Senator Marco Rubio on the Age of the Earth: ‘I’m Not Sure We’ll Ever Be Able to Answer That’

Senator Marco Rubio is one of the GOP’s bright spots (in their mind, anyway). He’s from Florida (a swing state), he can reach out to Hispanic voters in a way very few Republicans can right now since he’s of Cuban heritage, he’s young, he’s handsome… and when you read a response he gave to reporter Michael Hainey in an interview for GQ (December, 2012), you realize he’s just as intellectually bankrupt as pretty much everyone else in his party.

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

It’s not a mystery.

The Earth is approximately 4,540,000,000 years old (with only a tiny bit of wiggle room for error). That’s based on radiometric dating and corroborated by a variety of additional methods.

In any case, Rubio holds the view that if faith and science are in conflict, they should both be taught as if they’re equally legitimate views. They’re not. One’s based on all the evidence we have at our disposal. The other’s pure mythology based on no evidence whatsoever.

Even worse is this idea that the answer to the question has nothing to do with our economy. A country that respects and invests in scientific research will be at the forefront of the world economy for decades to come. A country where our leaders treat science with little to no respect — like Rubio and much of the GOP establishment — is one that will be playing catchup to all the other scientifically literate countries in the near future.

If Rubio doesn’t know the age of the Earth, I really don’t care. But, in that case, the right answer to the question would be, “I’m not sure. You should ask a scientist,” not, “I can’t answer that, but I’ll double-check with my pastor.”

When Rubio runs for President in 2016, I hope a journalist remembers this interview and forces him to reconsider his answer — or, better yet, make him defend it and sink his candidacy right then and there.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • MM

    I’ll take obfuscation for $500, Alex.

  • Sindigo

    You think that would sink his candidacy? I doubt it.

    • Stev84

       Not in America

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Well, considering our gross domestic product and economic growth of the United States are both dependent on the over all education of society, knowing some basic information like the age and shape of the planet you are living on does relate to the GDP.But then again, this man probably wants to teach different theories about how the light in refrigerators turns on or off.  Is it little snow people?  Are the new refigerators telepathic?  We may never know….Mid-earth crisis

    • Marco Conti

      The light turns off? You mean my chinese food and pizza leftovers live in darkness inside my refrigerator? They don’t bask in the everlasting light of the LORD thy GOD?

    • brianmacker

      Obama said essentially the same things when asked and identical question. Plus he thought there were 57 states, that Austrians speak austrian, and that Hawaii is in Asia. Are you going to make the same leap to GDP and economic growth with him?

      Note: GDP is an insanely stupid measure of well being because it includes wasteful spending by the government and private sectors. Economic growth and GDP are not to be confused. Wasteful spending by the private sector is usually punished by the market but not when the government intervenes (like setting interest rates below market – near zero around 2000, and again near zero now).

  • HannibalBarca

    The sad thing is, such an answer probably won’t sink his candidacy. At least not in the primary.

    • Rmsersen

      You’re right. Just the opposite is true. Look at Jon Huntsman in this election. Was willing to admit he believed in evolution and global warming, and that sunk his campaign like a rock.

      Rubio’s answer might hurt him in the general (but then again maybe not, considering 46% of the country believes the earth is 6,000 years old). But in the primaries, his base will love him for it.

    • pagansister

       By the time the next primaries come around no one will remember he said what he said—so no problem. 

    • brianmacker

      It didn’t sink Obama’s so why should it sink his?

  • C Peterson

    Chris Peterson on how ignorant a person can be and still be elected a U.S. Senator: “I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that.”

    • Coyotenose

       Pffheehee!

    • brianmacker

      Well Obama did think there were 57 states, that Hawaii is in Asia, and that German’s speak Austrian and he was a senator once. Plus Obama gave pretty much the same answer to the age of the earth question himself as a senator. In addition he thinks that one can have the government print money to resolve the problems in the economy cause by government intervention, and that the rich have enough money to pay for congress’ excessive spending. I’d say pretty ignorant.

