Someone Must Have Told Senator Marco Rubio About the Age of the Earth

Marco Rubio tried to play the part of a Creationist earlier this month when he told GQ magazine that the age of the Earth was in doubt:

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.

He said there were “multiple theories” on how the universe was created and that we would never be able to answer the question of how old the Earth really was.

Never has come quickly.

Now, Rubio is saying that, of course, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. So stop taking him out of context by quoting him verbatim and making him look like an idiot:

“The answer I gave was actually trying to make the same point the President made a few years ago, and that is, there is no scientific debate on the age of the Earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively as at least four and a half billion years old. I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate…

Actually, Rubio said we could never know the answer to the question…

But what’s all this about a theological debate? Rubio is basically saying, “There’s a right answer and a lot of healthy debate about the wrong answers.”

There’s nothing healthy about that. That’s just a bunch of willfully ignorant people arguing about the color of a unicorn’s horn. Their opinions are worthless. They contribute nothing to the conversation. When they have some evidence to back up their points, everyone will listen, but that has never happened before and it’s not going to happen in the future.

… To the extent there is any kind of debate about the age of the earth scientifically, I’m not in a position, really, to mediate that… The theological debate is, how do you reconcile what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches. Now, for me, actually when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict. I believe that, in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. And I think that scientific advances have given us insight into when he did it and how he did it. But I still believe God did it.

In short: “When it comes to the age of the Earth, I completely ignore what the scientists say and believe in something I know can’t be true so that I’ll get votes from the people on the lowest rung of intelligence.”

… other people have a deeper conflict, and I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe. That means teaching them the science — they have to know the science — but also parents have the right to teach them the theology and to reconcile those two things as they believe and see fit…

I love that: “We should teach children the truth, but parents have the right to brainwash their kids with lies.” (Not that anyone was saying parents don’t have that right already, but Rubio is doubling down on the side of parents who teach things that have no basis in reality. Because he needs the public to remain uneducated if he wants a future in politics.)

When Mike Allen of Politico asks Rubio one last time about the age of the Earth, Rubio responds with: “Science says it’s about four and a half billion years old…”

Not “It’s about four and a half billion years old” but “Science says it’s about four and a half billion years old.” He wants us to know he doesn’t really believe it.

I hope every person who interviews Rubio over the next several months and years asks him the exact same question. Each time, he’ll give a brand new answer and his highlight reel of gaffes will just grow and grow until it’s long enough to become a noose.

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.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alansimpson jediofpool

    “Science says…” Sheesh. Right there we’re off to a bad start. “Science shows…” or “Science proves…” would be more apt, Senator.

    • SecularPatriot

      Evidence shows…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    At 2:20, he says, “Well, I’m a Roman Catholic and I 100% accept the Church’s teaching and the Church’s teaching authority.”

    Translation: I blindly and happily 100% buy into some foreign authority telling me 100% what to believe about some ancient superstitions.

    • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

      And they always act like this is something to be proud of! Why should grown adults be proud to admit that they will blindly believe anything a certain group tells them to believe. I prefer the hypocritical Catholics. At least they have minds of their own.

  • JoeBuddha

    Wingnuts hate it when you use quotes taken out of context by quoting them in context.

  • ortcutt

    Scientifically speaking, influenza is caused by a virus, but there is a healthy theological debate about whether it’s caused by demons or bad airs.  It’s a pretty healthy debate.  That’s all I was referring to.

  • CultOfReason

    It’s a sad state of affairs for the GOP when even their young up and comers cling to these outdated fairy tale notions.  They’re just making themselves more and more irrelevant while the rest of the world moves forward.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

      They HAVE to if they want to be successful.  It’s a self-feeding cycle…. the constituents want a believer so they have to insist they believe so the constituents can have that believer, then theconstituents continue to want a believer.  And the beliefs have to get more and more stringent and conservative as they up the ante every year.

      They’re not making themselves irrelevant… they’re making AMERICA irrelevant as the rest of the world moves forward.  We are now lumped in with Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc., which makes me very sad.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    Whenever theologians speak, they subtract from the sum of human knowledge.

  • TBP100

    If he weren’t such a destructive force I’d feel a little sorry for him.  He was caught in a classic rock and hard place dilemma:  saying that the Earth is young, or that no one knows, exposes him to justified ridicule from the reality-based community, while telling the truth alienates at least half of his base.  Probably not enough to make them vote for a Democrat or other sane person, but still…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

    Now, he said that, “science says [the Earth] is 4-1/2 bil years old and my faith teaches that that is not inconsistent…” trailing off to talk about God.  To me, that sounds like he is trying to play to both sides of the aisle.  Nonbelievers and science-minded folks will be peeved that he goes back to God and the believers will be peeved that he acknowledges the Earth is billions of years old.  Not a wise choice.

  • SeekerLancer

    There’s a simple answer here. The Earth is exactly as old as the group asking him the question believes it is.

  • David Starner

    We know that some of his opponents will tell you firmly that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. It’s it really worth stressing about this guy? I certainly don’t want to see this worried on; it’s more likely to backfire against us then for us.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    It just struck me.  The war isn’t on Christmas, it’s on science.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X