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How old is the Earth?

The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

How do we know that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old?

Magic Science. tl;dr: A bunch of people who know a lot of stuff did all these studies, and reviewed the evidence, and did some other sciencey things, and then they came to this broad consensus, 4.5 billion years.

There are some people who believe that the Earth is only thousands of years old. Worse, they want you and your kids to believe it, too. Their evidence is based on reading a book, and counting up all the years it mentions, or implies. This is an example of what scientists call a “Double Blind” Study, in that it involves the blind leading the blind. These people are wrong. Flat the Earth wrong. Iraq will greet us as liberators wrong.

OK, fine. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, why should I care?

The age of the Earth (4.5 billion years), is one of the foundations of natural science. The development of our planet, from floating clouds of dust and gas into God’s Chosen Pincushion, is the story of geology, but also of chemistry, physics, and the atmospheric sciences. Let’s go to the newswire:

  • Climate Change? Climatology makes no sense without the long history of the Earth’s atmosphere. A vast majority of environmental scientists are very alarmed about this one.
  • Health Care? None of the biological sciences make any sense at all without evolution, a process that takes millions of years to play out. Almost all biologists agree that medical care is good for health.
  • The Iran Nuclear Deal? Nuclear weapons make no sense without decaying radioactive isotopes that take millions of years to form. Most nuclear scientists think the recently announced framework is a good one.

To understand any of these issues requires some basic familiarity with the established science behind them. Only raging morons would put someone unfamiliar with the most rudimentary tenets of an issue in charge of making decisions about that issue. (What? Really? The guy with the snowball is chair of the Environment Committee?) Only the majority party in both houses of congress would put someone unfamiliar with the most rudimentary tenets of an issue in charge of making decisions about that issue. But I repeat myself…

Luckily for us, there is this big election just around the corner. No not that corner, or that one. The one waaaaaaay down there, 19 months from now. If we here in the US of America would like to craft intelligent, thoughtful, and effective solutions to the problems we face (assumes facts not in evidence), then we need to elect people who can understand the science behind them. Or at least understand a summary of the science. Or at the very least accept the science. Or at the very, VERY least, accept that scientists behind the science are not a part of some corrupt global conspiracy to defraud the American Public with science lies.

So where do the 2016 Presidential Candidates stand on the age of the Earth?

Reply Hazy, Try Again.

*sigh* Where do the candidates stand on the age of the Earth?

No, really, the reply is hazy… With one notable exception, none of the current batch of candidates will say. Not just that they haven’t said, but they have actively refused to say anything, one way or the other. Let’s take a look at the views and the non-views and the complete evasion of views of our 2016 Presidential Hopefuls, announced or Jeb Bush:

  • Ted Cruz – Señor Cruz has never gone on record about the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years), or about evolution. Why could that be? Who knows (pandering to the base), but it leaves us no choice but to examine the evidence wildly speculate: his views on Climate Change are solidly in the science denier camp, his religious beliefs tend very much towards a literal interpretation of Genesis, he announced his candidacy at Liberty ‘University’, which is very clear about its Young Earth position. Wonkette Grade: Cruz may have earned a D- STEM rating, we feel he got points for avoiding questions. No answer: automatic F
  • Rand Paul – Dr. Paul is most famous for being Ron Paul’s son. But he is second most famous for dodging questions that he doesn’t like, often literally. So it should come as no surprise that he ducked this one, too: In June, 2010, Rand fielded a question on the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years). “I forgot to say I was only taking easy questions,” he said, “I’m gonna pass on the age of the Earth. I think I’m just gonna have to pass on that one.” Wonkette Grade: No answer: automatic F
  • Hillary Clinton – Secretary Clinton’s thoughts on the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years) were, unfortunately, contained in an email on her recently wiped server… JUST KIDDING! Unlike her email history, Hillz has been VERY transparent on her feels about science: “I believe in evolution, and I am shocked at some of the things that people in public life have been saying,” she told the New York Times. Additionally, she is on record saying that no form of Creationism should be taught in schools. Wonkette Grade: She didn’t say “4.5 billion years” but she did accept the expert consensus: A-
  • Marco Rubio – Who can forget Senator Rubio’s infamous 2012 response: I’m not a scientist, man? (Between you, me, and the wall, this and the water bottle incident have me thinking Marco and Shaggy are long lost twins. How does Rubio feel about Sccoby Snacks?) He went on, “Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.” (MYSTERIES???!?! SEE???!?) Actually, Senator, no. It has been answered, and the answer was not the old caretaker in a monster suit. It was 4.5 billion years. Wonkette Grade: No answer: automatic F
  • Jeb Bush – Jeb, brother of George, is something of an enigma when it comes to his positions on science. In 2005, when asked if he believed in evolution, Bush stated: “Yeah, but I don’t think it should actually be part of the curriculum, to be honest with you.” He also has this habit of placing Young Earthers and Creationists into education posts. He straddles the fence on Climate Change, too. He seems to straddle the fence on a lot of issues. Must like the way it tickles his balls. Wonkette Grade: His actions belie his milquetoast statements – D
  • Third Term Obama – Of course, this entire exercise is academic, because we all know that the pussy tyrant B. Hussein ObSama is going to start a nuclear war and seize a third, and permanent term in office. And since he is either: a) A Devout Muslim -or- b) The Anti-Christ, we know that he is a religious fundamentalist who believes the Earth to be only 6,000 years old. Wonkette Grade: Who are we kidding? We are totally in the tank for Obama, even after he enslaves us all – AAAAA++++

