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.
You call this a story, CNN? Would you have posted it if it were Joe Manchin or Deval Patrick receiving the question? Oh wait, they wouldn't have been asked that question, would they?
It was GQ's interview, not CNNs. However, Democrats are not generally known for disregarding science, Republicans are.
Sorry, didn't intend to embed a video, just the link.
I'm no expert but I did stay at a holiday inn last night and found out the earth began in 1955.
@cactus and me11-very good reply but I remember hearing someone talking about these time studies and making the statement that since no records from that long ago were kept so time stamping is an educated guess ,of course their guesses are usually right but they intelligently left the door open to possible errors here.
If you're talking about error bars, then yes. Whenever you use radiometric dating techniques (and many other measuring techniques, even tape-measures), there is a certain amount of error. Any decent scientist will report what the error in their estimates are: for example 120 million years, plus or minus 0.85 million years. That doesn't mean we have no idea how old the rock is, simply that we know it's about 120 million years old. Carbon dating has some idiosyncracies of its own, which are a bit too complex to get into here, but none of that changes the fact that we can pretty confidently date the Earth to about 4.54 billion years old.
If you say you are 55 years old, does that mean you are exactly 55? No, usually it means you are closer to 55.5 +/- 0.5 years.
Try this on: WHAT IF God created Earth and everything else, but maybe has a sense of humor and made it appear 4.5 billion years old, added in the dinosaurs and everything else just to mess with us?
What if we are all living in a storage locker in some interplanetary bus station?
If so, then this God is not a good god.
Carbon dating is only guess work since it doesn't properly reflect age after a certain amount of time,then it becomes guess work.Check it out if you find this to hard to swallow.
That's why after said age, they don't use carbon dating. Plus, at a certain point in the Science version of Earth's history, there were no plants to carbon date. That's why they measure the presence of radio-activity in zircons. Much more precise, and a lot less guess work there.
Even more of a reason to ignore it.
Dude, the sooner you let go of your god myth, the sooner you will be free.
Your perents lied to you. Santa claus does not exist, and neither does your god.
Radiocarbon dating does have limits, true, but when used properly within those limits, it is very accurate.
FYI, beyond the limits for carbon there are other isotopes with longer half-lives used for measurements.
@fiftyfive55 It's true that carbon dating is only accurate back to about 100,000 years ago, but there are other forms of radioactive decay, like Uraniam-Lead, Potassium-Argon, and Strontium-Rubidium, that allow us to date rocks quite accurately to billions of years ago.
@ninak-I most certainly do exist but I wont be at your home on Christmas.
"... I remember hearing someone talking about these time studies and making the statement that since no records from that long ago were kept so time stamping is an educated guess"
That's not exactly a solid reference, just so you know.
There is hard evidence for radiometric dating and its accuracy. If you are thinking that a margin of error discounts any meaning or value in the results, then you are incorrect.
"Uranium–lead (U–Pb) dating is one of the oldest and most refined of the radiometric dating schemes, with a routine age range of about 1 million years to over 4.5 billion years, and with routine precisions in the 0.1–1 percent range" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-lead_dating )
@me II & cactus-I bow to your knowledge and appreciate it,thanks.
Prove there is a god, and then we can discuss what he may or may not have done.
Please please please rupbs run this clown in 2016.
I bet the more we dig, the more lies and strange ideas we will find this guy has.
But I guess when you are motivated as a party with hate, this is about the best candidate you will find.
It is beyond belief that the GOP continues to put forth potential candidates that refute science in favor of the stories contained in the Bible. Do we really want leaders who cannot tell the difference between children's stories and intelligent reasoning supported by a scientific process? I am beginning to think that the GOP is incapable of distancing itself from the far right wing of the party.
You are thinking right. They will never admit they are wrong and never change course.
That is because they have hate in their hearts, always have.
Did you by chance see any of those black and white photos from back in the 30s at all those black lynchings?
An exhibit of those photos ran briefly in NY, but had to be cancelled because they were so disturbing (to white people).
Those people who were in those photos have never gone away. They are still here, and in the repub party.
The hate they have for anyone who is different, in any way, is still as strong.
So in 2016 it will be just another hate filled trogladite they will parade out there.
