Broun denying basic science • Ceclia Murray
By repeatedly electing officials who deny basic science, we condemn our children – and our country – to a future of falling farther and farther behind those in the rest of the world.
As reported by the Associated Press, Morgan County’s congressman, Republican Paul Broun, who is a medical doctor, said during a speech last month in Hartwell, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” and that they are meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.
Broun explained, saying, "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. 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."
The truly shocking and sad fact is Broun is a high-ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where he serves alongside Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO). Akin made headlines last month for suggesting that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate rape" because their bodies have "ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
If this is the leadership of the House science committee, is it any wonder that our children do poorly in science? In any other developed country, a group whose members deny basic science would be considered outliers on the fringe. Apparently, in Georgia’s Tenth, we consider them leaders.
It doesn’t take much research to know that America is not doing a great job educating her children. A recent Harvard University report found that students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are gaining in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate.
Among wealthy nations, the United States ranked 23rd in science and 31st in math on standardized tests. Our high school seniors compete poorly in advanced math and physics. We rank 27th in college graduates with degrees in science and math. As a consequence, America’s graduate programs in math and science increasingly must depend upon students from abroad.
Contrary to what Congressman Broun believes, science and religion are not incompatible. To ensure a bright future, we need leaders who understand this truth.
Celia Murray is a member of the Morgan County Democratic Committee.
Printed in the October 11, 2012