Whoa! Good thing there are more Republicans to enter the race, one of them will be the sane one, right?

Nope. Scott Walker? “Gonna have to punt on that one.” Bobby Jindal? “not an ‘evolutionary biologist’.” Ben Carson? Rick Santorum? Both Young Earthers.

So who should I vote for?

Vote for whoever you want, but take the pledge to only vote for a candidate that knows the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years).

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  • Msgr_Moment


    The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

    Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • MsAnthropesMr

    GOP Talking Point

    “The only reason that Hitlery knows the age of the earth, is because she was there when it happened.”

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      We all were. In somewhat different form.

      Try that one on your GOPer acquaintances.

      • willi0000000

        except the parts of us that arrived late on asteroids and comets.

        • SterWonk

          Touché

  • MsAnthropesMr

    I guess it isn’t “Survival of the Smartest”.

    • Blank Ron

      It’s the GOP. Intelligence doesn’t make you fit to run for President, but swallowing and regurgitating teavangelical bullshit does. Too bad for them that the tiny island ecosystem they inhabit means they don’t adapt well to the one the rest of us live in.
      (And you can take the analogy even further – that’s why they keep trying to change OURS to be like THEIRS…)

  • I’m on record as not believing in evolution. I accept the fact of evolution, there is no belief required.

    • Msgr_Moment

      The GOP Klown Kar Kontestants have yet to evolve.

    • Blank Ron

      To interject some apropos Sir Pterry, ‘It would be like believing in the postman.’

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Republicans are going to have a problem with the “Hillary is old as dirt” meme– is 6,000 years old enough, or do they go for the whole 4.5 billion?

    • Virginia Dreaming

      Hillary may be old as dirt, but the republicans are dumb as dirt.

      • Lizzietish81

        Dirt libel!

        Btw, dirt, as in the organic layer that covers most of the surface is less than half a billion years old, as it couldn’t form until surface dwelling life forms appeared, namely plants, during the Silurian period.

        • Virginia Dreaming

          I’ve always been a little amused when conservatives talk about pioneers (or the pioneer spirit) being true americana, but the original pioneers were lichens. A community of algae and fungi living together in a mutually beneficial form. Kind of like communism? [img]http://i.imgur.com/Y1z0srr.jpg[/img]

          • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

            Rhizocarpon geographicum libelz!

          • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

            ^^^ Consider yourself a Nerd First Class if you didn’t have to look this one up.

        • Steverino247

          Fucking Silurians…

          • AnOuthouse

            and their periods.

          • Steverino247

            Just. EWWWWWW.

          • SterWonk

            I’m not sure Vastra menstruates.

          • SterWonk

            Since they’re married, presumably Jenny does that.

  • Lizzietish81

    Truly we are the embarrassment of the developed world

    • Blank Ron

      Remember when that wasn’t true?

      … egad, I AM old…

      • Lizzietish81

        Nah, I was born in 81, the Reagan era.

        • Blank Ron

          I’m sorry to hear that. Have you had it treated yet?

  • TeenLaQueefa

    Heck, even crazy ol’ televangelist Pat Robertson believes it’s old.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sKIymtsOAc

    Get on the stick fools.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      See, the stories in the bible are meant to be allegorical. But the rest is true!

    • CalvinianChoice

      Well he WAS there when the earth was formed (with Bill O’Reilly).

