News from Great Falls, Montana. A Republican state lawmaker is calling Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer “incredibly bigoted” for remarks he made about individuals who believe the earth is less than 6,000 years old. The Democratic governor was speaking to a crowd of students, parents, and teachers Friday about global warming. In the course of his presentation, Schweitzer asked the crowd how many thought the earth was hundreds of millions of years old. Virtually everyone in attendance raised their hands.
He then asked how many believed the earth was less than a million years old. Two people, including Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, raised their hands.
In an interview later with local media, Schweitzer made note of Koopman’s response. He said that there are people who believe that the earth is only 4,000 to 6,000 years old, despite geological evidence to the contrary.
The Great Falls Tribune reports on the governor’s comments and Koopman’s response:
Koopman called the comments insulting.
”He insulted many Christian people and other people of faith that arrived at that position other than the way I arrived at it,” he said.
Koopman claimed that his belief is not based on his faith, but on scientific investigations. He had planned to introduce legislation in 2005 to allow teaching of “intelligent design,” but never pursued the measure and says he has no plans to introduce a similar bill if he wins re-election.
Koopman is up for re-election in November.