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Rubio ignites debate with answer about creationism
November 19th, 2012
04:19 PM ET

Rubio ignites debate with answer about creationism

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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Creationism • Politics

soundoff (6,211 Responses)
  1. dirk

    I'll agree he did not believe in a personal God that is interested and directs our lives, but a supreme Creator. Mabe there is a connection between his disbelief in a personal God and his marriage and other domestic problems.

    November 22, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yes, just everyone knows that no "true believers" ever have marital discord. ( eye roll )

      November 22, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  2. dirk

    Albert eistein said he believed there was a higher power. He said when you study the universe you can not help but think so. He may not be the ultimate authority but he was smarter than I am.

    November 22, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Dennis

      He also wrote, in recently released correspondance letters, that religion was "Childish nonsense" basically espoused to placate the masses. Yep, I agree with him totally.

      November 22, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      . Who made the following statement?

      "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . We need believing people."

      Adolf Hitler. April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of 1933.

      November 22, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      Books would be a start. You need a basic biology class. Dennis is correct about Einstein, you are mistaken. Also, we share about %99 of our DNA with chimps, so yes, that's "almost human."

      November 22, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Ben

      Nietodarwin
      Well, "believing people" usually are easier to lead by the nose, while organizing atheists has been likened to "herding cats." I'd rather be a cat than a sheep in anyone's flock.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Gadflie

      Dirk, actually what Einstein said was "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

      November 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      However smart Einstein was, he was definitely a better person than you, Dirk. If you're a Christian you should be asking forgiveness for bearing false witness. But you won't, because deep inside you're an atheist and know you won't be punished for your lie.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  3. dirk

    Are all the stages still intact? Is there some creature today that is almost human? Is there a clear answer other than go read books?

    November 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Ben

      If, by "clear" you mean "easy", then no, not really. Like a lot of science evolution and the Big Bang theories can be understood in simple terms, but things get more complex and detailed once you dig into it a bit. Specific answers to aspects of either theory require longer explanations than can be given within a discussion board, so referring people to any of the many excellent books written for non-scientists is usually the most expedient action. If a person has questions after doing the reading then we may have something to discuss.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Gadflie

      The answer is obviously yes. In fact Humans and our closest relatives, Chimps and Bonobos differ in DNA by only about 1%.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  4. dirk

    If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? And are there still fish slithering onto land and growing legs and becoming monkeys? And why do we stop when we get to be humans? Or are we still evolving?

    November 22, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • the AnViL

      primates evolved from a common ancestor.

      yes – some of us are still evolving.

      "those who resist evolution – retard evolution." – the AnViL – 2012

      November 22, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • the AnViL

      also – yes – some fish are slithering onto land... evolving....

      evolve!

      November 22, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      You poor fellow. Go to a library, take a biology class, get some help. When you learn a little more about basic biology, then you can read books by Dawkins. Do you believe in gravity? "Believing" in evolution is the same as "believing" in gravity. Those are the facts.

      November 22, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Beloved

      Hello Dirk,

      You are right dear. Don't mind all those people. I see the first two guys attacking you instead of putting their own thoughts out.

      For those attackers....today makes it 4.5 billion years from 4.5 billions years ago. so will tomorrow and next year. If all you need is time for all these to happen. Well, time has been passing since the first evolution should have occured. But like Dirk said, we haven't seen you evolve into a snake or something else.

      Truth be told, Evolution is not science but religion. You just gotta belileve that 14.5Billion years ago something started and you gotta have strong faith in your religion to believe that 4.5 billion years ago, nothing exploded in a 'big bang' and everything came from that.

      Simple questions to ask your science teacher "were you there when these things happened?" "who was there?" "Who recorded the event?" "Who wrote the eye witness account?" "where did the particules come from?"

      You may also ask Christians the same question. You may say to us, were you there when God created the world or did you just believe the bible? Well I am a christian and I want you to ask me that question, please.

      Here is a tip of the iceberg. Since none of us Christians were there when God created these things we just believed. But don't be fooled by that opening statement. You see, God encouraged us to ask questions. And he provided answers. God said the only way to know and prove there is a God is by asking him to prove it Himself. It went ahead to say that the only way to prove a 'god' is by that 'god' telling what will be and those things coming to pass as He said it. Well, the Christian God was the only one who told us about the Babylonian empire, the medo-persian empire, the Greek and Roman empire and now finally, the 'divided kingdom'. Please, read Daniel chapter 2. Here is Verse 43 for you – 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

      That happened in the 'region of the foot'....just as each foot has 5 toes, so do we have 5 veto powers today.

