By Dan Merica and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio attempted to walk the line between science and faith-based creationism in remarks that that have provoked the ire of liberal blogs, leaving the door open to creationism in responding to a recent question about the age of the Earth.
When GQ’s Michal Hainey asked Rubio, in an interview released Monday, “How old do you think the Earth is,” the rising Republican star described the debate about the planet’s age as “one of the great mysteries.”
“I'm not a scientist, man,” Rubio told the interviewer. “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.”
“Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras,” Rubio continued, “I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.”
Most scientists agree that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 14.5 billion years old. Christian Young Earth Creationists, on the other hand, argue that the weeklong account of God creating the Earth and everything in it represents six 24-hour periods (plus one day of rest) and date the age of the Earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years.
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Left-leaning blogs and sites like ThinkProgress and Huffington Post jumped on Rubio’s comments, with the Zack Beauchamp from ThingProgress writing, “To suggest we can’t know how old the Earth is, then, is to deny the validity of these scientific methods altogether — a maneuver familiar to Rubio, who also denies the reality of anthropogenic climate change.”
Rubio is regarded as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, though the senator says his visit last week to Iowa, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, had “nothing to do with 2016.”
His response to GQ’s age of the Earth query has also provoked questions about his political aspirations. Dave Weigel of Slate writes, “How can you read that and not think ‘Iowa’? ” The state is the first to hold a presidential caucus in 2016.
Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup in June. That number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, since 1982, when Gallup first asked the question on creationism versus evolution.
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The second most common view is that humans evolved with God's guidance - a view held by 32% of respondents. The view that humans evolved with no guidance from God was held by 15% of respondents.
The Gallup poll has not specifically asked about views on the age of the Earth.
Rubio attends a Baptist church in southern Florida but also considers himself “a practicing Catholic.”
He was born Catholic, but his family converted to Mormonism when Rubio was 8 years old, according to Rubio’s recent memoir. The family left its LDS faith behind when it moved from Nevada back to Florida and Rubio was confirmed in the Catholic Church.
Catholic teaching is that science and faith are not at odds with one another and it is possible to believe what scientists say about the Earth’s age and in God. But many evangelical churches, including Baptist ones, promote a version of creationism.
When CNN reached out to Rubio’s Baptist church in Florida on Monday, a person answering the phone would not comment on its teachings about the Earth’s age and said that a church representative was unlikely to be available in the near term.
During the GQ interview, Rubio argued that “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.”
For the past 30 years, the “equal-time argument” –- the idea that Creationism taught alongside evolution -– has been popular method for Creationists to advance their cause. In the late 1980s, some state legislatures passed bills that promoted the idea of a balanced treatment of both ideas in the classroom.
In 1987, the issue made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where a Louisiana "equal-time law" was struck down. The court ruled that teaching creationism in public school classrooms was a violation of the Establishment Cause in the Constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.
This Rubio is so green, it's not even funny. If it's an interview for a magazine, wouldn't he have time to think of a decent response? Regardless, it is scary that we continue to see such a lack of education among our house and senate representatives.
He should have been more careful with he response on a subject related to one of his committee assignments. I just imagine the furor if Chuck Schumer were being interviewed and said "I'm not a finance guy, man".
Hopefully the media will begin any general topic interview with "How old do you think the earth is?" Politician's can't be allowed to dance around these questions – we need to force them to commit themselves. Romney should have been asked outright "Do you believe the lamanites we cursed with darkness of skin for their iniquities?" We let them all get away with far too much.
I find it ironic that science can’t accept that a G-d would have no beginning or end, yet gladly accepts that energy has always existed and always will exist. So energy can have no being or end, and can’t be destroyed, but absolute reject these same properties that G-d has claimed about himself. What if G-d is energy? The only thing would be proving that energy could have a consciousness- yet we have no current model or theory of what is or gives rise to consciousness. The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about or do not understand.
Science doesn't say anything about god, for or against, because there is no evidence to base it on. I don't know where you heard that "science can't accept that god always existed" because no scientific claims have ever been made about god. Also, we do know where consciousness comes from.