      • jmk

        That reminds me of Jon Stewart’s description of a Senate vote in which “Strom Thurmond, ears still ringing from the Big Bang, voted no.”

  • Wonkaholic

    I was told there would be no math.

    • TeenLaQueefa

      There is no math. It’s just numbers, all the way down!

    • Bill Slider

      And no tests.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    Evolution should not be in the curriculum? That is like trying to teach literature while ignoring Shakespeare and Austen.

    • AnOuthouse

      Austen should be ignored.

      • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

        I managed to.

      • Virginia Dreaming

        Nah, she has some good, snarky things to say about Victorian culture that still apply to a lot of conservative bullshit from today.

        • vivian

          I thought you meant Powers.

    • say wha

      Literature? You mean the Bibble, right?

  • chascates

    Science = Sharia.

    • JustPixelz

      Math = al Gebra

  • Tallmutha

    The earth is only as old as it feels.

    • Steverino247

      The Earth is only as old as the woman it feels.

      • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

        The earth is only pretty as it feels.

        • AnOuthouse

          Feeling pretty. Feeling pretty.

          • Smibo

            So, World, don’t hang yourself up, on no plastic race.

        • Steverino247

          And seriously, it’s a beautiful place. Let’s not fuck it up.

          • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

            Too late…

          • Steverino247

            Not really. It’s still morning.

  • Lizzietish81

    Shouldn’t get your info from Jacobs

    https://youtu.be/8dapalh7BjM?t=22

  • JustPixelz

    But tax cuts create jobs. That’s just science.

    • Virginia Dreaming

      The only jobs that tax cuts create are seats in the senate and house.

  • schmannity

    4.5 billion is the new 6000.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      They counted years different in the bible days.

      • SecludedCompound

        This is literally what some evangelists have told me. Like this is literally their explanation for Carbon-14 dating not supporting them. They’re really, really fucking stupid.

      • guppy06

        Yes, because they were Jewish.

  • SigDeFlyinMonky

    The solution is simple. Just need moar “begats” in the special book and poof! No controversy!

    • vivian

      I think you have something there. The Editor said “43,000 pages of begats? Nobody’s gonna read this! Let’s cut it down. Wayyy down. Just give me some highlights, alright? I mean, we want people to read this, let alone the production costs.”

  • eggsacklywright

    How old earf?

    Old earf fine. How you?

    • Vecciojohn

      Cary?

      • eggsacklywright

        S. J. Perelman. I steal from the best.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    Or as Meghan McCain would say, I don’t know, I wasn’t born yet!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0BnS1wGTgs

  • Spotts1701

    “Science lies, man. But this old book that was written and rewritten multiple times over the last few centuries tells the hard truth.” – GOP

  • Oblios_Cap

    They choose to believe a bunch of old Semites whose god couldn’t keep them form being scattered to the 4 corners of the Earth. After commanding them to slaughter the inhabitants and taking the land of people who were already there. Sort of what is going on today, based on the land the book they wrote deeded to them.

  • dsmith

    Oh yeah, 4.5 billion years old. How did this happen? Huh?

    • Lizzietish81

      Gravity

      • JustPixelz

        I blame gravity (not the toaster) for my weight.

        • Virginia Dreaming

          I blame Ben and Jerry.

          • Lizzietish81

            I wish I knew how to quit you!

        • Blank Ron

          I blame the Higgs boson. Anyone know how to get rid of those things?

          • Mehmeisterjr

            Vaccine?

        • vivian

          Depends on who’s being toasted. I raise my glass to you Dr. Gravity.

      • Ricky Gay

        Hey, that’s me!

        • Blank Ron

          Really? What did ya name the li’l rascal?

          • Ricky Gay

            Velocirapture

          • Blank Ron

            *golf clap*

      • Meccalopolis

        gravity is just a theoryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

        • Amy!

          Screamed, while falling from the steeple.

        • Latverian Diplomat

          Intelligent Falling is also a viable theory. Teach the controversy!

      • guppy06

        http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2376

        Honorable mention for mouseover text:

        https://xkcd.com/1489/

    • geoffalnutt

      That’s an incredible photo! I didn’t realize they had cameras back then! Nice and clear.

      • vivian

        You haven’t seen all of Jeebus’s selfies? “Here’s me on the cross! Check it Dad! No pain, no 2000 year empire!”

    • beatbort

      Nice. Mel Gibson with a lizard. Is this from his new film, Lethal Weapon 18?

