Charles Darwin, famed British naturalist and the father of evolution who has been dead for 130 years, may not have been elected to Congress on Tuesday, but he and some other strange names made a strong mark in Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun's 10th District race this week.
CBS Atlanta reports that Sesame Street's Big Bird, Stephen Colbert, George Takei of Star Trek fame, and even the devil made it onto a massive list of write-in candidates, votes for whom were all ostensibly cast to protest Broun's claim earlier this year that scientific principles such as evolution and the big bang theory were lies "straight from the pit of hell."
Asked by CBS Atlanta about her choice not to cast a ballot for Broun, who was technically running unopposed this election cycle, one voter claimed that she voted for "the devil because I would vote for the devil himself before I would vote for that man."
Broun won reelection handily. But, though he had competition, Charles Darwin emerged with the most write-in votes.
Athens Patch reported on Friday that a write-in list showed that voters in the town had cast 4,100 votes for Darwin and other variations on his name. Athenians also reportedly voted for "A bag of Rocks," and "A Human Being with a Brain or at least not a Religious Fanatic," among others.
"I voted for Charles because the country needs to know we are not all idiots down here," Sara Baker of Athens told Patch.
University of Georgia biologist Jim Leebens-Mack launched the campaign to write-in Darwin earlier this year to draw attention to the fact that Broun currently sits on the House Science Committee, despite his outspoken anti-science views.
Leebens-Mack suggested on his Facebook page that the strong showing for candidates other than Broun shows that there is an appetite for a challenger who actually believes that the Earth is more than 9,000 years old.
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"The internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes." -Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), 2006 The "series of tubes" phrase subsequently became a pop cultural catchphrase--it even has its own <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes" target="_hplink">Wikipedia page</a> and mentioned in the <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=a series of tubes" target="_hplink">Urban Dictionary</a>.
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"Information is moving--you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets." - President George W. Bush, 2007 The former president went on to use the word "Internets" two more times in public.
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"Scientists all over this world say that the idea of human-induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus." - Rep. Paul Broun (R-Georgia), 2009, at a debate over the Clean Energy and Security Act. Many researchers point to a decline in Arctic sea ice, an increase in droughts, and changing rain and snow patterns as signs of climate change.
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