For many, I'm not so sure it's as much about the concept of no beginning and no end as it is about the ridiculous little story told about such "G_d" in the middle. Lol.
sum – god has made no claims. innumerable men have made claims in the name of innumerable gods. that should be enough information to draw your conclusion.
It is not that science can’t or won’t accept GOD, it is because the way man has created a deity based on religion. Most Christian usually fall in to two categories:
argumentum ad ignorantium – "appeal to ignorance;" whatever has not been proved false must be true, and vice versa. Another creationist favorite.
Argumentum ad logicam The guise of the "straw man argument." This is the fallacy of refuting a caricatured or extreme version of somebody's argument, rather than the actual argument they've made. The metaphor is of someone who builds a scarecrow, knocks it down, then gloats. "Boo-yah! How you like me now!" Creationists are fond of saying that scientists think that complex life "just happened" or "fell together at random." That's a straw man argument
@sane- science my not directly make that claim, but many people claim science proves G-d can’t be real. In like fashion the Bible does not claim it was a 24hr day period of creation, but many religious folks try to claim that’s what the bible says.
@richunix- what does science claim about life then? Bc I hear many many people saying science proves evolution and evolution proves life had no creator. This whole article is about a guy who believes in a creator and science saying he must be wrong be he isn’t accepting what science is claiming. tell me where and how life occurred? If it was naturally than use the laws of physics that we know and show how it could have happened without a design or intelligence being involved. If you can’t prove your case then you should not reject another person’s opinion who also can’t prove his case. Now as far as straw man cases- if you can’t show something naturally occurred then it’s not crazy to believe someone did it. Using the known laws of physics I can’t prove that naturally the pen on the floor moved to top of my desk, but although I lack proof I can reasonable belief that someone or thing did move it from the floor up to the desk. Life/intelligence may follow the same laws of physics but also has the ability to manipulate those laws.
"science my[sic] not directly make that claim, but many people claim science proves G-d can’t be real."
Why does this strike you as odd? You, of all people, should know that there are many many people out there with only the most tenuous grasp of the scientific method. ;)
(Hint: Anyone who says unreservedly that science "proves" anything probably doesn't know what he's talking about. All science works by induction which can't conclusively prove anything, just gather successively stronger evidence. Inductive reasoning can, of course, be provably *false*, which is why the scientific method works at all.)
An all powerful god took SIX WHOLE DAYS to create the universe, then he needed a rest because he was tired? Couldn't he have just snapped his godly fingers and made it appear?
Stop taking genesis literally. It is childish to do so.
If Rubio is the new Republican Democrats have got to be laughing out loud over such a stupid uninformed comment. The only bigger idiot here in FL is the gov. Rick Scott, who everyone agrees has no chance of reelection in 2014.
It might be best to keep the laughter down. The right wing really is so stupid as to not realize why they lost, and it would be best to let them stay in ignorance. It's just too temptingly funny to comment on...
I think it's fairly certain that the scientific community has established a good estimate of the Earth's age. The Bible is a book of myths. The people who wrote the Bible had no clue about science. Science wasn't established until after the Roman empire demolished Jerusalem. The Earth definitely wasn't created in seven days, not even seven thousand years. Unbelievable.
So science has a good estimate of the earths age huh? Wow I find that a very arrogant claim seeing how Einstein basically used SCIENCE to prove that there is no such thing as absolute time. So claiming the age of the earth is meaningless without you first stating what that number/age is being measured in reference too. You claim the bible had no idea about science that’s funny bc there are several reference and passages that speak of time running at different speeds for different being, and then some 2-3 thousand years after this claim was written in the bible along comes Einstein and uses SCIENCE to prove this claim to be true. I would have thought if it was all myths science would have proven that claim wrong not right.
@sumday, Not only do you not understand Einstein, but by your own presentation you are saying we can't even talk about how old our own children are. If that's the argument you folks want to go with I can't wait to see how you plan a year long budget.
I've never seen Marco Rubio and he isn't mentioned in the Bible, so I think the question of whether Florida has anyone in that Senate seat is a deep mystery that cannot be answered. It only makes sense for the people of Florida to elect someone to definitely fill that seat.
Not a bad response. Sort of pleasing the creationists while not making himself look like a complete idiot like those "anything scientific with strong evidence supporting it" is a "lie from hell."
