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.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and earth". And," In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God. All things that were created were created by him. The word became flesh and dwelt among us". No where does it say God created everything that was created, was created in the beginning when the earth was created. What difference does it make. Who or what was the questioner trying to discredit?
Perhaps the questioner was making sure a person on a Subcomittee for Science and Space knew what good scientific methodology was. Rubio has demonstrated that he isn't willing to stand by science.
Science classes are science classes, and theology classes are theology classes. Let's keep them separate.
Just make sure the theology classes are in a room with a push-open door and nothing as complicated as a door knob. Hmmmm..... how they get back out is their problem.
Can I just say this? Creationists are the stupidest people on the face of the Earth, hands down.
Nope: charter member of "the party of nope". Good things it doesn't have FIVE letters, he'd be in trouble.
Anyone noticed it was GALLUP stating that '46% of Americans believe we were created'? In other words...it's a non-existent poll.
How exactly is Gallup non-existent?
Except one is backed up, and the other is heresay
nope is false
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a promising GOP candidate becomes unelegible for the next election.
Way to go Marco, keep preaching last century's ideology, you will be president in the land of the dinosaurs.
This issue is boring. It's not the president's job to say how old the Earth is, or decree what may be taught in public schools, or pass judgment on the findings of science. It's his job to propose and push through a budget, to conduict foreign policy, etc. A president who can do those things can believe the Earh is six hours old and made of Funyuns, for all I care. This incessant playing of gotcha games over tangents and then feigning indignation is at the root of our posturing, do-nothing political anticulture. It's time to drag the participants in such buffoonery from their homes and beat them to death with the heavy science textbooks they so deeply worship.
I smell a McCheesy nutter...
Denying evolution, or claiming that the earth is anywhere near 10,000 years old means that you have to deny reality, and I can't vote for anyone who would do that.
and people laugh about the fact thinking before Columbus sailed off was that the earth was flat, and in fact many scientific minds during that period and prior to that period were jailed for revealing scientific facts...lo and behold it appears we are once again entering a similar time period....what does Rubio know for a fact? that if you own a corner store and sell goods at y price and have to pay x price the world keeps on being a happy place? so you want to elect these types of people to government? LOL you all deserve what you get
A quick quiz to help understand the way the Christian mind thinks.
Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:
(a) The ancient Celts;
(b) Bronze Age Egyptians;
(c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs; or
(d) Modern Christians
Q. 2 You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are:
(a) a reptile handler who has severe mental issues;
(b) a five year old boy who just read a fairytale;
(c) a scientific fraud; or
(d) a Christian
Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" like protect myself from disease with a condom. I am
(a) A victim of child molestation
(b) A r.ape victim trying to recover
(c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions
(d) A Christian
Q.4 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay
people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am
(a) A gifted psychologist
(b) A well respected geneticist
(c) A highly educated sociologist
(d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.
Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am
(a) a delusional schizophrenic;
(b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly
(c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or
(d) your average Christian
Q6. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:
(a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;
(b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;
(c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or
(d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.
Q.7 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:
(c) Archeology; or
Q.8 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from Christianity:
(a) Christianity tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;
(b) Christianity can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;
(c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas Christianity is regional and a person’s Christianity, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than geographical upbringing; or
(d) All of the above.
Q.9 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:
(a) a deep psychiatric issue;
(b) an irrational fear or phobia;
(c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or
(d) my religious belief.
Q.10 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am
(a) A sleazy Wall Street banker
(b) the mafia
(c) A drug pusher; or
(d) any given Christian church
Q.11 What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:
(a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;
(b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;
(c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or
(d) All of the above.
Q.12 The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:
(a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;
(b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;
(c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions as “boots on the ground” to distribute condoms; or
(d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.
Q.13 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:
(a) Circular reasoning at its most obvious;
(b) The reason 99% of Catholics believe what they do;
(c) Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or
(d) All of the above.
Q.14 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Christian faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Christian should:
(a) Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.
(b) Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.
(c) Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or
(d) Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.
Q.15 Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.
(a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.
(b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.
(c) You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.
(d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.
Um... Colin, your comment isn't very concise.
This country should have the opportunity to teach all theories? I don't think we have that kind of time...lol. How about we teach science in science classes, You know...the science that 99% of SCIENTISTS agree on.
Good idea. Write to your Congressman, your School Board, your children's school principal and anyone else that has a hand in the education of your children. Step up. Speak out. Shut the fundies up.
I love how they put limits on the all powerful, omnipotent God. What makes them think Gods day is 24 hours, how many hours is Jupiter's, or Mercury? Besides over the years we have removed days here and there when the calendar was slipping. Gods mistake or mans?
Since men wrote the Bible. It's man's mistake. Thanks for asking.
There was uproar when the Protestant British Empire decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar, 170 years late.
Conservative Tories attacked the Whigs for their popish calendar choice. They were parodied as thinking the Pope was stealing time from their lives.
Estimates of the age of the earth are always changing. Back in the 1800s, 90 million years old or so was widely accepted, which was then lowered to 20 million. Today, it's 4.5 billion. In 100 years, it could be back to 20 million or 20 billion. Scientific theories have constantly been disproven and have changed over time.
