UPDATED: Marco Rubio, a proud science dunce, disqualifies himself for high office

Filed in National by on November 19, 2012

UPDATE: Rubio caved on his anti-science dumbassery. “There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old.”

———————————————————————————————————————
In a recent interview with GQ, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declined to say how old he thought the earth was and got a lot wrong in the process.

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.

Sorry Dude. You flubbed it. If you happen to think that the Earth is 10,000 years old it has a hell of a lot to do with our economic growth. It has to do with what kind of brain you have. It reveals whether you are qualified for leadership. It demonstrates whether you will make decisions rationally, after weighting evidence and data, or shrug allow Skydad to work his will. Republicans need to be pilloried for this kind for bullshit.

If you can deny that the Earth is older than the bible says it is, then you can deny virtually anything.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (40)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. puck says:

    Rubio is apparently cruising Iowa already. In other Rubio news, Rubio is unintentionally right on taxes: Rubio joins Republicans claiming rich will evade higher taxes

    Yes they will. The way to avoid higher taxes is with tax-deductible hiring and investing. Bring it on!! The wealthy have always been able to give themselves a tax cut any time they want by hiring somebody.

  2. mathcheck says:

    So how old is the Earth and how did Rubio flub anything? He said he didn’t know, which is probably an accurate answer. Is it 1 billion years old? 500 million? 3 billion? What he didn’t say, but in your zeal to attack all Republicans you imply, is that he thinks the Earth in 10,000 years old or that he denies the Earth is older than the Bible says (and, while we’re at, can you point me to where in the Bible it says the Earth is only 10,000 years old?).

    So, what is the point of your post, other than to try and tear down Republicans? (which, so far as I can tell, is one of the purposes of this blog).

    Finally, I think he’s right when he says the age of the Earth has nothing to do with how our economy is going to grow. Surely you can’t dispute that (oh, wait a minute, a Republican said it, so I’m sure you can dispute it).

  3. xstryker says:

    I have edited his response down to my favorite parts:

    “I’m not a scientist, man… I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that… I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

    Time to make this a meme.

  4. Jason330 says:

    @mathcheck That you “think” Rubio is right about science not being linked to economic growth is a little silliness on your part.

  5. xstryker says:

    Here you go. I couldn’t get it to work as an img src tag.

  6. Geezer says:

    “I think he’s right when he says the age of the Earth has nothing to do with how our economy is going to grow.”

    And I think he, and you, are wrong. When you are unwilling to accept scientific evidence because members of your party are unwilling to accept it, what other empirical evidence are you going to ignore in pandering to that base? We already know that Republicans reject Keynesian economics because… um, free markets! Actually, because they accept on faith a form of economics that has never gotten anything in the real world right.

    So yeah, if you base your opinions not on facts but on “beliefs,” it certainly will affect how the economy grows. Right now we’re being held hostage by a bunch of people who refuse to accept reality, and it clearly has affected the growth of the economy.

  7. Geezer says:

    “I’m not a scientist, man.”

    And you’re not going to be a candidate for high office, either, at least not for a long time. Republicans back this empty suit because it’s an empty suit with a Latino last name.

    The more Republicans learn about any candidate, the less they like him.

  8. skeptic says:

    –mathcheck, the point of the post is that Rubio should have stopped the answer at, “I’m not a scientist, I don’t know.” By bringing a reference to theology and what the bible says into the discussion tells us that he is pandering to the base that helped republicans lose the last election, and that he immediately defers to religion where religion has no business dwelling in the public servant sphere.

    While he is right that the age of the earth may not have much bearing on the GDP or current state of our economy, it has a very large bearing on what sort of willfully ignorant politician may be placed on a government committee that deals directly with science, technology, and education… consider the gem from GA who claims that the theory of evolution and embryology are “straight from the pits of hell,” and Mr. “if it is a legitimate rape…womens’ bodies have a way of dealing with that” and the science committees they serve on. No one is trying to tear down a republican, they are doing it quite well on their own.

    I also note the earth≠the universe

  9. Jason330 says:

    Great meme work there X. “Is the GOP ready to embrace scientific reality?”

    LOL

  10. jason330 says:

    GQ: How do fish breath underwater?

    Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that.

  11. Liberal Elite says:

    @j “…disqualifies himself for high office”

    I’d say that he is qualifying himself.

    The simple reality is that any candidate who expects to run on the GOP ticket, MUST refuse to answer questions like this if he wants to have any real chance to win. Expect to see a lot of this sort of thing.

    He basically said he didn’t know and didn’t care, which is probably true.

    Now if he was asked about global warming or pollution controls or renewable energy… and said he didn’t know and didn’t care. That would be something bad.