    • Biff52

      ‘shopped, obvs…

  • dslindc

    I am also too not a scientist and I took a pledge not to take any pledges, but since the age of the Earth is but one of a very, very, very long list of things the GOP candidates don’t know, I feel ok about voting.

  • geoffalnutt

    Remember: The Flintstones was a documentary. Jesus was raised by a pack (herd, pod, gaggle) of wild Tyrannosaurus-rex…eses (which explains a lot). And stuff. Praise The Lard.

    • Boscoe

      No, no that’s just liberal propaganda. REAL scientists know that the dinosaurs were tricked by Satan into becoming his army which he used to attack The Ark. THAT’S why none of them survived the flood. OBVIOUSLY.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs5wmRsnE2E

      • nightmoth

        Cute comic—don’t let it fall into the wrong hands. The home-schooled evangelical kids next door have informed me that the reason there are no more dinosaurs is that they were too big for Noah to get them on the Ark. At least there’s a certain internal logic to their idea.

  • MrBlobfish

    What’s that in dog years?

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      You’ll need an expert. Ask Phyllis Schlafly.

    • weejee

      6000.287 human-yrs ÷ 7 dog-yrs/human = 857.184 dog-yrs, as of today.

      Happy IRS day all.

  • Steverino247

    Can we please stop with the “believe in evolution” bullshit? Asking if you believe in evolution is like taking your baseball club to a game at the hockey arena. You’re playing in the wrong venue. Science deals with facts. Religion deals with beliefs. And as we all know beliefs keep you from getting pizza delivered to your gay wedding.

    • Vecciojohn

      I have a sincerely held religious believe that it is a fact that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Now step onto the mound and throw that puck.

      • Steverino247

        There’s a tradition I’d like to see started. Throwing out the first puck.

        • fka_donnie_d

          Yeah? Well, puck you, pal!

    • Bill Slider

      If you want me to attend your gay wedding, and bring a gift, you have to go more upscale than pizza.

    • SecludedCompound

      I had the same exact reaction on this. I wish people could say “Yeah, I agree with the scientific consensus on x,” without turning people off. Belief implies faith instead of evidence.

      • Blank Ron

        That’s sort of their point. Belief and faith are all they have to offer, so everything must be reduced to that level. Facts are irrelevant.

    • CripesAmighty

      Well, if you drop a stone from a tree, hear a *thunk* a moment later, and can therefore conclude a bear shit in the woods, you are a believer. It’s logic.

  • JustPixelz

    God strictly follows the laws of physics and probability. He/She is powerless to do otherwise.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Interesting discourse, where physics meets determinism.

      • weejee

        And the transfer of momentum didn’t end with the Scopes Trial.

  • smashedinhat

    It’s not definitive but for “A Short History Of Everything” one could check out Bill Bryson. I keep it by the toilet, right next to the launch codes.

    • weejee

      My cuz, trail name Old Drum, is on his second Bryson-inspired AT adventure. This time he’s hiking with his bride, I wanna Sherpa.

      • Vecciojohn

        Sherpa? I hardly new her.

        • eggsacklywright

          I miss your sparkling rallies with Anne Boleyn’s head.

          • I hear someone’s head recently got her Disqus account sorted…

          • Blank Ron

            Yay!

          • Vecciojohn

            Mais ou sont les tetes coupees d’antan?

  • Ricky Gay

    not so Shy now are we?!

  • JustPixelz

    Kinda weird the wing nuts believe Obama’s birth certificate is fake but Earth’s “birth certificate” — aka The Bible — is inerrant.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Well, have they done potassium/argon dating of his birf certificate, henggg?

      If not, why not?

      Also too, were you there?

      • Hardly Ideal

        To borrow from S.G. Collins, I didn’t walk on the moon myself, and neither did you.

        I know, “were you there” is a shitty argument that shouldn’t be taken seriously, but it still burns my ass.

  • calliecallie

    I hated earth science. That teacher was mean and had a Boston accent we used to giggle about while staying after school to earn extra credit so as not to flunk his class. I accept the science of earth being 4.5 billion years old, but I think I was brainwashed by that teacher. Just saying.

    • AnOuthouse

      earth science? I have fond memories of checking the barometer in the class room every day. But that’s about it.

    • Hardly Ideal

      These GOP “candidates” could use a brainwashing, seeing as their minds are apparently full of shit.

  • AnOuthouse

    “Its old. Google it.”
    – me, if I was running for Preznit.

