Who knows?


Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

Ask the average guy about the age of the Earth, and he will likely say:

“Isn’t it like really, really old?”

Or, “I don’t know.”

That’s because the age of the Earth is one of those factoids most of us learned long ago in junior high science class and promptly forgot.

But politicians are genetically incapable of saying, “I don’t know.”

Instead, they have a built-in defense mechanism when asked questions they can’t answer. They spray the very atmosphere around them with excessive verbosity in the hope that the questioner will eventually

a) wander off dazed and confused, or

b) starve to death.

So when Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was asked about the age of the Earth by a GQ interviewer, he naturally went into full spray mode.

“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 ...” (Yada, yada, yada.)

“At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created ...” (Spray, spray, spray.)

“Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.” (Say, pal, isn’t it about time for lunch?)

It was, of course, a “Gotcha” question. The object being to see if Marco — routinely described by the lamestream media as the “crown prince of the tea party movement” — would give a geological or biblical answer.

And having fallen into GQ’s trap, Rubio is being duly roasted by the liberal blogosphere.

“Rubio probably figured that ... Republicans have no truck with geologists, and so there was no advantage to stating clearly that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old,” sniffed New York Times blogger Juliet Lapidos.

Or maybe he just didn’t know the answer.

I say this because the first time I met Rubio, he was incoming speaker of the Florida House and had popped into The Sun for an editorial board visit.

At which time he proudly handed us copies of his new book of ideas about how to make Florida a better place.

The book was filled with blank pages.

Rubio cheerfully admitted that he didn’t have all the answers. So he was going to travel around the state and fill his blank book with the ideas of average, everyday common-sense Floridians.

The sort of Floridians who, if asked the age of the Earth by a GQ interviewer, would have the common sense to say, “I don’t know.”

In hindsight, Rubio probably should have skipped the spray job and deflected the question with a diversionary tactic.

For instance, he could have said: “Don’t ask me, I went to the University of Florida ...

“... and, how ’bout them Gators!”

Thereby immediately changing the subject to football, which liberal bloggers don’t understand.

Granted, that might have led to questions about the quality of the education young Marco received here.

Ironically, had Rubio played football while attending UF, the Athletic Department would have enrolled him in “Rocks for Jocks.”

And he would have been able to answer the question.

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