  12. Jason330 says:

    All Republicans should be called out whenever they try to de-legitimize science, rational thought, or critical thinking.

    Knowing what we know, If you want to continue to cut people like Rubio slack and hope for the best, that is on you.

  13. Geezer says:

    @LE: Yes, I know that’s what he thinks. What I’m saying is that Republicans like him only because they think he’ll win them more Hispanic votes. Once they realize that’s not the case, their natural preference for white males will kick in.

  14. Liberal Elite says:

    @J “All Republicans should be called out whenever they try to de-legitimize science, rational thought, or critical thinking.”

    But that the VERY core of religious thought.

    Organized religion is a well entrenched interest group in America. That’s what you’re up against.

    You can embrace it, fight it, attempt to negotiate with it, or ignore it.

    That Rubio doesn’t embrace it, is a good sign.

  15. jason330 says:

    The notion that religion is at war with science, or that to be a Christian you must eschew science is a recent development.

    The modern GOP could be a party that valued science and critical thinking if it had the nerve to take on the Christianist nuts.

  16. Geezer says:

    LE: You really aren’t up on your conservative dog whistles.

    Nobody but an actual evangelical says 6,000 years. Evangelicals consider Rubio’s answer a clever way of staying out of a liberal-media trap. The fact that you think he wasn’t pandering to evangelicals shows that his answer did its job.

  17. Liberal Elite says:

    @G “Nobody but an actual evangelical…”

    That’s beside the point.

    Virtually ALL religion tries to de-legitimize science, rational thought, and critical thinking.

    If you actually apply those techniques properly, you end up with atheists.

  18. Geezer says:

    No, it’s not beside the point. Mike Huckabee is going to say 6,000 years because that’s what he actually preaches. The Catholic Church, to which I assume Rubio belongs, does NOT believe that.

    You mistakenly think that “I don’t know” was not an anti-science answer. But he didn’t say, “I don’t know, 3 billion years or something like that.” He quickly followed the script by saying we should teach all the theories of the Earth’s past, as if geology were not an established science.

    He fooled you. It worked. Either wise up or get over it.

  19. Liberal Elite says:

    @G “He fooled you. It worked. Either wise up or get over it.”

    I fail to see the difference between the Catholic Church and the evangelicals on the fundamental issue.

    They both say something like this:

    You should believe what’s in the Bible because… well it’s the Bible and written with the help of God’s hand.

    That leads to a total lack of critical thinking and all sorts of crazy stuff (e.g. war on women) comes next.

    The problem isn’t with the particular type of religion, it’s that religion itself promotes a particular type of stupidity which permeates society in the worst way.

  20. jason330 says:

    I just read a comment thread at Redstate.org, the premise of which was that the GOP nominates good (Godly) Senate candidates (eg. Akin, Mourdock, O’Donnell) that allow themselves to get turned inside out by a hostile left-wing media.

    They are actively calling for people of faith who know how to keep their views under-wraps until after election day. Rubio is trying to thread that needle.

  21. xstryker says:

    If the media broadcasts anything Christine O’Donnell says, they are obviously biased against her because everything she says is f***ing crazy and harms her candidacy. It’s all a conspiracy, you see, to reveal wingnuts saying what they actually believe in order to discredit them. A non-biased media would only print official campaign press releases written by veteran PR hacks, of course.

  22. bamboozer says:

    The far right pundocracy has declared Rubio a “rising star” in the Republican party, admittedly the competition is insane, idiotic and pathetic so it’s possible. But he always comes off as a lite weight, unable to answer a simple question. Paul “the Looney Doctor” Broun has turned up the evangelical heat on this one by proclaiming the earth nine thousand years old. Sorry GOP, you took in the holy rollers and now your stuck with them. Blessed be!!!

  23. Geezer says:

    “I fail to see the difference between the Catholic Church and the evangelicals on the fundamental issue.”

    Fine. They are fundamentally (no pun intended) the same in that regard. But my point was that he was pandering on this issue to the evangelical voters, and therefore WAS embracing that worldview, which you said he wasn’t.

    “That leads to a total lack of critical thinking and all sorts of crazy stuff (e.g. war on women) comes next.”

    No, it doesn’t. The crazy stuff comes first. The explanation “God is thinking about it so I don’t have to” comes after.

  24. socialistic ben says:

    Every republican “rising star” is ultimately a lightweight who cant answer basic questions. Almost half the country voted for a guy who never really explained what his positions were.

  25. socialistic ben says:

    “They are actively calling for people of faith who know how to keep their views under-wraps until after election day”

    why not? Obama did it…. now we are a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy…. with gays and abortion and free birth control.