      • HannibalBarca

        Go away.

        • brianmacker

          How about you hide in your basement instead if you can’t handle the truth.

  • Baal

    YECs have Rubio by the short hairs?  I thought they were more fringy than that.

    • RobMcCune

       Yes and no. The idea that vegetarian lions eat meat due to the fall of man, or dinosaurs pulling plows and similar attempts to rationalize genesis are fringe ideas. But for a much larger group of peoplethe bible says it, they believe it and that settles it.

  • Paul Paulus

    He looks like he got teleported there: right out of the ’8os!

  • Paul Paulus

    Is it just me or does the display of US flags and lapel-pins everywhere also want to make you puke?

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Why do you hate america and apple pies?  What about the children?

      • Coyotenose

         Augh, apple pie and children in the same sentence, thanks a LOT. Now I have to go get something to eat.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      I view it as compensation for actually proposing a very un-American political agenda of forcing religion down everybody’s throat. It’s kind of like where I live all the foreign car dealerships have these huge American flags displayed to compensate for the fact that they are selling foreign cars.

    • The Captain

      It’s the right wing version of Fashion Political Correctness.

      • brianmacker

        So why does Obama wear one. Perhaps democrats should not have voted for him in the primaries if this makes you want to puke.

    • Patterrssonn

      The flags are how you differentiate between the republicans and he Taliban.

      • MichaelZWilliamson
        • Patterrssonn

          I was saying the only way to distinguish right wing nut jobs these days is by the flag they wave.

          • brianmacker

            So you believe that only crazy people on the right fly and wear flags? Funny that because during the presidential debates both candidates were wearing flag lapel pins. Are you saying that Obama was lying by wearing the pin and actually was wanting to puke instead?

            • Patterrssonn

              Sorry Brian, I thought I’d made my point so simply that even a republican could follow. Apparently I was wrong.

              • brianmacker

                I’m not a republican so I guess that’s the problem. That and the fact you didn’t make any point but merely made a stupid claim. Obama flys the same flag and bombs the same people.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Again Brian my apologies. I thought the point I was making was so simple that even you could understand. Again I was wrong. I would spell it out for you, but I didn’t want to embarrass you any further.

                • brianmacker

                  You only embarrass yourself in assuming everyone shares your ideological predilections. Not everyone who flys a flag does so to out people like you despite your paranoia. As your first comment implies. Nor is the color of the flag the only way to distinguish republicans from the Taliban, unless you also throw in the Democrats too, because they are as much like the Taliban as Republicans from my point of view. Of course, you quite apparently are blind to other points of view.

    • Coyotenose

       I know! Bunch of creepy totalitarian fucks.

    • C Peterson

      Where I live (very rural) an American flag flying on somebody’s property usually means the owner is prepared to shoot a trespasser. Sad, but unfortunately true.

      • MichaelZWilliamson

        I’m not clear on why it would be sad they’re prepared to defend themselves against criminal intrusion.  Do you believe people have a right to simply enter property without permission?

        So on one side we have the Batshit Insane wing of the GOP, and on the other end, we have the Hate is a Liberal Value, Regarding People I May Disagree With wing of the Dems.

        A pox on both your houses.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

          It’s sad because the idea of “trespass” to many of those sorts is someone accidentally walking up the wrong driveway or just walking along their property line. Personally, I’ve had rifles leveled at me for knocking on the wrong door (mixed up the address), pulling over with my car when lost (nothing like a knock on the window by the barrel of a gun with some hillbilly asshole shrieking at you to ‘git the hill outta her!’ all because you got the wrong side road and didn’t have anywhere safe to pull over) and for walking “too close” to somebody’s fence (I was on the shoulder of the road, owned by the city). Please, tell me how those incidents, in broad daylight, were “criminal intrusion” again.

