Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Great Republican Hope...not

7 days or 7 eras, who's counting?

Oh dear....  Marco Rubio is one of the great Republican hopes for 2016 and yet he made a major blunder that basically bars him from ever receiving votes from people like me. Not that I vote in the US, mind you, but there are a lot of folks there who would love less taxes and a little bit more austerity in the US budget but could never entrust that task to someone that does not know the difference between 7 days and 7 eras, whatever "eras" mean....

Let's look at the actual quote from GQ who interviewed Marco Rubio, junior Florida Senator, already on any Veep GOP list.

: 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.
Let's first recognize that this question was absolutely idiotic in the context of the interview. Rubio could have easily brushed it up saying that talking about religion and science matters would require another complete interview he would be delighted to give some other opportunity. But no, the guy dived in and ensnared himself beautifully.

The first thing that I need to say that I am scientist, man, and that understanding basic science is a clear indicator on your abilities to understand complex problems such as what parameters make a modern economy function. Globalization and Chinese competitiveness is not taught in the Bible, however understanding the Big Bang theory prepares you more to understand complex economic statistics than the book of Genesis.

Second, I cannot fail to note the hypocrisy of Marco Rubio who says that he is not a scientist and thus not able to answer the question, but does so anyway. That a silly blogger like yours truly who will never run for office pretends to have answers to all is one thing, but as the Senator of a major state and a natural candidate to the US presidency does such type of statement is simply unacceptable because it reflect worrisome intellectual flaws. Period.

And third, of course, Marco Rubio is an ignorant on the great questions of our world. It is not that he skipped science classes at school, but what other classes did he skip?

There are not multiple theories on how earth was made. That scientists disagree on how the Bing Bang played out is one thing, but there are some stuff that no one questions such as the expanding universe and the age of this one placed at least at 10 billion years. Earth  by the way, is dated at least at 4+ billion years and no serious scientists disagrees with that anymore.  Pretending that there are more theories is just a crass attempt at Rubio to ingratiate himself with creationists and derived idiots who pretend that there is a cacophony in the hard science word to force their beliefs upon us.  I have news for them and Rubio: if X thinks that earth is 4 billion years and Y thinks that it is 4,5 is not a disagreement on the age of earth  it is an disagreement on what technique is used to establish the exact age. Both agree that it is way past 7 days and 7 eras. Both are in full agreement that "intelligent design" or whatever creationism is called these days is just crap.

And that is the problem, the real problem of Marco Rubio's words: he does not understand how science works and thus we are allowed, we owe it to ourselves, to worry a lot about his understanding of other things in life.

PS: I am allowing myself this US politics post because Marco Rubio has been cited often enough in the comment section of this blog and because his Cuban origin supposedly makes him a natural bridge between latinos and the US government  between the US and Latin american countries.  Well, at least in Venezuela he has his match with Chavez and his earth age theory. I will kindly suggest Senator Rubio to start watching History channel who carries excellent series on how the Universe Functions and how the Earth was made. He can do that at night in motel rooms during his many travels and nicely complete his education, least he wants to sound like the individual below who has been reelected president of Venezuela stating that the human species has only 25 centuries on earth:

Surely Marco Rubio does not want to look as ignorant as Chavez. No?



Considering the virulence of some comments in a blog that has become quite quiet since October 7 I feel the need to add a few things to the many Republicans that apparently read this blog and are expecting Rubio to be the next GOP candidate.

I have nothing personal against Rubio. As far as I am concerned he can do no worse than Romney and has probably more integrity over all.  But the fact of the matter is that he made a booboo with GQ even if his intention was to pander to Iowa.  If Iowa is that important I suggest that the US skips election altogether and limit itself to Iowa caucus for the next president choice.  Fortunately it is now clear that New Hampshire and Iowa do not have the clout they used to have and it is hoped that this trend will keep on. I need to remind folks that Iowa was won by Obama, by almost 6 points...... So, to go all huffy and puffy over Iowa is really not a good strategy in my book and I predict that more and more candidates will start skipping Iowa altogether.

The other thing is that it is still amazing to me that people assume that by being anti Chavez I am automatically pro GOP.  I have never made any mystery of my Liberal, US sense, proclivities, espousing all sorts of Liberal causes associated with my civil Libertarian side. Thus it should be of no surprise that I would not let the words of Rubio pass unpunished.  And when a similar idiocy from Obama was reported to me by Fausta  I promptly skewered Obama for whom I have no lost love. For me Obama is left of Liberal and had I voted in the US I would have done so for him because Romney was too far on the right and too intransigent on the civil libertarian issues that are closest to me, and more important than a balanced budget. In other words, the Tea Party is not my cup of tea whatsoever.