  26. Dorian Gray says:

    The point isn’t that he said he doesn’t know. The point is that he said it isn’t known. The former is fine as far as it goes. The latter is factually incorrect.

  27. cassandra_m says:

    He didn’t say he didn’t know. He said that he can tell you what theologians say and what recorded history says. The disclaimer that “he isn’t a scientist” is supposed to imply that only a scientist can tell you with certainty whether the history or the theologians are right. Which is Rubio trying to have a little he say she say here.

  28. Dave says:

    “I fail to see the difference between the Catholic Church and the evangelicals on the fundamental issue.”

    “In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points…. Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.
    —– Pope John Paul II

    “According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the ‘Big Bang’ and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life. While there is little consensus among scientists about how the origin of this first microscopic life is to be explained, there is general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5–4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution.”

    ——July 2004 statement endorsed by Cardinal Ratzinger, then president of the Commission and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI

    Catholics believe that revealed truths were handed down by word and not just by letter. Fundamentals believe that all they need to know is contained in the Bible. For Rubio to answer the question as he did is obviously pandering to the Christian right. His answer was evasive and non-committal. Of course the real question is whether he believes in evolution because of course the precise age of the Earth is not known. Rubio revealed himself as either someone who will pander or someone who is ignorant.

  29. Liberal Elite says:

    @Dave “Catholics believe that revealed truths were handed down by word and not just by letter. Fundamentals believe that all they need to know is contained in the Bible.”

    Yes. Yes. All very nice and good. But when I used the term “fundamental issue”, I was referring to my statement: “Virtually ALL religion tries to de-legitimize science, rational thought, and critical thinking.”

    My problem is with “revealed truths”, as they seem to violate basic tenets of rational thought and critical thinking.

  30. Dave says:

    And yet the Catholics find no conflict in universe that unfolds in a somewhat orderly manner and the existence of a God. In fact, the Catholic Churchh operates on eof the one of the oldest (1578)astronomical institutes in the world. Our calendar today can be traced to this observatory and work accomplished by Vatican mathematicians to reform the calendar creating the Gregorian Calendar.

    My point is, I disagree that the Catholic Church can be lumped into the same group with other religions that do indeed penalize critical thinking. The Catholic Church is a lot of things but they are not anti-science.

  31. anonymous says:

    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.”

    But Rubio will not tell you what 99.9% of legitimate scientists say. One does not have to be a scientist to understand the past or future history of Earth. Even children understand science.

    Marco Rubio (the non-science) man, serves on the

    United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space; the

    United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security; the

    United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection; and the

    United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to name a few committees.

    The question was, how old do you think the Earth is, Marco. The earth. The question was, what does Marco think? Why does Rubio not answer the question? Why does Rubio change the subject, to ‘the age of the universe’ relating to the economy?

    Rubio’s answer is nothing but more stinking politically evasive republican garbage. One must deny science in order to be backed by the republican tea party. Republicans (and the fossil fuel interests) can no longer deny climate change, so now they deny the causes of climate change, saying, as Rmoney and tea partyers do, the Earth is warming, but they don’t know what’s causing it. Conveniently, republicans ignore time and science and all sound reasoning. (Oh me oh my, I just don’t understand science – so I think I should be president.)

    Republican thought: No acceptance of the ’cause’ of climate change, equals no acceptance of the financial, social consequences of climate change. It’s more greedy. evil nut job reasoning that CO2 isn’t an air pollutant; isn’t an hazardous waste by-product, therefore a CO2 tax is still a ‘pretend’ outrage to republicans. Rubio sounds just like a common town hall nut case that doesn’t belong in politics.

    Rubio ‘pretends’ by denying knowledge of the history of the planet, he can deny the history of life on the planet.

    Rubio refers to ‘recorded history.’ But has Rubio heard of radiometric dating? Has Rubio’s never seen a scientific chart covering millions of years, or a graph showing changes in atmospheric CO2 over the past 400,000 years, as records of ice core measurements? How can he claim such ‘ignorance of science’ but still be on science committees of the United States government?

    There are surefire way of measuring changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations – one is the ‘recorded history’ of ice core measurements. Of course, first one has to admit the planet existed. Atmospheric CO2 was incorporated in the ice as it froze, Consistent data from tens of thousands of sample ice core ‘records’ over hundreds of thousands of years, can be charted to show the history of CO2, as well as the immediate, rapid off the charts increase of CO2 starting with the Industrial Revolution, (1800s.) How would Rubio even explain the past 200 years of rising CO2 levels? 391.03ppm CO2 is God’s will? Life on Earth is man’s to destroy?