          Welcome to the rural world. People here are paranoid and rarely bright. Both extremes on right and left suck, but don’t pretend the type of uber patriot nuts C Peterson is talking about are so rational. They’re not. It’s not about protection for many, it’s paranoia wrapped in a flag.

          • Guest

             and in canada we leave our doors unlocked if someone comes in we ask them to stay for more drinks cause we are bored as hell anyway , got 1 in a thousand chance for it to be thieves + why bother anyway theres insurances for that

            • brianmacker

              Same thing here in the US far away from urban areas. I’ve been in Canadian cities and they lock the doors.

        • Compuholic

          And even if somebody enters your property without permittion. Do you honestly think that pulling a deadly weapon against someone who is just trespassing is a sane and adequate response?

          If you honestly consider this to be an adequate response you should seek professional help.

          • brianmacker

            Being prepared for something is not the same as doing it. There can be many steps in between and it doesn’t have to start with pulling the gun out. Walking up to a door and knocking on it doesn’t make you a trespasser, so even getting in the category requires additional action.

        • C Peterson

          I have no problem with gun rights. I own firearms myself. But I do have a problem with people who are so protective of their property that their typical response is to guard it against even their neighbors. I’m not talking about people deliberately invading somebody’s home, and I’m not talking about high impact things like hunting or fishing. I mean something as simple as crossing a corner of unfenced, unposted land. I do think it’s crazy that anybody thinks they need a gun to protect themselves from trespassers (and in fact, in Colorado, it’s illegal to even point a gun at somebody on your property, or to brandish it in a threatening way).

          These are crazy people who value the 2nd Amendment above all their other rights… rights that are, I think, far more important.

          • Georgina

             Yep, it is illegal in the UK too. When a householder is attacked in the middle of the night by 4 thugs – and has the audacity to actually fight back (*!*), guess who lands before a judge? Hint, not the thugs.

            Where I live (middle Europe), it is also illegal for house holders to wave guns, but if I am practising my baseball swing with an old fashioned hard wood bat, and a thief gets in the way, tough.

            • Thumper1990

              Completely untrue; it’s always been the law that you are allowed to use equal and opposing force in self defence; the problem was that a few years ago (during the Labour years) there was a trend amongst judges to make a distinction between defending yourself and your property, to the point where any attempt to defend your property was deemed to be voluntarily putting yourself in a situation where you might be attacked, thus nullifying the self-defence argument and leaving you open to being sued by the burglar and in rare cases prosecuted for assault. This situation has since been fixed by the Tories and you are now allowed to use force to defend your property and if you end up hurting the burglar the self-defence argument still stands.

              It is legal to brandish a firearm in defence of the home but only under very specific circumstances. The important part of the “equal and opposite” rule is the equal part; if they enter your home unarmed, you can’t crack them in the face with a baseball bat (you might get away with one swing but any subsequent blows after you can have reasonably been expected to realise they were unarmed will land you in jail)… and you sure as hell can’t shoot them, and rightly so.

              • brianmacker

                I find it perfectly reasonable for someone to protect their home by repeatedly beating them with a baseball bat, or shooting them with a gun. Just because the intruder is unarmed does not mean there is a equality of power or righteousness. A six foot male rapist that breaks into the home occupied by a five foot two armed teenaged girl deserves everything he gets. Do you expect her to just let him take the bat or gun. One swing of the bat will only make him mad. She needs to pound him into a state of submission.

            • C Peterson

              You can certainly use a firearm in self-defense here in Colorado. You’d never be prosecuted for using or simply brandishing one if your home was actually invaded, or you justifiably considered your life to be in danger. But simple trespass on your land does not rise to that level, nor should it.

          • brianmacker

            Your original comment lumped together reasonable and unreasonable behavior, and with a ridiculous stereotype about people who fly US flags.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Hey, troll. Go get some reality instead of your strawmen. The adults are talking, and we’re tired of the childish bullshit.

          • brianmacker

            You think he is a troll because he pushes back on a comment that assumes someone flying a flag on their front porch means they are prepared to shoot the Avon lady?

