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Age-of-Earth question throws GOP presidential hopeful into tizzy

You can gauge the post-election state of much of the Republican party– desperately trying not to offend its religious-right base while also striving to signal that it is rooted in reality– by Florida Sen. (and possible 2016 candidate for president) Marco Rubio’s answer to a question.

The question: How old do you think the Earth is?

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.

It almost makes me long for the certainty of Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia.