Charles Darwin Gets Thousands of Write-In Votes from Those Fed Up with Paul Broun

"I voted for Charles because the country needs to know we are not all idiots down here," said Sara Baker.


Charles Darwin may be dead, but he's still the Congressional choice for thousands of voters in Athens.

In Tuesday's election, 16,980 Athens votes went to Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, a vehement opponent of evolutionary theory.

A vigorous write-in campaign by Athenians opposed to Broun produced around 4,100 votes for variations on the name Darwin, one of the original evolutionists, according to a write-in list released by elections officials. That's close to one Darwin vote for every four received by Broun, who was unopposed on the ballot.

"I think it definitely sends a message to Broun, and the country, that there are intelligent people in Georgia embarrassed by him who are saying that Broun is not their representative," said former Athens-Clarke County Mayor Gwen O'Looney.

Many people said they had simply had it with Broun after he said that evolution was a "lie straight from the pit of hell." What especially galls numerous University of Georgia faculty members is that Broun, who believes the earth is 9,000 years old, sits on the U.S. House Science Committee.

So what began as a protest by a plant biologist escalated into a movement that had people protesting on Broad Street, creating buttons and T-shirts and even dressing like Darwin to get the word out. On a more serious note, university faculty members encourage people to sign petitions calling for Broun to be removed from the science committee.

The final write-in votes for Darwin across the 10th District aren't yet available, but Athens Patch will report them when they are. Other write-in votes went to A bag of Rocks, A Human Being with a Brain or at least not a Religious Fanatic, an ape, Any Sentient Being, and Anyone and his brother, Anyone Else, among others.

Somewhere, Thomas Henry Huxley is smiling.

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suzanne November 09, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Come and join GODS side you will be blessed! I'M thankful that Christians are speaking out and not being intimidated! Keep it up:) Thank you JESUS!
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Suzanne, I know many Christians, myself included, who have no problem embracing science from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. Given Dr. Broun's attitudes, I wonder if he is still bleeding his patients and using leeches and vapors, or measuring their head sizes, as people did in days gone by? He may of course have his beliefs, but I believe he has no business sitting on a U.S. House Committee that has anything to do with science. Nor do I think his views reflect those of his constituents, at least many of them in Athens.
Mark Ralston November 09, 2012 at 03:05 PM
There's also this: I know half a dozen people who have lost their faith because some Christian fundamentalists continue to draw this false "religon vs. science" choice. All the evidence is on the side of science, so anytime we Christians set up the "us vs. them" line, we drive people away from God.
Christine Davis November 09, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I can't believe you are still promoting this foolishness. If you read the Book of Genesis, it answers all questions about the origin of the earth. Enough Paul Broun bashing. This is the problem in this country--instead of putting out an opposing candidate to run against Broun, opponents just ridicule him. Then say they're embarrassed by him and he's not their representative. If they meant all that, they would have had an appropriate candidate to vote for, or a real write-in candidate. I'm proud of Paul Broun for speaking the truth. Anyone who believes in an evolution of species with absolutely no proof except conjecture and the ramblings of a dead man, and can't see that that theory is ridiculous and actually takes more faith to believe in than Intelligent Design, is more irrational and close-minded and backwards than they claim Mr. Broun to be. (where do you get that all the evidence is on the side of science to the exclusion of Christians? Science has repeatedly proven the Bible, validating it. Science is on the side of the Bible, not against it). Please stop beating the dead horse with coverage. Enough already. If they were really serious about opposing Broun, they would have put a candidate on the ballot or found an appropriate write-in candidate.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Christine, you are entitled to your opinion, but it isn't mine. The 10th district has been gerrymandered for a Republican candidate, pure and simple.
Mark Ralston November 09, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Ms. Davis, I agree it's a shame Dr. Broun ran unopposed. Our Republic is poorly served when voters have no choice. I also agree that there's no inherent conflict between science and religion. I don't regard the Bible as science, and I don't think God ever meant for it to be seen that way. To me, Genesis describes how ancient Hebrews, who had no understanding of cellular biology (or even any way to know of the existence of cells) explained creation. It wasn't meant to replace direct observation. I believe God wants us to appreciate His creation -- that's why He gave us brains, through the process of natural selection -- and is not offended by us peering into the depths of intergalactic space or the inner workings of DNA to better understand the unimaginably vast and complex universe of which we are a tiny part. I see no conflict between "dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return" and the evolution of complex creatures from single-celled organisms over the past 3.5 billion years. We are made of the dust of stars. The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming and so consistent across so many fields of study, from biology to physics to genetics, that no other theory based on evidence is even in contention. Not only can we see it clearly in fossil records, we can observe it happening in real time (for example, natural selection is why we need a different flu shot every year). To me, evolution is real and wonderful. It is how God performs His ongoing act of creation.
Irene Budoff November 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I'm sorry, some of what I write may come across as rude, but I am tired of zealots passing themselves off as Christians, and I'm even more tired of Christians telling me the interpretation of Genesis. I was born into a Jewish family, and believe it or not, the Old Testament was written by Jews. It wasn't divinely written, but hand written by men who knew that they felt the spark of the divine. Religion is belief, science is fact. There is a place in this world for both, and quite often the most devout Christians are also scientists. Lately I've been told (by a well-meaning "Christian" zealot), that I would go to Hell because I've not accepted Jesus as my savior. Imagine a scientist telling a zealot that they were going to hell for not believing in the fact of evolution, which has more behind it to empirically study. I'm sorry, but the bible is wonderful, lyrical, and to many, healing. The Old Testament is also the main tenet for the Jewish faith, and to see it so corrupted in meaning saddens me. Should you wish to act as a Christian would, refrain from passing judgement on others, including the ones who voted for Darwin...a far more fact based choice.
Odin November 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM
People who say "I want religion to guide politics," should really be saying "I want MY religion to guide politics." They want to impose their own beliefs on others. That's un-American. That's intolerance.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thanks for your comments everyone.
Chuck November 11, 2012 at 01:31 PM
"I'm proud of Paul Broun for speaking the truth." What Broun claims is not the truth. The fact you say it is truth, does not make it so. That is YOUR opinion. It is also a pretty clear indication of the level of intelligence you possess.
Bobby McCreery November 12, 2012 at 05:16 AM
How can you call this journalism when your comments and article indicate such obvious bias? Your lead quote is an angry woman calling everyone who doesn't agree with her idiots. What a disgrace.
Bobby McCreery November 12, 2012 at 05:18 AM
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. Right......


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