Holy crap! The GOP is putting forward Marco Rubio as a future President of the United States, and he can’t give an interviewer for GQ a straightforward answer to an elementary science question:
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.
No, it’s not a mystery, man. Scientists know the answer. It’s like this: you don’t have to be an historian to know that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, and you don’t have to be a scientist to know that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Please! Please! Just let me stick to my focus-group-tested talking points! Does he really not know, or does he know that, as a man relying on a Republican base, he can’t afford to know?
The above is evidence Rubio doesn’t think clearly–that he’s muddle-headed. He’s being evasive, yes, but he’s also being unintentionally revealing about how he thinks on his feet. It ain’t pretty.
Would you want such an inane thinker at the helm in a Cuban Missile Crisis situation? It would be like stepping onto the set of Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove.”
You atheist fanatics are so open minded, aren’t you? Poor guy says he doesn’t know and you want to burn him at the stake. What a bunch of godless wackos.
@Santi: I’m not defending Rubio by any means, just suggesting that there may be an element of pandering to his apparent ignorance. Either way we agree that he shouldn’t be in a position of leadership. @Mack: The age of the earth is about as controversial in science as is the fact that the earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. Some of us are getting tired of being governed by leaders (or constituencies) who are contemptuous of science. Remaining “open minded” in the face of overwhelming evidence isn’t a mark of intellectual integrity.
Why are you ripping on a person that is only a few steps from salvation through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? If you’re not a friend of God and the Bible then you’re no friend of mine. Why don’t they have a “Righteous Indignation” of “Holy Hatred” button on the Word Press Bar? And by the way, there is absolutely no way the earth, stars, planets, or anything formed by accretion, and if there were we had the solar nebular theory before we found out how it could happen. All evidence of planetary formation has been disproved! Watch out that death doesn’t get you because you’re headed for hell without Christ!
Contact me at RYFTKOHIAH.WordPress.com
I think you went from agnostic to atheist on this one. If there is a God who created the world then we can’t possibly say that empirical evidence and logic will prove how old it is since the empiri and the logic are God’s creation too. Both the religious and scientific position is valid within their own domains.
Your if/then formulation makes everything “reasonable” (and, therefore, also unreasonable). IF God is a butterfly dreaming us, THEN all evidence we appeal to in our daily lives is utterly illusory; IF our universe is embedded in an infinite multiverse, THEN it’s logically possible that it came into existence 10 minutes ago.
You can “meta” argue till the cows come home, but it’s not reasonable to go through your real human life denying what real 21st century scientists have discovered about real biology and real geology. And it’s doubly-stupid to elect officials to office who cannot reason clearly or discern the mendacious from the known.
And it’s triply stupid to go through life assuming that logic and scientific method is the only way to navigate. I’m sure you’ve dismissed logic for a strong gut feeling on some occasion. Well, think of it as a gut feeling then.
You don’t have to deny biology or geology. You can just think of it as a different domain of thought. My problem with creationists is not what they believe in but that they can’t distinguish between these domains. That’s what makes them stupid. And that’s also what makes atheists stupid.
I’m not saying that one’s axioms and premises should be ignored or go unstated. We all have them. What I am saying is that they should not be multiplied without justification. Obviously, the ways that it is logically possible for the world to be are infinite, but there’s only one way that it actually is.
With regard to the age of the Earth, we have every reason to think that science knows what that way is (and no good reasons to think it does not). Why? Because of Occam’s Razor. A 4.5 billion year-old Earth is the most straightforward interpretation of the data, and diverse fields of study converge on the conclusion.
In other words, science is most likely correct about the age of the Earth precisely because it is severe about taking Occam’s Razor seriously. Scientists do not believe things absent a combination of good reasons and evidence. And those good reasons and evidence must cohere with our well-established background knowledge (which is also based on a tightly drawn combination of good reasons and evidence).
By contrast, if you are a young Earth creationist, you have to shit-can Occam’s Razor and add a slew of unsupported premises to arrive at your conclusion: not just that God exists (which may be true), but that He divinely inspired the author of Genesis to write an account of creation that is to be read literally; that every prominent academic geologist, astronomer, physicist, and biologist in the world is utterly deluded; that the Flood of Noah accounts for the appearance of vast age in strata like the Grand Canyon, etc.
In other words, you have to be akin to a UFO conspiracy theorist or Holocaust denier to be a young earth creationist.
I want people in positions of responsibility who know things like Occam’s Razor; who know when it is sensible to multiply premises, and when it isn’t; who know when a matter of public dispute is a close call, and when it’s not.
With regard to the age of the Earth, it’s not a close call. It’s not even close to a close call.
It’s disturbing to hear a politician touted as a future President who is quite obviously a muddled thinker, ill-trained in critical thinking, and with a tenuous grasp of the most simple scientific facts (and the methods by which they are arrived at). I’m perplexed by your disagreement. What salient fact do you think I’m missing? Why should Occam’s Razor be abandoned in this case for a more elaborate explanation?
If we are to assume God timeless as many a philosopher and theologian has suggested, how does two or six or sixty billion years cause a problem? Young Earth BS is far more an agenda than a theology.
4.5? I thought it was 4.4! My world view is shattering!
Rubio is Catholic. He dosen’t believe that young earth crap.