Marco Rubio and Creation Myth

The Republican Party and conservatives in general seem to exist in a parallel world in which delusion and fable substitute for reality and fact. Their approach to life seems to be that if the facts do not concur with your ideological approach, deny the facts, or suppress them, or change the subject.

Conservatives are the masters of the red herring, of misdirection, screaming loudest at the sleeping feline while the bear makes off with our lunch.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio, Creationist

Marco Rubio is the current darling, along with Chris Christie, of the Republican Party. The party is setting him up for a run at the White House. He brings with him the irrational Kill Big Government anarchism that frames the Tea Party and the extremist right-wing in this country. He recently had anĀ  interview with GQ magazine, which illuminated his political philosophy.

GQ asked him how old the earth is, and this was his reply, ”

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.

There is so much wrong with this statement, but as far as political doublespeak goes, this really takes the cake. Firstly, recorded history has nothing whatsoever to do with the age of the Earth. For Billions of years, there was no recorded history, not least since there were no humans to record anything. Our ancestors only began recording history four or five thousand years ago.

Thorium Decay Chain

Example of radiometric dating

What the Bible has to say about the age of the Earth, or the Universe really does not accord with the facts as we know them. Using various dating techniques, all of which verify one another in one way or another, whether it is potassium/argon dating, which is used over long periods of geologic time, Uranium-Lead radiometric dating, or the shorter Carbon-14 dating, or dendrochronology, the science of reading tree rings, science has determined with an astonishing degree of accuracy how old our Earth is.

What theologians have to say about the age of the Earth based on Genesis, or Pelasgian or Orphic Creation mythology belongs in the rarefied hyperbole of fabricated allegory or delusion and not in the material world in which we live. They have nothing of value to add to the scientific determinism that governs our lives.

As far as domestic product or economic growth goes, science has everything to do with it, and yet nothing to do with the question at hand. This demonstrates how distant conservative ideology is from the physical world in which we find ourselves. We study the physical world to make our lives better, to understand how the world works, how we are able to exploit the resources available to us in the most efficient possible way.

If we need to extract oil from tar sands, which is an expensive and energy dependent process, we use science to find a better way, that wont pollute as much, that needs less energy. We most certainly do not reference Biblical texts to help us along the way.

That Marco Rubio shows such ignorance, and yet wants to run for President, boggles the mind. This nation needs someone engaged in the very real physical problems facing this nation, not another ideology based on fantasy and illusion.

Rubio went on to say this:
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.

There are not multiple theories out there about how the universe was created. There is just one, or just one based on the available science. There are countless myths out there, going back to the dawn of human thought, all of whom believed that their particular myth was valid. The Indians had their Vishnu and Shiva, the Greeks their Cronus and Uranus, the Norse their Odin and Thor, and Christians their Yahweh

Current scientific thought is based not on ancient texts, or stories handed down through generations, it is based on careful observation, measurement, physics and mathematical certainty. By measuring a variety of qualities, we can ascertain, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, how long it takes for certain things to happen.

Cosmologists study the production of stars and planets, and the expansion of the universe, and determine how old our universe is. Geologists, using geomorphology, physics and chemistry can determine approximately how long it took for our planet to form.

To say that there are various theories out there displays a profound misunderstanding of scientific theory. Scientific Theories are based on observation, measurement, physical laws and principles that enable us to create frameworks to understand physical phenomena. A theory does not emerge from the study of ancient texts, the authors of which we have never met, cannot question, and have no way to determine whether they were divinely inspired or not.

The very idea of introducing Creationism into science classrooms is completely antithetical to the sound practise of science. It belongs in churches and in the homes of believers, but not in the classroom. The economic growth of this nation depends not on hyper-religious mythology, but on sound, sensible science and technology.

If Rubio wants to teach Creationism, the place to do it is in Church, or Synagogue. A classroom in which we taught all the creation myths of history would waste the time of students and do nothing to advance our understanding of the real world.

Rubio continued in this vein:

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.

If parents want to teach their children these stories, that is up to them, unfortunately. Their children will grow up ignorant of reality, unable to work in the sciences, doomed to spend their lives in a darkened nether world of fantasy, and not in the illumination of scientific discovery.

We know that the Earth is aboutĀ  Four billion years old, depending on how you measure it, and the Universe is between twelve and fourteen billion years old. It did not take seven days or seven eras, or seven anything. You cannot squeeze mythology into science. You cannot talk about the world being flooded four thousand years ago, when there was no flood based on the evidence that we have.

There is no mystery about the age of the Earth, and yes, we have answered the question. There is still much work to do on the details, and as time passes we can measure with a great deal more accuracy. It is unlikely that we will ever say that the Earth was formed precisely this many years ago, because the process was and is ongoing.

Earth began in a planetary nebula over hundreds of millions of years, and formed by a process of accretion. It did not just appear in a blaze of glory one fine day, and neither did the Sun. Our continents did not always look as they do now, the continental cratons formed over tens of millions of years, forming giant continents, which eventually broke up and drifted across the face of the globe. We know this because of the ground breaking work on continental drift theory of people like Alfred Wegener.

Polticians, especially ill-educated politicians should stop commenting on topics about which they have little knowledge and rely on those that do have knowledge. It is time that theologians stuck to their spiritual magisterium, and left the physical to scientists.

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