Someone should tell Rubio, that the reason the GOP lost this last election was that the moderates did not support or believe what the far right believes. I am a moderate republican, but I don't believe in creationism, I believe in evolution. I don't believe the Earth is 6000 years old, I believe it is 4.5 billion. I don't believe there is a future in our government for ignorant, delusional, far right thinking. If this election tells us anything it is there any many moderates in our country and we don't vote along party lines. I use to love to watch FOX, but let me tell you this, not so much anymore. I can't stand to watch any news network pushing their commentators. But the reason I don't watch FOX is that they lied about what was going on in our party and made many Moderates move away from the GOP. Most of us don't hate gays, and we are not xenophobic, and we have wives who use birth control. I have no problem paying taxes and I don't mind if poor people get help with their insurance, or if the entire insurance industry is forced to revamp. I don't side with wallstreet.
If Rubio wants to get elected, maybe he should begin by marginalizing the far right and taking to task people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman or even Rush. Move our party away from the hate and the ignorant religious nuts and back to a more moderate middle so we can gain more support. Most people embrace conservative values. We all want people to have personal responsibility and treat each other fair.
But as long as 24 hour news stirs the pot with far left and far right propoganda, you only alienate the moderates...
Refreshing. I know there are probably millions like you too. I lean liberal, but I am very willing to listen to what you have to say if I see that you make your decisions and policy in the real world based upon tested observations in the real world. Chances are you are fiscally conservative, and I may not totally agree with you on all things, but at least you are not trying to impose rules upon me based on a pre-scientific method story about how the world began. That one must believe in something that cannot be tested, and indeed, gets backed further into a corner with each new discovery, in order to be elected in this country is discouraging, but it is changing.
that was spot on...
darn! you are now labeled a RINO!
Oh my creationist friends, proof of evolution is all around you. Now, before you declare me “stupid,” “evil” or part of a worldwide conspiracy to deny the truth of your talking snake theory of life on Earth, please take five minutes to read this.
The classic definition of a species is that two members of the same species can breed and produce fertile offspring, but cannot mate with members of a different species. A human of any race can mate with a human of any other race, but none of us can mate with a chimpanzee, for example. So, all humans are in the same species, but we are all a different species to chimpanzees. Easy stuff.
Indeed, it is often easy to tell that two organisms are of different species just by looking at them. Compare, for example, a dog to a horse. Where it gets a little complex, however, is where you have two organisms that look very similar, but are of different species, or two different species that look very similar. Dogs are a great example of both. Compare a lighter-coated German Shepherd to the wolf. They look very similar, but are of a different species. Likewise, a Great Dane looks very different to a Corgi, but they are of the same species, Canis lupis familiaris, the domestic dog.
Why are Great Danes and Corgis considered to be the same sub-species (along with German Shepherds) but wolves and German Shepherds not? Same reason as humans. Great Danes, German Shepherds and Corgis can and will mate and produce fertile offspring, but virtually none of them will mate with a wolf, absent human intervention. However, and this is where evolution kicks in, all breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago. Some research suggests Manchuria as the location, but I digress.
What happened was that humans noticed that certain, less aggressive wolves were handy to have around. They ate pests and garbage and alerted the camp when predators lurked nearby. So, humans began to intentionally feed and try to tame them. The tamer, less aggressive wolves were less afraid of human interaction and less likely to harm their human hosts. They, therefore received more food and protection, which gave them a breeding advantage, and they passed on this favorable trait, call it “tameness,” to their offspring.
The tamer offspring were constantly chosen (probably unknowingly) for care and support and the wilder, more aggressive members of the litter discarded, perhaps for biting or avoiding humans. After hundreds or thousands of years of inadvertent selection for “tameness” the camp wolves started to become dependent on their human hosts and to even look different to their still wild ancestors. They lost the extreme aggressiveness that helped them in the wild, became less streamlined and tooled for the kill and had less adrenaline that causes aggression. In other words, they slowly became, in a sense, fat, dumb and happy. Doggie dough-boys. Girlie-men compared to their wild cousins, still red of fang and claw.
These first domestic dogs were so popular with humans that their “use” spread and humans all over the globe – from Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris and other Polynesians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all began to use dogs. Then something else happened. Humans actually noticed that, if there was a specific trait you liked about your, say male dog, you could breed it with a female with the same trait and the offspring would inherit that trait. If, for example, a hunter-gatherer only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs would differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed.
No one set of offspring would differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.