I don't know how long the first 7 days were in the Bible; the first few didn't have a sun though, so probably not on a 24 hour scale. I don't believe though that humans and nature came from a big bang though. Clearly we (and every perfect cycle like reproduction, cells, and perfect ecosystems) couldn't have come about by chance. Luckily, this big bang theory is starting to be rejected by scientists.
Perfect ecosystems? Really? Is that why we have mutations that cause children to be born with all kinds of deformaties at times? Is it perfect for cells to mutate and turn cancerous?
Tell me, do you know why estimates have changed when it came to the age of the earth? Do you know the physics and science of the Big Bang? And what citations do you have of scientists rejecting the Big Bang, and do they actually work in that field?
"Clearly"? No, you are wrong. In your little bubble based off a book written thousands of years ago, it may be clear to you. But to the rest of us, that is not clear evidence that God created anything. Don't use words that imply fact when in actuality, it's the furthest from fact.
The Big Bang theory is not being rejected by scientists.
You obviously have no understanding of the scientific method. Of course the things we know change over time as our knowledge improves that's how science works, I can assure you though, the age of the earth and the universe is not changing to 10,000 years any time soon. I suggest you visit your local library and pick up a book or science journal and actually read it instead of regurgitating the wisdom shoved down your throat by people who have never taken the time to understand anything.
@hawaiiguest I considered adding in NATURAL ecosystems, not a human-altered one we live in today, but I figured you'd be smart enough to read through the lines, which apparently you aren't. If you want to read more about the rejection of the big bang, do a quick google search and you'll find plenty.
@james madison No need to play the game of "you're wrong, I'm right!" You've got no clearer evidence that Earth and everything about it comes from a big bang. It really does sound ridiculous when you think about considering everything coming from a bang. You're one-sidedness can't see that though.
I was hoping you would come back with at least a relevant post, but it looks like I was disappointed.
I don't really feel like doing your work for you. You make a claim, you provide the evidence. And you might want to actually address the points in my first paragraph instead of trying to run in a circle.
Yes, Nick, estimates of the earth's age HAVE changed. That's because in SCIENCE, when an advance in knowledge is made, there is no problem in dismissing disproved ideas. It's called part of the scientific method- and discarding disproved ideas is something no religion written in stone is capable of doing.
The rest of your post is nonsense and doesn't merit a reply.
Nick, if there were a significant rejection of the big bang theory, it would be published in a peer reviewed journal and not thrown out on the internet. Please do some reading before you embarrass yourself further.
@hawaiiguest Last post for you, since you only read a line word for word. I've read them, if you're to lazy to look, then don't, I could care less. Now, I did address the points in your first paragraph, I even was going to put the obvious in parenthesis in case you needed help seeing that, but didn't once again. YOUR scientists are always finding/trying to find causes of cancer, etc. All of these findings are based on things from human works such as smoke and pollution.
@sick of christian phonies You are correct in that advances in science improve over time. Back in the 1800s, they thought they had the age pretty close. Now, 200 years later, we think we have it right, because we're always living for this moment. In 200 years, they may look back and think how ridiculous our number was.
You really don't know anything about cancer do you? How about oncoviruses, types of viruses that can cause cancer. About 18% of cancer deaths are directly related to those diseases. Or cancers that are inhereted through heredity. Naturally occuring hormone imbalances can also cause certain types of cancers. All three of these points do not require human intervention.
I'm sorry, "Nick", but your only clear assertion that "we (and every perfect cycle like reproduction, cells, and perfect ecosystems) couldn't have come about by chance" is unfounded. Aside from that assertion, it is clear that the rest of your post represents the position "I don't know". It has been a pleasure to clarify assertions made in your post, "Nick".
Typical Nick. Post a claim with no citation. Soon comes the plugging of ears and recitation of scripture.
1.1 There's always been Ethel:
"Jacob, wake up! You've got to tidy your room now."
1.2 And then Mister Lewis:
"Isn't it time that he was out on his own?"
1.3 Over the garden wall, two little lovebirds – cuckoo to you!
1.4 Keep them mowing blades sharp...
2.1 I know what I like, and I like what I know;
2.2 Getting better in your wardrobe, stepping one beyond your show.
The age of the Earth isn't a mystery Marco. The only mystery is how nitwits like you keep thinking you can win the White House. If George W. Bush taught us anything, it's to reject all numbskulls who try to run for office.
We've learned our lesson.
The universe is 13.7 billion years old, not 14.5 billion.
Oh? Were you there?
NOW you tell me. I already bought the birthday cake candles.
I was, and it is exactly 14.6984352910083408143286 years old...
And no, I don't mean Billions... I mean years. It's all very complicated.
You don't have to be present at an event, to be able to estimate when it happened.
Luckily there were witnesses at God's creation of the universe in 6 days, so we're totally sure that's true, right?
What's a billion more or less.
@Margaret That depends on whether you are a Republican or a Democrat :)
Does any Christian out there who believes this utter garbage ever stop and wonder why your average 7th grade European, Asian, Canadian, Australian, South American or even African school child is better educated in natural history than they are?
