Friday, July 02, 2010

Charles Johnson Takes Rand Paul to Task Over the Age of the Earth

Charles Johnson, the erstwhile conservative of Little Green Footballs, is concerned that Rand Paul doesn't know the age of the earth. Here is the video in question:

Very early in the video he is asked how old the earth is and responds that he is going to pass on the answer. Johnson writes:
Did he dodge the question because he’s a creationist and he knows that he shouldn’t reveal it for political reasons, or because he’s not a creationist and he knows he shouldn’t reveal it for political reasons? Either way, this is very sleazy behavior.

My opinion: I think he probably is a creationist, just like his father Ron Paul, because his world view matches the creationist world view in every respect.
I don't agree. I think that he may genuinely not know what the age of the earth is or is expressing some discomfort with the standard evangelical, young earth position. I think if he was truly a young earth creationist in regard to this question, he would have said so. He is not exactly in a hostile crowd. This is a collection of Home schoolers, the vast majority of whom are likely young earth creationists.

My wife and I home school our children because the quality of the public schools in our areas is rather suspect. I have been to home schooling curriculum fairs. It is lockstep anti-evolution, recent earth creationism as far as the eye can see. I have commented on my frustration with this here, here, and here (amongst other places).

In fact, I have no idea what Rand Paul thinks of the age of the earth (although I am inclined to write and ask him) but it is truly odd that he would dodge the question knowing that an affirmation of a young earth creation would resonate with the audience. The issues section of his senatorial race web page is conspicuously silent on this question, perhaps because he has seen what sort of hot water his fellow Republicans have gotten into. Although he supports home schooling, that does not say anything about his views on the age of the earth. I support home schooling also. We will see.

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  1. Jim, I'm a member of LGF (I'm Irenicum) and I agree with you. His lack of an answer in that venue and even considering he's running in Ky, is baffling. Being YEC wouldn't hurt him one bit. That's why I suspect he doesn't buy into it, but doesn't want to pay the political price. Still a weenie thing to do. I guess he's a typical pol after all.

  2. As I said over at Thoughts from Kansas, I agree with your take. The average voter who wants some scientific literacy when it comes to the age of the earth and the origin of species is more likely a Democrat, and therefore unlikely to vote for Paul. The Creation Museum is in his state, for crying out loud!

  3. Irenicum and AMW,
    I think you are both right about his reaction. I agree with you, AMW, that it was a weenie thing to do, although he must have known that the answer he gave would raise some eyebrows. In this day and age, that's really a damned if you do, damned if you don't question. The YEC movement has really raised the stakes in recent years and has become more prominent and powerful in certain circles. Consequently, the polarization has really increased. If he stands up and says he thinks the earth was created six thousand years ago, the media jumps all over him and paints him as yet another scientifically illiterate Republican (which he would be). He loses their vote if he says that the evangelical movement has bought into a lie (which they have). This way, he keeps 'em guessing—for awhile. He will have to answer the question, eventually.