Bang – dog breeding was born. Humans selected for speed, resulting in the Greyhound, smelling and tracking ability (Bloodhounds) ability to herd sheep (Collies and Australian Shepherds) appearance (Dalmatians and Pomeranians) size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes) and a host of other traits.
As with most human activities, as our knowledge increased, dog breeding improved and exploded in the 1900s, with the current 600 or so breeds of dogs all descendent from the original wolf. Many breeds of dog alive today evolved over the past few decades and did not even exist as late as 1900. But, every last domestic dog, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the end result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.
Most breeds of dog do not (and likely cannot) breed with wolves for a variety of reasons, including allopatric and/or human induced separation and mating rituals. Not only that, but put almost any domestic dog in the wild and it would not survive a month. A wolf is much more likely to eat a Shih Tzu than bonk it. They are separate sub-species. In the struggle for life, the domestic dog species originated through means of selection as a favored race from the original wolf. If this last sentence sounds familiar, that is because it is. It is essentially the full ti.tle of Charles Darwin’s seminal work: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.
So there you have it, my Bible-cuddling friends. Evolution in motion. Undeniable, living in every suburb, licking ours face, fetching our sticks and messing on our sidewalks. Macro-evolution. A well recorded, understood, DNA mapped and uncontroversial case of evolution of one sub-species – Canis lupus lupus, the Eurasian wolf, into another, Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.
There are many, many others examples of evolution all around us by the way. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the market if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs. Why do you think horse breeders spend thousands of dollars to have a fast racehorse mate with their mare?
Wheat is another great example, as are gra.pes. The species of wheat that we in the West use for bread only developed in the last few thousand years as a result of two episodes of sympatric speciation (different to selective breeding, but an agent of evolution none the less) and the various Shiraz, Char.donnay and Pinot Noir gra.pes we enjoy today, in the form of wine, were all developed and perfected in the last 100 years or so.
So, Adam or Eve, the next time you kneel down in your church and take your weekly dose of the body and blood of your dead Jew, you might like to reflect on the fact that you are actually eating proof of evolution and washing it down with proof of evolution.
“Body of Darwin?”
Glad I wore my hip waders instead of boots cuz it's pretty deep in here...
55, care to state what it is about evolution and all of the evidence backing it up that you feel is untrue?
Still seems a bit early to throw your hat in the ring for the GOP nom but what do I know?
If God gave you a brain but does not want you to use it – what kind of sense does that make?
Since Mr. Rubio still has not responded to the following:
Mr. Rubio might be part Ne-anderthal making his education a bit more difficult. Maybe all political leaders should have their DNA checked for this. Tis rather inexpensive:
As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
" DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.
"Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000+ years ago, with the first modern h-omo sapiens appearing in Africa some 200,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.
Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.
It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."
For your $199 and a DNA swab:
"Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our h-ominin cousins, Ne-anderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."
Mr. Rubio would be wise to check the human evolution time line featured at before his next news conference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution#First_living_beings
Republicans need to start dealing with reality. This party is going extinct soon. The world has turned and left them behind. Good riddance.
Excellent point. The Republicans are "insane" in that they repeat the same action expecting different results. This voter wishes that they would see the writing on the wall. Forget about the christian conservative right, you'll likely have their vote anyway. Focus on the fat middle of the electorate.
Apparently a slow news day..........
Yep, I expect to see a story or two about airplane cabin air quality.
They always run those when there is no death or dismemberment happening.
No, Rube-io, we have answered that. We answer questions like that with science, and given the role of government funding scientific research you should know that. We don't rely on revealed religion, which has never revealed anything testable that was actually correct. Its only a mystery to those who either from genuine ignorance or cynical pandering want to equate actually looking at the world and doing research based on evidence with what a book written thousands of years ago by pastoral tribes that claims to be divinely inspired despite being contradictory and getting numerous things wrong.
And this is a guy that the GOP is considering running for President in 2016. SCARY!
Christians have dumbed down Gods Own Party. Do not expect too much.......set your expectations VERY low....they are jsut short of a witch doctor in mentality
Who asks that sort of question of a politician? Rubio's answer is legit – these topics have no place in politics. What do origins of the earth have to do with the economy at this point? It didn't matter how Rubio answered, he's a Republican, therefore any liberal would have a spun his answer to discredit him.
No, religion has no place in politics. Science, however, does. Government funds scientific research.
One could argue that the science and fact based approach to running a country is better than a faith-based approach.
