I had previously written about Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. and the news his comments generated regarding the creation and evolution issue. His comments brought a backlash of criticism from the media, fellow politicians, atheists, and mainstream science. Such opposition, in fact, has become the norm for politicians commenting on this provocative subject; their words become news, and the general theme is predictable: these views stand in opposition to scientific research, damages the party line, makes Republicans look like “knee-dragging… Neanderthals” (according to Neal Boortz), they’re anti-science and it demonstrates that this person isn’t serious and doesn’t understand or accept the basic tenets of modern science.
The latest to stand in line for this political backlash is Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who, in an interview with GQ, said the following:
“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 seven days, or seven actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”
Predictably the media has seized on these words and claim that Rubio’s statements are based on “pandering to the conservative base”, or are “of actual doubt in basic scientific principles,” and that such comments are “disconcerting” because it impacts whether or not a president stands up for science. They say it “raises questions about his comprehension,” and that his answer was “so confused and error-riddled,” and that he’s either uninformed, ludicrous, stupid or an idiot, not living in reality. His opponents claim that the age of the earth isn’t a matter of opinion- but is scientific fact (4.54 billion years).
These same old talking points come out every time a prominent conservative or Christian’s comments come to public attention on the age of the Earth, universe, or evolution. Rubio’s comments, however, are in line with the 46% of Americans who believe in creation as opposed to evolution (according to a Gallup Poll). Not only that, but his comments aren’t much different from President Obama’s. When speaking at Messiah College on April 13, 2008, Obama had the following exchange:
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.
Do these same people who disparage Rubio feel the same about President Obama’s comments? Do they think Obama is capable of holding down the office of the President when his comments are so clearly “anti-science”? Or does he get a pass because he’s part of the Democrat party, which is largely supported by atheists?
Rubio’s comments really shouldn’t have been alarming to anybody, and certainly shouldn’t have generated any news or controversy if academic freedom and speech were tolerated. This demonstrates just how science has become politicized- if one doesn’t conform to the mainstream and espouse political correctness, their character will be maligned, impugned, mocked, targeted, denigrated, etc. There will be those who will target these politicians and seek to have them removed from office and put those in place who will not deviate from the talking points evolutionists demand.
Personally, I’m not certain where Senator Rubio stands on the creation/ evolution issue because he didn’t expressly state his views. To me it sounded like he intended to avoid making any comment that would seem controversial or reveal his beliefs, and tried to steer away from them as to avoid any disagreement, but he said just enough for his adversaries to throw down the gauntlet and attack him.
The truth of the matter is that no one- even if they’re a scientist- can definitively tell us the actual age of the Earth or universe, or prove that the general theory of evolution is true. There are too many unknown variables involved; certain assumptions must be made, and if those assumptions are incorrect, then the scientific conclusions are likely wrong. It’s by faith that some scientists believe the universe is 13.7 billion years old. But the age of the universe is not a fact, as many insist, or as our education system tries to influence and indoctrinate students to believe. It may be a fact that evolutionists believe that it’s a fact, but it cannot be demonstrated on scientific grounds simply because no one can actually observe the creation of the universe, study it, and test it against the scientific method. All such theories are based on assumptions and extrapolating the truth from the limited amount of data regarding the far distant past. For example, in order to determine the age of the Earth, we’d need to assume the conditions when certain rocks were formed, assume there was no contamination, and assume a constant decay rate. Scientists, however, cannot verify whether or not the original rocks contained daughter isotopes alongside the parent radioisotopes. The rocks are also open to contamination due to water or lava. There’s also evidence that the radioactive decay rates have not been constant in the past. All this evidence demonstrates that the age of the Earth and universe are not known facts; these ages are simply believed by the current, secular scientific community. Nothing more.
In the same way, by faith, many Christians believe that God created the heavens and the Earth not so long ago, and that we can have confidence in this because God has revealed it to us in the Bible.