This piece was originally published on Nov 20, 2012
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he’s not certain whether the planet was created by God in seven days or in “seven actual eras” – telling GQ magazine it’s up to parents to teach their children either a faith-based history of Earth or a scientific one.
In a wide-ranging interview with the men’s publication, Rubio refused to be pinned down about his personal views on the Earth’s creation, calling it “one of the great mysteries” of life.
“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 when asked how old he thinks the Earth is.
“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.”
What a narrow-minded view! You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that evolution is the way life on earth works. It just is. It’s NOT a question. Science has everything to do with solving many of our pressing problems around the world. Technology will be the key to many of our future decisions regarding what we can do to sustain and enhance our society. Republican conservatives like this consistently exhibit how out of touch they are with the findings of science and are clueless on how science works.
This piece has some insight on the politics:
Confusing faith with science and then legislating based off that confusion has been the calling card of the religious right. We’ve seen this on climate change, abortion rights and now, more broadly, basic and core scientific principles that are the foundations of biology, astronomy and most of our science curriculum. Rubio and other religious conservatives would like us to believe that the problem lies in a culture that is hostile to religious rights rather than the fact that this country was founded on the belief of a secular government that kept matters of faith out of matters of civil life.
So, beware this new softened, inclusive tone from conservatives. They may sound like a more sophisticated and tolerant group but when you strip it all away it’s the same religious zealots directing the show.
As an aside, I wrote a piece about what one university is doing to prepare future leaders who are NOT scientists what science is all about. Check it out in my Sounds Sciencey column.
UPDATE: (6- Dec-2012) Rubio: “There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth”
The Florida senator clarifies that he believes the Earth is “at least 4.5 billion years old”
After dabbling in creationism earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., clarified that he does believe that scientists know the Earth is “at least 4.5 billion years old.”
“There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old,” Rubio told Mike Allen of Politico. ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.