Marco Rubio: not qualified.

Marco Rubio, all around bigot and one of the leading candidates to get the Republican nomination to run for the Oval Office in 2016, just announced that he is completely unqualified for any job involving a desk.  Or at least, he would have in a country where large swaths of the population didn’t consider being piss-ignorant about science to be a virtue.

“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,” Rubio told GQ’s Michael Hainey.

Sure, the age of the universe has nothing to do with our GDP.  Neither does the fact that fire is hot.  Yet, if a candidate was mind-numbingly stupid enough to say that the question of whether or not fire is hot is up in the air, we’d assume they were too stupid to tackle complex issues like economics.  That’s kind of how this is.

The age of the universe may not be important to our GDP, but science very much is.  If a candidate cannot grasp the very fundamentals of science, they are not qualified to get out of high school with a diploma, let alone determine the best economic policies for an entire country.

And Marco, the age of the universe is not determined by theologians.  They’ve had thousands of years to demonstrate their uselessness in ascertaining the nature of the cosmos, and they’ve taken full advantage of them.  It has been scientists, not theologians, that have made the modern world what it is, not by waiting and listening for god to tell them how things work, but by instead trusting in the collective intellect of humanity to figure it out.  Left with the knowledge sent to us by god, we’d still think the world was flat, that sickness was caused by demonic possession, that snow meant the sky was falling, that lightning was god getting all pissed off, and we’d have no idea when a hurricane was about to backhand a city.  Listening to theologians, rather than scientists, when it comes to how the world works, is like walking past Steve Jobs to ask a homeless person for advice on investing.

“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.”

Brilliant: freedom now means teaching ideas that are demonstrably wrong alongside the ones supported by mountains of evidence.  Because in America we can’t let immigrants who want to work into the country, but we have an obligation to let in ideas that are obviously bullshit and treat them as if they have an equal place everywhere good ideas get to go.  Maybe that can be the Republican slogan in 2016!  Republicans: shit ideas welcome.

Marco Rubio is not just some random dude who stumbled into the right office at the right time and got lucky, he is an extension of a sizable portion of the population who would be extremely happy to vote for him in 2016.  It’s no wonder there are plenty of candidates in the Republican camp just like him.  It’s not socialism killing America, it’s the citizenry who thinks it’s a-ok to not have a fucking clue about science because god said so.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • RuQu

    Scientists didn’t give us the modern world, God did. Through the Power of Prayer ™, theologians convinced God that disease kind of sucked, so He, in his infinite kindness, gave us doctors and scientists to spend decades learning to cure them. Priests and the faithful prayed for relief from the cold, from the inability to communicate, from wretched poverty, so God, in his infinite kindness, took pity on the state He created us in and gave us engineers and scientists to spend 100 years solving His Divine Puzzles to create the modern world. And, just for fun, in His Divine Wisdom and Infinite Goodness, he threw in some deceptive misdirection such as evidence for an older universe so He would know who had faith in Him instead of the works of Man.

    • RuQu

      I hurt my brain writing that.

      • Art Vandelay

        FWIW…I enjoyed it.

      • M

        I was impressed.

      • RuQu

        I’m glad it wasn’t in vain then.

    • John Horstman

      Hehe, “His Divine Puzzles”, nice.

  • Art Vandelay

    Cool…I know how old the Earth is. I’m a scientist!

  • Umlud

    Well, yeah, Marco, the age of the Earth doesn’t have much to do with the GDP, but it’s an answer that you should have SOME idea about, since it’s one that’s fundamental to various scientific disciplines (or at least the reasons why we can know the age of the Earth, in addition to the implications of its age, is tied to various fundamental pieces of scientific theory and methodology of many different disciplines). You should – as a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation – be able to at least be able to say that the number is somewhere in the billions of years, and not this shite about “7 days or 7 actual eras”. You should also definitely NOT be saying shite like, “I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

    • Umlud

      Even worse, he’s on the Science and Spaceand the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard and the Communications, Technology, and the Internet subcommittees!

      I think you’re being FAR to kind in your assessment, JT!

      • Umlud

        In fact, of the seven subcommittees within the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Rubio is in the only three subcommittees that deal with science, the earth, and technology.

        If he were serving ONLY in the other four committees (Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security; Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance; and Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security) and not at all in the three that deal with science, the earth, and technology, then I could cut him some slack, even though he would still be sitting in a committee that deals with – among other things – science.

        … but, no, Sen. Rubio sits on three subcommittees that deal specifically with science, the Earth, and technology. Maybe he’s just not paying attention, or paying as much attention to the science as that other great Republican senatorial scientific thinker, James Mountain Inhofe. (Yes, his middle name is actually “Mountain.” I guess he’s the only one in Oklahoma.)

  • pjmaertz

    ” Maybe that can be the Republican slogan in 2016!  Republicans: shit ideas welcome.”

    Pretty sure that has been the Republican slogan since, like, 1968.

  • Benjamin

    I found this article written on Slate today:

    Then-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.

    1) Both senators refuse to give an honest answer to the question. Neither deigns to mention that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
    2) They both go so far as to disqualify themselves from even pronouncing an opinion. I’m not a scientist, says Rubio. I don’t presume to know, says Obama.
    3) That’s because they both agree that the question is a tough one, and subject to vigorous debate. I think there are multiple theories out there on how this universe was created, says Rubio. I think it’s a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I’m a part, says Obama.
    4) Finally they both profess confusion over whether the Bible should be taken literally. Maybe the “days” in Genesis were actual eras, says Rubio. They might not have been standard 24-hour days, says Obama.

    Should we hold Obama to the same standard as Rubio? In the words of JT, does that mean he’s unfit for any job involving a desk?


    • Drakk

      If it’s pertinent, I’m not American nor do I live there.

      Obama’s response doesn’t seem as bad as Rubio’s – it’s not good to be sure, but those questions are a no-win situation anyway.

      Rubio I think gets it really wrong on two counts – one, he puts emphasis on the “debate between theologians” – implying that the issue is a theological one rather than a scientific one and that theology has anything valid to say on the age of the earth (it doesn’t). Second, this idea that “people should have the opportunity to teach them all”. No, public education is for teaching real science with evidence to support it, not cult dogma.

      Obama at least recognises the question being asked in terms of religious belief and doesn’t drag scientific knowledge into it while implying that they’re of equal merit.

      Another screwup of Rubio’s: “I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.” I don’t need to explain why this is wrong. Obama admits his own uncertainty (or claims it at least) without condemning the question to agnosticism where it really doesn’t belong.

      • tubi

        Also, presumably Obama’s position has evolved since 2008.

    • phoenix_860

      The question asked of Obama was specifically a religious one. So he gave an answer framed by his religious beliefs. The question asked of Rubio was not religious–it was a question that is easily answered by using science.