The leading contenders for the GOP presidential nomination are already jockeying for title of ‘most anti-scientific’.
The title of most ironic anti-scientist goes to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who proudly displayed his anti-intellectualism in a new GQ interview:
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. 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.
Uhh, Sen. Rubio, may not be a scientist but he is a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee. And presumably because he’s from Florida, home of the Kennedy Space Center, Rubio is actually on the Science and Space Subcommittee (!) which “has responsibility for science, engineering, and technology research and development and policy; calibration and measurement standards; and civilian aeronautical and space science and policy.”
The painful irony is that it is science and space science and NASA that have provided us with an accurate dating of the Earth — 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years:
This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.
Ah but I guess Rubio believes that kind of complicated sciency stuff is best left to scientists, not the people who oversee them and fund them. After all, there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created — and we should “teach them all,” including “The World Turtle (also referred to as the Cosmic Turtle, the World-bearing Turtle, or the Divine Turtle),” which is “a giant turtle (or tortoise) supporting or containing the world.” And as I’m sure you know, this theory is entirely self consistent, hence the dictum “It’s turtles all the way down.”
For the record, while people can believe whatever they want, teaching them whatever someone happens to believe is not the path to a competitive 21st-century workforce — so it isn’t irrelevant to how our economy will grow as Rubio suggetss. The National Center for Science Education posted this statement on creationism from “scientists at universities and colleges in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana”:
Students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level. These students will need remedial instruction in the nature of science, as well as in the specific areas of science misrepresented by Answers in Genesis.
Rubio naturally denies the reality of manmade climate change, too — if you reject the basic, universally-accepted stuff like radiometric dating, you’re gonna have trouble acknowledging things that are accepted by only 97% to 98% of climate scientists.
TPM has more in its piece, “Creationism Controversies The Norm Among Potential Republican 2016 Contenders.”