Radical religious conservative from the Deep South, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) maintained his seat in the House, because he ran for re-election unopposed, although a “Charles Darwin” write-in got over 4,000 votes.
Broun is a medical doctor and has a degree in chemistry, but he doesn’t believe in science.
During the 2012 campaign, Broun was most notable in a video segment that went viral when he gave a presentation in front of a wall mounted with a dozen deer heads and complained that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory were all “lies from the pit of hell.” Broun is on the House Committee of Science, Space and Technology.
Broun is a member of the young Earth creationists, who believe dinosaurs roamed the Earth with humans around 6,000 years ago, in order to jive with sections of timeline described by Genesis in the Bible. Other creationists deny the existence of dinosaurs altogether saying that fossil evidence is a hoax to confuse true believers.
Nonetheless, scientific dating techniques, sediment testing and archeological digs, confirm the Earth is actually 4.5 billion years old. A report released in Science on Thursday told of new evidence that confirms a massive meteor strike over 66 million years ago darkened the Earth’s atmosphere with soil, debris and volcanic ash, which started dinosaurs on their extinction-path.
The site of the meteor’s impact was just north of the Yucatan Peninsula. Some researchers previously believed dinosaurs went extinct 300,000 years before the meteor strike, but this new evidence combined from two geological projects appears to confirm the popularly held theory that dinosaurs died as a result of the impact that ravaged Earth’s ecosystems.
Sources have indicated that an “embarrassing 46 percent of Americans believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old,” but it was undetermined if the belief was due to the Bible or educational ignorance.
Not every Christian buys into the young Earth theory. Surprisingly, Pat Robertson defended science with this remark last year:
You go back in time, you have carbon dating, all these things, and you have the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time. They are out there. And so there was a time when these giant raptors were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don't try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years, that's not the Bible.
A few radical-right and anti-science members of Congress didn’t survive the election, like Adam West, Todd Aiken and Joe Walsh. But many, like Paul Broun, are still in Congress, including climate deniers James Inhofe (R-OK) and Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Marco Rubio (R-FL), the new face of the Republican Party appears to be a weathervane when it comes to science.
Rubio, who was chosen to give the GOP response to Obama’s State of the Union address, has changed his position on the age of the Earth, but remains vague on man-made climate change.
Paul Krugman, the renowned New York Times columnist has not been impressed by the number of anti-science mentalities that remain in Congress. Of Rubio, he recently wrote, “His inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mindset that has taken over his political party.”
If Marco Rubio, who recently dodged a reporter’s young Earth question by flippantly saying, “I’m not a scientist, man,” is the new future of the Republican Party, then their old, white, conservative GOP constituency need not worry.
Jean Williams, environmental and political journalist; PrairieDogPress writer; Artistic Director, Keystone Prairie Dogs.***PrairieDogPress is the media channel for keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising website to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. PDP uses humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded political reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the protection of threatened species, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.