I think he only doesn't look like an idiot to the fundamentalists. To anyone else saying you "can't know" about the age of the earth is like saying you "can't know" about the impact of genetic mutations. You are essentially doubting the abilities of very basic science, and might as well remove science from the academic curriculum.
we should ask John McCain....he is at least 10,000 years old....maybe he saw creation.
Someone should make a McCain t-shirt with a picture of him holding his arms up as high as he can and the following caption:
“It’s 2012 and I’m still here fuckers!”
it is interesting how people with political aspirations will so easily be dishonest about their religious beliefs.
100% correct, absolutely.
I think they will be dishonest about all their beliefs not just religious beliefs.
I think you mostly have to be. Politicians may not be brilliant, but they are a heck of a lot smarter than the average voter. To get elected you'd either have to be as dumb as the average citizen (which would make strategizing hard) or you have to lie to present yourself as that dumb.
This Rubio guy really sickens me. He makes us Cubans look bad with his conservative republicanism. Of course he converted to the GOP religion, he had to. That he played their creationist tune is also sickening. The truth is stranger than the religious fiction put out by these Evangelical Churches. He's not stupid, just astute. He knew the major problems with the GOP and decided to step aside. Smart. It also does not seem like the GOP will correct itself from self destruction, so he'll stay away from it all. He knows that the GOP is really against people like him and his family and roots.
Quick question for all you obama boot lickers: doesn't BO, when convenient, call himself a Christian? Rev. Wright probably skipped the creation stuff in Genesis,huh?
You do not have to believe the Bible is a science book to be a Christian. Jesus was all about how we should relate to each other and God. He did not preach about how old dirt is.
Calling yourself a Christian and refusing to accept the obvious evidence of science are too very different things. Most Christians I know believe fully in evolution and the long timeframe of earth's creation. Some may believe things were guided or predestined by a god (not provable either way), but most well educated Christians do not dispute the basic findings of science.
when you say Obama boot lickers you mean WINNERS, right. Compared to GOP Losers
If you knew the roots of Genesis, you would faint. Present day evangelical teaching on the Bible are largely fairy tales to fool the masses.
sara – how do evolution believing christians reconcile the fact that without a literal genesis and original sin, there is no necessity for a messiah in the first place and the entire christian doctrine collapses like a house of cards.
craig, does that mean you believe in everything in the bible as a good christian? if you are, without knowing you, i can almost guarantee you that you have violated some of the teachings and, therefore, are a bad christian.
Fred, you're correct. I sin everyday. I am a sinful human not a "bad" Christian. I am also forgiven of these sins because of my faith in Jesus.
Get your indulgences here! Guaranteed to keep you out of Hell!
Paying full price to have your misdeeds forgiven is the real sin!
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@snowboarder, I'm not a Christian, but I do often discuss these topics with people I know who are. Many Christians don't adhere to the idea of original sin at all, or see it in a more metaphorical sense. Basically they think Jesus was sent to help make things better by introducing some good ideas and guidance. Not even all Christians believe in free will.
craig – then what is the difference between you and obama? you and him are christians who are , excuse me – not bad, but sinful. he has said he is a christian.
Fred, Firstly, I'm assuming that all of the Christian bashers on this feed voted for BO and I'm confused as to how that can be when he calls himself a Christian??
I don't recall saying that there's a difference between me and BO as far as being sinful humans. Did I?
Geez the next Presidential election is four years away and the liberal left is already harping on a potential Republican candidate? Are they that scared?
Rubio never indicated he thought the earth was 6-10K years old. He gave the most honest answer anybody could give which was "I don't know."
And to put faith in science is completely misguided. How many times has science been wrong in the past? Way too many to count.
Oftentimes you hear science indicate something is between X and Y number of years old and the gap is usually a few million years. That's the best they got? A difference of a few million years? Can't narrow it down any more than that?
Not saying I believe in the 6-10K year old Earth myself but when people of faith start believing science over scripture they cease to be "people of faith" anymore.
Faith is that funny little thing that you either have or you don't. If I felt the Bible specifically said the Earth was 6-10K years old then I'd believe it. It doesn't say that.