        • Thumper1990

          Shooting people for stepping on your lawn does seem a bit… disproportional. Guns are fine, if you actually have a reason for owning them (I’m aware you guys over the pond feel a bit differently about that, but moving on), but I don’t think your automatic response to someone setting foot in your garden should be to sprint out onto the porch brandishing a shotgun.

          • brianmacker

            Nor should your automatic response to seeing a flag on the porch be to assume someone will pull a shotgun on you. (Note: If you are in the garden you might just be stealing food, so to a poor person a gun might seem appropriate. Here we call the property leading up to the front door a “yard”.)

    • amycas

       It’s not just you.

    • Paul Paulus

      Well, I’m surprised this post got so many likes… My impression of the USA has gone up another notch!

    • brianmacker

      Why would it make you want to puke. You hate the things those symbols represent like individual rights and limited government?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Williams/100000104244858 Kenneth Williams

    He claims Senator Jim Demint is one of his role models.  I guess that explains everything.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

       You spelled the senators name wrong.  It’s Senator Jim Dementor.  He’s supposed to be confined to the grounds of Azkaban prison, but obviously he has been roaming the country side and sucking the souls out of people unabated for some time.  The Ministry of Magic has yet to comment on the situation. 

  • Octoberfurst

     To be a major player in GOP politics you have be a total idiot when it comes to science. Otherwise the base will reject you. You have to believe in creationism—or at least give it a nod of approval, pretend that women can’t get pregnant from rape, believe that abortion causes breast cancer and adamantly say that global warming is a hoax.  It’s such a pathetic state of affairs. It’s hard to believe that at one time the GOP actually approved of scientic advancement. But that was before the brain-dead Christian fundies took over the party.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Did some dumbass really state that breast cancer is caused by abortion?

      • MichaelZWilliamson

        Unfortunately, more than one.

        And try as some of us might, the Party has determined its fault was in appealing to moderates, and intends to get more “morally conservative” for the base that matters.

        The GOP.  It could have been great.

      • Octoberfurst

         Yes they consider it a factor in causing breast cancer even though there is no scientific evidence for it. I help out as a escort at a women’s health center and the anti-abortion protesters often yell at the women going in that abortion will cause them to have breast cancer. 

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          I was truly hoping you where not being serious.

          • Octoberfurst

             Yes I was serious.  Sadly.

          • Stev84

            It’s a really huge talking point in “pro-life” circles, though I don’t know if any politician has openly said it. But no doubt there are plenty who think so

      • Baby_Raptor

        Some states require that women be told abortion causes breast cancer, despite the studies that have debunked it, under the guise of “informed decision.”

    • brianmacker

      Obama did the same exact thing.

      • Octoberfurst

        What are you talking about?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta
          • Octoberfurst

            Ok, thanks!

            • brianmacker

              So now you know that Obama pandered to his religious base just like Rubio.

          • brianmacker

            You didn’t address it.  You agreed with me when you said of  Obama was “he was probably just pandering to a religious audience”.  

             So in order to be elected and to paraphrase Octoberfurst.  ” To be a major player in Democrat politics you have be a total idiot when it comes to science. Otherwise the base will reject you. You have to believe in creationism—or at least give it a nod of approval”

            Obama chose not to give the correct answer if he knew it just like Rubio.   Obama fits the mold.

            Rubio also gave himself wiggle room with regards to saying “I don’t know”.    He was also giving a nod to science by saying he was qualified to answer the question as a scientist would presumably be.

            They both were pandering to the ignorant.  

  • SeekerLancer

    Sounds like he was trying hard not to say he sides with either religion or reality but in doing so he’s definitely not siding with reality.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    an interview for GQ (December, 2012)

    Cut the man some slack; apparently he’s invented a time machine!

    • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

      I will cut you some slack since we no longer live in a literate society.  Magazines go to the sales rack with a cover date usually four-to-eight weeks early.  It’s more like a food product expiration date—”The news in this periodical are fresh if read before December 2012,”—than a publication date.

