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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. Does reverse evolution take place?

    I find animals don't have the need to worship a Creator. Why do humans find the need to worship? Are we to reverse the evolutionary process by discontinuing what our ancestors have done for thousands of years? If so, is the population reverting back to ape like ancestors spiritual non existence? Can people then become apes once more? All questions I will bring up to my veterinarian, all this time wasting money seeing an MD.

    October 20, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • janey33

      God created animals and humans differently. He gave humans something that animals do not have...a soul. That is why humans have a need to worship and animals do not. God created the universe and life on earth. We did not evolve from apes or anything else, so we cannot return to apes. So you are safe to keep going to your MD. That is the Christian viewpoint. It is up to you whether or not you want to believe it. But you asked, so I answered. The Congressman has every right to his beliefs, as does everyone else. I find it interesting that those who believe in the big bang assume that Christians do not believe in science. Christians believe in science, just not in the same way.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • think again

      For being unknowable, you claim to know alot about your god. And yes, if you don't "
      believe" in the big bang,
      (or suspect that it might be somewhat accurate) there is NO WAY you can be a scientist.
      It is just amazing how
      much science you need to ignore to think that the big bang is wrong. Just go to youtube

      and see what other people like you think. It is really shameful!

      October 20, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • End Religion

      @reverseCowgirl: you are multi-posting just like FakeLiberal: are you the same twit? Scroll down to find you've already been answered.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • End Religion

      @janey: Please show evidence for said "soul." Until such time, it does not exist.

      God did not create life. We understand how humans evolved from a common ancestor. It isn't a matter of belief, it's a matter of whether you choose to live in a shared reality that rests on supporting evidence, or on the other hand you may prefer to chalk everything up to magic.

      Just be aware that if you choose Magicland, that accepting someone's beliefs will require inhuman tolerance. When someone disagrees with you that 1+1 does not equal 2 because they believe it to instead equal 67, you will need to accept that as fact, just as you accept the millions of interpretations of "god" as fact when they cannot all be such. Good luck with progress in that world.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only reason some people believe we have a "soul" is ego. We think we're somehow superior beings, endowed with some supernatural element that other living things don't have. There's no evidence whatsoever that this is so. None.

      People like janey love to believe this crap because it makes them feel "special." There is not a shred of evidence to support this belief. It's simply a function of hubris. We think because we have larger brains that we are somehow "special" and "sacred." There is no proof that this is so, nor is there any proof that we will always be the dominant species on this planet.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  2. Reyna

    when did a human need only half a lung, or a quarter of heart? evolution is so absurd. Why is everything so perfectly design with us humans in mind and everything outside our atmosphere so harsh.There is indication of design everywhere, design = designer is like seeing a building that is far less complex than us and deny that there was an architect that design it or taking a look at Mt Rushmore and say look at what gases and wind did over millions of years

    October 20, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • End Religion

      @reyna: "when did a human need only half a lung, or a quarter of heart? evolution is so absurd."

      huh? Your understanding of evolution is so poor I can't even figure out what your creationist twist of a question is...?

      ***
      "Why is everything so perfectly design with us humans in mind and everything outside our atmosphere so harsh."

      Nothing has been designed for. We evolved into this existence and as such, fit into it. You are essentially saying "isn't it neat we have 5 fingers on each hand because that fits exactly into a pair of gloves, therefore the hand must have been designed." The evidence points in the other direction, that we designed gloves to fit a 5-fingered hand.

      The world wasn't designed for us, we evolved into it and so we "fit" into it. We don't actually know that your assertion is true that "everything outside" is harsh. The universe may be infinite, and in that case would contain infinite planets just like earth.

      ***
      "There is indication of design everywhere"

      There is no such evidence. In fact, scientific evidence points to the opposite. With vestigial organs, and fowl that still contain dinosaur traits buried in their DNA. The human genome contains the mutated remains of a gene devoted to egg yolk formation found in egg-laying vertebrates.

      ***
      "design = designer is like seeing a building that is far less complex than us and deny that there was an architect that design it"

      *sigh* ... no. Your failure to understand evolution and the incomprehension most humans have when it comes to not being able to fathom millions of years, combines to fool you into thinking you can poo poo science using "common sense from the hip."

      ***
      "or taking a look at Mt Rushmore and say look at what gases and wind did over millions of years"

      Speaking of "did we ever see anything form after an explosion?" Here we have Mt. Rushmore which had a series of small manmade explosions in order to create the faces. I understand you cannot fathom evolution as possible, yet it is fact.

