Science From Hell by Seth Shostak
Here's an idea you probably haven't considered. Astronomer Edwin Hubble, who first discovered the expansion of the universe, was part of a devilish plan. Measurements of nearby galaxies suggesting that the cosmos began with an explosive event -- what we now call the Big Bang -- were a conspiracy to ensure that you don't yearn for spiritual salvation.
No, really. This is the claim of Paul Broun, a Republican representative from Georgia. According to the Associated Press, the Congressman recently made a banquet speech in which he said "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 it's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior."
The skeptical representative went on to say that the Earth is less than 10 thousand years old, and was formed in six days. A lot of planetary scientists are clearly barking up the wrong tree.
Well, the approval rating of Congress is an anemic 10 percent these days, and these bizarre statements might just be another reason to be unhappy with those representing your interests under the Capitol dome. But here's the zinger: Broun sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
No doubt this reassures you about the chances that this country will continue to be in the forefront of groundbreaking research.
It's enough to make you alternately laugh and cry. But this daffy performance speaks to a problem even larger than Broun's dreadful ignorance. Why is this gentleman in Congress at all?