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.
Technically Rubio is not wrong. He never gives a year amount to an “era” and thus seven eras could equal the generally accepted age of the earth, 4.5 Billion years.
What I don’t like is, he does not give his option. He gave an open ended answer to a specific question, but that’s politics.
No, he's wrong to even suggest that the world could possibly be 6000-10000 years old. We may not be able to definitively determine that it's 13.5 billion years old, but we sure as hell can definitively determine that it's older than what young earth creationists believe it is. He should not be giving credence to an idea that has absolutely no evidentiary backing whatsoever.
He sounds confused. Just like his religious beliefs. He's a Catholic, no wait, a Mormon, oh no, a Baptist. You've got to be kidding, right??
So glad to live in New England and not the South!!
Centuries of research, tens of thousands of fossils unearthed, dated with the most reliable scientific methods (radioactive istopes such as Carbon-14, potassium-argon, uranium-lead, etc), ample amounts of geological data, comparing rock formations from Africa and South America, from the British Isles and the Appalachians, coming to the evidence that these rocks were once united under the same continent (Pangaea, Gondwanaland, Rodinia, etc), etc, etc...and there are still some nutmegs out there to debate with us about the creation of the earth in 7 days. Ignorance, stubborness, plain denial rules the GOP conservatives, may they be Hispanics or Whites, may they be southern Baptists or Mormons. What hurts more than anything in the position they take is that it influences scientific education, putting the american students further behind its european counterpart: Creationism is NOT a science, it's a fantasy
OMG.....don't we have more urgent matters pressing upon us? I believe Rubio gave a great response to the stupid question. Let's get back to the here and now!
This guy is obviously running for president; don't you want to know what century he lives in?
Let's keep politics out of science. And keep theology out of both. Science should not be pushed as ideology. Plus, as learning proceeds, theories get shifted. I think Rubio gave a fair answer and that should be the end of the issue. Let science be science, politics be politics, and theology be theology.
And when, KPOOS, has theory EVER "shifted" back towards the teachings of religion? Neil deGrasse Tyson put it best when he said, "Religion is an ever shrinking pocket of scientific ignorance." The more we learn about the world around us, the more obsolete religious teachings become.
When the bible was written, science as we know it was in its infancy. It was a way to explain the unknown to those that had no other source of information. Since then science has evolved and we know better. This does not mean that we have to disgard the bible, but we do have to keep the two schools of thought in context and separate, and not confuse the two or we will not advance as a country. There was a time when Greek mythology was considered factual. However, we still read these stories and learn from them. There is room for both religion and science. Where we run into trouble is not knowing the difference.
Reading things like this makes it abundantly clear why the Republicans lost two weeks ago.
If Rubio wants to have it both ways, he will find out that neither base will believe him. Has no one learned the lessons of trying to be Mitt Romney? Any of the Mitt Romney?. The many Romneys that don't have a core?
Science is a tool used to understand the universe. It does not have an agenda, although admittedly, sometimes those who use it do. Science is supposed to be empirical; its results repeatable, testable and predictable. When those using science to understand the universe sketch an outline of the history of everything, it is not a guess; it is based in empirical evidence. To dismiss it in favor of “God”, whatever he may look like to you, is to take the easy way out. To say, “God did it” is to tie off all the loose ends you do not understand with a magic wand. I think that in today’s day, with the information that is available to us, we owe it to ourselves to try a little harder than that.
Our forefathers create a nation where there was a separation of church and state, they were smart enough to realize that this was required for our nation to grow, there are hundreds of religions out there, and all of them point out that they are the "best" , and they are right......come on. Keep politics to the government and your religion personal.
yet many of our laws and common sense are based on "religion" that was formed hundreds of years before the USA was established
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." –former president Thomas Jefferson, 1814
"Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years"
That's really pathetically sad – that 46% of Americans belong in insane asylums. Belong there, should suffer there, and should die in abject misery there.
They should be excised from America like you would a cancerous tumor.
Creationism! Creationism! That garbage again? I thought we got rid of it in the 1800s. Oh, well, here we go again my Christian friends. Time for a little bit of fifth grade science. Look, I know you found science too hard, so you turned to religion, but here are a few reasons why intelligent design is a crock of sh.it.
First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor likely wiped them out.
The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years ago) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the 700 odd known species of dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths and hairy rhinoceros of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.
The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?
A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark for the entire 360 odd days Noah supposedly spent on the ark. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships larger than the D-Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the ark.
Then, of course, there are the various races of human beings. There were no Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Australian Aboriginals, blonde haired Scandinavians, Pygmies or Eskimos on the Ark. Where did they come from?
Second, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large, often Carboniferous Period forests, in the case of coal, or tiny marine creatures in the case of oil. For the fossils to develop into oil or coal takes tens or hundreds of millions of years of “slow baking” under optimum geological conditions. That’s why they are called “fossil fuels.” Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this.
Third, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13, 700,000,000 years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see the collective, misty light of many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny accusatorial witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.