      "I don't know" does not equal "god did it"

      October 20, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Stop chimpIng around

      Uncle georgilla says its past your bedtime.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • janey33

      End Religion... "I don't know" does not equal "god did it"...neither does it equal evolution. Both evolution and God have to be taken on faith. No one was here when the world/universe began.

      October 20, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • the AnViL

      janey33 – "Both evolution and God have to be taken on faith."

      WRONG!

      there's absolutely no direct evidence of god.

      there's a tremendous amount of direct evidence which evolution is predicate on.

      faith is belief in something for which you have no direct evidence, even contradictory evidence.

      religion is founded on ignorance. it's predicate upon ignorance.

      science is predicate upon knowledge

      everyone who believes in imaginary men in the sky suffers from delusional thinking, and should not be allowed to hold public office, vote, purchase firearms or teach public school.

      you should be ashamed to be this ignorant.

      tolerance of religious ignorance has to end.

      enough is enough.

      October 20, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      So perfectly designed!

      Then this perfect design includes the following very short list of maladies, diseases, etc designed to perfection by a perfect god!
      Malaria,
      Small Pox
      Yellow Fever,
      Measles,
      Anthrax,
      Sickle-cell anemia
      Hemophilia,
      Neurofibromatosis,
      Autism,
      Cancer,
      Tay-sacs,
      Bubonic plague,
      Bacterial infections,
      Viral infections,
      plus much much more.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • End Religion

      @janey: ""I don't know" does not equal "god did it"...neither does it equal evolution."

      You're getting to the heart of the matter. Science means we *do* know, or at least have supporting evidence. This is what's so important - religion says "god did it, contrary to any supporting evidence". Science says, "evidence supports that the big bang happened, and the universe, planets and humans evolved from that."

      ***
      "Both evolution and God have to be taken on faith."

      Wrong. God has to be taken on faith because there is no evidence. Evolution is a fact, inasmuch as we have "facts" in our shared reality. It's OK that I am anot a scientist and do not necessarily understand all of the facts myself. The biologists and geologists who do understand how the earth works and humans evolve are able to test each others' work all over the world. There are now multiple lines of evidence through various sciences which support evolution.

      ***
      "No one was here when the world/universe began."

      Not many people saw Jeffrey Dahmer kill and eat his victims yet we all believe it happened because of the evidence, much of which was provided by science until the point that Dahmer began telling the story himself.

      We were able to predict the time it would take Pluto to make its journey around the sun even though we had not yet experienced that journey since its discovery.

      Science can make very good predictions via measurement based on scientific theory and math. Religious prediction is just guessing, with the guesses being correct as often whether using a bible or a ragdoll to base the predictions on.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Janey, you are either incredibly dense or you're a Poe.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  3. Reyna

    I am sooo proud of you Congressman for talking Tuth...
    People who deny God is because they want a lie so they can keep on sinnig.They rather believe a lie that has been proven wrong
    How is that something can come out of nothing? and if we are evolving why are there apes? D eny a ll you want that does not make it true. Why ae there mammals in the oceans? OOOOOhhhh I forgot last I heard is that fish after evolving to mammals decided tey miss the water Yeah OK .....
    so they devolved and cut there own legs? When was the last time you saw something be created after an explotion? where did the mateials come from? does adding millions of years make it scientificky enough? I will leave some metal in the sand and wait a couple of yearsto see if it would convert nto a rolex. How many milions ofyears does it take a caterpillar to become a butterfly?

    October 20, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • End Religion

      Reyna, 2 words. Night school. Some more words: take some classes.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh0F4FBLJRE&w=640&h=390]

      October 20, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • End Religion

      something from nothing...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U&w=640&h=390]

      October 20, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • End Religion

      "why are there mammals in the ocean?"

      They are transitional animals. The fossil record shows early whales with legs, what one expects for a transitional form between land and water. Plus the DNA and embryological data.

      And occasionally today, whales and dolphins are found with atavistic…legs.
      Why would an intelligent designer bother to design an aquatic animal that is incapable of extracting oxygen from water?

      http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/03/whale-evolution.html

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#ontogeny_ex3

      October 20, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • the AnViL

      uh oh! those damned satanic atheists are at it again!!!!

      SATAN ALERT!!!! SATAN ALERT!!!

