Paul Broun picks up a write-in opponent: ‘Charles Darwin’

Here’s your giggle of the day, courtesy of Ray Henry and Russ Bynum over at the Associated Press:

Having denounced evolution as a lie “straight from the pit of hell,” Republican Rep. Paul Broun has won himself a new political opponent: Charles Darwin.

A suggested slogan: “Four More Epochs.” But to continue:

An ultraconservative congressman whose district includes the University of Georgia campus, told a Baptist church last month that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory were lies spread by scientists out to erode people’s faith in Jesus Christ. He also claimed the Earth is roughly 9,000 years old, a view held by fundamentalist Christians based on biblical accounts of creation.

Now scientists are questioning whether Broun, a medical doctor and a Baptist from Athens, should serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee if he rejects widely accepted scientific ideas. And a talk radio host in nearby Atlanta is trying to rally voters to cast write-in votes for Darwin, the English naturalist who first published his theory of evolution in 1859.

Religious fundamentalists like Broun damage the Republican brand, said Neal Boortz, the libertarian-leaning radio host who has a strong following among Georgia conservatives.

“It makes Republicans look like knee-dragging, still-tending, tobacco-spitting Neanderthals,” Boortz said.

A Facebook page promoting Darwin for Congress went up Oct. 8 urging supporters to take a stand against Broun.

But the laws of political science hold that Broun will likely win re-election to a fourth term. He has no Democratic opponent in the election Nov. 6 and Georgia law requires write-in candidates to register by early September. That, and Darwin is long dead.

The write-in campaign is tongue-in-cheek, said Jim Leebens-Mack, a plant biologist at the University of Georgia who started the Facebook page. But its supporters hope Darwin gets enough votes to pressure Republicans into removing Broun from a leadership post on the House Science Committee.

“I’d think the Republican Party would want to put a serious legislator in this seat rather than have Paul Broun,” Leebens-Mack said.

Broun’s spokeswoman, Meredith Griffanti, did not immediately return five phone messages left Tuesday and Wednesday. She previously said the congressman’s Sept. 27 comments to a banquet at Liberty Baptist Church of Hartwell were intended as off-the-record statements about his personal beliefs. The church posted video of the congressman’s speech on its website.

“God’s word is true,” Broun said in the video. “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.”

Mark Farmer, the biological sciences chairman at the University of Georgia, said Broun should resign his committee seat or be removed.

“If you truly don’t understand or accept the basic tenets of modern science, I find it difficult to see how you could be making basic judgments about science policy,” Farmer said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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45 comments Add your comment

Georgia

October 17th, 2012
1:45 pm

Charles Darwin vs the Third Guy From the Left on the Evolutionary Charts.

Four more Eons.

jconservative

October 17th, 2012
2:00 pm

So the University of Georgia is loaded with faculty types who are “…out to erode people’s faith in Jesus Christ.”

Why don’t Broun just demand that the University of Georgia be closed down?

Is it possible he really doesn’t believe what he says he believes?

Georgia

October 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

Four more years of Obama would be like suicide, vote in Romney.

Hazel

October 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

I trust he isn’t the typical UGA grad?

DJ Sniper

October 17th, 2012
2:35 pm

Paul Broun and Todd Akin on the Science and Technology Committee. Michele Bachmann on the House Intelligence committee. I swear you can’t make this s**t up.

strom

October 17th, 2012
2:54 pm

Paul broun is good argument for birth control.

Baron DeKalb

October 17th, 2012
3:11 pm

Boortz wants to have his cake and eat it to. He needs to realize that anti-intellectual rubes like Broun have been a voting majority in the Republican party for the last 15-20 years. But, like many spineless libertarians, he chooses to support Republicans because of their commitment to laissez-faire economics and an endless expansion of gun “rights,” and conveniently ignores their contempt for civil liberties, intellectual freedom, and modern thinking in general.

