Long-dead Charles Darwin gets 4,000 votes in race against Paul Broun

Several thousand residents of Georgia would rather see a dead scientist in Congress than a fellow who declares evolution and such to be lies from the pit of hell, According to this morning’s Athens Banner-Herald:

Charles Darwin, the 19th-century naturalist who laid the foundations for evolutionary theory, received nearly 4,000 write-in votes in Athens-Clarke County in balloting for the 10th Congressional District seat retained Tuesday by five-year incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Broun….

“I can’t ever remember seeing a (write-in ballot) report that long,” said Athens-Clarke County Elections Supervisor Gail Schrader after releasing the full list of write-in numbers to local media Thursday morning.

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Broun generated 209,924 votes in his unopposed 10th District contest, so Darwin write-ins could be written off as a small fraction. But those 4,000 votes were only for Broun’s home county of Clarke, where the congressman generated 16,980 votes.

Which means that, in the bastion of the University of Georgia and its environs, nearly one of every five voters declared a preference for a man who long ago turned to dust.

Broun’s lucky that Darwin didn’t have a Super PAC behind him. One wonders whether a live Democrat would have done as well.

Here’s the background, via an Associated Press piece from a few weeks ago:

An ultraconservative congressman whose district includes the University of Georgia campus, Broun 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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58 comments Add your comment

John K

November 9th, 2012
1:47 pm

Darwin’s bones are infinitely more intelligent than Broun.

Jon Lester

November 9th, 2012
2:00 pm

Here’s something for you, Jim, proof that I got quite a few votes, too:

http://ads.flagpole.com/pdf/Write-InVotes.pdf

JB

November 9th, 2012
2:11 pm

It’s buffoons like this Broun guy give Ga a bad name.

Friday

November 9th, 2012
2:25 pm

Of course, no one considers the fact that this man’s religious views are being openly mocked. Shame on those that feel it necessary to denigrate his faith. Many Georgians (and Americans) agree with him. Why should his beliefs not be allowed in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee? Just because a bunch of Darwinists don’t agree with him?
I’m sure there would be an outcry if a Christian mocked the beliefs of a Jew/Muslim/Mormon that we would never hear the end of it.

Kris

November 9th, 2012
2:29 pm

JB …your right…

A dead scientist is better than a buffoon..After all the animals he studied was far more intelligent.

Looks like Bone head and the rest of the clown circus is going to push us off the cliff.

Boehner looks like he has been on a 3 day DRUNK…He has flip flopped more than ZIG ZAG….

UGA Student

November 9th, 2012
2:36 pm

Friday,

If your religion clouds your judgement to the degree that Broun’s obviously does, you shouldn’t be making decisions for our country.

allison

November 9th, 2012
2:37 pm

People like Paul Broun are the reason why the GOP will NEVER receive a single vote from me. They are not even an option, since they are so completely detached from reality. For once, I agree with Neal Boortz…

Iconoclast

November 9th, 2012
2:39 pm

Last time I checked, the sacrosanct Ten Commandments never say anything about believeing the Bible as the “infallible word-of-God,” nor to hold its legends, lore, or parables as the gospel-truth for all time.

However, the authors of the “Good Book” do a fair job of imparting awe and obfuscation in the minds of the blind-believers.

HumanisticJones

November 9th, 2012
2:42 pm

@Friday
“Of course, no one considers the fact that this man’s religious views are being openly mocked.”
Well, his religious views on this subject are directly opposed to actual scientific evidence, over a century of research, and reality. Should the man not be called out for being so glaringly wrong? Jefferson once said that “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” I see few propositions less intelligible than countering years and mountains of evidence with “It’s lies from the pit of hell!”

“Why should his beliefs not be allowed in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee? Just because a bunch of Darwinists don’t agree with him?”
Well, for one, those beliefs aren’t science, they are about how he thinks science is wrong and how we should use his religion instead of our best research. Also, just a bunch of “Darwinists”? Darwin himself doesn’t enter into this, so I can’t really say I’m a worshiper or devotee of Darwin. But as I said above, it isn’t just people that disagree with this guy. It is reality in general.

“I’m sure there would be an outcry if a Christian mocked the beliefs of a Jew/Muslim/Mormon that we would never hear the end of it.”
Well, considering that Jews, Muslims, and Mormons all believe the book of Genesis is divinely inspired, and Broun believes evolution is wrong because Genesis doesn’t describe it, I guess we’re also making light of the beliefs of those other three groups as well, at least when they claim that when reality and their holy books don’t agree, then reality must be ignored.

Tinkerella

November 9th, 2012
2:50 pm

Yes, I believe Broun should be able to believe whatever he wishes…..but when you spew such stupidity as a representive, that gets you fired from being on the Science and Technology committee. Perhaps there’s a music or party planning committee he could attend to earn his keep. I am getting more and more embarrassed to admit I’m from Georgia with the likes of this idiot.

