Yet another Republican congressman who, along with Missouri’s Representative Todd Akin, is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has made a statement that should make us allwonder about the state of science in the US. Georgia Representative Paul Broun, who is running unopposed for his seat in November and is a medical doctor, has said that evolution, the Big Bang Theory and embryology are all “lies from the pit of hell.”
Yes, he said that and there is video proof.
Broun made his remarks while speaking at the 2012 Sportsmanís Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia, says the Athens Banner-Herald. A video of Broun’s entire speech was posted last Thursday, October 4, on the church’s website; there is also a video with a shortened version of his speech. Here’s what Broun said:
ďGodís word is true. Iíve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the big bang theory; all of that is lies straight from the pit of hell.”
ďAnd itís lies to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, thereís a lot of scientific data that Iíve found as a scientist that this really is a young earth. I donít believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was made in six days as we know them. Thatís what the Bible tells us.Ē
In other words, a member of the House science committee publicly expressed fundamentalist Christian beliefs, including that the Bible is a guidebook to all aspects of life.
Broun also said in the full version of the video that God had inspired him to first run for Congress in 1990; he was first elected in 2007.
In an effort at damage control, Meredith Griffanti, a Washington, D.C., spokesperson for Broun, said that “Dr. Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jay Bookman emphasized that it is “important to stress that the setting for his remarks is religious in character rather than political.”
But as the Washington Post observed,
It seems unlikely that Brounís remarks were supposed to be kept private. The banquet was advertised, Broun spoke before an audience and the video of his remarks was posted on the churchís website.
Along with Akin’s comments about it being “really rare” for rape to result in a woman becoming pregnant, Broun’s statements serve to completely undermine the work of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. That Broun is a medical doctor only makes his statements seem more ludicrous and bring his scientific background into question.
In his “lies from the pit of hell” speech, Broun referred to his medical training in explaining how he obtained some of the animal head trophies in his Washington, D.C., office. Describing how a bear he shot in the chest kept running for fifteen minutes, Broun said the bear’s heart and lungs were “destroyed” when the dead animal was found: ďI can tell you as a medical doctor, in four minutes, your brain dies. How that bear did that, I donít know.Ē In another hunting story, Broun specifically said that God had directed a bullet to kill a lion who was about to jump into the back of a truck he was in.
The question we should be asking is how did Broun become a member of a House committee on science in the first place?
(Don’t get me started about how Akin ended up on it.)
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