      !! End Religion: "Reyna, 2 words. Night school. Some more words: take some classes." !!

      don't you do it reyna! night school and education were created by the devil to lead you away from the lord!!!!!

      taking classes is exactly what satan wants you to do!!!! you WILL be lead astray!

      don't you fall prey to the devils plan!!!

      education is EVIL! reyna – for the love of all that's holy i implore you NOT to take night classes.

      praise jebus!

      October 20, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • End Religion

      Anvil, or should I say "Loki the Trickster" – don't you sweet talk Reyna back into Heaven. I am bringing her to the dark side with me and all my minions which I evolved in my basement from ocean mammals.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      It's easy to make typos, especially on small hand held devices, but yikes! The school you went to should lose it's accreditation.

      P.S. I knew I would not find them all, but it was just too dang time consuming to even try to them all. Sooooo, here it is with some of the most obvious ones marked.

      I am sooo proud of you Congressman for talking[speaking the] Tuth...
      People who deny God is because they want a lie so they can keep on sinnig.[space here]They rather believe a lie that has been proven wrong[period]
      How is that something can come out of nothing? [A]and if we are evolving why are there apes? D eny a ll you want that does not make it true. Why ae there mammals in the oceans? OOOOOhhhh I forgot last I heard is that fish after evolving to mammals decided tey miss the water Yeah OK .....
      so they devolved and cut there own legs? When was the last time you saw something be created after an explotion? where did the mateials come from? does adding millions of years make it scientificky enough? I will leave some metal in the sand and wait a couple of yearsto see if it would convert nto a rolex. How many milions ofyears does it take a caterpillar to become a butterfly?

      October 20, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  4. AmericanLiberal

    Quote – 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.

    So 78% of the people in America do not believe what my college teaches (Athiest Evolution View)
    and we allow this ? Is it just the only horse running, our story for now until we find a better one – to explain God away
    I have heard the evidence against it – it is credible and there is plenty of it – evolution theory has serious flaws / un-explained gaps in logic and missing evidence, yet you won't hear a peep about it at school – are they afraid, and of whom?
    This is the biggest cover up going – from those who proclaim to be so smart – afraid of loosing your job if you speak up
    Afraid of being snubbed by the "Science Community"

    October 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, I am truly impressed by the blather of some moron who can't figure out how to spell "losing." Your "college" should LOSE its accreditation for allowing a moron like you to remain among its student body. You're an embarrassment.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Doug R

      Fake Liberal Dude, we are also taught things like electrons, electricity, nuclear fusion, etc. that 78% of us really (non-experts) can't disprove either, but we believe these theories because they have gone through scientific scrutiny.

      If it was written in the Bible that only God can create electricity, bet your life that 78% of Americans would dispute the common theories on electricity.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • the AnViL

      "un-explained gaps in logic and missing evidence"

      that's funny stuff

      October 20, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Koos

      Scence is not a democracy.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • End Religion

      @fakeLiberal: "So 78% of the people in America do not believe what my college teaches (Athiest Evolution View)"

      Your college does not teach "the atheist evolution view" - they teach facts. One of those is evolution. 46% of the pop. doesn't believe in evolution. You, my fact-twisting friend, are in the minority.

      ***
      "and we allow this ?"

      Now that I have shown you in the minority, do you want to rephrase your argument, since it began from the position of "the majority says 'do this' so why aren't we?" It would only be right as a creationist to begin the Ad Hoc Hypothesis at this point and start changing your argument.

      ***
      "Is it just the only horse running, our story for now until we find a better one – to explain God away"

      There are several horses in the race that may be headed toward explaining away your god. Other religions are a rather large horse. Evolution is the only factual one that at least shelves god into the tiniest of niches, however its aim is not to disprove god.

      ***
      "I have heard the evidence against it – it is credible and there is plenty of it"

      There is zero credible evidence against evolution. ZERO. There is only endless bullshit from creationist sites that gets debunked over and over, then refined, then debunked over and over ad nauseum. You want to derail evolution, find a Precambrian rabbit. Get to work!

      ***
      "– evolution theory has serious flaws"
      no. give us the deets.

      "un-explained gaps in logic"
      no. give us the deets.

      "and missing evidence,"
      no. give us the deets.

      ***
      "yet you won't hear a peep about it at school"

      Yeah, schools are a bit weird when it comes to their tenacity with helping students learn facts.

      ***
      "are they afraid, and of whom?"

      no, they are not afraid. So why ask?