      • Nope

        Dude it was obviously a fucking JOKE.  Calm down on the aspie rage.

        • http://twitter.com/Alexthethinker Alex Abbott

          I’m an aspie and I have a sense of humor, and I don’t fly into mindless rage. Can we cut down on the harmful stereotypes?

    • Coyotenose

       Pfft, one month ahead? Not a GOOD time machine. Wake me when he can bring me the next Avengers movie, or at least Dead Space 3.

  • Someone

    So I guess Scientist have the answer to a prosperous and fulfilling life.  Good to know. 

    • HannibalBarca

      Scientists aren’t committing mass suicide due to the depression inherent in not having prosperous and fulfilling lives, so apparently they must be doing something right.

    • RobMcCune

      Ridiculous stories about the earth being created in 7 days are the secret to a prosperous and fulfilling life?

    • Baal

      Because scientists are all atheists? (they aren’t).
      and atheists have meaningless lives w/o god? (they don’t).
      Thanks for playing; btw there are scientists who study happiness and are making the world a better place.  Turns out being religious is not a requirement.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

       Strangely they haven’t figured it out yet.  Although they have eliminated the worship of a desert iron age god and his  demigod son as among the possible answers. 

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Someone,
      The food in your belly, the medicine in your veins, the clothes on your back, the home you live in, the computer you’re using right now, and ten thousand other things that you take completely for granted were provided and made better, safer, and more effective by the discipline of thinking called science. If you so blithely accept these gifts, you should show some appreciation. Yes, science has given you a longer, healthier, less painful, more interesting, and more prosperous life. If it’s not fulfilling, that part is up to you. 

      • brianmacker

        Same is true of the free market. I dare say that the free market is the more powerful of the two forces, because it does little good to know things if you can’t put them into practice to better your life. (Example: It was profit concerns that drove the investment into research on uses for that waste product, gasoline). There are other reasons why free markets actually deserve most of the credit.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Science isn’t looking for that. Nice fail at an insult, though. Almost enough to get points.

    • brianmacker

      Sure, why not?

  • Dats3

    You know what’s sad about this?  Between 40-45% of the population believe as he does. 

    • WoodyTanaka

      I think it’s much higher than that, because you have to add in the “evolution guided by God”-style creationsists.

      • Coyotenose

         On the plus side, his being an anti-science Creationist does increase the chance of the Catholic vote turning against him… oh man, I almost got that out with a straight face. No, they’ll still vote for him even though he directly opposes their doctrine, because at least he still wants to hurt women.

        • 3lemenope

          In this past election we had evangelicals voting for a Mormon en masse. It’s difficult to express just how insane that would have been to conceive of even ten years ago. According to most evangelicals, LDS is nothing more or less than a counterfeit-Christian eeeeevil cult; it was hard enough for them to stomach voting for a Catholic, which is at least sorta-legit-if-corrupted Christianity to them. It’s amazing how people can put aside even the most powerful of personal enmities to work together when they find a mutual enemy. 

      • brianmacker

        Higher still since you have to add Obama and the people he was pandering to when he gave a similar answer to a similar question.

  • http://twitter.com/jordan_olsen26 Jordan Olsen

    I don’t agree with him, but I don’t see where in his statements he proposes that public education should teach any “theories” that are lacking in evidence. He seemed to state that he believes that you should be able to teach or learn about those competing “theories” in the home. Whether you agree with that or not, it is pretty clear that the US Supreme Court has given broad latitude to the right to homeschool and teach whatever you want in the home. 

    • WoodyTanaka

      Considering that there’s no issue concerning what people can or cannot do in the home but a lot of conflict about what they can and cannot do in public schools, and considering that Rubio’s religious allies have fought to violate the constitution on this issue, we either have to assume (1) he means in public schools and is not clear or (2) he’s an idiot for making a point about teaching kids at home that is not at issue.  I think unless he comes out and says, “hey, man, I am an idiot” that we assume he meant for this teaching to occur in public schools in violation of the law. 