      I don't want to scare you but we know what will happen in the future and it doesn't look so good for those who do not believe in Jesus. But the good news is, you can still believe today.

      I found out that many who do not believe in God were actually brought up in a godly way but were either disappointed by their parents or leaders or just simply do not want to be accountable to God in their lives and for that reason, 'they are willfully ignorant'. 2 Peter 3:5.

      November 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Beloved
      God does not encourage us to ask questions. He demands obsequious submission, let he get all smitey like a petulant child.
      The original sin is the quest for understanding. Once knowledge was gained, God punsished all mankind forever more.
      And look at what happened in Babylon. As punishment for mankind working together towards a common goal, God struck down the fruits of man's labour and ingenuity and ensured that we wood be doomed to tribalism and strife forevermore by making communication nigh impossible.
      God demands faith and faith is the anti.thesis of knowledge.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Ben

      dirk
      We did not come from modern monkeys. We and modern monkeys share a common ancestor who you might have mistaken for a monkey if humans were around to see them, but wasn't one any more than a saber-toothed cat is a tabby, see?

      November 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  5. Nietodarwin

    Yup, religion=mental illness. This is why our test scores are lower than other nations, keeping people ignorant with their noses in a bible. Being religious is the OPPOSITE of being patriotic. We can be thankful that the GOP did so poorly, and that we don't have a cult leader for a president. Rubio needs to have talk with Bill Nye. Only one of these theories is based on proof, the one that doesn't allow for the existence of a "god" with absolutely no proof. This type of thinking is what makes true patriots (atheists) truly hate religion and the people who shove it down our throats. Maybe Rubio doesn't believe in gravity either. Drop him in the gulf for sharks to feed upon.

    November 22, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Beloved

      all your presidents have all been Christians. And Obama is. Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Albert Einstein is a believer in God. Not that we need him to validate our believe in God but for those of you who claim religion makes anybody less smart. Although Christianity is not a religion. It is a way of life. Read Daniel Chapter 2 to get an idea the history of this world in terms of world power to date.

      Very soon, we'll be in a true cashless society where all you need is the back of your right hand or your fore-head to buy or sell. It might not convince you if you are willingly ignorant (2 Peter 3:5) but it might help you to know that the bible predicted that some 2000 years ago.

      You say why does that matter? The bible predicted nuclear weaponry, cars, satellite televisions, information age, veto powers, antichrists etc and we know these things have happened and continue to happen. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" – George Santayana. Chat me up and I will show you the way in a very friendly and kind way. You don't have to believe, but you be better enlightened and you may start loving others instead of hating them for their belief.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Beloved
      Einstein was not a deist, he was (if anything) a pantheist like Spinoza.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • captain america

      He was also an American which you are not. Try minding your own F'n business. There's your sign

      November 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • End Religion

      Beloved, have you yet asked forgiveness for lying about Einstein? God doesn't appreciate bearing false witness.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  6. The Fladaboscan

    It would be SO embarrassing to elect a creationist president. Equivalent to finding out your father is a child molester.

    Unbelievable.

    November 22, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Beloved

      Its a pity you just found that out about your own father....sorry man.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Wow, that is truly a Christian response.

      November 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  7. sgraffwriter

    The best response for someone of faith is that we don't really know for sure, but that based on evidence, the earth and universe appear to be billions of years old. Somehow, if one believes in scripture, both are compatible and one can believe that there is a creator without also rejecting the mountains of evidence that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that life forms evolved over time. There is a growing acceptance among Christians and Christian leaders of, at the very least, old earth theories that are in line with scientific evidence.

    November 22, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  8. Mitt Romney

    Chad
    A creation myth! Oh boy.. lets have a look at it.

    @Colin "Universe is about 13,720,000,000 years old. The sun and Earth formed at more or less the same time, about 4,000,000,000,000 years ago, as a part of one of about 1,000,000,000 solar systems in our galaxy. There are about 4,000,000,000 galaxies in the observable Universe, all as big as ours.”

    @Chad “Spectacular! I love what you’ve done with the vastness, makes me think of Sagan.. "billions and billions", except, well, how do I say this..
    It lacks a key component, namely where did everything come from? All of the matter in the universe.. where did it come from? “All of the matter in the universe just spontaneously showed up, out of nothing, by nothing” really stinks..
    I mean, I can make a cake, but I can't cause water, flour and sugar to materialize out of thin air. Making the cake is the easy part, coming up with the material from non-being is another matter altogether.
    =========================================

    Hilarious, if you cannot figure out how matter was created, then a magic man in the sky must have made it? How is that logic?
    While I have no answer as to when time and space first started along with matter, the same holds true of how a magical being first came into existence and what and where was he before then?