Road Scholar

October 17th, 2012
3:41 pm

” She previously said the congressman’s Sept. 27 comments to a banquet at Liberty Baptist Church of Hartwell were intended as off-the-record statements about his personal beliefs.”

So he should not have a problem with legalized abortion, since his personal view is against it!

mensa freethinker

October 17th, 2012
3:43 pm

It’s ironic how threatened liberals are by anyone who doesn’t agree with their thinking, and yet they label those who disagree with “widely accepted” scientific ideas as narrow-minded. I still recall in the seventies when the “widely accepted” scientific idea then accepted by many scientists and the media, and constantly in the news, was that we were about to enter a “second ice age”.
The fact that something is “widely accepted” does NOT make it true.
For those of you who have FORGOTTEN. The theory of evolution is just that. A THEORY. The fact that it is considered “widely accepted” has no bearing on its validity. It is only CONSIDERED “widely accepted” because the media tend to accept and report the opinions of those who agree with it more than the opinion of those scientists (who are NUMEROUS) who disagree with it.
When a theory as been proven to be FACT it is then called a scientific LAW, not a THEORY. Such as the first and second LAWS of thermodynamics.
Christians such as Paul Broun have nothing to fear from SCIENTIFIC examination of ALL evidences for or against evolution. Science and Christian belief, far from being mutually exclusive (as liberal media representatives might infer) are not at odds with each other at all. Christians are not afraid of scientific research. An examination of the facts surrounding the sciences will find that most branches of scientific endeavor have in fact been FOUNDED by Christians. And scientists both Christian and non-Christian are in their debt.

DJ Sniper

October 17th, 2012
3:51 pm

Mensa, it wouldn’t be such a problem for people like Paul Broun if they didn’t insist on others believing the same thing. Him believing for himself is one thing, but to say that scientists are spreading lies to erode faith in Jesus is just whacked out. For someone like this to be on the Science and Tech committee is not a good thing.

While you’re at it, take a look at the curriculum that’s being proposed by these religious based charter schools in Louisiana. The tomfoolery will make your head spin.

Progressive Humanist

October 17th, 2012
3:59 pm

“mensa” freethinker doesn’t understand the difference between the layman’s version of the word “theory” and the scientific definition of “theory”, nor the difference between a theory and a hypothesis. And he doesn’t seem to understand that no science is ever proven as fact- not light, gravity, germs, atoms, friction, etc. All these are well supported theories just like evolution and are considered more than simple facts because they are each substantiated by thousands of facts. I guess mensa freethinker is the special ed mensa member, the one they let in with an IQ of 82.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:46 pm

Georgia is full of stupid people on both sides.

Jimmy Carter

Cynthia McKinney

Bill Campbell

Hank Johnson

It goes both ways, left wingers.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:47 pm

Baron DeKalb

Maybe the dems need to put up smarter candidates. Oh wait, they can’t.

Auntie Christ

October 17th, 2012
4:48 pm

You would think someone who claims to be a Mensa member would know that Newton’s LAW of gravity has been supplanted by Einsteins’s THEORY of gravity. Here’s a suggestion ‘Mensa’ ‘freethinker’ (incidentally, I don’t believe you are either), go to the top of a tall building and jump. You will find that like evolution, be it theory or law, the results are easy to predict.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:49 pm

How many columnists does it take to cut and paste other columnists articles?

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:49 pm

“go to the top of a tall building and jump.”

What is it with left wingers and wanting folks to commit suicide? This is the second time today.

Georgia

October 17th, 2012
4:52 pm

The latest science I’ve heard about is that the universe is a hologram projected from the edges of the universe. Great. Just when I’ve mastered string theory. I hate physics. I hate math. I hate Einstein. (insert an emoticon of a guy running away and crying like a little girl).

DJ Sniper

October 17th, 2012
4:54 pm

Donnan, you need to direct that comment towards the clown car of candidates that the GOP fields these days.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:56 pm

“you need to direct that comment towards the clown car of candidates that the GOP fields these days.”

Make me.

Wilbur

October 17th, 2012
4:56 pm

God is dead.