      ***
      "This is the biggest cover up going – from those who proclaim to be so smart – afraid of loosing your job if you speak up
      Afraid of being snubbed by the "Science Community""

      The biggest scam, friend, is religion. Massive multi-millennial fraud.

      And for fuck sake, learn how to spell the 4 letter word "lose" and its cousins. It is 4 god damn letters.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  5. Da King

    Well done Paul!!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • someguy

      maybe you should try to read a book other than the bible once in a while

      October 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  6. Scottie

    Staggering ignorance in this day and age. The only ones more ignorant are the ones who elected him.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  7. Harrry Baxter

    I hope that he's a veteranarian. They shouldn't let this fool within a mile of a human patient.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • .

      Well, we are from the ape family, so maybe he is in the right place.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's an insult to veterinarians and I'm not kidding. A veterinarian has as much understanding of biology and anatomy as any medical doctor. He/she has to, because the animal physiology is no less complex than the human one. Get a clue.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Does reverse evolution take place?

      I find animals don't have the need to worship a Creator. Why do humans find the need to worship? Are we to reverse the evolutionary process by discontinuing what our ancestors have done for thousands of years? If so, is the population reverting back to ape like ancestors spiritual non existence? Can people then become apes once more? All questions I will bring up to my veterinarian, all this time wasting money seeing an MD.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • End Religion

      @reverseCowgirl: "I find animals don't have the need to worship a Creator."

      You've discovered a means to talk with animals to confirm your claim? Please share.

      ***
      "Why do humans find the need to worship?"

      Humans in general do not all necessarily feel the need. I am what I consider fortunate among atheists in that I have not had to suffer the emotional hardship of converting - i have never felt a need to worship any god. Some humans feel a need because they've been indoctrinated to it.

      ***
      "Are we to reverse the evolutionary process by discontinuing what our ancestors have done for thousands of years?"

      It is impossible for evolution to "reverse." When people speak about "de-evolving" they typically are just talking about moving away from intellectual positions acquired over time, i.e., getting dumber, or they may be talking about a catastrophic social event that causes loss of technology such as a nuclear holocaust which would shut down electricity and basic human advancement for a long period of time. The universe would continue evolving.

      ***
      "If so, is the population reverting back to ape like ancestors spiritual non existence?"

      If your assertion is that religion somehow makes us human, then you disgust me. In addition you'd also be wrong.

      I do personally feel religion served a purpose as a survival skill for societies. I believe it has outlived its usefulness. Religion now holds us back from progress and serves only to divide not only entire peoples but one human from another.

      ***
      "Can people then become apes once more? All questions I will bring up to my veterinarian, all this time wasting money seeing an MD."

      You don't need to ask an MD. Just ask me. I will set you straight. Here is a money-saving answer for you: Humans and apes are cousins. Humans evolved from an ape-like common ancestor that one might mistake for an ape because it likely looked similar, but was not an ape.

      But if you ask, irrespective of religion, can man evolve back into an animal like the one we descended from, then the answer is: I don't know. I think it'd be nearly infinitesimally unlikely yet possible. If our environmental conditions were correct on the planet for a long enough period of time such that our survival necessitated species changes into something similar to a previous ancestor, then I know of no reason why we couldn't evolve into it. But I'm no scientist. I could be wrong. I view a future evolution into that type of creature as unlikely as I view the chance there is a creator: as near to zero as I can express without saying zero.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • CowGirl

      Thanks for the nickname! I am astonished by your clairvoyant ability to determine so much about myself from a name. I am girl and grew up taking care of cows on a dairy farm. I have no ties with other commenters, and also apologize for annoying you to read my comment twice. Thank you for your answer it is easy to read and understand. I actually talk often to pets and the cows at the farm. Although they don't talk back, they respond to my voice and come when I call, unlike when a srranger calls. On some level there is some type of communication going on. Since I never see animals going to church, pray, or fight religious war they must not be religious. Then, I found this article. http://news.discovery.com/animals/animals-spiritual-brain.html. You are right to ask for research, it is most fascinating. I guess I wonder how religion started and what do you mean it was useful? When humans first came to exist they were not indoctrinated to religious belief, why is there ancient cave art displaying early human worshiping? Please understand, I am not trying assert an idea with the purpose to insult. I agree with you after religion ends people one day will be united individually and globally. I must admit though it is hard to be told you come from a lower life form, especially by condesdending remarks expressed by Dawkins. Any persons behavior of this manner I stay clear away from. Although my parents were not brought up in religion hence the labored hours caring for animals, I do have a thirst for spiritual thoughts. Is. It due to other animals that had spiritual experiences and passed those experiences to us? If one can consciously decided to deny a part of evolutionary changes to brain to cause change in a species, is human evolutions superior to other life forms since they only evolve from environmental triggers? Is brain size an indicator of intelligence ? If life is about survival of the fittest, why does this fact sadden me? If a human is weak does that mean it does not have evolutionary right to survive? Is mankinds attempt of curing disease making our species evolutionary weak for surviving generations by interfering with what nature has carefully pruned all this time? Is there a genetic gene type for people that have spiritual preferences, just as gene type are found for other preferences? What will the next forecast of physical traits of human evolution be?

