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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In London, Rubio revisits less than 'artful' response to how old Earth is



Sen. Marco Rubio enjoyed a warm reception from the British news media during an overseas trip last week. In a series of interviews he talked about foreign policy and some of the other Republicans garnering presidential buzz. In the Sunday Times, he tried to draw a contrast with Chris Christie, saying that while state experience is good, "I also think there’s some value in having some federal experience, particularly on issues like foreign policy, which will always matter."

Rubio's careful side arose. The BBC asked him about a remark last year in which he refused to say how old the Earth is, adding "I'm not a scientist, man."  In the new interview, Rubio tries to address both sides:

“Maybe I didn’t give the most artful answer,” Rubio told the BBC. “But the truth is that science (says) the world is about 4. 5 billion years old. … And that’s not incompatible with what my faith teaches. My faith teaches that in the beginning, God created the universe, the heavens and the earth. When he created them, how he created them, science enlightens us in that regard. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the origins of our creation was not an accident. I don’t believe life is an accident. I don’t believe the universe was an accident. I think it was created by a divine being, by God, an all powerful God that created the entire universe. The good news is I live in a free society where I’m allowed to believe that. And some people are allowed to believe in something differently."

Interviewer: Except that they’re wrong if they think the world isn’t billions of years old.

Rubio: “The bottom line is … they can apply their faith teachings to whatever they want. And if in fact they decide what their faith teaches is incompatible with science, they have the freedom to believe that. I think a respect for other people's beliefs, that are not harmful to anybody else, allows us to respect that difference. But that being said, my personal opinion is that my faith is not incompatible with science. In fact the Catholic Church, which I am a member of, teaches that in fact science enlightens our faith and in many respects confirms the existence of God.”

Interviewer: “You would be American second Catholic president were you to run … Are you definitely running?"

Rubio: “Well, I’m not making that decision today or any time soon. We have a ways to go before we have to make a decision.”

[Last modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 5:01pm]


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