As I have noted, Things are Happening in my real-life life that are making attention to the blog a wee bit patchy. However, I still have occasion to check the news and opinion sites I enjoy, and thus I came across an interesting tidbit not so long ago. And by “interesting tidbit,” I mean “news item that makes me weep for my country.”
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) tore into scientists as tools of the devil in a speech at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet last month.
“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,” Broun said. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
According to Broun, the scientific plot was primarily concerned with hiding the true age of the Earth. Broun serves on the House Science Committee, whichcame under scrutiny recently after another one of its Republican members, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), suggested that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses against pregnancy.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Broun — a physician, with an M.D. and a B.S. in chemistry — is generally considered to be among the most conservative members of Congress, if not the most. He drew national attention in 2010 for saying he did not know if President Obama was an American citizen. [emphasis despairingly added]
If that doesn’t make you reconsider the benefits of a monarchy, I don’t know what will.
A few very brief thoughts:
1) Embryology denialism is a new concept for me. Since developing embryos are something that we can actually see with our own eyes (with the help of microscopes of various kinds in the earlier stages), I have no idea how Braun can quibble with embryology as a science. It makes an artform of epistemic closure.
I await his upcoming press release linking the theory of gravity to ACORN.
2) In all seriousness, this man serves as an exquisitely painful example of why I cannot possibly consider voting Republican in the foreseeable future. He serves on the House Science Committee and doesn’t believe in science!! And his Party put him there.
I don’t oppose the GOP because I am dead-set against conservatism. Conservatism has much to recommend it. I oppose the GOP because stupid, crazy people seem to have ascended to remarkable heights under its auspices.
3) Related to point #2, this makes (at least) two people on the Science Committee who evince a startlingly moronic grasp of what science is, how it works, where it comes from, what it means, etc.
Over to you, Kent Brockman.
4) (I apologize for the need to hit caps lock now. It cannot be helped.)
OH, MY GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN THIS MAN IS A PHYSCIAN??!? HOW CAN YOU BE A PHYSICIAN AND NOT BELIEVE IN EMBRYOLOGY? ARE THERE OTHER MED SCHOOL CLASSES HE WOULD REPUDIATE IF THEY CONTRADICTED HIS INTERPRETATION OF DEUTERONOMY?? PHARMACOLOGY? PHYSIOLOGY? ANATOMY?
ATTENTION, PATIENTS OF DR. PAUL BROUN — RUN FOR YOUR EVER-LOVING LIVES!
Thank you. I feel better now.