Tinkerella

November 9th, 2012
2:52 pm

typo ….representative. I just got all worked up trying to type!

Tom

November 9th, 2012
2:55 pm

After HumanisticJones, there’s really nothing more to be said. But if Friday @ 2:25 wants to put his/her own religious views on display here, I will openly mock them as well.

Aquagirl

November 9th, 2012
3:03 pm

no one considers the fact that this man’s religious views are being openly mocked.

Sure we have. We just don’t care about the feelings of nutbags.

typosRus

November 9th, 2012
3:14 pm

Religion is important. man has a need to worship. It’s part of mankind’s makeup. The science of the earth is important. man has a need to know it. Unless a man can acknowledge that science changes with the experimental evidence, and that the evidence requires an observer, and that observers necessarily influences the results, then he can never realize that it’s just possible that man, the earth, and god himself are all about ten thousand years old. It’s possible. It’s also possible that there’s no god, but, if there is one, then it’s just possible that god requires an observer to worship him and imagine him, which means he can’t exist without the worshipper which means that god and man were created in the same instant the universe was created, leaving only about ten thousand years give or take for the age of the universe. Perhaps God can only exist in the mind of a man, for only a man can imagine a god. If there is a god. If the universe really did have a beginning. If we can rely on experiments that we ourselves set up to find preconceived data that wouldn’t be there if we hadn’t looked….aw, the only thing from the pits of hell is logic.

catlady

November 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

I’m for Darwin, too.

Bob the Builder

November 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

always tell the truth, but don’t always be telling it

DJ Sniper

November 9th, 2012
3:27 pm

Paul Broun’s beliefs aren’t really the problem. The real problem is that he thinks that other people are going to burn in hell if they don’t share those beliefs.

Tinkerella

November 9th, 2012
3:48 pm

And yet Georgians keep on electing these intellectuals…..obviously he has yet to evolve

potus obama & vpotus biden

November 9th, 2012
4:24 pm

the bigger question is: why do we even have a “House Science, Space, and Technology Committee”, in congress?? I doubt if anyone on the committee understands any more than Broun.

Nofreecheese

November 9th, 2012
4:51 pm

Why do the Dem’s spend time and money campaigning against Republicans when the Republicans campaign so well against themselves? Next time Broun will probably say woman need permission from god to get abortions

WillinRoswell

November 9th, 2012
4:52 pm

From the Associated Press article quoted above:
“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.”
Well, it looks to me like Broun was just sucking up to the good folks at Liberty Baptist Church since his remarks were to be off the record. I do not believe for a minute that Broun believes what he said at the church. Here we have a highly trained medical doctor turned politician. I think his political angle made him do it. He just got caught looking stupid. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Stupid is that stupid does.”

BehindEnemyLines

November 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

Says much about the state of the Dem Party in Georgia that the best candidate they could field in opposition to Broun was a dead guy that didn’t even qualify to run (unlike the two deceased candidates that won in AL & FL).

RGB

November 9th, 2012
5:19 pm

” The real problem is that he thinks that other people are going to burn in hell if they don’t share those beliefs.”

You don’t have to worry about what “he” thinks, but you should be concerned about what “He” thinks.

Personally, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

Hamad Meander

November 9th, 2012
5:25 pm

It’s a shame Darwin didn’t get enough votes to unseat him. There needs to be a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting in the Republican party about talking on or off the record about abortion, evolution, or any other religious based thoughts and theories. And when I say “come to Jesus’ meeting, I don’t actually mean to inviting Him to join. Nationally, the Republicans will continue to lose with losers like Todd Akin and John Murdock spouting stupid thoughts about rape and abortion.

The Republicans need to embrace free enterprise, lower taxes, and less regulation and allowing everyone to benefit from a growing economy. A Path to Citizenship needs to be established and legal immigration should be embraced.

MiltonMan

November 9th, 2012
5:40 pm

I will take Broun over Hank “Guam will tip over” Johnson any day of the year.

MiltonMan

November 9th, 2012
5:43 pm

“Nationally, the Republicans will continue to lose with losers like Todd Akin and John Murdock spouting stupid thoughts about rape and abortion.”

And dems are proud of electing the likes of Elizabeth “I am an Indian” Warren; Jesse Jackson Jr., Alan Grayson, Hank Johnson, etc., etc.???

RGB

November 9th, 2012
5:48 pm

Or “you didn’t build that” Obama or “giving the rich a $500 trillion tax cut” Biden.

Jim

November 9th, 2012
5:52 pm

These Darwin voters shouldn’t feel too smug. UGA folks are too stupid to matriculate at a great school. Broun may be extreme, but at least he made it through Med school. These Dawgs probably think Charles Darwin was Herschel’s uncle.

Kris

November 9th, 2012
5:55 pm

The President does not fix the economy…only Congress can do that. We have been electing the wrong people to Congress for over 40 years and expect things to change.

Hiram

November 9th, 2012
6:25 pm

Based on the comments, the Rupublican party is dead. Rest in peace…

Truth

November 9th, 2012
6:41 pm

The Bible has more “science” than any Darwin fairytale. The problem is you people WONT READ it because it confronts your sin. Darwin knew nothing about DNA & genetics when he stated his “theory”(not fact).Louis Pasteur proved in the 1800s that spontaneous bio genesis is impossible which undermines the “theory of evolution”. Im not a scientist but I have the common sense to know that a cell cant mutate itself upward!

LaKeisha Jackson

November 9th, 2012
6:45 pm

I wonder how many times Charles Darwin voted?

andy

November 9th, 2012
7:18 pm

I voted for opie!,but buckwheat won.

Whirled Peas

November 9th, 2012
7:24 pm

Barak Obama got a bunch of votes too. Do you think that a bunch of UGA students got into the medical marijuana cabinet before they voted? I suspect a little whakky tobakky would do wonders for Jim Galloway too. Jim gets uptight by the weirdest things. Mrs. Jim G. had better do a better job of keeping him happy.

Kris

November 9th, 2012
7:41 pm

Georgia should legalize Marijuana, that way we can build a new stadium, (perhaps a new team to play there), 1 hour train to the new savannah port (with a stop at the fish farm). Close the toll Booth on GA 400 and return the HOV lanes in 1-85 and last but not least we cold make a dope (?ea?).

Thomas

November 9th, 2012
7:47 pm

Grass roots at its best!

Jeffrey

November 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

I, wish I had Rep.Broun than the anti-GOD,Catholic and white bigot Hank Johnson.Eally, Satan himself would be better than Hank ever was

the prof

November 9th, 2012
7:56 pm

Can we not tax God 25%?

TJones

November 9th, 2012
8:08 pm

Priceless.
This story doesn’t leave me one just one single emotion – it’s hilarious but depressing, hopeful but discouraging.

If the HOPE scholarship continues, there is hope for this state.

I have read the Bible, many times. I am a Christian. Decades ago, when I was about 12, I started to wonder why creation and evolution were not the same thing. The Bible is full of metaphors, rhetorical tools which facilitate understanding. I have no problem believing that evolution was God’s design.

To characterize people who accept evolution as non-Christians who just need to read the Bible and be saved is an intellectually lazy response. This is where the fake wedge between religion and science begins. You are fighting an imaginary war.

There will always be legitimate theological debates and expressions. Read Christian Doctrine by Shirley Guthrie, Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy by CS Lewis (who was a converted atheist), and JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings (yes, it’s on many levels a Christian allegory). And these are all old guys. They’re all dead now.

Grow, expand, engage. None of this introspection involves losing your religion. But it does take effort.

Flabbergasted

November 9th, 2012
8:25 pm

I’m deeply saddened that someone of Congressman Broun’s stature is so confused on this point. Why do so many persons feel that a belief in God and acceptance – or at least an open mind about – such theories as the big bang or evolution have to be mutually exclusive? Yes, both are theories, but so is our understanding of gravity. Is gravity also a “lie from the pit of hell” because it is a theory accepted by science? After all, there are several instances in the Bible where persons defy gravity and are seen ascending into the sky. My own personal opinion is that person who feel that they must spout ideas that fly in the face of science do so because their own personal faith is not strong enough to accept the possibility that science may have some insight into God’s creation.

Flabbergasted

November 9th, 2012
8:28 pm

TJones: Well said. Try reading “When Christian’s get it Wrong” by Adam Hamilton. I think you’ll like it.

Truth

November 9th, 2012
8:29 pm

Theistic evolution isnt true either. The Bible is THE Word of God or its not. You cant go half and half.

Flabbergasted

November 9th, 2012
8:33 pm

Truth: Since you can’t go half and half, I assume you observe all the dietary laws and ritual cleanliness laws outlined in the first five books.

Duh

November 9th, 2012
8:44 pm

In the beginning… From Nothing came a big explosion, which eventually developed Earth, which developed life by total accident and then Scientists developed. Scientists came from nothing.

This is sure unbelievable to me.

TJones

November 9th, 2012
9:30 pm

That’s it? Unbelievable. No more discussion than this?

Tom

November 9th, 2012
9:35 pm

Nothing invented by humans….which includes science and gods….. is perfect.

Kris

November 9th, 2012
9:43 pm

God has a sense of humor…She created the GOP!

double

November 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

Better to vote for a dead man,than do as the repugs,and vote the dead man.

hamiltonAZ

November 10th, 2012
1:09 am

How does a guy like this keep getting elected? His re-election seems to support the notion that, in the 10th District, many folks haven’t evolved.
Then again, if the Congressman hangs around those folks, his disbelief becomes more understandable.

Buckhead Boy

November 10th, 2012
3:07 am

When a well-respected father publicly refers to the son as “crazy”, and that son’s bizarre statements are frequently reported, prudence — oh never mind, this involves the Republican alternate reality, where faith trumps reason, and rationality is in short supply.