    November 22, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • The Fladaboscan

      So where did god come from? How do you know that ancient scripture might have the answer? It also says that it's a sin to draw a fish. Don't believe me? Read Exodus 20 if you don't believe me.

      November 22, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  9. Leif

    Rubio is yet another politician who doesn't have big enough cojones to stand up to the scientifically illiterate base of the GOP.

    November 22, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  10. Gadflie

    Here's a fun piece of reality for the believers out there, the Christian God is supposedly omnipotent and omniscient. But, it is obviously impossible to have free will if there is an omniscient being. Free will and omniscience cannot co-exist.

    November 22, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Andrew

      That old chestnut – the omni paradox – is neither informative nor interesting. It has bounced around for centuries with no great impact. Were i to create a massive multiplayer online game, write all of the code, set all of the rules, define the narrative arc of the game and it's ending. Were I then to allow my friends to play, monitor their every move as system administrator, interfere and change the rules as I see fit etc. Would they not experience free will while I, within the context of the game, appear Omniscient and Omnipotent. Surely the paradox that you point out only exists if you take a doctrinaire approach to omniscience. The biblical text does not use the omni words – obviously. It does ascribe to god "all knowingness" and also recognizes that he knows how the story ends. But these aspects of god do not rise to the level of the absolutes that you rely upon for your paradox.
      Meanwhile to say that Christian dogma contains contradictions is kinda like saying Ketchup is not a vegetable – strictly true but what is the point?

      November 22, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Gadflie

      Andrew, for your argument to be valid, all knowing has to mean something other than all knowing. Is that really your argument?

      November 22, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Gadflie

      Andrew, here is the reality of the situation. If there actually is a God, he can either be omniscient (by the actual definition, not some weasel worded excuse) OR we can have free will. Not both.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • lol??

      Can't coexist? A fly speaketh this?

      November 22, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • lol??

      Gadflie's problem is he doesn't like how God does things. Now that's an old story that goes all the way back to Cain.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Mitt Romney

      If god exists he pure evil or very imperfect, this is fact. He created mankind an yet killed nearly every mammal, man, woman, infant, and unborn fetus in the world because they were "evil". If he was all knowing he would have know how the story would have turned out, so did he create humanity just to kill it for giggles?

      November 22, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • Mitt Romney

      If god exists he pure evil or very imperfect, this is fact. He created mankind an yet killed nearly every mammal, man, woman, infant, and unborn fetus in the world during the great flood because they were "evil". Thje bible also has him murdering entire cities for dubious reasons. If he was all knowing he would have know how the story would have turned out, so did he create humanity just to kill it for giggles?

      November 22, 2012 at 5:02 am |
    • Mitt Romney

      If god exists he pure evil or very imperfect, this is fact. He created mankind an yet killed nearly every mammal, man, woman, infant, and unborn fetus in the world during the great flood because they were "evil". Thje bible also has him murdering entire cities for dubious reasons. If he was all knowing he would have know how the story would have turned out, so did he create humanity just to kill it for giggles?

      November 22, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • single celled organism

      In your video game scenario, the creator of the video game allows the players free will. Therefor the creator does not know what the players will do, and is therefor not all knowing.

      November 22, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • 2357

      You will sin until you die. You are already condemned. Freewill is a myth, not found in the Bible.

      November 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually LOL, the problem is that you just can't comprehend the issue. Let me see if I can help explain. Imagine that tomorrow you are going to come to a fork in the road. God KNOWS, with no doubt at all, you are going to turn right. Knowing this, can you actually turn left? If so, God is not omniscient. If not, you do not have free will. It's really that simple.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  11. foolsage

    Existence of a reality greater than your own perception. Is there proof of this? What is a a valid evidence for this fact, if it be a fact indeed? Or do you simply assume it to be true, on faith. You close your eyes tonight, and all is moot. You yourself barely exist. The audacity to demand proof from one who grants you the very consciousness.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Gadflie

      YAWN! As philosophy, I have to rate that rant as an epic fail.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • foolsage

      Past your bedtime. Go to sleep.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Observer

      foolsage,

      Existence of a reality greater than your own perception would NOT prove the existence of God.