      October 21, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • CowGirl

      Actually, I only wondered about reverse evolution since a recent doctors appointment I accompanied my grandfather to. After he complained about having to walk with a cane and his that his back causes him to be slouch over all time. The doc told him it was due to evolution and I guess natures way of mimicking ape ancestors background.

      October 21, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • End Religion

      @CowGirl: "I have no ties with other commenters, and also apologize for annoying you to read my comment twice."

      An odd thing to say if true.

      ***
      "Then, I found this article. http://news.discovery.com/animals/animals-spiritual-brain.html

      And within the article it says, "it is unlikely we will ever know with certainty what an animal subjectively experiences."

      ***
      "I guess I wonder how religion started and what do you mean it was useful?"

      I'm not going to answer all your questions. There is this thing called the internet, and this thing called Google. It is your friend.

      I believe religion was useful in that it was one way humans began to essentially say "we're all trying to get along here, we cannot live in anarchy, let's establish some rules of conduct." Religion was one survival technique that humans needed to form societies to establish ourselves as the dominant species. While it had this beneficial effect, it was also unfortunately mired in the ignorance of the times and went overboard in its rule establishment. I believe it is now detrimental to our continued progress.

      Noted as the first codified set of laws, Hammurabi's laws were apparent secular law informed by his religion. There is debate but it seems to me the laws while aimed at secular society were formed under influence of religion. I view that as one of the only positives provided by religion.

      Note that these laws, mingled with religion or not, did not specify rules in the seemingly arbitrary language of religion as most people today know it, meaning they didn't state things like "god says men shouldn't lie with other men" or "god says don't wear wool mixed with linen" or "god says go ahead and sell your kids into slavery if you wanna".

      It is arguably a less arbitrary type of law though apparently just as barbaric as the bible - again a product of the times. The laws were more like "if you cut down someone else's tree you will pay for the tree" and "if you ruin someone else's grain, you will compensate them for their grain." There were however some inhumanly barbaric laws, but there is nearly universal agreement that Hammurabi's code was a important step forward in mankind's overall progress.

      ***
      "When humans first came to exist they were not indoctrinated to religious belief, why is there ancient cave art displaying early human worshiping?"

      As I answered above, some but not all humans feel the need to worship. The vast majority are indoctrinated by family and environment.

      The answer to why some humans may feel a need to worship even if they hadn't been indoctrinated is complex. I don't have an answer. Science is exploring various avenues. One hypothesis is that religion may cause some humans to release endorphins or otherwise stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.

      People today live in fear of all kinds of things, and early man had it much, much worse, and simply didn't have the faculties to understand gods did not create the situations they found themselves in. They attributed nearly everything in the world to either the pleasure or displeasure of that unknown force. Religion made them feel good, and that is IMO entirely what religion is about today. We've since shown there is zero supporting evidence that anything in our universe is caused by any god. But worshipping makes some feel good, so they do it.

      ***
      "it is hard to be told you come from a lower life form"

      Yet, that is a fact, inasmuch as we have any facts in our shared reality. If one relies on science, which is based on repeatedly testable evidence, we may need to accept some things that don't align with our "common sense." Common sense helps us in localized situations, but the problem with common sense is that it is common. Common sense has been called "the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

      ***
      "especially by condesdending remarks expressed by Dawkins"

      Atheists are not immune to being annoyed with those who willingly ignore repeatedly presented facts. It takes a great deal of patience to continue calmly in the face of such ignorance. Religious people may not be stupid people, but getting them to apply critical thinking toward religion is challenging.