If this is not proof of the dumbing down effects religion can have on otherwise rational people, I don't know what is.
They do not, no...
Sorry, "stop and wonder" is not on the list of things that they do.
Sadly, it appears that Mr. Rubio is cut from the same cloth as the most recent crop of Republican candidates. Afraid to say what he believes or stands for, for fear of alienating some perceived block of the electorate. He wants to be all things to all people instead of standing on principle, and as a result, he will go the way of Mr. Romney in 2016. I'm guessing he no more believes the earth is 6,000 years old than the man in the moon, but fears offending someone.
But he DID say he likes rap music and IS hispanically derived. That makes him the republican front runner in 2016, unless Christie loses 150 pounds. As long as they win the kids and the somewhat- but-not- too brown folk, they'll be happy. You don't really expect the republipicans to change their true colors, do you?
Shouldn't you be saying that Rubio is cut from the same cloth as other politicians as opposed to just republicans? Have you never heard a member of another political party evade answering a question before? If not, then you must not ever pay attention to anybody but republicans. They all do it.
Why isn't this article posted under the "Apparently This Matters" section? I appreciate Rubio's response: "I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States."
Considering he's part of a Subcommittee for Science and Space, I'd say it's incredibly relevant.
Give it a rest!!! Tired of listening to political sh$t....do we have to listen for 4 more years....
Yes, me too... but saddly, I'm hooked on it, and I don't have the will power to stop reading these articles.
Hello, my name is Orso, and I am a Newsaholic.
This guy is slowly losing his start status everytime he opens his mouth.
Seems like the only reason he is a rising start is because of his nationality.
Just before the election I remember him making a commercial pleading with young people to surrender future social security benefits while promising the current generation of elderly he wouldn't touch their benefits.
And then he discussed how privatization would solve the social security problem in the future.
That's when he lost all credibility with me. Handing off anything to wallstreet is a mistake. Just look at what happened when true retirement packages turned into 401k plans.
Oh you must mean that big interest rate of .025%
Stop it! It's not "the Earth" any more than it's "the Mars" or "the Venus." "The earth" is the ground we walk on, the soil we cultivate; "Earth" (no "the") is our planet. Seems that CNN's editors are as dim-witted and ill-informed as these pathetic Fundamentalists who have their heads up their butts.
Well, those others are only "Mars" and "Venus". But THIS is THE Earth. It's a big deal, thus the "the". Us humans are humano-centric that way.
Definition of religion: the only kind of 'knowledge' that makes one more ignorant and requires the suspension of rational thought to accept.
It's not "knowledge". It's "faith". Big difference.
Sooner than later we will either know or not know. If we end up not knowing then all of these comments are pointless and life is without meaning.
Why would it be without meaning?
You think life is meaningless without an imaginary friend to please?
I find plenty of meaning, joy, and happiness in my forsaken, godless existence, thank you very much. Stick to your spaghetti and meatballs.
I have a difficult time believing the 15% statistic... I have an extremely diverse group of friends from many circles and I have found that, after they know I am an atheist (which is not something I go around advertising – although I will occasionally break out the "If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing" t-shirt), they also admit that they don't believe, or at the very least have serious reservations. I would say this has turned out to be about 50/50. Whether or not this is a valid representation of the general public in my area (and I live in VA which is generally considered to be a "southern" state) or I have just gotten lucky ;) is certainly open for debate. I would like to believe it is the latter but the surveys would indicate otherwise. Regardless, I feel like 15% (of the US population that believes humans came about through natural processes) is a rather low number. Once polls get up to 20-25% in this category, I have a feeling it will grow exponentially as people begin to realize they are not alone in their disbelief.
don't know about anything else, but I want one of those t-shirts
I agree with your post, but listening to the Republican rhetoric during this last political campaign and living in the Bible Belt Buckle, I can believe a bunch of Evangelicals (I would say extreme right wing Evangelicals but that would be redundant) do truly believe in a very literal interpretation of the Bible. Many, Many years ago I decided the Bible was nothing more that an adulteration of Jewish mythology.
@rastafanman Here you go...
Nunya, if all you cling to is the afterlife, you're the fool and the loser. And you're the one cheating yourself and your children out of a meaningful life NOW.
Fine by me; you have no right to tell others that's how they should live.
I wonder what Jesus would make of Christianity. Not too sure he would approved. Another round of tossing out the money grubbers?
apatheist, i sorta get that feeling its more than 15% but I wonder on the other hand if it isn't more that we surround ourselves with like-minded people so it seems to us a higher percentage. We hang out in places that people like us enjoy hanging out in; we have hobbies or activities that those like us enjoy. We create our own echo chambers. It would be nice to know the deep dark inner truth that I think many religious people are afraid to admit though because I would bet many people who tick the "religious" box are more unsure than they let on..
Way to crush my dreams... But seriously, I do understand that my preference to befriend unstupid people skews my personal poll, however, I still feel like 15% is low. I have met quite a few non-unstupid people who are like-minded in this regard. I don't necessarily consider them friends, but there are quite a few out there. There is hope yet... Maybe...
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.