      Try again.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Fool, you live up to the first half of your name. Sorry kid, your posts are nothing but amateurish claptrap.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • foolsage

      See. You don't even know what it is you are demanding. Pitiful kids.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Gadflie

      Demanding? LOL! You're funny kid. At the very best we are hoping that you might embrace reality instead of playing logical leap frog.

      November 22, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  12. t3chn0ph0b3

    Rubio for President! (snicker)

    November 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  13. lol??

    "Act 4:25-26 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ."

    November 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Athy

      Profound indeed. So what's the answer?

      November 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • lol??

      Teenage Mutant Turtles as told by Elmo.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • mlg4035

      'Act 4:25-26' – LOL! Even the men who wrote the bible knew they were just "acts" in play...

      November 22, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • mlg4035

      'Act 4:25-26' – LOL! Even the men who wrote the bible knew they were just writing "acts" in a play...

      November 22, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  14. ElmerGantry

    Science is questions that may (or perhaps not) be answered, religion is answers that are not allowed to be questioned.

    All the different religions have their "answers" that for the most part are mutually exclusive and these "answers" can not be questioned.

    LOL

    November 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No kidding. That's why the Chard won't "allow" specific statements to be made in response to his drivel.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Exactly Tom Tom.

      Attempting to silence the opponent is one of the many techniques of disinformation.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  15. Al Franken

    People who completely dismiss creationism completely are just simply afraid.

    Afraid that if there is a possibility of a slight kernel of truth then they will fall flat on their face due to their inferiority complexion.

    I think it is really just the spiritual part of believing in God that annoys them the most.

    If there was a scientific explanation of life after death and the fact they we are not alone in this world and the Big Bang Theory coincides in part with Darwinism ( which much can be just as easily disproved as the Bible) then maybe naysayers would relax a little.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Matthew

      I dismiss it because there is no possible way to worship every God in existence, because the majority of them say that anyone who isn't of their faith goes to their version of hell.

      I dismiss it because there is no evidence for it.

      I dismiss creationism because I'd much rather go looking for an answer and be forced to keep looking rather than take an intellectual shortcut.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      " inferiority complexion."

      My complexion is lovely. Thanks for asking. I think you mean "inferiority COMPLEX," you nincompoop.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Actually, it would be easier to disprove Evolution than Creationism. After all, Evolution is an actual scientific theory, one of the requirements thereof is that it is falsifiable. Creationism on the other hand, obviously does not qualify as a scientific theory because it is NOT falsifiable.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Al Franken stated,

      "... Afraid that if there is a possibility of a slight kernel of truth then they will fall flat on their face due to their inferiority complexion. ..."

      You're soooooo funny.

      Thanks for the late night laugh.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Athy

      So, Al. Disprove Darwinism. I'll make it easy for you. Disprove just one aspect of Darwinism. I'm sure we won't hear anything further from you, with your "superiority complexion." Geez, you biblebabblers are pitiful.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      Afraid, Al? If you want to see the face of fear, put a mirror beside your computer and visit: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
      Every creationist claim is debunked there. Have fun!

      November 22, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  16. Bruce

    Maybe he should pull out his front two teeth and start smoking meth to boot!!

    November 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  17. 10101010

    This rubio guy is correct. He is not a scientist and should stay out of the classroom. We do not need to through the inquisition again!!! Like I said, learn from the Catholic Church, the learned their lesson. What is wrong with the protestants!!!

    November 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "What is wrong with the protestants"

      Oh my! I don't know where to begin.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • lol??

      What is wrong with the protestants? Pride. Believing that the RCC is da mudder church? Gubmint church is more like it.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Bruce Mc

      Right he is should stay out of the classroom. The problem arises when folks like him try to mandate what IS in the classroom. That was the gist of the question, and his answer. "Teaching all sides" is code for bringing religion into the classroom.

      November 22, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  18. Chad

    Q.Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?

    Senator Barack Sen. Obama, D-Ill., speaking at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. on April 13, 2008::
    What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Chad

      Responses not allowed to say anything along the lines of "he had to say that to get elected.."

      November 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Since when do you get to decide what responses are allowed here, Chard?

      By the way, have you shown that your god was the impetus behind the Big Bang and evolution? No, you haven't.

      If you could, you'd have done so by now.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      He is wrong. And it makes me sick that the leader of the free world is expected to believe in supersti.tious voo doo.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      you do realize that the same quote is in the thread two topics beneath this one don't you?

      Obama pandered for fundie votes in 2008 just like Rubio did this week with GQ. Though at least at Messiah College Obama declared that he did not believe in a literal 6 day creation and that he did believe in evolution.

      What is your point?

      November 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      NotaGOPer: Say it ain't so! Chard SPAMMING? No. I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      he had to say that to get erected

      November 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer, End Religion; sorry, your posts have been disallowed. As indicated "Responses not allowed to say anything along the lines of "he had to say that to get elected.."

      my point is that Democrats AND Republicans believe in the God of Israel.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ end – I understand that they hold erections in J-apan every 4 years

      November 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Who said they didn't Chad?

      75% of Americans are Christians. With votes split 50% / 49% simple mathematics tells us that Christians voted for both sides.

      What else is new today?

      November 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "my point is that Democrats AND Republicans believe in the God of Israel."

      Or at least they have to claim to. And so what, it doesn't make it true.

      The god of Isreal is an immoral asshat.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, you dumbfvck, they SAY they believe. That doesn't mean they do. How stupid are you?

      November 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      @attack: ty, yes, i think you're correct. I thought maybe chad would allow my post since it technically did not meet his criteria, however since chad is the final arbiter of all aspects of our lives, who can post what, I have to live by his final decision.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Colin

      "I don't presume to know" he said. Well, we do know. Not all the details, but certainly the broad picture. Universe is about 13,720,000,000 years old. The sun and Earth formed at more or less the same time, about 4,000,000,000,000 years ago, as a part of one of about 1,000,000,000 solar systems in our galaxy. There are about 4,000,000,000 galaxies in the observable Universe, all as big as ours.

      Life on Earth likely began through a long process of abiogenesis, culminating in unicellular procaryotic bacteria. As natural selection kicked in, these bacteria graudally evolved into eukaryotic cells, then small colonies, then multicellular organsims, then pre-Cambrian biota, then crusaceans, jellyfish and, later, fish. The land was colonized by amphibians, that became reptiles, then unltimately mammals appeared, one branch of which resulted in h.ominids which evolved to human beings,

      About 200,000 years later these human beings began to invent spirits, gods and other magical beings to help them explain their environment and their inevitable deaths. Every culture came up with its own gods and the yalways favored that culture and its aspirations (of course).

      One such group was a group of nomadic Jews in the Middle East. They invented Yahweh, who later morphed into the Christian trinitarian "God" and, later, into "Allah". These gods are three of thousands that have been worshipped by human beings over the last 10,000 odd years. They are not special, "true" or even credible. They have their slot in history and will eventually go the way of Zeus and Odin. We can see this even today as atheism starts to overtake Christianity amoung young, educated people in the USA.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Poor Chad, he has to disallow the true and simple answer in order to have his post carry any weight.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You could have just placed a period after "Chad." He is certainly poor.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Chad

      A creation myth! Oh boy.. lets have a look at it.

      @Colin "Universe is about 13,720,000,000 years old. The sun and Earth formed at more or less the same time, about 4,000,000,000,000 years ago, as a part of one of about 1,000,000,000 solar systems in our galaxy. There are about 4,000,000,000 galaxies in the observable Universe, all as big as ours.”

      @Chad “Spectacular! I love what you’ve done with the vastness, makes me think of Sagan.. "billions and billions", except, well, how do I say this..
      It lacks a key component, namely where did everything come from? All of the matter in the universe.. where did it come from? “All of the matter in the universe just spontaneously showed up, out of nothing, by nothing” really stinks..
      I mean, I can make a cake, but I can't cause water, flour and sugar to materialize out of thin air. Making the cake is the easy part, coming up with the material from non-being is another matter altogether.

      You need to come up with a better beginning, just my opinion of course, but what you have is very incomplete and unsatisfying..
      But, lets not nit pick, lets move on..

      @Colin “Life on Earth likely began through a long process of abiogenesis, culminating in unicellular procaryotic bacteria”
      @Chad “ah.. hmmm.. how do I break this to you… abiogenesis is thoroughly debunked, see below.
      Just two sentences in and WHAM, two massive problems..

      You see, it's the same problem as your first step, you cant just say "all of a sudden, WHAM living organisms capable of reproduction POOF'ed into existence". Again, you need to come up with something more creative, something that people will believe.

      Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort, but from a pure credibility standpoint, ouch…

      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and as.sembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .

      November 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      "It lacks a key component, namely where did everything come from?"

      That does describe your position. Tell us that God came from nothing and then created everything from nothing.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer " Tell us that God came from nothing and then created everything from nothing."

      =>well, that's what separates the Hebrew creation account from the others. God (in the Hebrew creation account) didnt have a beginning, He has always been.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      So don't try to tell us that the universe couldn't have "always been".