  • Grokenstein

    Meanwhile, I find myself arguing once again with the ABC (Anybody But Clinton) Purity Politics crowd* on our side of the aisle, which keeps chanting “America can do better!” but can’t seem to offer a real-life ooh-shiny alternative for consideration/scrutiny because Warren has refused, and won’t say what they’ll do if Hillary gets the nomination. …No, wait, the last jackass proudly stated he’d probably stay home on election day, which kinda put the lie to his professed deep, serious concern about America doing better.

    *Vote Nader Alternative/Spirit Animal 2016! Because Not Winning Frees You of Responsibility!

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Pretty much.

    • weejee

      The last time I did that was in 1976. I was a Mo Udall supporter in the D’Rat primary and voted for Eugene McCarthy instead of Carter or Ford. Did vote for Carter in 1980, because Saint Ronbo. Now think of Carter as my favorite living ex-prez, as he’s done a lot besides golf or paint selfies in the shower.

      Warren/2016 (primary only)

      • SecludedCompound

        Exactly.

    • Vecciojohn

      Vote Nadar, because there is absolutely no difference between Hillary Clinton and Jeb because they both take money from corporations. The end.

      Edit: Full disclosure. I voted for John Anderson in 1980. I can only say in my own defense that I was doing a lot of drugs at the time.

      • Bill Slider

        I disagree. They both accept corporate money as the system is rigged to fail if they do not. Hillary, however, would appoint very different thinkers than would Jeb Bush. She will not appoint Bible thumpers, racists, homophobes, or anyone who thinks that all are equal, but some are more equal than others. Hillary’s agenda and Jeb’s agenda are vastly different. Moreover, she can, and will, bake those cakes that we like.

      • anniegetyerfun

        I had dinner with him in 1997. Nice guy.

    • Hardly Ideal

      If you can’t bring yourself to vote for someone, you can sure as hell vote against someone. “Anybody but Clinton?” I’d settle for anyone but Jeb.

      • dshwa

        Also known as Kerrying.

      • Blank Ron

        That’s how we do it Up Here. Harper only got in because everyone was fed up with Chrétien and his trained seal Martin, and figured that the clowns who succeeded him weren’t any good either.

  • Me not sure

    I’d like “Ignorant Cocksuckers ” for $500, Alex.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      You’re in luck! We happen to have some!

      • But not at that price…

        • Virginia Dreaming

          Besides, you have to save your monies for the large libel settlement you will have to pay soon ;-)

        • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

          Plenty of the $0.25 variety…

        • anniegetyerfun

          How much in Ameros? Bitcoins? Whore diamonds?

    • vivian

      you left out “Moneygrubbing”

      • Me not sure

        That’s the Daily Double.

  • beatbort

    I’m not a scientist, but I do know that the current crop of Republican candidates for the presidency would be “held back” at my son’s middle school.

  • willi0000000

    Shy, you missed the perfect alt-txt.

    [something about those cakes we like]

  • Vecciojohn

    I’m not a scientist, but I have sense enough to listen to them about science. Me for President.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      You’ll never get past the Republican primaries with that attitude.

      • Boscoe

        Republicans DO seem to have a thing about only accepting advice from the LEAST knowledgeable source, don’t they?

        • vivian

          DeTocqueville

  • The world came into being when I was born, in 1953.

    • Boscoe

      Blasphemer. I’m positive nothing existed before 1965…

      • Querolous

        1949!!!!!

        • vivian

          The world is still in the process of being called into being. It’s our job to do the calling. It starts now. Or tomorrow ‘cuz I have a lot of shit to do tonight.

  • nightmoth

    Snark off, because my Dad believed in God, was a “Do what Jesus said do” kind of Christian and also loved science. He taught high school physics early in his career. As a result, I’ve never gotten why evangelicals are so anti-science. It’s like they’ve got god in a little box and won’t let him/her out to be big. Because it’s all Really Big—really, really big–life, the universe and everything, so why can’t their beliefs about GOD at least flirt with the immensity of time and space?

    • SterWonk

      Palmer, you think if I haven’t had your religious experience I can’t appreciate the magnificence of your god. But it’s just the opposite. I listen to you, and I think. His god is too small! One paltry planet, a few thousand years–hardly worth the attention of a minor deity, much less the Creator of the universe.

