Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marco Rubio and "Did god really create the world in 6 days?"

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.

I think it's a reasonable answer. How about you? 


  1. No, it isn't a reasonable answer. The Universe is 13.72 billion years old and the Earth is 4.54 billion years old.


    The correct answer (if you're a Christian) is that Genesis is a metaphor, not a true recounting of history. The text refers to 'evening and morning' of each day, so it can't be literal. Also it can't be referring to days longer than our days.

    People are entitled to their opinions, but not entitled to making up their facts.

    He also won't be the Republican candidate for president in 2016. Christie anyone?

    1. Just out of curiosity, don't we have atheists arguing that the universe has no 'real' beginning (presumably to nullify arguments of causation)? How can it be a certain age old then?

      And the whole point should be obvious that the belief that the universe is 13.74 years old, and that the earth is 4.54 billion years old (which took a while for scientists to settle on) is completely different from those beliefs being facts.

      You don't me to believe that the design in the universe is best explained as being actual design, but you expect me to believe on no observable and reproducible evidence of the earth's chronological history, that the age of the earth and the universe are absolute facts that can never be subject to any improvements or changes in the theoretical foundations that it's founded on?

      That's what we call dogma. Pretty douchey one, too. What's with you guys in making everything a matter of politics?

      What's funny is that he didn't 'make up' any facts about earth age at all (for which I give him a point over your assertion). He just told us all about how it's a crucial controversy that Christians debate. I would have preferred him give answer the question personally, but it was kind of a retarded question to ask in the first place.

      Me, I was OEC, now YEC. I prefer to try and figure out what the text indicates myself, thanks. It seems more indicative of face-value literalism. And I really couldn't care less either way, to be honest. Any way God did it is impressive, and I trust the account more than I do the subjective appreciations of either myself or atheists on the subject of how-God-created-the-earth.

      And I'm pretty sure days have both literal mornings and literal evenings.

  2. You have to choose between the Big Bang cosmology and the modern theory of star formation or the six-days creationist story. You can't have both.

    1. Actually creationists love(d) the Big Bang theory, and atheists kinda hated it, precisely because it seemed to directly confirm a first cause, that had the strong intimation of God creating the heavens.

  3. It's a perfectly acceptable answer used only as a metaphor, if you were answering a child (probably younger than Rubio's daughter is) and that's where the story ended. Then when she was a couple years older and better suited to come to grips with concepts like gravity, accretion discs, etc, you dropped the metaphor and began answering with the real terminology and presented the information as is.

    The problem is that Rubio isn't answering that question, he's pandering to voters by trying to fit the square peg of 6 day creation into the round hole of scientific understanding of the origins of the universe. So he files off the edges of the peg until it sort of fits, but wobbles around a lot and looks very lumpy but from a distance appears to be a round peg in a round hole.

    You asked in an earlier post what conservatives need to do to be "successful" in the future (I'm paraphrasing)and I refer you again to part of my answer, that your candidates need to stop trying to appeal to scientifically illiterate evangelicals and desperately trying to pass off religious nonsense as "debate" amongst scientific professionals.

    Dr Egnor, you talk about your bullshit detector fairly regularly, but it definitely appears to be misalligned when it comes to defending the rights of Christians to say irrational things when confronted with reality, a priviledge you do not grant to certain other religious groups. As a medical professional, would you honestly entertain any religious group taking the four humours as medical fact despite evidence to the contrary? I imagine you would refuse treatment but you certainly wouldn't indulge them. Why indulge this nonsense?

    First Time Caller (Calling Again)

  4. Sure. Just as soon as the utterly unscientific global warming alarmists and pro-choicers vacate their seats. Also, anyone who believes in the gay gene fairy tale.

    Why do liberals hate science?


  5. Sure, it's reasonable.
    He is simply stating that he is not a literalist, but does not claim to fully understand the earth's Genesis or that of life and does not intend to disrespect those that think they do in either the scientific community or religious communities.
    The question, on the other hand seems a bit invasive and personal. The questions seems to be designed to push him into extreme camps.
    It could have been more honestly asked: 'Do you believe that science and scientists are infallible, or do you believe the account in Genesis should be taken literally and without considering any sort symbolism?'
    He answered that question with a 'none of the above'.
    Very reasonable.
    You may as well as if he thinks the devil is a type of talking tree snake.
    Silly question, solid answer.