Fourth, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims, the Universe about three times the age of the Earth.
Fifth, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed.
Sixth, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ simplistic and patently absurd explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.
Seventh, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.
I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics. Even large parts of medical research would be rendered unusable but for the fact that monkeys and mice share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs.
In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders copying then extant mythology were wrong. Creationists aren’t just trying to swim upstream against the weight of scientific evidence; they are trying to ascend a waterfall.
Damn dude YOU must have had a lot of time, naw just kiddin good points
"The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago." or there was a great flood that covered the entire earth which would bury dead things in layers.
Additionally, the Bible says two of each kind/species were taken onto the ark. Why would you assume that meant the largest dinasour like the T-rex? It did not say every type of dinasour or every type of dog, cat etc. Two of each kind.
As far as lactose intolerance, that proves that people change/evolve, but they are still humans. I believe we evolve within our own scientific classification, but not interspecies.
DNA: We have the same Creator so it would makes sense that our DNA would be similar, but we are still not the same species as monkeys, gorillias etc. Even scientists do not classify us the same.
Languages: you need only look at the difference between English and American English to see how quickly languages can divurge. It does not prove molecule-to-man evolution or Creation.
I could go on but why bother...why don't you just admit you do not wish to accept anything the Bible says and will not even open your mind to the fact that Science could support Creation.
Because science doesn't support creationism, Carol.
Carol – You need to re-read your bible: "Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate," Most animals are "clean," so that would be 14 of each. AND food for all of them for over a year. How did koala bears get to Noah....swim from Australia and crawl across SE Asia?? And US buffalo...did a herd of them swim across the Atlantic...and back? This is ridiculous; no thinking person can take the bible literally.
These conclusions on the age of things are based on what we are able to observe, measure, or detect. You will notice these ages have changed over the years as new discoveries are made. I would not be surprised if we find the earth and the universe are older than what we are estimating now. I would not be surprised if we find that we haven’t detected the boundaries of the universe, or that they are farther away than we currently think. I think “knowledge” is too strong a word to describe what we currently think. Some of you may find it helpful to apply your criticism and skepticism to more subjects than God.
The only way the estimates of the Earth's age are changing is in getting older and older.
i believe the initial start up was by creation and evolution is the process of renewal, such being the matter god has given us the opportunity do things on our own as long as it conforms to his guide lines, i believe the earth is possibley 3 to 5 billion years old and the univers is 13 to 15 billion years old, this is one of the mysterys that is sealed up from us, david tryed to give us a indication of it,s age when he said that ten thousand years are but a day in thy sight, it does not mean ten thousand days are a year , it means one of gods years is a very long time in human years, it saddens me when i hear politicians trying to exploit religion for political gain, i think we should all be thankfull for religion and be open minded to others also, lets all be thankfull for the ten commandments handed down by moses, nothing has brought more respect and peace between peoples , to the world , to nations, country, s provinces, citys and people of all nationality,s , race , religion,
When paul says he believes these things are "sealed up from us" he means that parts of the Book of mormon still has to be translated...mormons just can't give up.
paul – it amazes me lengths that people will go to attempt to shoehorn their religious mythology into reality.
"I contend that we are both atheists; I just believe in one less god than you. When you can understand why you deny all other gods, you will understand why I deny yours."
I'm a libertarian, which means I tend to vote Republican almost entirely on the basis that I really just don't trust the government to do almost anything right and always tax the hell out of us so they and their friends can get rich, which is what the Dems love to do, but the Republican party is making it harder and harder for me to continue voting for them with asinine statements like this. The leaders of our country are still clinging to fairy tales dreamed up by scientifically ignorant humans thousands of years ago who had absolutely no idea how the world around them worked, so they invented their own gods to explain it away. Why don't we still believe in Zeus, Poseidon, Mars (the god), or Ahura Mazda? Because people came to realize they're just myths, that everything they were said to control has since been explained through science. The followers of those religions believed just as strongly that their gods were real as so many Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. do today. How do you suppose one of them would react if we could travel back in time and show them how defunct their religion is to us? That's right, they would react in exactly the same way as religious folk today who are told that their religions are false.
Over the course of human history, religion has been a dangerous parasite on the collective mind of the human species. It has obstructed verifiable fact, persecuted those who would dare oppose it, and caused countless meaningless deaths and destruction. Do most religions encourage their followers to act goodly towards others, and have many of them contributed to many charitable actions throughout history? Sure have, but they most definitely do not come near to outweighing the horrible tolls religion has exacted on the population. It is a tragedy that so many of our leaders today (and all of those ignorant fools who elect them on the basis of their religious beliefs) are guided by their brainwashed, dogmatic belief in what amounts to no more than a very elaborate story of Santa Claus.
The cost of freedom isn't free.
Sometimes you have to pay for it with hot red blood.
Sometimes you have to pay for it with cold green cash.
