Petition calls for Broun’s removal from Science panel for doubting evolution

More than 58,000 people had signed a petition as of Tuesday morning asking that Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) be removed from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee after his comment that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are "lies straight from the pit of hell."

In a speech to a Georgia congregation in late September, Broun also said he believes the Earth is only about 9,000 years old.

A petition set up on change.org states simply that Broun "does not believe in the most basic tenets of scientific process and critical thought."

"He is incompetent scientifically and damages the committee with his presence," it adds.

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The petition was started on Saturday, when news of Broun's comments broke, and by Tuesday morning had the support of 58,186 people across the country, and was continuing to add supporters by the hour.

Change.org bills itself as a site that allows anyone to start petitions to "fight for issues they care about," and is used mostly by people advancing progressive causes. The site touts other petitions aimed at getting Bank of America to cancel plans for a $5 debit card fee and prompting a Dallas hospital to remove a "homophobic nurse."

"Your campaign can be about anything," the site says. "From supporting curbside recycling programs to fighting wrongful deportation to protecting against anti-gay bullying, Change.org members start campaigns around thousands of different issues."

The site also hosts several petitions calling on Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to be removed from the Science Committee or otherwise censured after his remark that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because women's bodies have "ways to try to shut that whole thing down." One petition calling on Akin to be denounced has more than 38,000 supporters.

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