Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) isn't qualified to answer a question about how old the earth is, he told GQ in a recent interview.
"I'm not a scientist, man. 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," Rubio told GQ's Michael Hainey. "I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think 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."
Rubio continued, refusing to take a stance on the planet's age, which scientists have long estimated at 4.54 billion years.
"Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that," he said. "It's one of the great mysteries."
Republicans have often been forced into an awkward balancing act when answering this question, having to take into account a large number of supporters who may take literally the biblical account that the earth's age is in the thousands of years.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) famously danced around the question last year, claiming that he didn't "have any idea" about the earth's age.
"I know it's pretty old," he said. "So it goes back a long, long way. I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is."
But Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) provided a more concrete answer on the question during an event earlier this year, happily stating his belief that the earth was only 9,000 years old.