Since you're not spilling any of your blood to support this country, maybe you should STFU, pay your taxes and support your country without the incessant whining and sniveling.
Do you think you could do that for just ONE year? Let April 15th go by without being the whiny jackhole that you Republiturds love being?
And sometimes we have to pay 13% in taxes to pay for a "bullet" train that goes to absolutely nowhere and costs $100 billion in a state that's ALREADY $20 billion in debt because the money is continually wasted. Yeah, we should all just shut up and take it, because nothing bad has ever happened from societies just blindly accepting whatever their governments tell them to accept. You are as dumb as you are blind.
A "bullet" train, by the way, that is now projected to simply be a slightly faster normal train, and one that still goes far slower than a plane, and incredibly will actually cost more per ticket than the plane ticket....why in the hell will anyone want to ride this absurd joke of a democrat's dream project? It's just another example of the enormous waste our government imposes upon us. Oh and hey, let's not even discuss the fact that it's ALREADY 5 years behind schedule and not even a single line of track has been laid down.
Yep, we should just pay the money without raising questions.
And by the way, political dissent is at the very core of what our democracy was founded on, so protesting actions taken by the government is actually quite the opposite of what you decree to be unpatriotic. Additionally, I never said I don't pay my taxes, so your argument is a completely ad hominem fallacious argument. I pay my taxes...I just vote against those who desire to continually raise them and send us spiraling into economic oblivion just so they, their union buddies, and their bedfellow corporate friends (e.g. the rail line operators) can get rich.
Or wait, how about the 10% sales tax that we now pay so that police and fire unions can retire at 50 with full pensions and literally BANKRUPT counties across the state (the number is at 15 and counting). One county in bankruptcy right now is spending SEVENTY FIVE percent of its budget on police and fire pensions. SEVENTY FIVE percent. And guess what? Their tax rates are *through the roof*.
Dems are disgusting in not only their ability to generate enormous waste, but in their sheer willingness to create it.
I've been told that freedom costs a $1.05 is that true?
There is no God. Why is it so hard for you Jesus nuts to accept that? All religious texts are the work of man. That is a simple fact. You even acknowledge that your "prophet" wrote nothing down. Where do you think the number 6000 years came from?
where did it come from, it is not mentioned in the bible,
The 6000 years thing was complied in the 1600s by James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin, using a chronology he deduced from the bible.
I suppose one must commend a man who had no access to any actual scientific information for trying to gauge the age of the earth, but at the same time it's rather foolish for modern humans to cling to a number created with no basis in reality.
Paul. Some bishop whose name I can't remember went through the bible counting the "begats" and multiplied that by some approximation of life-expectancy. Voila 6000 years.
Jpeagle said: "You people are the lowest of the low" and then, in a responsive comment he stated: "... I didn't call anyone names"
You should run for office...lol
I thought that the Scottish were the "lowest of the low".
I've always felt that Bama fans are the "lowest of the low", and most of them vote Republican.
God gave you a brain that has been evolving for millions of years. Start using it, you insult God.
Man, do I ever agree with you! These bible thumpers are very lucky I'm not God. Because if I were God and saw these fools refusing to use the magnificent brain I arranged for them to develop, I'd send lightening bolts up their silly butts until it knocked some sense into them.
Rubio is trying to tap dance around the "controversy"! He's trying to have it both ways. This is what happens when you remove the separation of Church and State. You end up looking really stupid trying to cater to those folks holding onto views that are hundreds of years, if not thousands of years old.
How did this election already become a debate about relgiion???? Rubio said " I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” How did all of you miss this? You say you want someone who isn't religious yet you allow yourselves to be so easily dragged into these debates. His point is that he doesn't really care about origins. His interest is in economic growth. We can't be so Christophobic.
As a politician Rubio has a say in what funds are allocated to scientific research. If Rubio does not believe basic science, how can i trust him to understand which research projects could be potentially valuable to our country? I'm not christophpbic I'm moronophobic.
You believe in a ghost who wants you to cannibalize him and drink his blood and that will magically protect you from earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and terrorism, told you that we need to go to war with Iraq, and you seriously believe the world is only 6,000 years old and you want us to trust ANYTHING your insane ass has to say?
I think not, you insane harpy.
Economists rely heavily on the scientific method, and they value evidence over "common sense" when it comes to determining how economies grow or stagnate. If Rubio rejects the clear evidence showing how old the earth is, he cannot be relied upon to interpret complex financial data. I know plenty of Christians who have not rejected science in the name of their faith. I am not afraid of Christians, I am terrified of fundamentalists of any stripe.
This guy will still get like 90 percent of the latino vote in this country
Not necessarily. Rubio is of Cuban descent. Most Latinos are of Mexican descent. The Cubans prefer the GOP for their anti Castro position. While the Mexicans prefer the DEM for their progressive views on immigration. If the GOP moves to support the Dream Act and Rubio embraces that, then perhaps.
No, he would not be the choice of most Latinos with roots in Central America, nor of most PRs in the northeast,
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.