A Republican congressman has dismissed evolution, the Big Bang theory and embryology as “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.), whose speech at Liberty Baptist Church in Georgia last September was posted on YouTube yesterday, may not be unique among Republican congressmen in holding such ill-informed views or even in stating them so publicly. What adds an element of urgency to the situation is that he’s a high-ranking member of the House Science Committee, of which, incidentally, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is also a member.
Broun, who is a doctor, says that “as a scientist” he has found data that “actually show that this is really a young Earth.” “I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” he continues. “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”
You might notice that the shift from “data” to “belief” occurs quite abruptly in that sentence — and that the only data Broun seems to mention or care about are what’s in the Bible, whose opening verses in Genesis count among its most poetic.
But statements like his underscore how closely beliefs about evolution correlate with religious behavior — a troubling, potentially volatile situation in this country, not least when powerful politicians wield such claims as truths.
Not only that, but Rep. Broun has a pre-emptive explanation for those who would challenge his ignorance of geology, a science that dates the planet to roughly 4.5 billion years old. Such findings, determined from radiometric-dating (especially uranium-lead dating), amount in his thinking to “lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Since so many Christians have found ways to reconcile the opening verses of Genesis with the broadly confirmed age of the planet, it’s worth asking why “Young Earth” literalism has become the latest dogma in Republican circles.
The rest of the article may be found at the Huffington Post – Religion.