    Why mention climate change? Atmospheric CO2 has been above the upper safe limit of 350ppm since 1988. Scientists have known it. Republican politicians have known it for decades as well. The ‘record’ rise of CO2 in the atmosphere has absolutely everything to do with future gross domestic product and economic growth. Robio thinks he can deny (and lie) about the existence of the history of the planet, deny (and lie) about the science of the planet, deny (and lie) about the past, present and future condition of the planet – and deny (and lie) about the scientific proof that anthropogenic CO2 is rapidly changing the Earth’s atmosphere in such a way, that the ‘business-as-usual’ future, can end life as we know it on the only planet known to support life.

    So Rubio gives a gibberish answer saying in effect, science is beyond his understanding but ‘the universe?’ has nothing to do with the economy? Rubio is another dangerous republican.

    Here’s a little more about Rubio:

    Marco Rubio is a global warming denier and surprise, surprise, is against governmental regulations.

    “Rubio called Crist “a believer in man-made global warming.” “I don’t think there’s the scientific evidence to justify it,” Rubio said.

    Asked whether he accepts the scientific evidence that the global climate is undergoing change, he responded, “The climate is always changing. The climate is never static. The question is whether it’s caused by man-made activity and whether it justifies economically destructive government regulation.” Tampa Bay Tribune, 2/13/10

    Notice, how Rubio has no problem falsely referring to ‘scientific evidence’ when – 99.9% of legitimate climate scientists around the world, say climate change is man-made and the scientists are the very ones with ‘scientific evidence’ to prove it. Rubio’s got nothing – but denial and lies as he mangles ‘scientific evidence’ to fit the republican (free release, no CO2 tax) agenda.

    Rubio is a signatory of the Contract From America and the No Climate Tax pledge.

    Rubio believes in free releasing of CO2 – for short term profit and long term environmental destruction. He’s someone who shouldn’t hold a public office.

    Frack, shale and drill like there’s no tomorrow,boys. Stoke up them fossil fuel burners; thar’s short term profits to be made. To hell with the history of the only planet suitable to support life, past, present or future.

    Rubio has destructive governmental de regulations in mind for a planet that won’t support life if free for all, business-as-usual CO2 conditions continue …..and he’s talking about how the economy will grow?

    Is Rubio a proud science dunce, or just another republican who wants to take the history of mankind to a whole new level of greed and destruction. That is the question. One doesn’t need to be a scientist to know the answer.

  32. anonymous says:

    For much more on the Pope and climate change, just search ‘Pope’ ‘climate change.’

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/10/catholic-church-goes-green-counter-global-warming/

  33. Jason330 says:

    The GOP’s anti-science idiots:

    A look at some big names in 2016 Republican presidential speculation and what they’ve said about evolution or creationism:

    Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)

    Christie believes the decision to teach creationism alongside actual science should be made at the local level.

    Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA)

    Jindal signed into law the “Louisiana Science Education Act,” a law that cleared the way for creationism to be taught in biology class and allows teachers to use an evangelical curriculum that teaches that humans walked the earth 6,000 years ago with dinosaurs.

    Sen. Rand Paul (KY)

    Will not disclose whether or not he thinks the earth is more than 6,000 years old.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (FL)

    Supports creationism being taught in schools in order to allow teachers “to engage students in a critical analysis” of evolution.

    Rubio supported this position by saying, “I don’t want a school system that teaches kids that what they’re learning at home is wrong.”

    Because that would make Florida like “the Communist Party in Cuba where schools encouraged children to turn in parents who criticized Fidel Castro.”

  34. Michelle M says:

    Just a personal point – I was taught Evolution in Catholic school in the ’70′s. Catholics are not taught that science is bad. One of the few good things that I can say about the church.

  35. Liberal Elite says:

    @MM “Catholics are not taught that science is bad.”

    Fine.. But there is still enough nuttiness under those miters to make it impossible to hold up their all-male leadership as paragons of critical thinking and rational thought.

    But the bottom line is that there is a clear reason that all of the atheists in Congress are closet atheists. The simple fact is that nearly ALL politicians in America pander to the religious in one way or another. That Rubio does it in a rather clumsy was is hardly disqualifying.

    For any voter who prefers to vote for a religious man over an atheist and then also criticize Rubio for pandering… Hypocrisy.

  36. bamboozer says:

    How many social conservtives can dance on the head of a pin? Not enough to elect Rubio or any other science denying Republican. For fear of the holy roller vote the GOP is sacrificing the real for the illusion and catering to a rapidly dying past. Big mistake and a sign that yet again they have learned nothing. The age of the white voter campaign died on november 6th, you can’t win a national election based on angry old white men anymore, that you ever could is a stain on this country. Rubio? He’s a lite weight Cubano politician and nothing more. He, and the Republicans, may think he’s presidential material. How sad, he’s not and never will be.

Switch to our mobile site