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Republican congressman Paul Broun dismisses evolution and other theories

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A Republican who sits on the House of Representatives science committee has dismissed evolution and other theories as “lies straight from the pit of hell”

A Republican congressman who sits on the science committee of the House of Representatives has dismissed evolution, the Big Bang theory and embryology as “lies straight from the pit of hell”.

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Paul Broun, who is running for re-election as Georgia representative this November unopposed by Democrats, made the comments during a speech at a baptist church last month. A videoclip of the event was posted on YouTube on Friday.

In the clip, Broun, who is a doctor, says that “as a scientist” he has found data that shows the earth is no older than 9,000 years and was created in six days. Mainstream scientific thought holds that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, give or take the odd millennia.

Broun also says that theories regarding the origins of the universe and evolution represent “lies to try and keep me and all the folk that were taught that from understanding that they need a saviour”.

In a statement to the Athens Banner-Herald, Meredith Griffanti, a spokeswoman for the Republican congressman, said: “Dr Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”

But the comments may prove an embarrassment to some of his colleagues on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The congressional body was already subjected to scrutiny over remarks made by another member, the Missouri House representative Todd Akin.

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Akin sparked outrage and ridicule this summer, after suggesting that it was “really rare” for rape to result in pregnancy.

“If it is legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down,” the Missouri politician said, while trying to mount a defence of his no-exception anti-abortion stance.

That comment saw the Republican receive a severe dressing down from party bigwigs, including the presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and calls for him to step aside in his forthcoming Senate race. Akin declined to do so.

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© Guardian News and Media 2012

Video of Broun’s remarks, as shared by The Huffington Post Saturday, can be seen below.

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