In Which I Pretend to Be Marco Rubio

Let’s say that I were in Senator Marco Rubio’s place, and I were asked how old the Earth is. I would like to think that my answer would be the following:

The Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years old. The science on that is as close to a dead-bang certainty as you get in this business. And now that I finished answering your question, dear reporter, let me ask you some in turn: Why is it that you and your lot rarely ask these questions of Democrats? After all, they have been known to give some entertaining answers as well. Why, here’s a rare Q&A on the issue involving Barack Obama from 2008:

Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?

A: What I’ve said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that’s what I believe. I know there’s always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don’t, and I think it’s a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I’m a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don’t presume to know.

Just out of curiosity, dear reporter, why didn’t more of your fellow members of the media get on then-Senator Obama’s case for that answer? Was it because he is not and never has been a Republican?

Speaking of “things that make you go ‘hmmm,’” why didn’t more people get on Barack Obama’s case for this?

“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

Of course, the science on the issue is very conclusive, and it makes clear that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. And the consequences for suggesting otherwise would be positively disastrous.

Finally, dear reporter, perhaps you might be kind enough to take on, call out, and shame by name all of the ridiculous, hackish blogs on the left that hoot and holler if a Republican says something wrong on the issue of science, but are dead silent when Democrats match Republicans wrong answer for wrong answer. I mean, it occasionally is part of your job to point out that other segments of the media are making buffoons out of themselves. Isn’t it?

  1. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    The hypocrisy is stunning.

  2. Dan Hanson

    Here’s another response I would have hoped for:

    Reporter: “How old is the universe?”

    Rubio:  “About 13.7 billion years.  Your turn – what’s the atomic number of Cesium?”

    Reporter: “I don’t know.”

    Rubio:  “Well then, you clearly aren’t qualified to interview me.  Goodbye.”

    <interview ends>

  3. TucsonSean

    did you ever think that perhaps Marco Rubio does not believe the billions-year theory of the age of the earth?  I do not.  I assume it was created in six days because the Creator said so.  Until another eye-witness comes out with a book to the contrary, I’ll go with that.  The larger point is it does us no good to fight on that turf, and our folks should merely get up and leave when irrelevant questions like that come up for the sole purpose of later spin.  I think Marco did everything he could but get up and leave.

  4. Cunctator

    I don’t enjoy writing this, but Obama’s answer was far more elegant re the age of the earth. His vaccine answer however is not, and is the usual pandering to the anti-science left, who thrive on conspiracy theories

  5. Mama Toad

    Mr. Yousefzadeh — Who do you think you are? Newt Gingrich or someone? I like your style… But too bad it is only a thought experiment…

  6. Goldgeller

    That was a good post. Actually, Obama’s answer regarding the Earth’s age was close to what I’d give as well.  Again… I don’t think Rubio’s answer was a bad answer. It was good answer– I don’t get his “I’m not qualified to answer that question” bit but w/e. There are theological implications that he might have been considering (and he might not have made those clear). 

    I think your point about the vaccine-autisim “connection” was good. I’d also ask why many on the left are almost reflexively afraid of nuclear power…

    We forget that we’ve had plenty of “scares” based on “science” masquerading as public policy…throughout the years… usually driven by the leftists and statists.

    Few conservative or religious people are actually against science itself… typically it’s the metaphysics that some scientists impose on their findings that is at issue. That’s one of the main reasons why I’m not entirely bothered by the answer.

  7. Mothership_Greg

    I think all politicians should memorize the number 4.54 billion, because to not do so is an indication of severe mental disability and belief in various Flying Spaghetti creatures.  Quick, someone ask John Kerry how much the average temperature of the Earth will be reduced if we enact cap and trade legislation immediately! When no numbers are forthcoming, we can stick him in the loony bin with all these other deniers and believers in imaginary skydaddies.

  8. Group Captain Mandrake

    This is very good indeed.  If you can’t stand in for the questionees, could you at least coach them in how to give the right responses?

  9. Goldgeller
    Group Captain Mandrake: This is very good indeed.  If you can’t stand in for the questionees, could you at least coach them in how to give the right responses? · 1 minute ago

    Yes. And it isn’t even so much “the right response” but the tone of the response.  A little coaching would be great. 