In other words, I make mine the historical Liberal label,  a honorable one that has become associated with the silly left by the GOP in its war against the Democrats with a no hold barred strategy. This is the dark part of the Reagan inheritance where any thing left of the GOP is a socialist/liberal. Exactly what chavismo is doing to the democratic right in Venezuela. I refuse to accept that from Chavez or form the GOP. Fuck them all!


  1. Preemptively, before anyone seeks to excuse Rubio more than necessarily, I am putting below a link I found after writing the post aptly titled "Why Doesn't Florida Senator Marco Rubio Know How Old the Earth Is?"


  2. Rubio is pandering to uneducated Iowa voters, and you skewer him for it. When Obama panders, you applaud...

    You're just being silly here Daniel. Between this and your ridiculous post on abortion (yes! let's introduce wedge issues to move the opposition forward!) you have greatly disappointed me. You're better than this.

    1. I applaud when Obama panders?

      A post on abortion?

      At any rate, I am scientist and that type of pandering is simply unacceptable for me for the reasons I explained in the post. If this is what Rubio needs to do to get nominated then the Republican party is doomed to a long, long desert stay, as I explained in a previous post.

      You may want to read the extra link I put in the comment above, which goes into the kind of detail I did not want to include in my post.

      PS: the GQ interview was not in Des Moines, by the way. So pandering to Iowa did not cross my mind when I wrote that post. Though of course I understand that Iowa and New Hampshire in in all pols mind these days.

    2. PS: Sorry, I forgot to reply to the more wedges in the opposition... I am past caring, I am sorry but maybe I have stopped being better than that. I am a free agent now. The country is screwed as far as I am concerned.

  3. Daniel,

    Aside from political pandering:

    I don't vote Republican but would think twice about demanding that a person be savvy in areas of Science...Without any Science whatsoever I pretty much predicted the outcome of the last elections.I didn't like Capriles for the job for his being comeflor, and I knew Chavez would steal elections for the obvious reasons.

    There are many different types of intelligence,but the scientific one is definitely not needed in political posturing, and there are many scientists who would have a hard time understanding how to subtly manipulate the feelings of voters, or how to play the power games of diplomatic endeavors or even to sense what is happening in the moment.I am not even a Scientist but have a hard time with those skills as well.

    All of the frills have to be placed under the high powered light of greater concerns, and more specific applications.

    All religions require belief in bizarre things, so why pick on some of them and not on others anyway? And i certainly wouldn't demand to have only an atheist president although that would not bother me in the least as long as she is not one of those atheistic true believers trying to eliminate other people's rights to believe :)

    Priorities require me to be more picky in somethings , less in others.

    It's a matter of accepting that we will never get it all, and yes, pandering explains a lot.


  4. He's pandering to most Republican voters, period, not just Iowa voters. I think it's fine to skewer him for it, but mostly as a reflection on how messed up the Republican Party is, as you've said in one of the comments. I think he actually sidestepped giving his ACTUAL opinion quite deftly, while still leaving it open for all the crazy bible belt republicans to still support him because he "agrees with choice" an what not. So to grasp, from what he says, that he has "no grasp on science" or such is quite the leap. (If anything, the fact that he DIDN'T straight up say 7 Days in a way indicates that he thinks otherwise and is just saying so to get votes.)

    He damn well should have said "The Earth is Billions of years old", but you know politics as well as anyone, so yeah I think this might be a bit over the top. (It would have been different if he, like other Republicans, actually came out and said that yes, the earth was created in 7 days, evolution was a lie, and science is the devil. He's said none of these things, as far as I know)

  5. Anonymous9:38 PM

    I think that in these next 4 years of spending hikes and tax increases, it isn't going to matter if Marco Rubio said he believes in Santa Claus. .. I mean, the real Santa Claus, not the current office holder that promises goodies under every tree.

    Similar to Mr. Chavez, needing to see the *near* end of his economic policies, Mr. Obama and those that elected him may be best treated by seeing the end results of their mission, and knowing that the children have voted to have candy for dinner.

    If Marco Rubio plans on cutting government spending, not by a few percentage points, but for example, to the level it was during the Clinton "era", that may be enough reason to vote for him. The rest of it is window dressing.

  6. If God created Adam an adult male when he was created, why couldn't God create a very old universe and planet at the same moment in time? Porque nada hay imposible para Dios.

