Could Charles Darwin Have Beaten Creationist Congressperson Paul Broun?

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) just ran for Congress unopposed.

That’s disturbing when you consider that he sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology… and told an audience at Liberty Baptist Church in September that evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of Hell”:

God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the 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 were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.

I bring this up because there’s a quirky story making the rounds about how Charles Darwin received 4,000 write-in votes against Broun in this week’s election, presumably from constituents who wanted to show their support for science but had no viable candidate to support.

Slate reporter Brian Palmer answers the obvious question: What if there were more votes for a dead Darwin than the braindead Broun?

Broun still would have won. Georgia, like many other states, doesn’t count votes for write-in candidates who have not filed a notice of intent to stand for election. Even if the finally tally had been reversed, with Charles Darwin winning 209,000 votes and Paul Broun 4,000, Broun would have kept his job.

It might have made a statement, but nothing would have changed. In the meantime, Broun still sits on the science committee, a position he is in no way qualified to keep.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • CanadianNihilist

    “You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a
    scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”

    I’m waiting with bated breath to see some of this evidence.

  • HughInAz

    I’d rather see the dessicated corpse of Charles Darwin on the science committee than this willfully ignorant gasbag.

  • anuran

    I believe we ought to start petitions on as well as to unseat this psycho from the science committee. I am still not sure how I did not get a heart attack when I read that he called himself a scientist. 

  • Earl G.

    Why was no one running against him?

  • Marco Conti

    loved this news when I came across it yesterday. Apparently there are even more votes for old Charles, it’s just that it seems like they are not really counting them.

    Definitely, unseating this joker should be a priority next election cycle. Or at least, have him moved off the science committee. 

  • Richard Wade

    I think that the Republicans view the House Committee on Science,
    Space, and Technology as similar to the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947-1975). They view science with suspicion and fear, a dangerous thing that they must control with an iron grip, supporting only the scientific inquiry that supports their ideology, and squelching anything that contraindicates it.  Science education and Republicans are natural enemies.  Keep the people ignorant and anti-intellectual, and they’ll keep voting for the Republicans.

    So as long as the Republicans control the House, they will stack the deck
    of the Committee with as many anti-science idiots as they can find.

  • Annie

    I just can’t believe that he is a physician.  How on earth does one make it through medical school without accepting evolution as fact?

    The good news about this little stunt is that there is obviously a sizable scientifically literate population in Northeastern Georgia.  Hopefully, they now know they have some backing and they can find a living person to run next time.

  • RobertoTheChi

    My freakin dog is more intelligent than this asshat! Seriously.

  • Pepe

    I’m kinda ignorant on this, but who actually decides who all gets to be in a particular committee? Is there any way in which people can make sure that someone unqualified gets kicked out of such committees?

  • Pepe

    I have a feeling this is gonna be looooong wait.

  • Annie

     I was just looking that up myself, as it seems very unclear.  The committees, as a whole, seem to have quite a bit of power over their subject matters, including the ability to stall bills.  Congressmen and women are supposed to have some level of expertise to be on certain committees, which I assume Broun qualified for as a physician.  Too bad there is no test.

  • Nicholas Beard

    God isn’t real. Likes are to the bottom right.

  • 3lemenope

    “One pays heavily for coming to power: power makes stupid.”

  • Godlesspanther

    I have to agree with the notice-of-inent rule. It is reasonable. But it would be funny to play one hell of a practical joke on somebody if you could orchestrate mass cooperation and maintain secrecy. 


    “Ernie Lundquist?”


    “Congratulations, you have been elected to the state senate!”


  • Willy Occam

    Thank you, Georgia, for temporarily taking the negative attention away from Texas.  

  • Deven Kale

     Somebody should dig him up and see if he’s one of those incorruptibles. Wouldn’t that be a lark?

  • Aconwell

    The write-in campaign was done to show that not all Georgians are idiots like this guy. In this part of the country, its almost impossible to get elected unless you’ve an R beside your name on the ballot (I keep my politics on a low profile accordingly, since fire-bombing is not covered by homeowners insurance ;)  Broun was running unopposed probably because of that fact.  Broun’s ideas are part of the crazed right-wing that gets elected ’cause they’re good ol’ boys too, and there is no opposition.  Putting up Darwin was a protest that had no other intent than register that even a ridiculous choice was viable.  Apparently, the democrats have noticed and intend to find somebody to challenge this seat next election.  So, as silly as it sounds, it may result in real change!

  • Coyotenose

     As I understand it, most doctors only get the most basic training in Evolutionary Theory, because it isn’t necessary for general practice or even most specializations. It makes it easier for the bad ones to ignore that cognitive dissonance.

  • Shaunamari
  • Sharon Hypatiia

     Apparently, the Clarke-Athens county, which contains the University of Athens and a lot of educated voters, was divided into two districts (gerrymandered) by the Repubs to split the vote.  The Dems seem to feel that running against Broun is a losing proposition and don’t bother to field a candidate.  Sigh!

    Broun has a BS in Chemistry and is an M.D. How does that make him qualified to pass judgement on the findings of biology, geology or cosmology? It doesn’t.
    But this is the most common tactic of anti-science rubes. Any degree in anything makes your word have equal  weight against those who have degrees in the field.
    Ken Hovind does it; Wells and Luskin of the DI do it; all them CreoID engineers do it……..
    AFAIAC, having a degree you have never used just makes you someone with a degree, not an expert.

  • Annie

     But pathogens are some of the few organisms that we can watch evolve right before our very eyes… well, under a microscope.  Surely, med students must have some experience with this, no?

  • Arthur Bryne

    In the unlikely event the tally was reversed, nothing would have
    changed… THIS election. 2014 would be a different story. Broun would
    have faced multiple primary challenges within the GOP, and the Democrats
    would have gone headhunting in the University of Athens biology

    As is… probably nothing will change next election, either. It’s a pretty well gerrymandered district.

  • Stev84

    That’s just god messing with us.

    Or more likely they are of the “Microevolution is real, but macroevolution is from the pit of hell. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat” variety

  • Mark W.

    This makes me want to change my name to C.Darwin and run for Congress against him.  The only problem would be I would have to become the thing I hate…a politician