Those without faith in God will never understand what it is like to believe in a higher authority so trying to explain it to them or even go so far as to argue with them about it is completely pointless.
If you don't want to believe in God then don't. Your choice. You'll find out when you die if you're right.
When science is wrong, or discovers new evidence, they change their theories accordingly.
When religion is wrong... They stay wrong for thousands of years.
Science is testable, demonstrable.. Religion is just believing what you're told. To reject science for your faith is to be willfully ignorant.
Refusing to answer this question is like refusing to answer the question of whether you think the earth is round or flat. Unless you're talking to a flat-earther, you just sound like a fool. And that is why the republicans are likely to lose again...they just don't get how silly they sound to the rest of the country, not to mention the rest of the world.
A typical believer reply lol. You spout off about your imaginary god as if it were part of reality and you expect to be taken seriously?? Why not invoke some voodoo next time and cover more silly believer bases??
Nope, we just like to laugh at the ignorance of most Republicans and the religious.
Science hasn't been wrong nearly as much as faith and religion.
Belief is not truth. If it was there would be only one belief.
There could be a god and it could be the creator, but it's had
no influence on the Earth since. For example, why did your god
let 9-11 happen? Why have so many innocents died over the
centuries? "God works in mysterious ways" is an ignorant
Sane, Well Spoken
It's not that science is so often wrong, it's that it systematically makes itself more right over time.
46% of Americans believe humans were created by "God" in the past 10,000 years? No wonder the rest of the civilized world realizes America is in decline...
Exactly. Religion and "God" are concepts that are rapidly becoming outdated as more people educate themselves.
The funny thing is how the fundamentalists arrived at that ridiculous number. Some idi0t added all the ages of people in the bile, begats and all that none sense and that was the age of the Earth. Fundamentalist conservatism is the GOP religion and one for utter fools. Present day Christianity is sickening.
"Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years"
In other words, forty-six percent of Americans are delusional.
Basically, yes. But what's so amazing is that they really, truly believe it. That indicates that they were really indoctrinated at a young age and it stuck, or they're just lying through their teeth now because they're afraid to say how they truly feel. I tend to believe its the later because most believers are also gutless.
It scares me how gullible people are in this day and age. Beleiving in some sort of superman flying around in the sky screams middle ages to me...
This just show s the GOP break with reality. If they are still pushing creationism vs science they have their heads buried in the sand. This is one of the reasons they lost the election. You should not be allowed to run for office if you are scientifically illiterate.
LOL. No it isn't a great mystery. Scientists figured out the age of the planet a long time ago. Only morøns like you are too stüpid to realize it Rubio.
It's a mystery in the same way it's a mystery that maybe some great Satan hid the dinosaur bones to try and trick us all. And maybe yesterday trees were red and you just forgot. And maybe Oprah is an alien from a superior world sent down to spy on us. Lot's of mysteries out there...but I find working with the simplest, most consistent premises works better than making up random stories which have contributed nothing to the growth of knowledge or technology. I don't care if you have a religion, just make sure it is consistent with, and can adapt to, the progress of science.
Why can't the Republican party shake its image of small minded, backwards thinking you ask? Perhaps it's okay to challenge the science community with the notion that a "God" initiated the entire universe, but for heaven's sake let the foolishness stop there. And, if there is this God, he would be terribly disappointed with the current lot of pinheads he's got running around in his name.
Petemg: a very nice statement. Atheists tend to be people whose implicit faith in God was damaged by tragic early personal experience. Many of these skeptics come from broken homes. They can't imagine a loving God who could allow the evil that exists in this world. It is up to believers to offer the evidence that can soften their hardened hearts. As for Rubio, his motives were political, but it is still the case that now, we see through a glass darkly.
Sorry David I can't hear you over the sound of all the bulls*** spewing out of your mouth. It's like a blinding torrent.
I'm an atheist who was raised in a loving home by Christian parents.
My father, who is a life-long infantry medic decorated with the Order of St. John, and my mother who is a nurse have been married for 40 years.
They raised my sister and I to be tolerant, charitable, humble pacifists without beating us about the head with a Bible.