    1. Well, you make sense and that is sort of what the Catholic Church accepts, at least in term of evolution. If God pleased to have man evolve from monkeys it is OKAY because in the end what matters is that God put his divine semblance in the form of soul in a given ape.

      Hence Catholic have less problems with science than more fundamentalist creeds such as evangelicals or talibans. For Rome it does not matter whether the universe is 7 billion years or 7 days.

    2. What evidence is there that Catholics are made the least bit uneasy when holding a belief that conflicts with the rest of the scientific community? Can you not find examples of this?

      The rest is just religious political rhetoric.

    3. I am sorry but I do not understand your point.

      What I can tell you is that creationism is a fundamentalist problem which seems to spare, or at least not impact as much countries with catholic majorities.

    4. Jacques6:15 AM

      I remember having read, many years ago, of an English minister who had proposed the ultimate solution to the question of when the Earth was created (along with the Universe, and Everything). No, it wasn't 42, it was 4004 BC, on October 23rd, about tea-time, as Good Bishop Usher had calculated (I'm making up "tea-time") But, and this is the innovative bit, a stroke of genius, it was created COMPLETE WITH ITS PAST. Which neatly explains the presence of million-years old fossils on a 6000-years old Earth.

      Sad to say, the Church chose not to espouse his brilliant explanation.

  7. Isn't a bit early to start blasting possible GOP presidential candidates? I know you are pro-Democrat because you believe all republicans are anti-gay, racist and sexist pigs -thus you are anti-socialist in Venezuela and pro-socialism in the U.S.- but this is too much.

    Even if Rubio was a religious nut on social issues, which he is not, these issues are not America's biggest problems. The economy, the size of the state and the niño Jesús at the White House are.

    If you are a minority in America, Daniel, your rights will be respected no matter which party holds the power. On the other hand, if an incompetent like Barack Obama wrecks the economy, that affects everybody, despite their color, race, creed or sexual orientation.

    You're gonna have to find something else to criticize Rubio for.

    1. It's never too early. Remember: Rubio is a potential threat. They have to shoot him down quickly. Thanks to GQ and the rest of the media that play lapdog (including Daniel's blog), that job has begun in earnest.

      Having said that, Rubio was an idiot - he should have known where this was coming from and responded "How old is the Earth? What kind of a f-ing question is that, you tool?"

    2. Is'n that, by the way, how I started this post? Condemning that stupid question?

      Geeeez... I never get any credit.....

  8. To some above.

    In my post it should be absolutely clear that if I do not accept flat earth comments from Chavez I am not going to accept them from no one, even a Florida Senator.

    Also electoral pandering to flat earthers is unacceptable because what these people need is education. If it is acceptable politically to pander to them in such way by GOP candidates then the GOP is not that different from chavismo in Venezuela.

    1. Pandering is unacceptable? Since when, since you decided it was so?

      Flat earthers have a right to exist, vote and be pandered to. Perhaps, now that you're all into eugenesics, you would like to "abort" them too.

    2. BTW, I meant "eugenics." I guess that qualifies me as an idiot as well, and unworthy of existence according to Daniel.

    3. I suppose that since I also favor euthanasia I could be branded an eugenist. Why not? I obviously pressed the wrong button with you.

      At least I did not include euthanasia in my list of demands the other day considering that in Venezuela the crime rate makes it already legal, including death penalty.

  9. Anonymous12:17 AM

    Maybe there's a Spanish or an international verison of the "History Channel" that actually shows "history". The highest rated program on the channel available to most US residents is "Pawn Stars".


    1. Anonymous, Who would be getting their History information from TV? TV is for moments of exhausted mindlessness.

      Most people I know get their history information from public Library books and Kindles.

      Maybe foreigners who don't have Kindles or good Public Libraries might rely on TV for that, but here even the idea of it is absurd :)


    2. Firepigette

      There are excellent programs on TV. That History channel also passes
      Pawn stuff does not detract of the value of other shows such as the ones you can STILL find in discovery or history channel. Now, admittedly history channel has been going down a lot ......

  10. 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.


    1. Excellent link Fausta, thanks. Now I want to cry because the USA political system is even more fucked up than what I thought it was.

      It is unfair that Obama will come ahead anyway because the media will play that card a lot against Rubio whereas in 4 years Obama's record on science proves that he was pulling our legs then. Let's see if Rubio uses his Senate position to hint that he was also kidding us.

      Whatever it is, I have to blame the mass media to have created this law of the lowest common political denominator which forces all to dumb down. No more Lincoln for the US....