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:57 pm

“God is dead.”

Everyone who says that phrase ends up dying.

MD

October 17th, 2012
4:57 pm

If you liberals can’t see the lies obama is spewing then you fools are a lot dummer than I thought.Fact check for yourselves and find the real truth.It would not be that hard to do,so help yourself and vote wisely.because you can;t fix stupid!

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:57 pm

“you need to direct that comment”

Which comment?

DONNAN OF A NEW ERA

October 17th, 2012
4:58 pm

“fools are a lot dummer ”

If you’re going to call someone dumb, please spell the word correctly. That way you won’t look dumb.

DJ Sniper

October 17th, 2012
5:06 pm

MD, please let us know all the truthful statements that Romney has said.

td

October 17th, 2012
5:14 pm

President Romney. Practice it with me libs, President Romney.

Libs should punch themselves

October 17th, 2012
5:16 pm

Looks like CNN is even admitting that Obama didn’t win.

Obama needed decisive win, didn’t get it

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/opinion/bennett-romney-obama/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Baron DeKalb

October 17th, 2012
5:23 pm

“CNN is even admitting that Obama didn’t win”

Oh, yes, /even/ CNN (that is what meant to write, isn’t it?)–and in the “opinion” section, written by William Bennett, a certified member of the Librul Media Elite. By the same token, /even/ CNN is admitting that Romney didn’t win:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/opinion/schroeder-presidential-debate/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

td

October 17th, 2012
5:47 pm

Gallop now has Romney at 51% and Obama at 45%. I can see the fat lady warming up her voice.

honested

October 17th, 2012
6:21 pm

It is sad to believe that paul broun is put forward as the most capable and intelligent individual to represent his district.

I know plenty of intelligent, capable individuals who are tired of being the butt of National jokes because of their joke Congressman.

My the tea clowns ‘influence’ has served that section of Georgia well (in the biblical definition of service).

honested

October 17th, 2012
6:22 pm

td,

Kinda’ like President mccain and Vice Presiden failin’ isn’t it.

jd

October 17th, 2012
6:26 pm

Gravity is law, evolution is theory, bible is fiction.

Buymadeinusjobs

October 17th, 2012
9:44 pm

That’s not a bad idea you could write in barnes, reed, nunn, cleland others where there is not a choice .

ld

October 17th, 2012
10:31 pm

A vote for Charles Darwin is a vote for “none of the above” when the only “above” is Dr. Broun — I’ll second that.

Matlanta

October 17th, 2012
11:16 pm

It doesn’t matter if evolution is considered theory or fact, what matters is that the understanding of evolution has improved people’s lives. Treatment for HIV, allergies, cancer, and genetic disorders have all been improved though the understanding of evolution (read the book “why we get sick”). Evolution is an undeniable part of medicine and medical treatment. Broun has an MD degree but his willfull ignorance precludes his ability to serve the public interest in scientific matters. His sensationalist political tactics are unsurprising since he is running unopposed, he can’t lose. We can ignore him until he is replaced, or wait until he pulls his head out of the sand (unlikely). But let’s get him off the house science and tech committee ASAP. If he brings his ignorant personal beliefs to bear on bills influencing scientific research then we can be assured he is doing disservice to our country and potentially the health of its citizens.

oldfart

October 17th, 2012
11:47 pm

I’m a firm believer in gravity myself. Yes it is just a scientific theory but I have faith in gravity. It is my belief that without gravity we would not exist as the earth would certainly be without form and void. Even if somehow it did have form it wouldn’t have light because it wouldn’t be hanging out around the sun. We won’t even talk about oceans or atmospheres and the rest just take it on faith (since it is only a scientific theory), that without gravity, we’re screwed.