      November 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer "So don't try to tell us that the universe couldn't have "always been"."
      @Chad "up until Edwin Hubble observed, the redshift of far away galaxies moving away from each other, and formulated Hubble's Law to explain the uniform expansion of the universe, that's exactly what every scientist would have told you.
      However, we now know that our universe DID have a beginning,(Einstein, Hawking, borde guth vilenkin theorem).

      Its a done deal, our universe had a beginning, so, talking about the universe having always been here, is scientific nonsense.. right?

      November 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      Since you are supporting science and apparently the Big Bang Theory, then you must realize that the "Bang" might not have occurred as soon as the matter existed. It may have "always been" there before exploding.

      It's good to see you supporting science.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Simran

      Chad
      " until Edwin Hubble observed, the redshift of far away galaxies moving away from each other"

      Well then, that would make the Rigvedas the most reliable scriptural account of the creation of universe bcoz they have talked of the universe being created and destroyed many times over.

      However, they are still sane enough to acknowledge (like scientists do) that no one knows for sure who did or didnot create the unverse. The Bible writers simply seem to be delusional coz they claim to know everything!

      November 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Chad, even someone as obviously ignorant of math as you are should easily be able to spot the problem with the estimate of how long it would take a protein to form. Are you actually pretending that you don't see it?

      November 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Observer " then you must realize that the "Bang" might not have occurred as soon as the matter existed. It may have "always been" there before exploding."

      @Chad "this is where you and HawaiiGuest run into trouble, you simply are clueless about some scientific issues.Space, time and matter are integrally tied together.

      Here's the thing, the "beginning" means precisely that. "Before" was nothing, non being. All of the matter came into existence at that point.
      All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology Stephen Hawking

      Can matter/space exist independent of time? No..
      Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time itself...no arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.
      http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/relativity/a11332.html

      Could the universe have always existed? no
      the theory that the universe has existed forever is in serious difficulty with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law, states that disorder always increases with time. Like the argument about human progress, it indicates that there must have been a beginning. Otherwise, the universe would be in a state of complete disorder by now, and everything would be at the same temperature. In an infinite and everlasting universe, every line of sight would end on the surface of a star. This would mean that the night sky would have been as bright as the surface of the Sun. The only way of avoiding this problem would be if, for some reason, the stars did not shine before a certain time. Stephen Hawking

      November 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Chad,

      You keep failing.

      Keep trying to tell us about God coming from nothing and then creating everything from nothing, but that non-believers are wrong because for something to exist, something must have created it..

      November 22, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • redzoa

      Just needed to point out that Chad's long quote regarding abiogenesis is far from a complete representation of the science. This what could be expected when your source is not the scientific literature, but rather a "How Stuff Works" website which in turn references other non-primary literature sources:
      http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/evolution/origin-of-life-on-earth5.htm

      Suffice it to say, abiogenesis has most certainly NOT been "thoroughly debunked." There remain plenty of questions (RNA first/later, metabolic replicator theory, etc), but there is an ever growing body of knowledge based in empirical positive evidence suggesting legitimate plausibility. There is, however, zero positive evidence for special creation, only arguments of incredulity.

      November 22, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Chad

      “legitimate plausibility” :-)
      the problem with ad-hominems, is that because it doesnt deal with the data, you leave yourself wide open to getting blasted with more real data:

      Virtually all biologists now agree that bacterial cells cannot form from nonliving chemicals in one step. If life arises from nonliving chemicals, there must be intermediate forms, "precellular life." Of the various theories of precellular life, the most popular contender today is "the RNA world."

      RNA has the ability to act as both genes and enzymes. This property could offer a way around the "chicken-and-egg" problem. (Genes require enzymes; enzymes require genes.) Furthermore, RNA can be transcribed into DNA, in reverse of the normal process of transcription. These facts are reasons to consider that the RNA world could be the original pathway to cells. James Watson enthusiastically praises Sir Francis Crick for having suggested this possibility (1):

      The time had come to ask how the DNA–> RN–>protein flow of information had ever got started. Here, Francis was again far ahead of his time. In 1968 he argued that RNA must have been the first genetic molecule, further suggesting that RNA, besides acting as a template, might also act as an enzyme and, in so doing, catalyze its own self-replication.
      It was prescient of Crick to guess that RNA could act as an enzyme, because that was not known for sure until it was proven in the 1980s by Nobel Prize-winning researcher Thomas R. Cech (2) and others. The discovery of RNA enzymes launched a round of new theorizing that is still under way. The term "RNA world" was first used in a 1986 article by Harvard molecular biologist Walter Gilbert (3):