    • allein

      “I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.”

      I do agree with this line (about the only thing I agree with there); though I don’t know of anyone who is arguing that parents shouldn’t be allowed to teach their faith. Sadly, a lot of people who homeschool (who do it for religious reasons) don’t teach what science says. Or they teach the Ken Ham brand of “science.”

      Also, the age of the earth is a dispute among “theologians”? Is that implying he thinks science is a religious proposition? Is he one who uses the (made-up) word “scientism”?

  • TnkAgn

    Rubio hides his presidential ambitions behind two implicit logical fallacies:
    1. Ad ignorantiam, that creationism might be true because we cannot be 100% sure that it is 100% untrue, and
    2. Ad populum, because many people actually believe creationism to be true.

    This is also called “appealing to the GOP base.”

  • TnkAgn

    What are these “Eras” Rubio refers to? They certainly aren’t geological eras:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_time_scale

  • Sven2547

    It’s a cowardly dishonest cop-out.  I kinds wish he had come right out and blurted some Young-Earth-Creationist tripe.  Absurdity lends itself to mockery.

    • brianmacker

      Yep, but politicians who don’t pander to morons lose elections. That goes for democrats too. Our government is now bankrupt and there is no way it will be able to pay off the debt with a hard currency. Almost democrat or republican will ever tell you that. We are fucked and although the blame falls on both parties for pandering to morons it was mostly under democrat congresses that the bad policies were put in place.

      • Sven2547

        I think you replied to the wrong person.  What you’re talking about has no relation to what I was talking about.

        • brianmacker

          Sure it does. You were bitching about him being a dishonest politician and I was pointing out more ways in which politicians are dishonest. It it isn’t limited to pandering to the religious about the age of the earth like this guy or Obama have both done. The also pander to economic morons in the Democrat base.

          • Sven2547

            Most of your comment was a rant about the national debt, which was completely irrelevant to the conversation.

            All over this thread, you seem desperate to deflect VALID criticism of Rubio and change the subject to Democrat-bashing.  It’s petty, really.  Rubio said something stupid, and all I’m seeing from you is “…but but Democrats!”

            • brianmacker

              Valid criticism of Rubio that 100% applies to Obama. No deflections. Just waking the worshippers of the Democrat party to the fact that it’s the other half of a shit sandwich. When I see you Democrat worshippers running balanced articles then I won’t criticize. Fact is that Rubios position is identical to Obama’s on this issue.

  • SJH

    How many people in this country know the age of the earth? Just because you do not study this particular science and don’t know the answer to that question does not mean you are intellectually bankrupt. He is a political leader not a scientist. He states that himself. He goes further to say that people should be able to teach their kids what they believe. Do you disagree with that? The fact that you would bring this up in an attempt to make him look like an idiot is decidedly not good.

    • Stonyground

      “He goes further to say that people should be able to teach their kids what they believe. Do you disagree with that?”

      Yes, if they insist on teaching their kids what they believe to the exclusion of all else. I live in the UK. When it came to choosing a primary* school for my daughter, we had a choice of three schools in our area, all CofE**. So, as an atheist, I explain to my daughter that I don’t believe in God but some other people do, and that it is up to her to make up her own mind. It should also be noted that I have never lied to her, not once, ever. Now aged fifteen she is an atheist. At age eleven she went on to a Technology college***, which is non-religious where she is doing well.

      *Elementary school in the US, I think.

      **CofE = Church of England. They run about a third of the schools in the UK and engage in a certain amount of indoctrination. Many parents are happy with this because they see Christianity as harmless. CofE schools also discriminate against disruptive little oiks so that they can get higher up the school league tables and attribute their success to their Christian ethos. Parents are then even more happy to send their offspring to a successful school without any oiks in it.

      ***This would be the equivelent of a US high school. In the interests of choice and excellence and other government buzzwords, we allow these schools to specialise. We now have Technology Colleges, Performing Arts Colleges, Sports Academies etc. 