Gotta’ go now. I’m trying to convert a couple of strippers that still have bodies that defy gravity. Dang heretics.

mensa freethinker

October 17th, 2012
11:58 pm

Matlanta, evolution has not improved people’s lives. As related to medicine – an understanding of genetics and “survival of the fittest” may have improved people’s lives, but (though some people confuse the two) that and evolution of one species into a different species is NOT the same thing. And thinking that one species evolved into another has done NOTHING to improve lives.
In fact, when evolution theories first were introduced (Darwin was not the first to put forth the idea) they were used by many to assert that blacks were a different and inferior species. Ask blacks if that improved their lives any. Hitler even used evolutionary theory as the basis for wanting to promote the Aryan race. To quote Richard Weikert, “Hitler was inspired by evolutionary ethics to pursue the utopian project of biologically improving the human race. Hitler’s evolutionary ethic underlay or influenced almost every major feature of Nazi policy: eugenics (i.e., measures to improve human heredity, including compulsory sterilization), euthanasia, racism, population expansion, offensive warfare, and racial extermination. Hitler also believed that morality was biologically innate, so he thought that eliminating the “evil” Jews would bring moral progress. ”
Ask the Holocaust survivors if that improved their lives any… just sayin’…

mensa freethinker

October 18th, 2012
12:13 am

oldfart (if you haven’t already left to “witness” to the strippers) ; ) Darwin himself said that if his theory was true you should be able to find more fossils of intermediate species that any other type, because the number of intermediate stages gone through to change from say, pond scum, to a rabbit for instance, would by far outnumber the first and last form. He was bothered until his death by the fact that the fossil record didn’t bear this out. Read his writings for yourself. Don’t just drink the koolade.
Evidence for gravity is all around you. Evolution… not so. I laugh inside every time I read an article about a newly discovered fossil that scientists are “surprised” so closely resembles the modern species, even though it is millions of years old. Gee… wonder why that is??

eli

October 18th, 2012
12:39 am

And the GOP wonders why they have a hard time getting smart people on their side.

Jon Lester

October 18th, 2012
2:26 am

Matlanta

October 18th, 2012
7:45 am

Mensa freethinker, no moral sane person thinks Hitler was a good person or that eugenics was a good idea. The counter arguements you present are the same old tropes. You agree that understanding genetics improves human health, but think that genetic change over time is different from the idea that one ancestral species has evolved into different species over time. The ideas are the same. Genetic change underlies evolution. Look to our understanding of HIV to understand how evolution has aided medicine. We have been able to trace the evolutionary lineage of different HIV strains to related simian viral strains in other primates. This knowledge has allowed us to understand differences in virulence among strains and create different treatment approaches based on our knowledge of the lineages. Look at our understanding in the evolution of the IgE antibodies involved in immune response and the role of changes in parasite loads influencing the incidence of allergies. Or simply why some populations are lactose intolerant while others are not.
Claiming that one species does not evolve into other species is also not accurate because we have observed speciation taking place. Look at the example of marine vs. freshwater stickleback fish, or the speciation among populations of apple maggot flies, or Endler’s guppies, etc. etc. No one claims that a fish one day gave birth to a bird, evolution doesn’t work that way. A species is a lineage of organisms that changes genetically over time and may branch into other lineages. We have observed these processes taking place. Finally, “Intermediate” fossils are plentiful but by no means the only evidence for the idea that species have changed and diverged over time. Read a biology textbook to get a better understanding of what evolution is and how we understand species today.

honested

October 18th, 2012
8:49 am

While it might be appropriate for individuals to base their lives on belief in faeries, placing an individual with such ‘beliefs’ in a position of authority to develop official governing policy for the United States of America is a foolish and dangerous proposition.

One need look any farther than broun’s ‘accomplishments’ to confirm the danger.

mensa freethinker

October 18th, 2012
11:44 am

oh please Matlanta… my degree is in biological sciences… yours?

fed up

October 18th, 2012
1:17 pm

in the heart of Broun country. Love him and will vote for him again. I do think both sides should be taught. Evolution in the Biology class and Creationism in the social studies class

Edmund Ruffin

October 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

All of this would be amusing except for the fact that Broun is absolutely right. Question: if we evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys?