WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A comment by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that Earth's age is "a dispute amongst theologians" has touched off new debate about whether the GOP is "anti-science."
Rubio, during an interview with GQ, was asked how old he thinks Earth is.
"I'm not a scientist, man," he said. "I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow."
Rubio said he wasn't qualified to answer the question but "there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all."
"I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says," he said. "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."
During an interview Tuesday on CNN, Jeb Bush Jr. -- son of Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- said the question was "strange" and Rubio's response was "kind of a head-scratching type of answer."
He said the Republican Party needs to be "a kind of pro-science and pro-technology party. And I think Marco Rubio is just that."
"The party's been pushed in this area of kind of anti-science and anti-technology and I don't think that's true. We're a young and dynamic party.
"But we also can't forget about our traditional values, things like faith and family," Bush said. "And Senator Rubio certainly represents that."