  6. LOL. Come on, guys!

    A six-day creation includes everything from the Universe itself to the Earth, plants, and man. Science tells us that the Universe is 13.6 billion years old, the Earth 4.5 billion years old, and man 2 million to a few hundred thousand years (depending on which stage you wish to begin labeling as man).

    All of this has happened in a time span of several billion years, not six days. Shouldn't be that hard to answer.

  7. Ah, I get it. Trick question. That's not Rubio's answer, it was Barack Obama's answer when he was asked the same question in 2008. And now KW is going to denounce Obama and demand that he resign from anything remotely related to silence.


    1. Whoever said it, the mental contortions are hilarious. The answer is plainly staring you in the face. The six-day creation story is a nice ancient tale. It's funny and sad at the same time that people are compelled to treat it seriously.

    2. No, KW won't do that JQ. He knows Obama was bullshittin' about all that believing in God crap, and that being part of the Christian community nonsense.

      It just goes to show that a liberal can say the very same thing as a conservative and will be considered brilliant for doing so.

      The Torch

    3. No, it matters who said it. It was stupid and unforgivable when Rubio supposedly said it but now that we know it was Obama it's no biggee. Obviously Obama thinks that human being put saddles on dinosaurs and rode them around. Noah had a hard time fitting the male and female T. Rex's on his ark.

      We have a scientifically illiterate buffoon in the White House! Don't you think that's a smidgen more dangerous than having a scientifically illiterate buffoon representing Florida in the Senate?

      The Torch

    4. Torch, can you read? I said it's silly no matter who said. Here Obama is as guilty of pandering to the lowest denominator as Rubio is.

    5. Yes, I can read. It's silly no matter who said it. That's a cop out. It was stupid and unforgivable when Rubio supposedly said it. Now that we know it's Obama, it's no biggee. You'll issue a pro forma condemnation of the statement, not the man, and be done with it.

      Let's not pretend that it doesn't matter who says these things. In our society, it does. Obama can get away with it and Rubio can't. It's breathtakingly hypocritical.

      The Torch

    6. Maybe you can read, but you can't comprehend what you read. Instead, you try to read between the lines. Well, there is nothing to read there.

      I said, unequivocally, that the position was silly when I thought the words belonged to Rubio. I still view them as silly when they were identified as Obama's. Nowhere did I say it was OK for Obama to say that. I explicitly state that it is NOT OK.

      Get it now?

    7. I get it, Anonymous. What you don't get is that it does matter. It wasn't a headline when Obama said it. There was no Democratic War on Science when Obama said it.

      Even on this page, KW said that Rubio should resign from the science committee over "his" comments. Obama isn't on the science committee because he's the president, but let me ask you--should he be allowed on a science committee? What other litmus tests should be required for membership? Submit your list of required beliefs, then I'll submit mine to you.

      Liberals really don't know what their beloved leaders stand for. If you take their positions and attribute them to their opponents, they loathe them.

      Have you ever seen this?

      It's quite funny. The interviewer asks Obama supporters about Romney's supposed policy proposals, such as extending and expanding the USA Patriot Act and indefinite detention of terror suspects. They all think they're terrible so long as they are told that these are Romney's ideas. The trick is that Obama has already enacted all of the policies mentioned. One woman even goes as far as to say that she's a pacifist! LOL! Obama has launched more cruise missiles than any other Nobel Peace Prize winner. (True, Arafat dispatched more suicide bombers, but that's different.)

      You may think you're being totally consistent but our society is not. What's completely acceptable for a D to say becomes shockingly ignorant when an R says it. Then liberals all have a good laugh at how stupid Republicans are.

      The Torch

    8. Methinks you have a chip on your shoulder, Torch. That's probably the effect of having lost an election recently. Time will heal that wound.