      Eleanor Arroway, Ph.D. – Contact; Carl Sagan

      You know, as the Earth races around the Sun, the powers of this world–the religious powers, the secular powers– once pretended the Earth wasn’t moving at all. They were in the business of being powerful. Or at least pretending to be powerful And the truth made them feel too small. The truth frightened them; it undermined their power. So they suppressed it. Those people found the truth dangerous.

      ibid

      • SuspectedDemocrat

        Of course for the film, dialogue from the novel had to be tweaked a bit to fit the movie narrative format:

        Dr Arroway: Hey hunky preacher, your hot bod makes me believe in god!

        Palmer Joss: Alright alright alright…

        • SterWonk

          I wasn’t in love w/ turning Palmer into a love interest in the film, but it wasn’t anywhere near that bad. :-)

          Contact is one of those rare cases where the book and the movie are very different, but are both excellent.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      The Jesus story is the answer to the fall of humanity in Genesis. This makes the Genesis story very important theologically. Without the fall, we are sinful because that was how we always were, so why the punishment for that requiring a Redeemer sized get out of jail free card?

      If you are a literalist, this means evolution and an old Earth are nonstarters.

      If you are not, and think the Bible can be chalked up to whatever combination of metaphor, allegory, and human fallibility your denomination accepts, evolution still makes the Fall problematic. There were never two progenitors who chose to bring sin into the world. Even the most liberal denominations do some theological tap dancing on this problem.

      • vivian

        I’ve long had a soft spot for the “Expulsion from Eden = Fall up to Consciousness” that Heidegger posited. Or, in simpler words, we all grow up. And in growing up we experience the conflicts that consciousness provides. It’s called adulthood and I wish that more people would embrace it.

    • SecludedCompound

      I mean, I honestly think it’s because today’s evangelicals are driven by fear and reaction, not by the older, deep seated (what old folks called abiding, like the Dude) kind of religion. I’m not religious at all, but I have respect for those that have that kind of faith, even if I think it’s pointless in a factual sense. Most of these people I’ve met have no qualms with science, like you say. Seems like they’re few and far between now, though, mostly part of the older generation that’s slipped away.

      This new religion has more to do with being angry at the changes that happened in the sixties. I Honestly feel like it’s religious in name and the symbols it uses only. It’s a deeply political existential and psychological hurt that these people are expressing, and they want to make sure others feel it too. It’s psychopathy.

    • Blank Ron

      That’s something I noted some time ago. They can’t handle the immensity of the cosmos. They can’t handle the concept of Deep Time. They REALLY can’t handle the idea of a God that (by definition) is so vast that it can encompass this immensity. So they do everything they can to bring it all down to their size, and make it small and mean and selfish, just like them.
      And I wonder if what drives them at times is resentment, that there’s people who can look 13 billion light years into space, and back 13 billion years into the past, and see God there instead of being terrified. They’d deserve pity if they weren’t so bloody destructive…

    • essbird

      Corporatists behind the Republican Party deliberately used the characteristics of fundamentalism to harness a vast swath of the public to vote Republican – exactly as they did with the Southern Strategy and blue collar workers (see the Hard Hat Riots). They used charismatic preachers like Billy Graham, and culminated in Falwell, Robertson, and other modern Men of God to teach that government is bad, “personal liberty” is at risk all the time, only Christians can be allowed to run stuff. and God is determined to punish America all the time. Convince the rubes that the biggest threats are gays, gun-grabbers, feminazis, and Happy Holidays-sayers.- and Republicans are the only defense they have. That way, the oligarchs can deregulate, de-tax themselves, pollute, burn up all the oil and coal, get us to fight any war they want, and ensure they get to keep all the muneez.

    • nightmoth

      Thanks, everyone, for the interesting discussion. It looks like I have to go read “Contact” since I only saw the movie. The quotes made me remember a thing Carl Sagan said in some obscure interview: “Life wants to be born.” Which, when you think about it, is a pretty darn mystical statement.

  • Guest

    How old is the Earth? As old as it needs to be.

  • Bill Slider

    I take the pledge. I will vote for whomever admits that scientists, collectively, are smart enough to determine correctly, the age of planet Earth. Once they determine that age, they accept that as factual, and move on from there. I, too, accept that as fact, based on current scientific evidence, and analysis. Or, as someone once said, that, that is, is; that, that is not, is not. Based on current scientific knowledge, the age of the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
    Next question.

  • Callyson

    there is this big election just around the corner. No not that corner, or that one. The one waaaaaaay down there, 19 months from now

    Oh, Jesus, I don’t know if I’ve got the strength to last nineteen months…

  • Biff52

    I’m not a scientist in the same manner that I’m not a musician. I studied science, I studied music, I’m just not that good at them…

  • Rick Hill

    Hey, I’m in the tank for Obama even if he hadn’t promised me I could run FEMA re-edumication camp #514. I’m going to enjoy being boss of the stupid facks whose stupid drivel I’ve had t listen to for all these years. Cool uniform too, gay ‘Bamz had it modeled on the SS’s.

