When I posted about Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin’s assertion that women’s bodies are capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” I failed to note that he is a member of the House of Representatives Science Committee.
The committee’s jurisdiction includes “all matters relating to science policy and science education including: the Office of Science and Technology Policy; all scientific research, and scientific and engineering resources (including human resources), science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; intergovernmental mechanisms for research, development, and demonstration and cross-cutting programs; international scientific cooperation; National Science Foundation, including earthquake programs; university research policy, including infrastructure and overhead; university research partnerships, including those with industry; science scholarships; computing, communications, networking, and information technology; research and development relating to health, biomedical, and nutritional programs; research, development, and demonstration relating to nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanotechnology; to the extent appropriate, agricultural, geological, biological and life sciences research; and materials research, development, and demonstration and policy.”
Now we hear from another member of that committee, Republican Paul Broun of Georgia– a physician and self-styled scientist.
“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.”
“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.
How reassuring for the future of science education and research in this country.