Bill Maher’s New Rule: ‘You Can’t Run for President if You Don’t Know How Old the World Is’

Bill Maher has a few New Rules for 2013 and none is more accurate than this one:

NEW RULE You can’t run for president if you don’t know how old the world is. Quizzed recently, Marco Rubio answered, “I’m not a scientist, man.” As if you have to be Galileo to Google, “How old is the earth?” And when asked his thoughts on evolution, Chris Christie said, “None of your business!” Which is what you say when someone asks you if you made a baby with the maid. Fellas, if you and your party want to be taken seriously, you don’t have to recite the collected works of Stephen Hawking — just stop regurgitating the Facebook page of Sarah Palin.

Real Time returns for its new season in two weeks.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Janet Holmes

    But then how do they win the ‘stupid’ vote?

  • Dangerous Talk

    I love Bill Maher! Can’t wait for the new season.

  • Manet

    They did, thats why a Democrat is in office

  • Noah Sandler

    I figure it would be a better constitutional law than requiring the POTUS to have been born in the US. At least this one is about something that matters.

  • Librepensadora

    My favorite new rule is the one prohibiting retail establishments from asking us to join their club. Because they don’t ask you once, they ask you every time you go in. And they will continue to do so because I’m sure the employee who does not ask would be sacked on the spot.

  • Pustulio

    That last line makes this post feel like a commercial.

  • Theseus

    Oooookaaay. Ann Coulter says it’s a myth that the Republicans have been hi-jacked by the religious right. Sure Ann, and these kinds of statements from Rubio and Christie aren’t any proof of anything like that!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Ann Coulter? Who herself has written stoopid things about evolution?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I hate the shopping cards. I don’t feel a need to carry a card in my wallet for every store I shop in.

  • Emma

    I’m afraid I have to be the one to disagree with this, at least if taken in a serious context. It would be nice if all presidents (and people in general) recognized how old the world really is, but enforcing that they can’t become president if they believe in Young-Earth Creationism is, in fact, discrimination based on religion. The kind of thing that we Atheists always get mad about, here we’re actually proposing it.

    Remember, the problem is not what a president personally believes, but what a president does. If the Young-Earth Creationist is a part of the religious right who would try to get to make Creationism taught in school that would be one thing, but we can’t assume that all YEC’s are like that. I know it’s hard to not assume that, but there are always exceptions.

  • Octoberfurst

    It’s a really sad statement about GOP politics when you have to pretend to believe the earth is 6,000 yrs old just to stay in your party’s good graces.

  • C Peterson

    If we’re going to change the Constitution to require presidential candidates to know the age of the world, we might as well make sure that the same requirement applies to voters. That will take care of a big chunk of the stupid vote by eliminating it completely.

  • Rich Wilson

    How about a simple test:

    There might be an earthquake tomorrow in CA with magnitude > 5.0, or there might not. What are the approximate odds of such an earthquake in CA tomorrow?
    1) 50%


    Your child’s teacher calls to inform you that your child turned in an essay that was copied from the internet. What is the most likely explanation?
    1) Your child cheated
    2) Your political opponent in an attempt to bring shame upon you through your family, hired Ninjas to hack into your child’s computer, steal your child’s essay, and put it on google so it would look as if your child had copied it.

  • nakedanthropologist

    I don’t know if I agree with your analysis here. YEC is a belief, but the age of the earth itself constitutes a fact. I forget who said it, but “you are entitled to your own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts”. The tricky waters here (IMHO) is whether or not the government could necessitate facts over beliefs as they are concerned with physical phenomena. For example, one can believe that there is an angel on one’s right shoulder and a devil on one’s left shoulder, but if you wear body armor, should there be spaces built in said armor for these entities? Or would that be ridiculous, since physical reality has no obligation to accomodate supposed spiritual spaces/entities?
    I would say that a reasonable and fact-based basic science education should be necessary when a leader is being conferred the responsibility of the nation – especially when that leader is instrumental in deciding all manners of policy, from economic to environmental and so on. And while I do think that it is very unlikely that this requirement could not currently come play, perhaps in the future it might.

  • Theseus

    Yup. My point exactly. She waves her hand at the thought that the GOP is infested with dominionists, and then proceeds to pucker up and endlessly kiss their collective ass….. because like all social conservative authors and speakers, she realizes the theocrats are a significant portion of her bread and butter audience.

  • Theseus

    Hmmmm. As a general rule I agree with your last paragraph; however I think the line is crossed when the candidate ignores basic facts for a fantasy land reality, because this would seriously impair his/her ability to govern and make rational choices.

    For example would you stand behind your statement if the candidate was a Flat-Earth Creationists, and/or believed the moon landing was a hoax and that space travel is impossible?

  • Artor

    A civics test at least. Demonstrating that you have a clue what the fuck you’re doing should be mandatory for participating in an important process.

  • Drew M.

    What? Nothing about vaccines?

  • Pseudonym

    They could always go with the anti-vaccine thing. Bill Maher would be perfectly fine with that.

  • Pseudonym

    I’m not Emma, but I believe that the system is intended to weed out people like that using free speech, public education, and voting. The theory is that an educated populace would never elect someone that ridiculous. There should be no need for rules to that effect.

    Of course, those who set up the system never conceived that non-white-male-educated-landowners would vote, that the public education system would be chronically underfunded, and that there would be an entrenched political duopoly where nobody other than tweedledum and tweedledumber could get elected.

  • baal

    Having a test not gone well in the past. (understatement)