Poor David! You can fantasize all you wish about atheists and broken homes but your delusional beliefs are still hogwash before,during and after your silly disparaging comments. Implicit faith lol.Thats code for: i have no proof for my 3-in-1 god but that wont stop me from vocally declaring my insanity along with millions of other dupes. Theres strength in numbers dont you know lol? And atheists CAN imagine your stupid god. They can also explain why humans would conjure thousands up and better yet: explain why things work in the world and the Universe. You cant do that with any credibility with religious beliefs.
we just happen to have critical thinking skills.....god, santa, tooth fairy, loch ness, bigfoot...for children who have yet to educate themselves and use their brains to deny the existance of invented fairies.....
Hey Dave, I think you have your "facts" wrong. 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences doubt the existance of a god. I came from a very loving home and came to be an atheist by actually using my brain to see that all of the thousands of religions, both past and present, were the products of man. I have also noticed that most of the born again Christians are the ones that are on death row or have had some major disaster in their lives. Religion is for the weak-minded and I see that you fall into that category.
If not for scientists Hilter never could have conquered Europe and implemented the Final Solution. If not for Socialist and Communists (i.e. atheists)40 million people would not have been murdered in the USSR and China
David, your conjecture is not supported by empirical data. Currently as many as 20% of US adults describe their religion as "atheist", "agnostic" or "nothing in particular." Demographically this group is broad based including men, women, college grads and non-college grads. Most people in this group continue to be "spiritual" but many have left organized religion behind:
Another study showed that Atheist perform the best on a quiz about religious knowledge:
If you hate science so much, you're welcome to join the Amish or some other luddite community.
And don't forget that Hitler proudly proclaimed his Christianity right up until the end.
dave – science is simply a tools. no different than religion.
rubio is being politically pragmatic and attempting to frame his answer in a way that will appease the greatest number of voters.
So Rubio is a confirmed Catholic who was once a Mormon and who now attends a Baptist church. He also won't side with either the Creationists (though he is obviously afraid to offend them), but he won't overtly criticize actual science, either. Oh, yeah, and he just happened to be in Iowa.
The man is a crass opportunist who will obviously say anything, attend any church, and go wherever he has to go to further his political career.
I suppose many Republicans already believe they have found their man for 2016. But which one have they found? I doubt even they can say for sure.
To say we know the exact age of the earth and to discount all other possibilities is not scientific. There is no 100% test for the age of the planet until you build a time machine. If new evidence arises, then our thoughts might be changed.
While the precise age may again be revised based on new evidence, we at least know for certain that the Earth is far, far older than 10,000 years.
So.... The debate is over whether its age is 4.6 or 4.4 billion years old.
There is nothing in science that confirms the Biblical belief of the earth's age.
Exact age of the Earth?? There is a vast difference between 4.5 billion years and 6,000 years. No one asked this fool Rubio the exact age. His answer reveals his devotion to creator mythology and his ignorance of established sciences. You seem to want to join Rubio in the fantasy club where a sky god creates all and no one does any heavy thinking- ever.
Richard, his answer simply means that a large number of people that vote for him won't vote for him if he doesn't stand by some form of creationism. That's really all it means, and since he is on the rght, it's a trap question to start with. I think his delfection is the best answer to give. MOst of us don't understand the science behind that dating methods, so we are putting the same faith in scientists as creationists put in the bible.
It's hard to know the exact age of some actors in Hollywood because they hide their birthdays. :)
"MOst of us don't understand the science behind that dating methods, so we are putting the same faith in scientists as creationists put in the bible."
Two problems with this.
1) Practically speaking, Radiometric Dating is one of the easier dating methods to understand conceptually. It's not rocket science, and it's taught in high school, or even earlier.
2) Fundamentally, saying "you don't understand science so it takes just as much faith as such and such" is a false analogy. Scientific experiments can be, and ARE, subject to rigorous testing by numerous independent organizations. In principle, anybody with the right equipment could follow the same procedure and arrive at the same results (allowing for normal variation), but for better or worse, modern scientific experiments require expertise and equipment that is not accessible to the layman. Assertions based on religion, in contrast, cannot be tested at all.
With science, the proof is out there if you have the patience, diligence, and expertise to dig into it and understand it. With religion, there is no proof, no matter how hard you think about it.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.