    • nightmoth

      Naughty boy—love your avatar!

      • Rick Hill

        See me in my office after chow, the guards have been told to stand down.

  • elpinche

    Again, as in the previous post, my wiener wolf theory applies here as well.

  • MOG253

    It’s fascinating when you think about it. You have to pass a driver’s license test to get a driver’s license but you don’t have to do anything but round up a lot of money to be President. Let’s require rigorous testing to be a candidate. So we’ll start with biology.

    • Boscoe

      …and then the religioionistas will say biology is an “belief”, therefore the constitution precludes it as a “religious test.”

      -And then they’ll disband all the committees on science, since the separation of church and state (that they don’t believe in) precludes the govt. allowing science to happen.

    • Redgyal

      And you need a valid ID to vote for that president

      • dshwa

        There’s legitimate reasons for people not to have a valid ID. There’s no legitimate reason to deny science.

        • Redgyal

          I really need to retake that Wonkette sarcasm course.

          • dshwa

            Nah, I’m not really awake today and just missed it.

    • guppy06

      Think of it like owning a gun.

  • SterWonk

    @Shypixel – the “4.5 billion years old” link is broken.

    • Thanks! Fixed now, maybe…

      • SterWonk

        Yup, fixed. Thanks!

  • kindness

    You know who else liked his balls tickled?

    • anniegetyerfun

      Hugh Grant?

    • SK

      I thought I was the only one. Now I feel a lot more secure.

    • Alan Williams

      Tickled balls are awesome; having something else—that’s real important—ripped right out by riding a fence, not so much.

  • JD Mulvey

    Age is just a number.

    • Boscoe

      So is math.

    • guppy06

      The judge didn’t agree.

  • anniegetyerfun

    I will wait to see what Carly has to say on the topic.

    • Boscoe

      She’ll say it SHOULD have been 4.5 billion, but due to mismanagement it is only 6,000.

  • Blueb4sunrise

    I’m afraid that if I read too many Shypixel posts, I’ll end-up pregnant.
    Also, is that demon weed covering the entire land surface of the Earth?

    • Zippy

      those demon sheep have to graze somewhere

      • Mehmeisterjr

        How prescient ot J. S. Bach to have written “Demon Sheep May Safely Graze.”

    • guppy06

      Just make sure you’re not reading this on “an iPad” you have mounted on the ceiling of your bedroom and you should be OK.

  • IowaDave

    When I was in college, it was 4 billion. Either they have better info now, or I’m way older than I thought.

    • Hardly Ideal

      To borrow from John Oliver, I’ve been on this planet for 30 years, and 2 elsewhere.

    • expipiplus1

      4.5 BY is the age of the oldest terrestrial rock we have found so far. We’ve found meteorites that are about 100MY older, so there’s still a chance it will go up.

  • WERE YOU THERE?! No? Well, then QEDGodDidIt!

    • SK

      Yes, I was there.

  • TheBidenator

    Yes, according to wingnuts we need a strong leader, the kind who’ll evade answering any question that MIGHT upset the religious right. A real tough guy who’s completely unwilling to go against his base unlike that pussy on-record science acceptor Barack ‘Pussain’ Obama or vaginal ‘Merican Hillary “I already have a pussy, thank you” Clinton.

    Fucking cowardly pants shitting imbeciles…

    • expipiplus1

      Agreed. This post describes a straightforward way to identify leadership qualities or the lack thereof. Some of these people are not so stupid as to actually believe the conservative lunacy. However, they are so weak that they behave stupidly because some tiny fraction of the electorate might be annoyed. The alternative is they really are that stupid, another form of weakness. Either disqualifies them for the role of a leader. Our global competitors are probably rubbing their hands with glee as they watch the Republican disaster. The Democratic party could get some mileage out of this line of attack in 2016.

  • AmyHerrmann

    It’s terrifying that vast swaths of the unwashed masses would place any of these men in the Oval Office. There is no debate on this. I don’t know where Bush is getting his theology from. Catholics have no problem with science, except reproductive or stem cells, of course, not that I agree with that personally. I don’t. We have no problems with evolution and even believe in climate change. Shocking, I know. Even the super-de-duper no contraceptives ever, Latin Mass going conservative Catholics have no problem with evolution.

