little green footballs

Marco Rubio Tries to Walk Back His Creationist Admission

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 2:04:31 pm

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the latest GOP politician forced to "clarify" his anti-science comments: Rubio: Science, Faith 'Not Inconsistent' on Earth.

Speaking with POLITICO's Mike Allen at a Playbook Breakfast event, Rubio clarified his beliefs about how the universe was created, saying he believes science's conclusions -- that the earth is four and a half billion years old -- and his faith's answers about the earth's age aren't mutually exclusive.

"Science says it's about four and a half billion years old and my faith teaches that that's not inconsistent," the possible 2016 GOP presidential contender said. "The answer I gave was actually trying to make the same point the president made a few years ago, and that is there is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it's established pretty definitively as at least four and a half billion years old ... I was referring to a theological debate and which is a pretty healthy debate."

I'm long past the point of even thinking about giving Republican politicians the benefit of the doubt on issues like this one. Rubio is walking it back because he got stung by the negative publicity associated with admitting his creationist beliefs, and that's the only motivation for his remarks.

More importantly, he doesn't just talk about it, Rubio has actively worked to legitimize the teaching of creationism in Florida public schools, and has previously said the teaching of evolution "destroys the family" and compared it to communism under Fidel Castro.

Let's get real: Marco Rubio is now pretending to "correct" himself because he can't continue doing this kind of work with the media spotlight on him. And he is by no means an outlier in the Republican Party; creationism is the norm among GOP politicians.

It's helpful to look back at the remarks that prompted this; here's what Rubio actually said:

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.

The bottom line, and the real purpose behind his comments about the age of the Earth, is to promote the teaching of creationism in public schools. This is a default Republican Party position.