    9. I'm very upset about the loss. Some science-hating Christian fundamentalist wacko won. It's no wonder our children have fallen so far behind in science. This is really becoming a national security issue.

      There's clearly a Democrat War on Science underway.

      The Torch

  8. Obama is obviously scientifically illiterate.


  9. Doc, I'm delighted to find that you've attracted the Reality-Based contingent to your blog comment section. It's like having a free membership to the sporting clays club.

    Anyway, it's nice to have left-wing meat machines around who can ferret out motives and thoughts from a distance. Since their conditioning has been so much more nuanced and sophisticated than mine, I have a question...

    What was going through this person's mind...

    “I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason — because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection — something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective... [W}e’re reminded that in that moment, he took on the sins of the world — past, present and future — and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his death and resurrection.”

    Appealing to illiterates?
    Resurrection? After three days?
    Or a fairy story that only an idiot would believe?

    The quote, of course, is from a dude named Barack Obama, in 2011. He could be a dangerous religious fanatic. One of those haters! Look at that lunatic preacher that performed his so-called wedding and baptized his kids. The videos are amazing. What else would you need to know? I'm sure the meat machines must think the Obama meat machine has a screw loose and needs a little re-education. President Lackwit Theocrat, right?

  10. The Genesis account contains important symbolism.
    It explains the WHY and gives a relative rendition of an objective creation.
    It adds a meaning to the mix and fits in neatly with logical concepts such as final causation.
    Being a proponent of the Augustinian arguments, I find it self evident that there is a sustaining creator/mind and Genesis gives us an ample explanation for His actions.
    The number of days, trees, etc all have multiple symbolic meanings relating directly to our experienced reality.
    These symbols are not mathematically generated abstractions supported by analysis of radio frequencies and peering through lenses and observing the heavens, but rather easily interpreted truths.
    It is a deeply erroneous approach to simply read the words of the OT and accept them as a literal history of the physical universe.
    It is equally fallacious to discard this ancient wisdom in a fit of materialistic/scientistic mental hubris.
    We are not gods. The science is not 'settled'.
    It NEVER is, nor should it EVER be.
    The original lie is STILL a lie.

    The scientific account of creation is all about 'how' and woefully falls short of even that.
    This I blame not on the method, but on the men who stray from it.
    Speculation about multi-verses, big bangs, dark matter, quantum fields, sub atomic mass etc are ever changing and often self refuting nonsense. Many of these ideas are no more than neo-astrology and a kind of Kabalah in drag.
    Modern day number and star cults. Even monkey cults.

    Some of it, I will concede, makes for half decent science fiction. More often than not, however, it ruins modern science fiction by limiting the imagination with the new dogmas.

    These modern day creation legends compare more neatly to the story of Babel than they do to Genesis.
    The higher the tower of pseudo cosmology grows, the more divided the language and thoughts of the people of that techno-Babel.

    1. crus,

      You don't need the multiverse or string theory to determine when the Big Bang happened and when the Earth formed. Their birth dates are settled science.

      Science will continue to develop, but there are parts of it that will never change. Newton's laws of motion are here to stay. You can be certain that a hundred years from now, and two hundred years from now, classical mechanics will still be used to describe the behavior of physical bodies at speeds much less than the speed of light. Thermodynamics is here to stay. The same is true about the Big Bang cosmology. Astrophysicists will learn new things about the early moments of the Universe, but its date of birth will not change. Hoping that it might is like betting that Newtonian mechanics will be overturned. Not gonna happen.

    2. Anon,
      I admire your faith in science.
      But, myself I am long disillusioned with it.
      I have too often seen it's bad fruit.
      Science is only a tool, and it is modified for each job it is used for. Sometimes it is a good tool, sometimes a reliable weapon, sometimes it is used for evil purpose. It all depends on the men who wield the tool.
      Further, your metaphysical approach is correct only if you assume the science you write of continues in it's current vein (ie no extinction type events) and if you assume that universal constants are reliant on some hidden functionality.
      The first assumption relies on prophetic powers.
      None of us can be certain there will scientists or even mankind in 200 years time. The second assumption is Augustinian and presumes a universal intellect, a guiding and sustaining force that has some end goal in MIND.
      Lastly, no science is ever 'settled'. The moment it is declared so, it ceases to be inquiry and becomes a form of dogma.
      Dogma may well have it's place in our reality (ie morality) but not within science. The only justification I see for such dogma in science is to make force new advances to overturn the old systems of belief.
      Foundations are one thing, but 'settled science' is another.

