Monday, October 08, 2012

Another Republican Congressman Beclowns Himself

The Associated Press is reporting on a speech given by Georgia congressman Paul Broun, who is quoted as saying:
“God's word is true,” Broun said, according to a video posted on the church's website. “I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Evidently, he was also quoted as believing that the earth is around 9 000 years old and was made in six days.

The truly scary thing about this is that he has a post on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. How does someone this scientifically stupid get on a committee like that?? Once again, this calls for some kind of rudimentary test of basic science knowledge and understanding to weed people out before they are appointed to these kinds of committees. In any sort of formal discourse, he will be next to useless because he doesn't accept the basic tenets of so many different scientific theories.

It is yet another example of a Republican congressman demonstrating for all to see that his education in science has completely failed him.

It is also an example of the narrow mindedness of modern fundamentalist evangelical Christianity, a movement that seeks to divorce itself from any deep historical roots or modern academic understandings of the world in which it finds itself.  I am reminded of what Bruce Waltke said about this movement:
“If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult ... some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God's Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness,...”


  1. According to his Web site, Broun is an MD, a former Marine, a hunter, and is running hard in his campaign for reelection. Helps explain both his words and his presence on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Tech. Not the first time that someone's views about the cosmos have been molded by the audience and situation--or, as a great saying puts it, "Where you sit is where you stand."

    Brock Haussamen,

  2. I realize that you need to have a background in a hard science of some kind and medicine is that (usually) but he seems to be lacking in the basics of quite a few of the scientific disciplines or maybe he is simply locked into that YEC hermeneutic. I know a guy who works at a nuclear reactor and spouts the same stuff. I guess it is easy to compartmentalize if what you do is restricted to a somewhat circumscribed set of information.

    I am reminded of the anecdote that Don Prothero told in his book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters.

    "A more concrete example [of scientific illiteracy] happened in 1984, when a surgeon at Loma Linda University in California attempted to replace the defective heart of “Baby Fae” with the heart of a baboon. Not surprisingly, the poor baby died a few days later due to immune rejection. An Australian radio crew interviewed the surgeon, Dr. Leonard Bailey, and asked him why he didn’t use a more closely related primate, such as a chimpanzee, and avoid the possibility of immune rejection, given the baboon’s great evolutionary distance from humans. Bailey said, “Er, I find that difficult to answer. You see, I don’t believe in evolution.” If Bailey had performed the same experiment in any other medical institution except Loma Linda (which is run by the creationist Seventh-Day Adventist Church), his experiments would be labeled dangerous and unethical, and he would have been sued for malpractice and his medical license revoked. But under the cover of religion, his unscientific beliefs caused an innocent baby to die of immune rejection, when other alternatives might have been available."

  3. When you only know half the story, it becomes easy to reject the other half. That goes for both sides.

  4. I believe the Bible was inspired by God, but never intended to be a science book. Jesus read it and quoted from it. In his time science as we now have it did not exist. The Bible stories of creation were not aimed at teaching science--not a replacement for science. Attempts to interpret the Bible that ignore or dismiss science are evidence that the interpreter has little idea of the historical reality of the book. It has been God's word to man through the ages, and I think he is grieved at those who abuse it as in the quote attributed to Broun.