Below is an short excerpt from a GQ interview with rising GOP star Marco Rubio that disturbed me greatly...where he is asked a very simple question concerning his understanding of science. The question wasn't a hard one and should have been a pretty damn easy one to answer but he was unwilling or unable to do so.
GQ: 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.
First, you have to understand the differnce in the scientific terms "theory" and "law" to explain why it's called "the theory of Evolution", not the "the law of Evolution".
Briefly, in science, a law describes an observable "fact" that applies universally in all instances.
A theory is an explanation of those "Observations, facts and laws". (forgive my laymans explantion here)
Most importantly, for this discussion, they must understand that ...
A "theory" will never become a "law".
This illustrates the real problem with the anti-science agenda coming out of the Republican Party these days. Most people should understand that because it's termed the "theory of Evolution", it doesn't mean evolution is still just theorectial. It's a fact that has been demonstrated by observation, experimentation and never once disproven (no matter what Creationist's will tell you).
However, I don't think for one second an intelligent person like Marco Rubio actually doesn't know that the Earth is more than 6000 yrs. old or doesn't know that it wasn't literally created in 7 days. Sure he does!
So why would Marco Rubio, who has been described as the "hope of the modern Republican party" be un-willing to say so??
Because the Republicans have created an alternative set of facts that they adhere to and believe, and if you want them to vote for you...you better stick to those beliefs and believe it too!
This is attitude is very dangerous to a Democracy.
As has been said before we are all entiled to our own opinions but not to our own facts! And many Conservatives have now become wedded to the notion that it's quite possible that Evolution is not proven but still a theory and still being decided. That evolution and physics were not how the planet and our species came into existence. They want to believe the jury is still out on this but that is just not true. And we, as people who elect other people to "represent" us shouldn't tolerate ignoring facts...no matter WHICH party tries to do that!
So when a rising star in the "new GOP' is either afraid to "say" the earth is not merely 6000 yrs old or worse, doesn't "know or believe" it to be older than that, (around 4.5 billion yrs is the estimate so he's pretty far off here) that proves the GOP has a very dangerous tendency to tolerate "wishful" or "belief based" thinking and ignore facts. That is a problem! We have big problems to solve and we need to at least agree on the facts in order to do so. Belief based thinking instead of fact based thinking is one reason they lost the election because even though the polls TOLD them they were losing they chose to "believe" that the polls were lying...and that they would win just because they "believed" they would...
And I am sure that unless they change this tendency very quickly to ignore facts and rely on "belief based thinking" they will continue to shrink, fade in importance and become irrelevent.
The US electorate is getting younger, better educated and will be replacing the old, out-dated and out-of-touch portion of the electorate that has clung to the Republican party in the last few elections because they are uncomfortable with the world and the facts that describe it.
And I say...if you want to stay around as a viable party Republicans...you better wake up and come with the rest of us into the 21st century. It's where the voters and the real solutions are!
'Theory', : A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has ben confirmed or established by obversation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.
'Scientific law',:offers a quantifiable observations and facts while offering no explanation for the facts or observations.