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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++++

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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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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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