      At least it makes me feel better about my post where I questioned Rubio's ability to understand science rather than any beliefs he has. It gives him a chance to recover, I suppose. We'll see.

    2. Daniel do you really not understand that when Rubio/ Obama says "6 eras", that they are saying that the Earth can be as old as scientists say that it is? I don't understand that mockery and disdain you have. They are in essence saying "Im a christian and this is what the Bible says, and I also know scientists say otherwise, and you can believe the scientists without disowning your Bible." They're not contracting the 6 billion year claim.
      So...is this whole thing really just about your disdain for the Bible, or Christians or Americans on the right? It smells like an emotional reaction against something you have a prejudice against, and not a logical analysis of something that was actually said.

    3. KS

      There are thing one does not play with if one wants to be taken seriously.

      The earth age is perfectly well established with solid science. Entertaining another option is not serious. Period.

      If Rubio does not want to be taken seriously, more power to him.

  11. How about Jeb Bush? He knows how old the earth is, is familiar with the egg shaped earth, speaks excellent Spanish. How about him.


  12. The belief in resurrection is one example of the real clash between Science and the Catholic Church, unless it is that most people in the Church believe that even this one is only symbolic, but from my experience they do not.

    I have often thought that the symbolic nature of resurrection could be highly illuminating in the sense that it could transform lives. Death could symbolize the life of sleep or the life of being unconscious, and resurrection could symbolize the life of conscious awakening into a higher psychological state.

    However you and I both know that most Catholics do not see it that way.If you ask the typical priest about true "Catholic" contemplation he will become either dumbfounded or:


    Which is what I meant above....They try get followers and stay relevant instead of using symbolism to understand the Faith, and is what I was talking about above.firepigette

  13. Rubio can recover from this just fine. But I admit this disappoints me.

    1. Political rhetoric is now nothing more than endorsed slander.

      In a Democratic country we have to find a way to respect different view points, instead of demonizing those whose ways of thinking are more or less rational, or more or less conventional, or more or less anything.If we were all the same we couldn't have a democracy, we would have a dictatorship of thought.And most of all we have to get rid of this double standard reporting.

      Everybody is a mixture whether they admit to it or not, and nobody has a corner on the truth which could be the magic of a democratic society.

      If Rubio recovers it will only be because he belongs to the minorities, another protected group of the media.

      The media claims to know the bad motivations of others.They are amazingly psychic, and of course well intentioned themselves ;)

      ex: if you criticize a black democrat you are racist.

      But I say if you claim to know what people's motivations are, you open the door to a witch hunt.VERY VERY UNDEMOCRATIC!


  14. Barack Obama, said the same thing, though not as eloquent, in 2008. http://bit.ly/10q5ovu
    Why didn't you trounce on this, Daniel? Because you have a different standard for leftists than you do conservatives. Just like the NYT and Huffington Post, you look for any reason to mock the tea party / liberty loving Americans, and you overlook the exact same thing when done by your preferred public figures. Your post-election (US) analysis was the same. You can clearly find the two biggest tea party organizations, and see that they stand for limited government, increased personal freedom, and lower taxes. How can the left argue against that? Make up false claims about them being racist and extremist, then repeat the lie over and over. Not a single bit of truth to that. No valid examples. Yet you buy into the same "progressive" political tactic known as "smear your opponent" and falsely paint them as such.
    So what your post is really about is this: "Marco Rubio is on the liberty side of things, and therefore is a tea partier, and therefore must be smeared. Here is an example of how we can smear him. Let's get to work." That's what your post is about, though I'm sure you'll tell yourself otherwise. But why not say the same thing about Obama, if you're really just a fair, logical, scientist? Because this isn't about Rubio and a blunder. It's about your prejudice against, and double standard for right wingers. But you're in good company with most English language media.
    PS: do you really not know that among Christians and Jews it is a widely held belief that since the Earth wasn't yet created, and couldn't rotate, the word "day" in Hebrew is often interpreted to mean "time period / era"? I'm sure you're aware of that. But you pretend that Rubio made it up so that you can create a strawman that you later knock down with mockery. Logical fallacies 101.

    1. I think I perfectly replied to that when Fausta posted the link. I suggest that you read all comments and responses before you make assumptions about the "what ifs" I may say.

  15. Barack Obama, 2008:
    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.

  16. I wonder why democrats get no questions on 3rd trimester abortions? hard to answer without pissing off their base. Or the real role or how far should affirmative action should affect today's society? Obama's answer was the same as rubio but you would vote for him? Daniel love but stick to venezuela

    1. Who mentioned third trimester abortion? What makes you think I may endorse them? What has affirmative action got to do in this post? Did I not already address the Obama crap?