      The first stage of evolution proceeds, then, by RNA molecules performing the catalytic activities necessary to as.semble themselves from a nucleotide soup. The RNA molecules evolve in self-replicating patterns, using recombination and mutation to explore new niches. ... they then develop an entire range of enzymic activities. At the next stage, RNA molecules began to synthesize proteins, first by developing RNA adaptor molecules that can bind activated amino acids and then by arranging them according to an RNA template using other RNA molecules such as the RNA core of the ribosome. This process would make the first proteins, which would simply be better enzymes than their RNA counterparts. ... These protein enzymes are ... built up of mini-elements of structure.
      Finally, DNA appeared on the scene, the ultimate holder of information copied from the genetic RNA molecules by reverse transcription. ... RNA is then relegated to the intermediate role it has today—no longer the center of the stage, displaced by DNA and the more effective protein enzymes.
      Today, research in the RNA world is a medium-sized industry. Scientists in this field are able to demonstrate that random sequences of RNA sometimes exhibit useful properties. For example, in 1995, a trio at the Whitehead Insti.tute for Biomedical Research reported "Structurally Complex and Highly Active RNA Ligases Derived from Random RNA Sequences" (4). (Ligases are enzymes that splice together other molecules such as DNA or RNA.) The results are interesting—they suggest that randomness can produce functionality. The authors interpret the results to mean that "the number of distinct complex functional RNA structures is very large indeed."

      There is a lot to learn about RNA, and research like this is how we learn it. But these and other similar findings arrived at in highly orchestrated experiments that start with biologically produced RNA are very far from proving that the RNA world is the pathway between nonlife and life. In nature, far from the sterilized laboratory, uncontaminated RNA strands of any size would be unlikely to form in the first place. "... The direct synthesis of ... nucleotides from prebiotic precursors in reasonable yield and unaccompanied by larger amounts of unrelated molecules could not be achieved by presently known chemical reactions" (5).

      Francis Crick himself has become much less enthusiastic about the RNA world than Watson. In 1973, he and another eminent researcher into the origin of life, Leslie E. Orgel, published a paper advocating the theory called "Directed Panspermia" (6). In 1981, Crick published Life Itself, a whole book about that theory (7). And by 1993 he says, "It may turn out that we will eventually be able to see how this RNA world got started. At present, the gap from the primal 'soup' to the first RNA system capable of natural selection looks forbiddingly wide" (8).

      At the Salk Inst.itute for Biological Studies, in 1994, Leslie Orgel observes, "Because synthesizing nucleotides and achieving replication of RNA under plausible prebiotic conditions have proved so challenging, chemists are increasingly considering the possibility that RNA was not the first self replicating molecule..." (9).

      Apparently NASA has lost enthusiasm for the RNA world as well. In the Final Report issued after the "Astrobiology Workshop" held September 9-11, 1996 at Ames Research Center, California, we read (10),

      It has been postulated that there was a time in protobiological evolution when RNA played a dual role as both genetic material and a catalytic molecule ("the RNA world"). However, this appealing concept encounters significant difficulties. RNA is chemically fragile and difficult to synthesize abiotically. The known range of its catalytic activities is rather narrow, and the origin of an RNA synthetic apparatus is unclear.

      Sources:
      .2. Karl R. Popper, "Reduction and the Essential Incompleteness of All Science," p 259-284, Studies in the Philosophy of Biology, Francisco Jose Ayala and Theodosius Dobzhansky, eds. University of California Press, 1974. p 271.
      .5. Robert Roy Britt, "The Search for the Scu.m of the Universe," Space.com, 21 May 2002.
      .6. Dennis Overbye, "Adventure or Inquiry? Two Visions of Cosmic Destiny" [text], The New York Times, 3 Feb 2004.
      1. James D. Watson, "Prologue: Early Speculations and Facts about RNA Templates," p xv-xxiii, The RNA World, R.F. Gesteland and J.F. Atkins, eds. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1993. p xxiii.
      2. Thomas R. Cech, "A model for the RNA-catalyzed replication of RNA" [abstract], p 4360-4363 v 83, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA, 1986.
      3. Walter Gilbert, "The RNA world" [link], p 618 v 319, Nature, 1986.
      4. Eric H. Eckland, Jack W. Szostak and David P. Bartel, "Structurally Complex and Highly Active RNA Ligases Derived from Random RNA Sequences" [abstract], doi:10.1126/science.7618102, p 364-370 v 269, Science, 21 July 1995.
      5. Gerald F. Joyce, and Leslie E. Orgel, "Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World," p 1-25, The RNA World, R.F. Gesteland and J.F. Atkins, eds. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1993.
      6. F. H. C. Crick and L. E. Orgel, "Directed Panspermia" [public access pdf], p 341-346 v 19, Icarus, 1973.
      7. Francis Crick, Life Itself, Simon and Schuster, 1981.
      8. Francis Crick, "Foreword," p xi-xiv, The RNA World, R.F. Gesteland and J.F. Atkins, eds. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1993. p xiii.

