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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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