      The wonderful thing is, with enough conversation, time and even the slightest willingness to discuss it, religious people can break through the veil of ignorance and eventually see the fraud perpetrated on them by institutionalized religion. Any person who has even one question about her religion is on the journey to atheism. The journey can be 10 minutes or a lifetime. We are all atheists - for example christians don't believe in Zeus or the Egyptian god Ra - I'm just disbelieving one more god than them.

      ***
      "If life is about survival of the fittest, why does this fact sadden me?"

      Existentialism can be bleak for some that dwell only on the negative. This is one reason religion is successful. The universe is not a happy place. We are incredibly small and unimportant. But we seem to be wired for the need to feel special and important so we seek validation for that, which is provided by religion.

      Humans may grapple with the "why go on" question with or without religion. It is up to each of us to learn to appreciate life without the reprisal fear religion instills. Get involved in the community. Love your friends, family and neighbors while they are still alive. A couple of the good ideas that religion offers are indeed still beneficial even without religion. If you feel a strong connection with animals, join or start an organization to help those animals instead of dwelling on how sad life may be for them.

      ***
      "If a human is weak does that mean it does not have evolutionary right to survive?"

      Nothing has a "right" to survive. Survival of the fittest doesn't literally mean "the most muscles." It may mean anything within a given environment. We have evolved to be near the top of the chain because of our intelligence, but that doesn't mean we are indeed the one and only dominant species. There are far, far more insects – they may eventually dominate us. Also, we are susceptible to disease and so bacteria itself may end up winning out if our intelligence does not grow to overcome their incredible evolutionary adaptability rate.

      October 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  8. MichaelSC

    yep, back to the caves. This guy is already there. He needs no healthcare either

    October 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  9. john

    And you wonder why we're falling behind other countries in math and science? Better to trust a myth – or just have faith – than look at all available evidence? The jobs of the future will be taken by other countries if we don't teach our children science and math.

    This schmuck will be the first to yell that we're exporting jobs. Truth is, though, if we don't stress math and science, we'll become a backwater that produces nothing but low value-added goods. But at least we'll have God on our side! Yippee!

    October 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • janey33

      john... What does not stressing math and science have to do with God??? Christians believe in math and science just like anyone else. I took three science courses in college and really enjoyed them.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      janey. You may have attended, you may have enjoyed but you didn't learn much if you still believe in creationism.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You 'enjoyed them', janey? Was this some holy-roller college? Because otherwise, you either didn't understand the concepts or you failed the classes.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Damocles

      Weird that janey's first run-in with science was in college.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  10. Mark Taylor

    What a dufus. The Big Bang was theorized by a Belgian priest and confirmed by Edwin Hubble's observations. This congressman needs to read about the WMAP project. It's even been adopted by the Catholic church (oh yeah, some of those Baptists types say Catholics are idol worshipers who are going to hell) How someone so ignorant can be elected to position of US Congressman baffles the mind.

    October 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  11. aliant22

    And this guy is actually a congressman? It's a shame that people like hom do not have a clue as to how he and others like him and I actually got here.

    October 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  12. GN

    And, we wonder why our science and technology knowledge is declining. lol

    October 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  13. cyn507

    I've never seen a man that shade of pink before. ewww, scary.

    October 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  14. brian

    i'm thankful for stories like these to give me a daily laugh. keep denying logic and rationale and you'll see our country continue to go backwards. logic will prevail if you allow it to. silly christians

    October 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  15. old golfer

    Hey congressman. I have some bad news for you. There is no hell. Even if there was, what's to burn, a corpse? There is no Adam and Eve either. There is no devil either. But you keep on scaring people with fairy tales. God gave man reason. Man gave man religion, unfortunately.

    October 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  16. LD

    He is a good example of a non-thinking Christian who doesn't use his talents as God intended; i.e. to think. God gave us the sciences and medical breakthroughs. ALSO GOD AND CHRIST did not mix politics into their teachings....I think too many Christians use the literal bible as an excuse to simplify their life. Also politicians use their "religion" to get votes! They will utimately answer to that. As to the bible being literal, well it probably is if we just translate correctly from all the ancient languages and nuances in the everyday usage of those languages in that time. But for sure It was NOT given to us to use for political purposes. Yes PLEASE get this guy off ANY committees, he has put his brain on the shelf. If you want to lead people, you must make the sacrifice of USING your talent, not putting GOD out their as your reason for not doing so. Example, Jesus Christ was a loving, progressive teacher concerned about ALL peoples, even his opponents. Maybe we all need to study Jesus Christ's behavior; who was God became man. Lazy voters have elected far too many evidently uneducated and might I also say lazy, greedy congressmen. THAT is what is wrong, our lazy electorate.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      MEGA THANKS to Primewonk for this contribution to the discussion. I started by searching on alleles and found a vast amount of information on genetics, heredity, evolution, etc.