Rubio is being considered as the next Republican presidential candidate. America cannot afford a scientifically illiterate President. We cannot compete in a world economy, which is increasingly based on technological advance, with a leader still living in the Dark Ages.
If he had said, "That's not relevant, and I'll leave it to scientists to determine that" I would have no problem with it. The fact that he said it's an argument among theologians and something we can never know shows how anti-science he is. And that is important when it comes to the economy. Rejecting science is also a rejection of climate change, which is going to affect our economy in the coming years. Fossil fuels (which in fact formed over millions of years, and were not poofed into existence 6,000 years ago) are vital to our current economy. Having a basic high school understanding of things like this is important for a politician. So why do reporters ask such questions? Because no one who is so illiterate in and dismissive of science should be allowed anywhere near the reins of power.
Hey repulitards....you let Romney lead you this last election. He and his religion believe that they WILL become gods after they die...they believed that GOD was a mortal, human man on another planet before he perfected himself and became a GOD of this planet (LOOK IT UP!) so I don't think you have ANY room to talk ANYMORE.
If you need a religion to run the country, then move to the Middle East where the government is run by an ignorant Theocracy. Don't drag this country down ANYMORE!!!
Rubio's point was that religion does NOT have a place in politics. Did you miss the "I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States" statement? Maybe your religion of autocratic science has warped your ability to read.
If you believe that the basic principles of science – which leads us to the estimation of Earth's age as being 4.5 billion years, as well as the ability to fly in planes, have boats that can cross the oceans in just a few days instead of weeks or months, and provides the electricty for the stock exchange – have nothing to do with the modern economy, you're as ignorant as anyone who believes the Earth is 6000 years old.
The notion that science is so flawed, yet it's used to find oil every single day, used to drill wells, produce power, and find resources that enable the modern economy to work is so asinine as to not even be worth arguing against.
I am a Christian and stand disturbed that so many believe this young-earth nonsense. The Bible does not give the age of the earth. The creation described in Genesis is actually a restoration (from a prior judgement, that's why the earth is covered in water in Gen.1:2) from the original creation of Gen. 1:1. A comparison of passages in Job and Psalms confirms this and the Hebrew reads that way anyway.
I agree with you 100%
There are other scriptures that also suggest that there was another judgement before humans were created. Also in Gen.1.1 God created the Heavens and earth and Gen.1.2 the earth was all messed up. But God is perfect so when he created it all it had to be perfect. So something happened between Gen.1.1 and Gen.1.2 that was left out of the Bible as we know it today.
The importance of the first two chapters of Genesis is that God created us all, and everything around us. The technical details and mechanisms of how He did it, beyond "Let there be..." are of lesser importance. These sorts of "young earth" arguments are unproductive because they overshadow the most important level of meaning of the creation narrative. It is like ordering a bowl of soup, and then letting it get cold while arguing about how the cook might have stirred the pot.
The importance of the first two chapters of Genesis (which are quite contradictory) is that they are the creation myths of a prescientific people who were attempting to make sense of the world based on their knowledge, which included the Sun going around the Earth and required supernatural beings as explanations for natural phenomena. Today most of us know better, except apparently in the US.
Dippy Republicans just will never learn, will they?
Hint: The sooner you kick out of your Party all of the Christian-Taliban extremists who promote crap like this, the sooner you will again become a viable national Party. As long as you embrace these nutcases whose goal it is to throw out scientific research and knowledge altogether in favor of the BIBLE as a science textbook, the less likely you will EVER see the inside of the Oval Office again. It's your choice. I recommend you choose wisely.
This remark of Rubio's will come back to haunt him in 2016. I will absolutely remember it.
The Bible is a historical account written before we had technology to understand better. There are bound to be some errors in it but some people cannot lose their obsession with it's tradition and no one dare edit it. Even Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ caused a lot of controversy and it's supposed to be an accurate account. Just imagine the out lash if someone decided to edit the Bible today.
If our trip to the moon isn't a blunt enough fact to get creationists believing we have more advanced science now and therefore more accurate facts than nothing will convince them. Not carbon dating, not new discoveries of dinosaur bones, nor NASA.
Well, if you believe 2000 year old speculation over modern, evidence based, repeatable, testable science, then how would you react as President if some tragic event occurs and evangelicals are telling you it's the end of days? I don't want someone willing to pander to ignorance leading my country.
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.