.

      "presumably some early atmospheric obscuration"
      Is this at all supported in the narrative, or is it just another fanciful, creationist explanation like T-Rex eating pumpkins or animals rapidly migrating from the landed ark in clouds of poisonous volcanic gas?

      October 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • redzoa

      Chad, in his heart of hearts, understands quite well that PE is not an obstacle to evolution. This has been explained to him multiple times in excruciating detail. I see now that he's moving the time frames for PE nodes down to 10-15K yrs; however, the range can be as high as 150 yrs. His willfully ignorant position is based in a continual misunderstanding that PE is restricted to species-level changes, the smallest detectable level of change between related species. This level of change does not require significant genetic alteration. He has been directed to examples observed within human life spans of such events, for example, the Pod Mrcaru lizards. Furthermore, Chad often attempts to paint evolution in a false dichotomy between PE and gradualism. Again, this reflects a failure to understand that gradualism can effectively operate within PE time frames.

      "The relationship between punctuationism and gradualism can be better appreciated by considering an example. Suppose the average length of a limb in a particular species grows 50 centimeters (20 inches) over 70,000 years—a large amount in a geologically short period of time. If the [[Arithmetic mean|average]] generation is seven years, then our given time span corresponds to 10,000 generations. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that if the limb size in our hypothetical population evolved in the most conservative manner, it need only increase at a rate of 0.005 cm per generation (= 50 cm/10,000), despite its abrupt appearance in the geological record."

      October 14, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • redzoa

      Correction "as high as 150K years."

      October 14, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Franklin

      Chad
      Gould didn't see any conflict between punctuated equilibria and evolution.

      Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.
      [Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution as Fact and Theory Science and Creationism, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 124.]

      October 14, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, "i don't know" is perfectly fine, if followed by, "people continue to investigate it." The problem is that your "I don't know" concerns the very heart of your argument. Imagine if it were the other way around. What if someone insisting upon plate tectonics just retreated to "I don't know" when asked why continental plates move. Or, if someone asked a biologist how evolution works and she said "I don't know, but it's correct." See how that doesn't work so well?

      Here is a question that might get to the heart of the matter: If I were able to award you a multi-million dollar research grant to perform experiments to determine how God "speaks matter and time into existence," what experiments would you carry out?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    For evidence/proof of human evolution, look no further than the color of human skin. When the first humans moved from Africa some 60,000 years ago, their skin was dark. As they moved to colder regions that had less Sun exposure, human skin became lighter and lighter.

    e.g. http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/chem/.../Jablonski_skin_color_2000.pdf

    For said Rep. Broun:

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
    https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

    " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable JOURNEY. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

    "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

    Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

    It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

    Part of the project: $199 and a DNA swab:

    "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

    Do doubt Broun will find substantial Neanderthal markers in their DNA!!!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    October 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Bob

      Reality, thanks for your posting diligence. Please keep up the good work. The dual nonsenses of creationism and religion may never be eradicated completely, but we can reduce their terrible influence on humanity through diligent efforts such as yours.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  17. old golfer

    Sat what? A man educated as a doctor of medicine believes in hell. Come on Doc, what's to burn, a corpse. You should know that very well. There is no hell.

    October 13, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Rachel

      Obama believes that cancer patients should suffer in pain. STOP this madman from terrorizing Medical Marijuana Patients.

      October 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Robert

      uh, wrong. There IS a hell. Sorry to inform you. I pray that you never find out for yourself.

      October 13, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Robert

      He definitely is correct. It's not that evolution doesn't exist. Of course it does. Things evolve over time. What it DOESN'T mean is that there is no God. Of course, there is a God. That's a fact. It's just that people, over time, and chosen to believe that it's either God or evolution. They can actually both, in fact, do, co-exist. One doesn't disprove the other. Same as the "big bang theory". Which, of course, is just a theory. Not a fact.

      October 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Damocles

      @Robert

      I'm guessing you know someone who has died, gone to hell, and come back to tell you about it?

      October 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      I find it funny, Robert, that in one statement you declare that hell is real, despite the fact that the only evidence you can provide for this place is an interpretation of a very old book. Then in your next post you deny the reality of the Big Bang, which is actually supported by observable evidence.

      It's okay that you chose ignorance over knowledge; that is your right as an individual. But that sort of thinking is only detrimental when it influences the future of this nation and it's citizens. The world has caught up with the United States in science and technology, and it's passing us. I don't want future generations of my family to live in a third world country because people like you were too afraid to face reality.

      October 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • LC

      He's a doctor who uses vaccines and antibotics that in his mind must have magically just happened, I suppose?

      October 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      robert: what evidence do you have that hell is real? if you quote from a book, you will be ridiculed. go ahead, make my day

      October 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  18. rahtid

    I find this man much less a congressman so bizarre it’s not funny. Is this man really a doctor, I wonder how much of a doctor he is when his profession relies on theories seem to come from the pit of hell and not his bible. Where does this man live it could not be a home whose theory and construction came from the pit of hell. what is his diet like hen if he goes to a supermarket like us its mostly processed food.
    For all intents and purpose this man should be dead if he really takes what he says seriously but then I guess he might interpret his existence as a miracle.
    As a Christian I am appalled because I do read from the same bible but I cannot in anyway come to his conclusion other than the fact that he hopes that unlike many sinners who will be turned away from heaven fiending ignorance of God's existence, he might get turned away for fiending an ignorance that is patently stupid and arrogant.
    Education was wasted on this man and I guess this is why the RNC is so intent on taking away not just the ability of many to go to college but to turn this whole nation and world into a miserable, ignorant sphere of life, a veritable hell on earth.

    October 13, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  19. saggyroy

    The people who voted him in should have their voter rights revoked.

    October 13, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • OTOH

      And they will be voting him in again next month - as I understand that he is running unopposed.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  20. Kane

    Scary that this man is responsible for writing and voting on our laws.

    October 13, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • midwest rail

      Indeed. Claiming that the Bible teaches how to "run all of public policy" is delusional.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:24 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.