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Marco Rubio backs off

Rubio has changed his mind: he now concedes that the earth is 4½ billion years old.

“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,” Rubio told Mike Allen of Politico. ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

“The theological debate is, how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches,” Rubio continued. “Now for me, actually, when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict.”

I’d actually agree with that statement, although I’d go on to mention that reality and faith are irreconcilable, so that theological debate is pretty damned pointless.

But of course now the Teabaggers will be gasping in horror. He is also now officially a flip-flopper.

Man, it’s got to be fun to be jockeying for a position in the 2016 presidential run…trying to simultaneously seem rational and intelligent while looking just stupid enough to appeal to the far right base.

Comments

  1. nohellbelowus says

    Rube:

    Noun
    A country bumpkin.

    Synonyms
    yokel – bumpkin – hick

    The etymology of Rubio’s name seems clear.

  2. Sastra says

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

    Depends on what you mean by “healthy,” I guess.

  3. steve oberski says

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

    Let’s try setting the wayback machine to not that far in the past and the “debate” was decidely unhealthy if you happened to take an unapproved position.

    Or try conducting the “debate” in a venue where enlightenment principles do not inform the zeitgeist.

  4. joed says

    Rubio doesn’t explicitly say what he believes.
    He qualifies his statements, ““There is no scientific debate…”
    True, science does not debate the age of the Earth, but Rubio doesn’t claim science is correct and what does Rubio believe..
    Rubio continued. “Now for me, actually, when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict.” Does Rubio mean “no conflict” because the earth is less than 10,000yo.
    He really didn’t say much in the statement did he!

  5. consciousness razor says

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

    He’s a Roman Catholic. There’s no debate among Roman Catholics that their own fucking “theological” position is that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

    But I don’t get it. Does this sound to anyone else like a “theological” issue?

    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.

    I mean, other than being bloated with useless assumptions and empty verbiage, I don’t see anything especially theological about it.

    I really don’t have a fucking clue what that mysterious seven is for, other than turning people like him into dissembling weasels. Why would anyone think it would be significant at all to make such an obviously superficial “fit” with Genesis, if they’ve already conceded the entire argument? What’s such a great fucking mystery about it? It’s mysterious that people who wrote some ancient book didn’t know what they were talking about? That you don’t know what you’re talking about?

  6. says

    You know, despite the fact he was a Mormon and Republican, Jon Huntsman was the most reasonable and likeable of the GOP candidates in 2012. He even supported science and evolution on the Sunday talk shows.

    Wonder if he has ever taken the “Political Compass” test?

    I’m a -6.62, -6.15. (Gotta take to take the test to figure it out, but a hint: I’m close to Peter Kropotkin)

  7. says

    Republicans never flip-flop. He never said that he didn’t know how old the earth was. He always believed that the earth was 4.5 billion years old. And tomorrow, when he is talking in front of a Christian audience, he’ll say that the age of the earth is unknowable. Just like he has always said the age of the earth was unknowable.

    1984 came about 28 years late.

    The first rider

  8. peterh says

    Understandably others have beaten me to it in pointing out that “healthy theological debate” is an oxymoron.

  9. Kevin nyc says

    but then he goes there and makes fun of people who think that sperm and eggs are not “alive” which I think is a small set.

    He proclaims that “life” begins at conception.. which I don’t think anyone was contesting.. It is whether that blob of cells is a person that is up in the air.. and when that happens..

    but repubs don’t do “nuance!”

  10. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    “There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth.

    That is a very important statement right there, whoever said it. All of science is in agreement—it works, Bubba. All of theology is in debate.

    Or does he mean that, in science, debate is not allowed ?

    I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old,”

    No, he’s saying science knows. And dadgummit, science does. Theology doesn’t.

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

    And why is there any debate at all? Shouldn’t God tell you what the answer is? Debating God’s truth is very unhealthy. You might get struck by lightning, or you might destroy your religion.

    “The theological debate is, how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches,”

    What you “may think” your faith teaches. Again with the uncertainty. Where is the clarity, the truth, the communication?

    “Now for me, actually, when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict.”

    So, Mr. Rubio, what is your un-conflicted age of the Earth? [watches vid] He says science has age right, but God did it. I don’t call that un-conflicted.