      • SJH

         So who determines what children should be taught?

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

       However, this is something Rubio should have learned in elementary school.
      You don’t need to be a mathematician to know 2+2=4.  You don’t need to be a biologist to know that dolphins are mammals.   You don’t need to be an astronomer to know that stars are really far away.  Just like you don’t need to be a scientist to know that the world is billions of years old.

      To make it worse is that he could have said, “I don’t know, but I can find out.”  or simply “I don’t know.”, but instead implied that “I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that.”    That is willful ignorance of the subject matter. 

      Also, it doesn’t matter how many Americans don’t the age of the earth.  If a person doesn’t know that it is at least a billion years old, then he or she is an idiot.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I know it is a stereotype, but doesn’t the Cuban-Hispanic community not get along with those that are Hispanic and from central and south america? I thought some see a problem of favoritism going on for certain people over others. 

    I am getting tired of idiots like him being elected. 

    • Stev84

      They tend to be more conservative politically, while the vast majority of Latinos votes Democrats. Maybe they are still pissed at Kennedy messing up the Bay of Pigs invasion

      • brianmacker

        Maybe they wised up to what socialism is actually about.

  • Verimius

    I have spoken with several Mexican-Americans, and they don’t think highly of Cubans — they consider them arrogant. The GOP will be making a big mistake if they think that running a candidate with a Hispanic name will be enough to get the Hispanic vote.

    • brianmacker

      Do you even realize how much stereotyping is packed into your comment?

  • drsteve

    The author states a fundamental misconception about the differencce between faith and science.  “One’s based on all the evidence we have at our disposal. The other’s pure mythology based on no evidence whatsoever. ” or so says the author.

    This is FALSE.  Science is not a set of statements (based on evidence or otherwise) to be taught.  SCIENCE IS A STRUCTURED THOUGHT PROCESS. 

    When you accept this, you will truly understand the difference between science and religion, and why they are not taught in the same class.

    Science is a method of thought.  It is a process.  It USES the evidence and observations.  The PROCESS builds a framework for understanding and making predictions.

    Religion is NOT a process.  Religion consists of a set of claims and beliefs coupled with unproveable assertions.  It is an inconsistent framework (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Aztec, etc., each being “right” with the others being “wrong”) with no basis for framework construction or method of consistently applying the framework to make demonstratable predictions of behavior of the world.

    In a science class we teach how to observe and construct frameworks.  We teach a process.

    In a relogion class we teach claims and interpretations as standalone entities.

    Note to author:  I don’t mean to come down on you, and I do appreciate your thoughts!  I’m just really stuck on a sore-point, the real reasaon religion is not taught in science classes: one is a process, the other is an unstructured processless set of claims.  Until religion can fit itself within the process to create a (testable) framework, it has no place in a science class!

    • 3lemenope

      I agree with you that science is a process, but disagree with you strongly that religions aren’t. They are simply processes that are implemented with mostly different ends in mind, and in the few ares where their ends overlap they do tend qualitatively to be much poorer than science in generating results with those processes that correspond strongly with the facts of the matter. Each religion contains epistemological standards and metaphysical assumptions, and ways of applying methods underwritten by these standards and assumptions to personal situations and cosmic questions; it’s just that their standards are bizarre and their assumptions are generally contrary to fact, and so they tend to screw up personal situations and generate poor answers to cosmic questions. 

      • brianmacker

        I agree but science has an intentional process which has the goal of reducing error.

  • Person

    this is one of the most biased things ever? did you notice the bold parts and the non bold ones? he gave a political answer for support of people. this is being blown way out of proportion

    • Cincinatheist

      We noticed. Are you new here? The bold parts are where a man who will likely run for one of the most powerful positions in the world could not answer a question that my 9 year old can be cause he’s either a) willfully ignorant, b) pandering to his party’s moronic bade or c) both.