    2. People rarely read what is said, or hear what is spoken, because there is already an agenda to put thoughts in a predetermined category.Sometimes I think the world is hopeless for that reason.

    3. Daniel
      The point is that the question came out from left field where the intention of the "journalist" is to catch him in a no win situation. The 3rd trimester questions or affirmative action question would be real questions that the "journalist" never ask democrats or Obama. They are in the same realm of cultural and moral questions.

      In my view the actions speak louder than worlds. Romney record is not right wing and for that matter the governing of republicans has not been extreme right. Obama talks a good game but his policies and actions are less civil liberties, more centralize power, more executive orders and a basic disregard for the opposing point of view. The problem with how you address Obama's crap is that you ultimately give him a pass while the same offense disqualifies Rubio.

    4. Then be more explicit next time and do not assume that we all understand that you are addressing a void. We will all thank for it as avoiding further unnecessary unpleasantness. :)

  17. Anonymous8:13 AM


    I thought Rubio had a good answer; he's a politician. As you know, many have a very jaded view of the scientific community, and do not take their current take on things as being set in stone or divinely inspired.

    A "blunder" would have been saying something like evolution is stupid or just another religion. A blunder would be saying something that would annoy voters.


  18. Paul,Science is just another religion when it stops questioning answers.When we stop questioning answers answers become beliefs.

    One must never forget the myriad of people who have no clue about a scientific method,or not how most answers are arrived at simply because they are not adept in Science in the particular area of Science in question, have no working knowledge of the vocabulary involved and cannot explain to you how Scientists arrive at a their " conclusion"

    Yet cry our their BELIEF in Science with the smuggest of smiles :)

  19. Daniel I admire your blog, but I don't think there is base to criticize Senator Rubio here. At best he is being confusing about his stance, acknowledging that there are several theories about the creation of Earth and the real age of the Universe. Though he don't want to say which one he choose to believe.

    Heck science doesn't even have a very good theory that explains the creation of the universe. So why do we have to pretend that a politician will know anything about it.

    The science that I care for Mr. Rubio to apply, or for any other politician for that matter, is the Economical and Political Science, to improve the economy, to create jobs, to create revenue.

    1. Sorry, but your argument does not fly here: there are no "other" theories valid here. The earth is 4+ billion years and the universe 13+. We can debate the how but we cannot debate the old.

      If Rubio has no curiosity or has no capacity to shut up his mouth about hard science mechanism he does not understand, I shiver at his handling of soft sciences like politics or economics. Numbers are not "good" because Rubio made you feel them to be good.

  20. Daniel, you are correct, and I totally agree with you. Period. As to some of the comments suggesting that the "tea parties" are "liberty lovers" is pure nonsense.

  21. Daniel et all, this was not an stupid question, please!!!! Do not sound so naive, it has been done in the past, basically in the middle of a recorded (so they can have proof) interview, the interviewer throws a totally unrelated question (well prepared), and hopes the interviewee bites the hook (its like asking you if you stopped beating your wife) if you say anything, you are screwed. Democrats and their lackeys are out working early for 2016. We will hear and see this question mentioned, recorded over and over specially as we get closer to next elections. The fact that the rest of the interview has been lost and we are talking about this one question is proof that the plot has worked. I have the same impression than Ricardo, Daniel rejects what socialism is doing to Venezuela, but has a lot more tolerance for socialism in the US.
    Finally, Rubio should know better than to fall for that. A simple "I got my beliefs and respect the right of others to their own beliefs" would have been better. Orlando

    1. oh dear.....

      i am not going to argue about the differences between socialism and socialism since simple labels are just that, simplistic. however i will tell you one thing, if rubio is unable to differentiate between "beliefs" and "science" then his brain is mush and i do not want him as president.

      let me help you here:

      you can "believe" that earth is 4 billion or 4.3 billion, but you cannot believe that earth is only a few thousand years old. those that cannot understand this sentence, then indeed rubio is their candidate.

    2. PS: there are lackeys not only at msnbc but also at cnn and fox. gimme a break!

    3. Oh, dear Dog. Seriously, Orlando? "Democrats and their lackeys"? "Socialism...socialism"? You have no fucking clue, do you? I have a great idea: why don't you follow/comment on other sites that love you and your ilk? You know, those who believe in the "tea party", "creationists", all AKA idiots? You'd be better received there. Daniel, I'm so sorry that you have to suffer these intellectually challenged commenters. SMH...

    4. nicacat

      now, now, let's play nice, shall we?


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