Rubio is no Scientist, it Would Seem
As Weigel puts it: Marco Rubio Drops Some Science About the Age of the Earth. In an interview with GQ, the Senator from Florida answered the question “How old do you think the Earth is?” with the following:
I’m not a scientist, man. 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. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think 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. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.
This is a rather telling answer, because it is clearly about what Rubio thinks about many of his supporters and potential supporters. If this answer was about his own views he would not have hedged. If he was truly a young-earther, the answer would have been a lot less circuitous.
He clearly wants to change the subject, but also clearly does not want to offend hardcore traditional Christians who might adhere to the notion the the Earth is only thousands of years old, rather that several billion, as any number of scientific disciplines demonstrate.
That Rubio feels the need to hedge on something like this helps to further the notion that there are large swaths of the GOP that are utterly uninterested in evidence and science-based understanding of the universe around us. It is disheartening, but it also does seem to be an ongoing theme.
Speaking of evidence, Weigel notes why Rubio might be taking this position:
How can you read that and not think "Iowa"? We don’t have a ton of polling on this topic, but back in January 2011, Strategic National Consulting asked potential GOP caucus-goers about the origins of the earth. Sixty-eight percent of them believed the planet was created in six days. Forty-five percent believed that the earth was less than 10,000 years old — something Rubio does not say here, but something that implies all human history can be known from counting the eras in the Bible.