      • brianmacker

        Obama pandered to his moronic base in the same exact fashion. Plus he pandered to them with the lie that the rich can pay for the democrats spending programs and don’t pay as high a tax rate as the rest of us, when in fact they can’t pay for it all and they pay a higher rate because of double and triple taxation.

    • brianmacker

      The press very often blows things like this up on Republicans and ignores the same or worse behavior for Democrats. I wish they were consistent. Obama has made the same exact kind of statement but no one seems to care.

  • Tnskeptic

    I think we had better concentrate on trying to figure what makes the tides go in and out before we try something like aging the earth! 

    • brianmacker

      Funny thing is that O’Reilly is no dunce. Just goes to show what religion can do.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Why is it so hard to say “I don’t know”? Mouth the words slowly and carefully. It takes practice, I know. Try using some of that “humility” that you guys are so proud of.

    • brianmacker

      I’m sure he is aware of the 4.5 billion estimate given in science class to me years before he got his education. It was probably the same or north of there by the time he went through his classes. An honest answer would be billions of years if he couldn’t remember the exact number.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brett.peavey Brett Peavey

    so the earth is 4,540,000,000 years old……give or take 4,000,000,000 years
    why is this a topic of conversation?

  • Stephen Burrows

    Now is the time to get off our collective asses.  Stop whining about this shit going on.

    Now we start the letter writing campaign, the twitter campaign.  Make sure your senator/congresscritter hears your voice.  Do something about it!

  • decathelite

    Well, it was 7 days, or 7 eras. 7 somethings. Fuck if I know. But I know there’s gotta be a 7 in there somewhere.

  • SOOPERGOOMAN

    dude asked for age of earth, dumb politician says I dont know how old the Universe is. fuck sakes cant even get the answer to be about the question. someone please fire him out of a canon.

  • valisk

    Theologian = Superstition proponent. 

    Stop letting people decide your public policy with obvious fiction! 

  • LesterBallard

    The age of the earth may well have nothing to do with GDP or economic growth. And if that is true, I’m certain that GLBT folk getting married doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with GDP or economic growth.

    • http://profiles.google.com/brotheratombombofmoderation Steve Caldwell

       Actually, weddings can be huge displays of consumer spending … just look at the size of the “wedding/industrial complex” in the US economy.  If we open up marriage to more couples, then that may affect the economy through the purchase of more catering, wedding clothes, flowers, etc.

      • Stev84

        It’s estimated to be in the tens to low hundreds of millions depending on the size of the state

      • LesterBallard

        Yes, I know. Homer Simpson made a killing perfroming gay and lesbian marriages.

  • LesterBallard

    If you’re a preacher or evangelist they’re the secret to a prosperous life.

  • pagansister

    OK that is just scary!   If the GOP is thinking of grooming him for 2016, they best send him to school first——–Geeze!  

  • HitchsApprentice

    Marco Rubio,  I’ve lived in Floriduh for 12 years……  Your stupidity is distressful, you dumb mother-forker….  Go back to Cuba… and I hope your boat sinks on the way home….

  • Thumper1990

    “…he’s of Cuban heritage, he’s young, he’s handsome”
     
    That’s your version of handsome? His ears are bigger than Prince Charles’! Plus he’s a moron, but we expected that. Personally, stupid turns me off. Also that thing where people end statements as if they were questions… which makes you sound stupid, and therefore turns me off. Sorry, I lost my train of thought…

  • brianmacker

    I don’t know about “everyone in” the Republican party since they haven’t answered such a question but he’s just as intellectually bankrupt as Obama.

    Sen. Obama, D-Ill., speaking at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. on April 13, 2008:

    Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?

    A: What I’ve said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that’s what I believe. I know there’s always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don’t, and I think it’s a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I’m a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don’t presume to know.

  • tabletto

    Illustrative text showing indisputably that creationism is a sole considerable
    factor for existence of the earth and human race;

    http://www.jariiivanainen.net/theageoftheearth.html


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