We weren’t going to write about Senator Marco Rubio’s latest blunder regarding the age of the earth (see Rubio ignites debate with answer about creationism) because: (a) we’re just getting over the last presidential election; and (b) we’ve been writing about Marco Rubio’s creationism for at least three years — see Marco Rubio: Creationist Theocrat for Senator? and also Open Letter to Marco Rubio.
But today we’ve changed our mind. That’s because the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.– have leaped to his defense. Check out the latest at their blog: Did Marco Rubio Stick His Foot in It? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Rubio was asked by GQ about the age of the earth and gave an equivocal answer, a non-answer.
No, Rubio didn’t give a non-answer. It was very revealing. Actually, it was an utterly crazy answer, which is exactly the sort of thing we’d expect of a young-earth creationist, or a politician who is shamelessly pandering to them. Here’s the original article in GQ, with their question and what Rubio said in response:
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.
Hopelessly, tragically absurd, right? GQ played it just right. We’ve been recommending that question to politicians for years now — see Always Ask Candidates: “How old is the earth?” Getting back to the Discoveroids, they quote some liberal writer who criticizes Rubio, and they say this about it:
This is more or less the conventional wisdom on Rubio’s answer, which is certainly muddled. But a couple of points. Rubio doesn’t affirm Young Earth Creationism. He recognizes the question for what it is: a hackneyed media gimmick to trap Republicans.
We know all about the media and their gimmicks, but the question is legitimate because we want to know if a candidate is nuts. Your Curmudgeon is a Republican, but such a question wouldn’t be a trap for us. Our response would be: “Geologists say the world is about 4.5 billion years old. If you need a more precise answer, ask one of them.” Another candidate, less up to date but nevertheless sane, could answer: “I don’t know; ask a geologist.” It’s simple, but Rubio couldn’t handle it.
Although it’s not strictly relevant here (and it’ll drive many of you over the edge) in the interest of fairness we must add that the media should flush out the crazies on the other side too. We’d like them ask Democrats: “Do you think incomes should be redistributed so that there would be more fairness in society?” We also wish the media understood what that question is all about. Anyway, let’s see what else the Discoveroids have to say about Rubio:
One purpose of the question is to get people like Wehner [a liberal commentator] to denounce the subject of the interrogation — Rubio — and so create fissures among Republicans. Wehner falls right into the trap.
Huh? The journalist didn’t fall into any trap — Rubio did. Here’s more:
Is it really now intellectually intolerable, when someone asks you an irrelevant question, out of all context, about the age of the earth, to say: “I don’t know”?
Come on, Discoveroids! Rubio went way beyond saying he didn’t know. He launched into an embarrassingly clumsy song and dance routine designed to appeal to every creationist lunatic of every variety. That’s why Rubio’s response is contemptible.
Besides, the question about the age of the Earth wasn’t sneaky. It was a rather straightforward way of asking: “Are you a creationist?” There’s an obvious way to handle goofy questions or trick questions about science — “That has nothing to do with my office, so I don’t know why you’re asking me about it, but if I needed to know the answer I’d call in the best experts.” Nothing wrong with kind of response. Unfortunately, Rubio’s answer to the age of the earth question revealed him to be a creationist.
There’s not much else to the Discoveroids’ article. After leaping to Rubio’s defense as if he were a damsel in distress, they wrap it all up, in effect, by praising him because his response shows that he’s open to “evidence that contradicts conventional wisdom.” Oh yeah!
And where does that leave us? At this very early stage, it seems that most of the Republican presidential hopefuls are creationists — or they’re at least eager to pander to them. A pity, really. But it’s premature to worry about it. Let’s see if the country survives the next four years.
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