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Senator Rubio: Between Rock of Ages and a Hard Place December 4, 2012

Posted by Jill S. Schneiderman in geologic time.
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Here is my unpublished Letter to the Editor of the New York Times in reference to NIcholas Wade’s piece on Senator Marco Rubio’s statement “I’m not a scientist.”

To the Science Times editor:

I  was glad to read Nicholas Wade’s essay regarding Senator Marco Rubio’s perverse assertion (“Rock of Ages”) that since he is not a scientist he feels unqualified to comment on the age Earth. When I first read of Rubio’s answer to the question I thought, “I’m an earth scientist so I guess that qualifies me to remind readers that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.” As Wade makes clear, any doubt about that number has nothing to do with uncertainty about the billion part.
What Nicholas Wade does not mention is that few creationists today fall into the camp of “young Earthers.”  Most creationists are not Biblical literalists; they acknowledge an ancient, billions-years-old Earth. Maybe Senator Rubio was just throwing 15 back flips and a hissy fit, as Wade says, but Rubio’s statement, that whether or not the Earth was created in seven days remains a great mystery, does great disservice to the possibility of smart, respectful dialogue on this issue.
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