    3. crus,

      I know a little bit about the inner workings of science. (Come to think of it, I know quite a bit about that.) It's not faith in science, it's experience of myself as well as that of scientists of the past centuries.

      Hard sciences are a pretty sure bet. When a theory is checked and cross-checked against experiments, it's a sure bet that it is here to stay. Newtonian mechanics and ray optics remain with us. They have not changed in several centuries. They have not been invalidated so far and they won't be invalidated any time soon. We have too many confirmations for them.

      I agree with you that humanity may disappear from the face of the Earth. My statement certainly hinges on the assumption that civilization survives. Other than that, you can take my statement to the bank.

    4. Anon,
      You mistake my meaning.
      I am not suggesting you are not literate on the subject or somehow ignorant.
      I would not presume so much.
      I am suggesting you have a great faith in the authority of current understanding.
      I further suggest that such faith in authority is quite admirable.
      I wish I could share in that faith. It must be comforting. Alas, I cannot.
      I believe in a universe that is capable of change, you see. Not just the theorems, methods, and technology to discern nature, but the actual fabric of the cosmos itself; in it's order and in reality.

      There are personal and experiential reasons I feel this way that I cannot and will not discuss here, but there are also more obvious and accessible reasons that I can touch on.
      The nature of space-time in relation to gravity.
      The field vs the particles.
      The effect of mind on reality.
      All these things beg the question WHY is there a constant, and WHY we perceive it the way we do. Consider: If these constants where changed (or evolved, in your world view) what would the results be?
      If Newton's laws are constant, that is only due to the consistency of nature. Newton himself did not assert these laws on the cosmos, he uncovered the patterns in them.
      Newtons ideas have been expanded on because new technology and methods have been developed. The same could be said of the the sciences of geology and astronomy/astrophysics. If in your 200 years a new means to date rock and planetary growth/shifts have become available we may well learn the earth is older than we expected or came to be by means we have so far not even considered.
      Ditto for the sun, stars, and even the cosmos.
      We may also find we are wrong about how time works, and how we measure it is inaccurate - or only accurate in certain ways that are local or confined to specific regions of macro space.
      We may even discover there is a reality 'beyond' or 'above' macrospace, in a similar way to which we have discovered the microcosm.
      Of course, much of this is conjecture. But is that not where inquiry begins? Is that not the father of all sciences?

      WHY is nature consistent is the question that interests me, not simply HOW that consistency asserts itself on the macro or micro (or other) universe(s). It is not stick that pushed the rock that begs my attention, but the hand that holds the stick. In truth, it is not merely the hand itself, but what motivates that hand that grabs my attention.
      The idea that resulted in the root cause, if you will.
      So far as I can tell, it has to do with love.

      One avenue may hint at the other, but these are two different and entirely valid approaches.
      Could there be a third? Some means we have not yet discovered that is neither scientific or philosophical?
      Who knows?
      We will have to see in your/my hypothetical future.
      BTW, I also have faith we will be here in 200 years, and for the sake of our collective sanity I hope you're correct about Newton et al ;)
      My point regarding the latter is that I believe (faith again) that these ideas would be valid even if there was no man left to think of them.
      Because the universe has a plan - and the constants are the means by which the plan is realized.
      If that universal plan were to require a shift, expansion, or contraction it would be so.
      We as men can only hope to learn some of the how, and get a grasp on the why - at least in this stage of our consciousness.

    5. There are two aspects of advancement in science. You are correct that Newtonian mechanics are here to stay, because they more than good enough in most practical cases.

      But the vision of the cosmos that came with Einstein rocked the scientific world, turned it on its head, even though the departures from the Newtonian vision were, in some cases, too tiny to measure with early 20th century technology.

