Monday, November 19, 2012

Marco Rubio: Theologians still debating the age of the Earth

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

From current Republican darling and 2016 presidential hopeful (kill me now) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), making it clear how much stock he puts in all that sciencey stuff:

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?
Marco Rubio: 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.

Except that, of course, there is absolutely no question that the Earth is exactly 4.54 billion years old (give or take a margin of error of about 1%), with a colossal (and continually growing) heap of hard evidence from a plethora of scientific fields settling this fact beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever. The only people still trying to pretend otherwise are those too ignorant or delusional to be taken seriously, anyway … even though they’re apparently the kind of people whom Rubio would rather refer to over experts who actually know what they’re talking about.

This gem of a quote has been covered pretty much everywhere already, with Phil Plait in particular giving Rubio a royal scientific smackdown over his pretending that ignorance of the fundamentals about the world around us somehow doesn’t affect the nation’s (and the world’s) economic well-being. Really, the only mystery here is what this moron is doing on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee – or, to a lesser (albeit more predictable) extent, why U.S. voters keep putting brainless clowns like him into elected office in the first place.