Top Five Crazy Conspiracy Theories Coming from ... The GOP-Controlled House Committee on Science
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This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.
In the 50 year history of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, its members have set into legislation some lofty initiatives, such as putting a man on the moon and mapping global atmospheric patterns. These days, however, some committee members have begun to push a new strain of inquiry, one that Jon Stewart would likely classify as the science of b*llsh*t.
Last year, former committee member Todd Akins caused a national scandal when he proposed his medical theory that women’s bodies can “shut down” pregnancy in cases of rape. But his is far from the only ridiculous idea coming from a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Check out five of the most unscientific theories being pushed by committee members.
1. The Earth is 9,000 years old
Georgia’s Republican Congressman Paul Broun is not buying any of this newfangled so-called science about rocks and carbon dating.
“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," Paul Broun, MD (!) said.
"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. 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."
2. The secret to pregnacy is a big glass of wine
After Akins’s claims about “legitimate rape” last year, most of his fellow party members rushed to distance themselves from him and his senate race. But one of his few supporters was fellow science committee member Phil Gingrey of Georgia.
Gingrey, who is (terrifyingly) an OBG-YN, came to Akins’s defense, saying he was “partially right” about women’s bodies being able to shut-down pregnancy in the instance of rape.
“I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things,” he began. “It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he?”
3. Global Warming is actually just a big science grant ponzi scheme
Former science committee chair, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas, has those darn climate scientists figured out. They don’t care about the earth’s temperature; they’re just chasing grant money.
In statements to Science Insider and the National Journal, he essentially accused scientists of making up the conspiracy theory of global warming so they can publish papers for $5,000.
“These same scientists are continually receiving huge sums of taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants; $5000 appears to have been a low estimate of what many climate researchers actually receive. Average climate-related research grants supported by the National Science Foundation, for example, are well above $300,000,” he wrote.
Regarding the future of the planet itself, Hall explained that he’s more concerned about ice than fire.
“I'm really more fearful of freezing. And I don't have any science to prove that.”
As for human’s ability to stop the earth’s temperature from changing (in either direction), Hall isn’t optimistic.
“I don't think we can control what God controls,” he said.
4. Or maybe farts are the problem
As a climate change denier, Hall was in good company on the upper echelon of the science committee. His fellow member and the committees’ vice chairman, Representative Dana Rohrabacher from California, also believes that climate change is a hoax.
According to Rohrabacher, the planet actually experiences cyclical temperature fluctuations--and the last one may have been caused by dinosaur farts.
"We don't know what the other cycles were caused by in the past," he said. "It could be dinosaur flatulence. Who knows?"
In the same speech, Rohrabacher also said he would offer a list of "hundreds" of scientists who dispute global warming's human causes.
5. Obesity is all your fault
The committee members generally restrict their conspiracy theories to important issues of scientific inquiry, such as global warming or evolution. But once in a while, members also venture hypotheses on a variety of other topics -- such as genetics and weigh loss.
Such is the case with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who has a message for all the overweight people in the United States: your fatness is all your fault.
Denying any relationship between genetics and obesity, Sensenbrenner was one of the co-sponsors of the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Bill. As for his rationale in sponsoring the bill, he said, “look in the mirror because you are the one to blame.”