  10. Johnny Dubya

    Obama had a much easier question put to him. “How long did it take to form Earth?” is a different question from, “How old is Earth?” I happen to believe Earth is 4 billion years old, but it’s not inconsistent for someone to believe it is that old and also that it was formed in 6 days.

  11. Pilli

    Marco’s answer should have been, “I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.  If you are truly interested in the answer maybe you should ask one.”

  12. Nick Stuart

    From when I was a kid the number that stuck in my mind was 3.5 billion years until I read up on it a bit just now and saw that 4.54 billion is the current guess. What number scientific orthodoxy will require in 20 years is anybody’s guess.

    No matter what Rubio said, including 4.54 billion years +/- 1%, would be satisfactory to the Leftist media. It was a pure gotcha question and Rubio did well by turning the question to the economy.

    Republicans have got to push back harder on the media, a la Gingrich.

  13. Gus Marvinson

    Unprincipled reporters count on principled conservatives to answer questions honestly. The interviewer creature had a hunch that Rubio is a creationist (I have no idea if he is) and asked purely for its own entertainment. That’s bad, but hardly surprising.

    Then we get conservatives who spit condescending little observations like, “The science on that is about as dead bang close as you can get in this business,” which ignores that the “science” is based on unprovable assumptions (such as the half-life of uranium isotopes remaining perfectly constant over time, and the assumption that they could not have been created in a particular state of decay). Furthermore, how is it inconsistent for the Christian who believes that Jesus turned water into wine, healed the lame, blind, deaf, raised the dead, and further rose from the grave after three days, to believe that that same God who demonstrates such power over nature could have created it in a mere six days?

    The Christian who believes the Genesis account of creation is simply being consistent. God’s miracles are woven throughout Bible. If one doesn’t agree that the Bible is inspired, fine. I have no quarrel with him…

  14. Gus Marvinson

    From #16- But condescension is unnecessary. Isn’t that an attitude from the leftists that we claim to deplore?

  15. Misthiocracy

    David Limbaugh has been tweeting some fascinating tidbits today:

    • Jewish writer Philo, who lived in Alexandria at the time of Christ believed Creation was instantaneous & Genesis account of days not literal.

    • Augustine, in City of God, wrestled with the days issue. “it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think, let alone explain … what they mean.”
    • Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) believed creation didn’t take place in time because “time was born along with things which exist.”
    • Some of the early church fathers, e.g, Justin Martyr, thought creation days might have been long epochs, based on Psalms 90:4.
  16. Misthiocracy
    Dan Hanson: Here’s another response I would have hoped for:

    Reporter:”How old is the universe?”

    Rubio:  “About 13.7 billion years.  Your turn – what’s the atomic number of Cesium?”

    Reporter: “I don’t know.”

    Rubio:  “Well then, you clearly aren’t qualified to interview me.  Goodbye.”

    <interview ends>

    I’d be happy if a political interviewer could simply list the powers granted to the President by the Constitution

  17. Israel P.

    Did that rant make you feel better?

    It certainly won’t change anything.

  18. Pejman Yousefzadeh
    C

    In that case, we may as well close up the site. I mean, as long as we can’t change anything.

    Israel P.: Did that rant make you feel better?

    It certainly won’t change anything. · 3 minutes ago

  19. Joe

    I usually do the whole “model” routine: the Earth can be modeled as X billion years old, and that’s useful for our purposes, but for truth I look beyond science. The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, who can and should still be loved despite his Notre Dame fandom,  had a nice set of tweets a few months back along the same lines. As a scientist/engineer, I know my limits. There are plenty of examples in science where a best-case intermediate is held as truth for the sole purpose of achieving a result.

    As to reporters unfairly questioning conservatives: I’m taking it as a fact of nature that we just have to deal with. 

  20. Umbra Fractus
    Gus Marvinson: the “science” is based on unprovable assumptions (such as the half-life of uranium isotopes remaining perfectly constant over time, and the assumption that they could not have been created in a particular state of decay). Furthermore, how is it inconsistent for the Christian who believes that Jesus turned water into wine, healed the lame, blind, deaf, raised the dead, and further rose from the grave after three days, to believe that that same God who demonstrates such power over nature could have created it in a mere six days?

    Because the “assumptions” you list imply that God deliberately created things in a way that he must have known would lead man away from the truth. I don’t believe God is messing with us.

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