      Much to learn. Exciting.

      Thanks again.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Sorry, this ended up in the wrong location.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  17. M

    But is there a practical use to macroevolution?

    October 19, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Primewonk
      Evolution is evolution is evolution. Evolutionary biologists, molecular biologists, etc., don't use the macro/micro terms like the fundiot nutters do.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |

      October 19, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • M

      I’m aware of that. I wanted to know if there was any uses specifically to macro.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Then define what you mean by macro evolution before asking. People can't answer an ill defined question.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Huebert

      M

      Macro-evolution isn't a thing. How could there be any practical uses to a field of study that does not exist?

      October 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • End Religion

      What is the difference whether there is a "use" for it?

      October 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Exactly right Huebert.

      I am hoping to get M to think about that. It seems like M is trying to set up someone. I hope that's not the case but it seems like it. Sorta like a god who deceives his creation with false information to see who can be deceived.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • M

      Elmer Gantry,
      I would say it is any evolutionary change at or above the level of species.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • M

      Isn’t it a thing based on the definition I gave?

      A creationist said that macroevolution does not exist and therefore it has no practical use and should not be studied. When I suggested that getting a yearly flu shot would be a practical use to evolution, they responded by saying that is microevolution. How can I reply back to that specifically stating to macro?

      October 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Huebert

      M

      Reply that Viruses don't have a species classification so they can't have a change at the specie's level.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • M

      Thanks

      October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Primewonk

      For "M" – again, actual scientists don't use the "micro/macro" labels like these fundiot creationist nutters do. Evolution is simply a change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time. The key is time. The claimed distinction between micro and macro is bogus, and a lie. Whenever the nutters claim "macro" evolution is impossible, I first ask them to point out to me where this magic stop sign is in the DNA of an organism. Where is it located, and how does it magically activiate and prevent any further genetic drift. Sadly, they never answer. Instead they demand I show them the missing links. I then ask them for the scientific definition of missing link, and the scientific website they get it from. Sadly, they refuse to answer. They then demand to see a half human-half ape. I explain to them that this is most certainly not how evolution works. They then damn me to hell.

      There are really 2 modes to evolution – natural and man made. All the food you eat, has been modified over time by humans via selective breeding. In essence we are controlling the evolution of the organism. But with natural evolution, there is no goal. There is no direction. There is no up or down.

      People have to seriously stop getting their "sciency" sounding information from the "Pastor Dave's" of the world. The problem is that "Pastor Dave" is just as ignorant about science as his minions.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Thanks Primewonk for that good discussion. I did not know the term alleles and now have something to look and and learn about.

      Again thanks.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • WASP

      @prime: that was so well put i could kiss you, but then i would have to marry you and well i tend to snore so you would suffucate me with me own pillow. ROFLMFAO. XD

      October 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      This was supposed to be here.

      ElmerGantry
      MEGA THANKS to Primewonk for this contribution to the discussion. I started by searching on alleles and found a vast amount of information on genetics, heredity, evolution, etc.

      Much to learn. Exciting.

      Thanks again.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |

      October 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  18. ElmerGantry

    myway stated,
    __________________________
    myway
    Amazing how people like this manage to be elected. Maybe he should be asked to explain how dinosaur bones were created. I'd like to witness that one. Or even better, where exactly paradise is located. Juicy stuff.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    ___________________________

    Good one and,

    According the beliefs of the religion of one Mitt Romney the Garden of Eden is in Missouri.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  19. Silly Atheists

    I believe in some evolution. Atheists surely evolved from animals...

    October 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Pete

      Unless you think you are a plant or possible a fungus, you and every other human on the face of the Earth is an animal you moron.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • NickZadick

      The fact that we share 99% of our dna with chimpanzees is what? a practical joke from your fairy daddy?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @NickZadick,

      Ooooo, I see you didn't get the memo. That is just god tempting people with false information! LOL

      God breaking the "thou shalt not lie" and "thou shall not bear false witness" commandments by lying to his creation to see can be deceived.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  20. Infidel50

    This guy would make a good taliban leader. Can't wait for him to get caught in an airport stall.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:05 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.