      Orgel
      9. Leslie E. Orgel, "The Origin of Life on the Earth," p 77-83, Scientific American, October 1994.
      10. D. DeVincenzi, ed. "Final Report," Astrobiology Workshop at NASA Ames Research Center. December 1996.

      November 22, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Chad

      oh, and I missed one thing..

      define "special creation"; if by that you mean "things materializing out of thin air", then (since I am a theistic evolutionist) I dont not believe that is how God either created the original life forms or the progression of increasingly complex life forms.

      November 22, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Mel

      @ Chad
      Whoever said that the first cells that became "alive" were as complex as modern cells? They would have evolved over the millions of years just like other living things did, and they likely have become extinct like the rest of the earliest creatures of the primordial ocean, right? Isn't it rather unfair to hold up modern cells as problematic to the process having ever occurred then?

      November 22, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Mel

      @ Chad
      So, you don't believe in the literal reading of Genesis then? Doesn't that call into question your entire concept of God being real if your take of the Bible is that it's at least in part symbolic?

      November 22, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • End Religion

      for Chad, god is just one big Ad Hoc Hypothesis

      November 22, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Chad

      @Mel "Whoever said that the first cells that became "alive" were as complex as modern cells? They would have evolved over the millions of years just like other living things did, and they likely have become extinct like the rest of the earliest creatures of the primordial ocean, right? Isn't it rather unfair to hold up modern cells as problematic to the process having ever occurred then?"
      @Chad "that is reviewed above... they are talking about RNA production"

      =======
      @Mel "So, you don't believe in the literal reading of Genesis then? Doesn't that call into question your entire concept of God being real if your take of the Bible is that it's at least in part symbolic?"
      @Chad "I believe Genesis means exactly what it was written to mean, and I take it literally (literally means exactly as how the author intended it to be taken, in the original language (Hebrew))

      November 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Mel

      @Chad
      Still, I wonder how simple the first cells could have been? And, how Genesis was "intended" to be taken in Hebrew? That seems rather cryptic. I take it that you don't mean six 24-hours, "poof" there's all the animals, and "poof" there's Adam like most seem to believe, but could you be more specific?

      November 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  19. ElmerGantry

    @hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    Don't feed the trolls. It only makes them hungrier.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  20. Wayne

    It seems to me people have a short memory. Obama was asked a similar question in 2008. His response: ...You know, what I've said to them [his children] is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it, it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe.
    'I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and that I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part.
    'My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live – that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible. That, I don't presume to know.'

    November 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, Obama also avoided the question. He was however clearer about what he did believe.

      He did clearly state that he did not believe in creation over 6 literal days and that he does believe in evolution. Sen. Rubio did not indicate how he believed at all.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      Yes, and when that article is on CNN atheists will call him a fool and religious zealots will be forced to defend Obama. LOL!

      November 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Being President or a Democrat does not make one magically immune to delusions of fantasy. Ignorance doesn't discriminate.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Commenter

      Yes, GodFreeNow, perhaps ignorance and an severe case of wishful thinking.

      Sometimes I almost wish that some of it were true. Live like I do now (lawfully and lovingly) and be rewarded for eternity with bliss. Pretty slick!

      November 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Exactly right GodFreeNow. The religion brain virus can be hard to shake off.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @commentor,

      Except that wanting to believe is not a valid reason to believe.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Obama was wrong too. But it is not typically the Dems that are tying to shoehorn their religious beliefs into gov't policy.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Exactly, Blessed Cheesemakers.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Mel

      SO! NOW Obama is a Christian, when his words can be used against him! Ha, you GOPers are funny!

      November 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • the AnViL

      something that keeps popping into my mind: remember back when regan let it slip that he and nancy consulted astrology for guidance in their day?

      delusional thinking takes many forms, but no one wants those who hold delusional beliefs making decisions for them based on harusp ication and augury. ya know – except others who hold the same delusional beliefs.

      anyhow – it just makes me chuckle.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:31 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.