    He trusts the Pope? Then why doesn’t he dress like the Pope?

    The Pope is trusting the science? Well, there’s progress. But shouldn’t science be confirming the Pope? If he was right, I mean, or if he’d even made a statement?

  11. frog says

    The interesting thing is that if the current trends continue for the next three years, the religious right base may be irrelevant for Republican candidates. I give better than even odds that one (or both) of these scenarios will occur:

    1. Sufficient numbers of people get so damn sick of the Religious Right that they (the RR) become largely discredited in public discourse, losing power to seriously influence elections at higher levels.

    2. The Teabaggers split from the Republicans, taking the crazy base with them. The remaining grownups in the GOP set about rebuilding their brand, which means avoiding crazy talk.

    Remember, in 2008, the majority of Americans were still opposed to gay marriage. Social attitudes can change quickly sometimes.

  12. alkaloid says

    A better interviewer would’ve gone for the throat and asked him, as a followup, that if the theological debate is that divorced from the nonexistent scientific debate about how old the earth is, then why should the theological debate be considered relevant at all?

  13. robro says

    holytape —

    1984 came about 28 years late.

    No it didn’t. It was right one time in 1948.

  14. robro says

    Rubio should be on Dancing With The Stars, because he expertly dances around the subject of the earth’s age with respect to what people teach their kids. Apparently it’s OK to lie to them as long as it’s “theological.” Or perhaps he should get on American Idol because he so deftly talks out of both sides of his mouth at once. In any case, I can’t pin him down.

    Obviously he’s trying to speak to both wings of the Republican party: the insiders who are rich and educated, and so know something about science, and the herd of yokels (mainly old White people) they’ve recruited by telling them any damn thing they want to hear like religion is right and Americans pay too much taxes.

  15. robro says

    The notion of “theological debate” is laughable. It’s the same old story: age of the earth/universe, how god did it, homoousias vs homoioúsios, angels on a pinhead. It’s such a big mystery! We’ll probably never know! So believe whatever stupid concoction of Iron Age animism you happen to fancy.

  16. Ogvorbis says

    Theological debate accomplishes about as much as throwing meringues at a black hole.

    Actually, I think it accomplishes more.

  17. robro says

    Ogvorbis — I assume by “it accomplishes more” you are referring to throwing meringues at a black hole. As theological debates accomplish nothing, while throwing meringues at a black hole does actually add mass to the black hole, then the later would definitely seem to do more.

  18. canabob says

    Depending on the size of the black hole, a constant barrage of meringues might keep it from evaporating into a theological debate.

  19. says

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.”

    Being free to make up your own “facts” does provide for a very lively debate.

  20. Jerry says

    … while looking just stupid enough to appeal to the far right base.

    I keep thinking that there is a stupid limit, but they keep retreating towards ever greater (lesser?) levels of stupidity. Let’s call it the political redshift. Pretty soon, they will be their own black hole (I hope).

  21. says

    Except that this is bullshit.

    ”I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate.” is what he is claiming.

    Except, what he said was “I’m not a scientist, man,” when he was asked this question in a secular context!

    Or are we so stupid that we believe a GQ interview is where one has theological debates?

    One of the other questions?

    “Is there a song you play to psych you up before a vote in the Senate?”

  22. says

    I was taking “healthy” to be euphemism for “loud”, “angry”, “rambunctious” and others of that ilk. Though it only works if you also take “debate” to mean “bullshit”.

  23. Lachlan says

    I think Romney performed the balancing act quite well. Far right fundie whacko during the primaries, more moderate during the actual presidential campaign, which is exactly what a Republican candidate needs to do.

  24. Ogvorbis says

    Ogvorbis — I assume by “it accomplishes more” you are referring to throwing meringues at a black hole.

    Yes.

  25. Amphiox says

    Well, sure it is “unknowable”! I mean the error on the estimate is what, +/- 0.1 billion years or so? That’s 200 million years! 20 times longer than the entirety of human civilization. Almost 40 times longer than the entire history of creation (per the YECs)!

  26. johncryan says

    “The theological debate is, how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches”

    Where’s the debate? If reality conflicts with articles of faith, you can only revise or discard those articles of faith.

  27. carbonbasedlifeform says

    The theological debate is, how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches

    To put that another way, how do you do double-think?