Sen. Marco Rubio caused a stir last month when he avoided saying how old he believes the Earth to be, telling an interviewer: “I’m not a scientist, man!” The evasive response appeared to be an effort by the Florida Republican, seen as a potential 2016 presidential contender, to avoid alienating fundamentalist Christians.
But now Rubio is backtracking—though he’s not admitting error. Asked about the episode by Politico’s Mike Allen, Rubio responded:
The answer I gave was actually trying to make the same point the President made a few years ago, and that is, there is no scientific debate on the age of the Earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively as at least four and a half billion years old. I was referring to a theological debate, and which is a pretty healthy debate.
Just a theological debate, you see.