Alleged 2016 GOP hopeful Marco Rubio was interviewed by his favorite magazine, GQ. And now Twitter is all abuzz because the Republican senator from Florida claimed that the Earth's age is one of the Great Mysteries. In the Q&A, Rubio 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 scientific elite scorn such talk, because of course they have used "science instruments" to figure out that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old—when the rest of our solar system took shape. But this semi-precise figure only dates back to 1956, which explains why many older people are dubious. They grew up thinking either that Earth was maybe a tens or hundreds of millions years old, or that the God of Israel made it in seven days, 6,000 years ago, for the sheer hell of it.
And today, even those who claim to believe the Holy Bible as literal truth are constantly hedging, as Marco Rubio did by guessing that maybe the Bible isn't accurate on the seven days part. Maybe it really means seven eras, because that's meaningless enough to cover anything the eggheads come up with, right?
If we were in the 16th Century, Rubio would be more liberal than Martin Luther. Even compared to the borderline-atheist 21st Century theologians at Harvard or Oxford, Rubio is basically a liberal relativist when he's switching a specific word like "days" (ימים in Hebrew, we think?) to something soft and bendable like "eras." Rubio didn't make up this tactic; it's a regular meme in the growing discipline of Creationist Fudging. Basically you're saying that you'll back down on the whole days thing—and God supposedly made the Heavens and Earth in six days, Senator Rubio, not seven—if Republicans can still put "God" on the money and also have prayer breakfasts in Congress, etc. It's a compromise.
So, in this sense, Rubio is really saying "eh maybe all this literal Creationism stuff is horseshit, how would I know? I'm just an idiot from Florida, not some fancy scientist." Biblical literalists have not had it easy, since the days of Darwin. Stubbornly sticking to ancient texts doesn't work in any field, not even theology (which is nothing more the pretend science of trying to justify ancient religious belief using current terminology). As a supposed front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2016, Marco Rubio's move to liberal interpretations of bible stories is a step in the direction of modernism.
And it will be very funny, at a Republican primary debate three years from now, when Chris Christie launches into some tirade about Marco Rubio being such an idiot that he believes The Hobbit is taken from the book of Exodus.