Marco Rubio knows how old the Earth is after all. The Florida Republican Senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate drew a heavy dose of mockery when he told GQ that the age of the Earth is "one of the great mysteries," and added "I'm not a scientist, man," and "there are multiple theories about how the Earth was created."
Now Rubio is backtracking. Kind of.
"There is no scientific debate on the age of the Earth, it's established pretty definitively, it's at least 4.5 billion years old," he told Politico's Mike Allen. Rubio didn't quite endorse the scientific consensus, preferring to qualify his own thoughts with the desire to cater to all possible opinions, mainly those of religious conservatives, in say, Iowa, whose votes he'll need to be a force in 2016's nominating contest (and yes, the next presidential election has effectively already started).
Some brief editorializing: Rubio is charismatic, as well as young and Hispanic, the two groups the GOP most needs to make inroads with. A lot of people would bet on him now to be the next GOP presidential nominee. All that said, this sort of flip-flopping makes him look like someone who wants to be all things to all people, an affliction that has felled presidential candidates from Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney on the right to John Kerry and Al Gore on the left. He has some time, but if he needs to be willing to say something that people will disagree with if he wants the votes of people that do agree with him.