      Th3e same is true of chemistry. Fertilizer and dye factories will always work pretty much the same as they did for the Germans back in the day, but Pauling's Nature of the Chemical Bond is nothing short of a visionary masterpiece.

      And, of course, we can't forget that Fr. Georges Lamaitre had to drag even Albert Einstein kicking and screaming in to the era of the Big Bang, somewhat embarrassed that he had included the cosmological constant in his general theory.

      So while the predictions may be getting slightly better with each advance, the shifts in our view of the reality we live in are huge. Almost tectonic, one might say. :-)

    6. George,

      You voice a typical misconception. Well-established old science does not get overturned by new science. The old and new knowledge peacefully coexist and agree in the limit where both are applicable. That's how Einstein's relativity and Newtonian mechanics relate to each other. Knowledge gained by the old method, such as calculations of planetary motion, was not overturned with the invention of relativity.

      The same will be true with novel methods of dating the ages of the Earth and of the Universe. They will be more precise than our current methods, but the answers will agree. The only thing that will change is the estimated range will shrink. New estimates of the Universe's age will fall within the currently accepted interval of 13.64 to 13.86 billion years.

      The age of the Universe won't shrink down to 4.5 billion years and the age of the Earth won't expand to 13.75 billion years. Don't hold your breath. This train has long left the station. The six-day story is no longer relevant.

    7. What a silly and weird response.

      Of course old and new knowledge "peacefully coexist". Who claimed differently? Where did you read the word "overturning" in my comment? Did I say anything, at all, about a six-day story?

      It appears, however, you're a Settled Science man. I hope you made better grades in Rocks for Jocks than Albert Gore did.

      Or maybe you've just been tippling the luminiferous aether bottle too much.

    8. Then tell me, George, what was the point of your pseudoscientific babble about some "tectonic shift", particularly in the context of crusader's remarks?

  11. KW,
    Why would you write such things about the poor, minorities, and working classes?
    These are, after all, Mr Obama's 'base' and his answer to the same question was virtually identical to the one Dr Egnor just posted.
    Are you an elitist, or simply a just another partisan hack who has been caught with his trousers down?

  12. Why the hell are people even debating about this? The only reasonable answer to "Did god really create the world in 6 days?" is "No."

    1. 21st Century AD guy,
      When did time begin? Not how, but WHEN.
      How long did time take before coming into being?
      Meaningless questions, you say?
      So is your statement.
      What is a 'day' to God? What is the meaning of the 6 days and the Sabbath?
      If He created all time and space, why could he not bend or warp it to his need? Consider: All we need to do is speed (velocity) up in order to slow time.
      You have a very limited idea of what God is.
      Someone has done you a great disservice.
      I hope I have given you some food for thought.

      BTW When talking about a person (real or fictional) you capitalize the name (ie John Carter of Mars is not john carter of mars - even if you do not believe in John Carter).
      That's not just good manners, but good English.

    2. CrusadeRex,

      Actually, 21st Century Guy was just quoting exactly the question in the title of this thread. If you have a beef about 'God' not being capitalized, then take it out on Michael Egnor.

    3. crusadeREX,

      Your questions make no sense.

    4. Bach,
      Fair enough. You're right.
      21st Century, I owe you an apology, it seems. You were simply quoting.
      I am just so used to ideology seeping into language - it was knee jerk.
      My bad.
      As for my questions, they make as much sense as your point.
      God does not work to your (or my) schedule.

  13. You miss the point. The question to Rubio was "how old is the Earth." The question to Obama was "what would you tell your daughter..."
    They were, it bears noting, 7 and 10 at the time and regular church goers. He was being asked how do you reconcile your desire to believe in God with your scientific self, and explain that to your Daughter.
    Anyone who thinks these questions, and therefore their answers, are equivalent, clearly is reading with a strong political bias.

    1. You miss the point. My Obamaphile commentors criticized the quote when they thought it came from Rubio, but didn't criticize it when it came from Obama.

      Now that's "political bias".

      It's the hypocrisy, dude. I actually don't give a shit what any politician says about cosmology.