For someone who sits on a key congressional science advisory committee, Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) seems to take a pretty dim view of science.
In videotaped remarks made Sept. 27 before a church group, Broun called what he had been taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory "all lies straight from the pit of hell," adding that the lies were intended to "keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."
The remarks seemed to resonate with the audience, with several voices calling out their assent. But along with many others who viewed the video, the well-known science educator Bill Nye heaped scorn on Broun, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
"Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest," Nye told The Huffington Post in an email. "For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old," he continued, contradicting a remark made by Broun later in the video. "He is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."
Broun, who earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Georgia before obtaining a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, isn't the only Republican member of the committee to have attracted criticism recently for expressing opinions contrary to what is generally considered scientific fact.
In August, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) came under fire for saying that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" seldom get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Broun is running unopposed for reelection to a fourth term in Congress. A call to his office seeking comment went unanswered in time to be included in this article.