  • Lefty Frizzell

    The degrees to which this article is in subject necessary, quotes laughable and conclusions sad, make me cry, laugh and cry. America, the greatest state that ever was, throwing itself down the toilet with proud, defiant ignorance.

    Dan Price does make up slightly for this tsunami of stupid – well done That Man!!

  • Blank Ron

    I thought it was 4.3 billion, not 4.5 billion, so I guess I shouldn’t run for POTUS. That, and not being an American.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      You mean to tell me you were born in Hawaii?

      • Blank Ron

        Good day, eh? Aloha!

    • Boscoe

      You have photoshop, don’t you?

      • Blank Ron

        Yes, but I’m having trouble translating my Quebec birth certificate. Especially where it says ‘putain Anglo’

  • Alan Williams

    And, well, it’s come to this. A whole year and a half of total execrable bullshit as GOPers (mostly) dodge (lest they burn) questions of science—that would include the most basic question of all: do you even believe in science?

    • teddy21

      I hope so. I hope the media pounds their asses (not literally) on this. Don’t let them off the hook. Simple answer to a simple question. Do you believe the earth and the heavens were made in 7 days? Do you believe the earth is only a few thousand years old? Make them own it. And if it takes the full 19 months for them to dodge it or fess up to either intelligence or ignorance, so be it.

      • kfreed

        Another simple question recently incorporated into our local candidate survey: Views on Separation of Church and State.

        Tea Party/GOP is unanimous in its willful misrepresentation of the First Amendment, claiming church/state separation is a liberal “myth.”

  • ThePuckStopsHere

    I’ve never been able to understand why you can’t believe in both God and evolution if you want to. I dunno. Maybe Genesis was a parable or an allegory or some other literary device the details of which I am clearly not clear on. But I, like most people, stopped thinking creation actually went down the way it said it did in the Bible at about the same time I stopped thinking Santa Claus was the one bringing the presents. On the other hand, until we can breath life into amino acids or some other of the building blocks of life and turn an inanimate object into something that is alive, Imma gonna say that-the breathing of the life into it thing-was the part of creation that came from God and that evolution was the mechanism he used to get us from the primordial swamp to where we are today. I’d say it was some sort of, I don’t know, intelligent design were it not for the abject lack of intelligence I see out there every fucking day.

    • pauleky

      So, if something can’t immediately be proven, you jump immediately to the supernatural. Seems legit. I’ll take “I don’t know” over “Jay-sus did it” any day.

  • Squirrels05

    Jeb also does not believe a human can be brain dead, either.

    He isn’t a doctor, see?

  • roooth

    The GOP has become so unamerican that they do not have a single candidate that is not either a theocrat, as this article points out, or a secessionist, or both. Which means they cannot uphold the Constitution. The GOP has gone so far over the cliff in their extremism that they are oblivious to this. They do not even comprehend that theocracy and secession are not options under our system of government – they are either in denial about that fact, or trying to use Orwellian tricks to twist the Constitution into whatever they want.

  • Guest

    Aliens created the universe with crayons and yellow paper tablets. That’s why there are Republicans.

    • JerseyJosie

      The universe was created by one of the lesser Greek gods when he was in middle-school for a science fair project on cosmic inflation. It got an A, but once it was done, he abandoned it; A few years later, he discovered girls, and hasn’t been seen since.

      Everybody knows that.

  • kfreed

    I pledge never to assist in any way, shape, or form the election of Republican flat earthers. So help me Dog. I vote. Every. Single.Time. Every. Single. Election… From the office of President all the way down to dog catcher. I have a freakin’ conscience.

    Will that suffice?

  • sirjonk

    Marco Rubio, on the simple and straightforward question of whether the Earth is a few billion years old, or merely a few thousand: “I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that…I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.” -Esquire Magazine, December 2012

    Marco Rubio, on the complex medical, scientific,religious, philosophical, legal and metaphysical question of when human life begins: “It is simple. It’s straightforward…I think the science is clear that when there is conception, that is a human life in the early stages of its total development and it is worthy of the protection of our laws.” CNN, August 7, 2015

  • MittRomneys

    JESUS CHRIST TOLD ME THE OTHER DAY THAT TED CRUZ AND DR BEN CARSON ARE SERIAL PEDOPHILE AND NOT TO VOTE FOR THEM..JESUS CANNOT STAND TED CRUZ OR CARSON..

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