Ignorance as virtue

I came upon a blog post by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer about an unfortunate comment by aspiring presidential candidate Marco Rubio.

Rubio is a rising star in the Tea-Republican Party, a self-made son of Cuban immigrants who fled from Fidel Castro’s regime (oh wait, no they didn’t; he made that up) for a better life in America.  There is a whiff of a birther conspiracy because Rubio’s parents were not naturalized until after he was born.  I doubt it will amount to much unless he actually gets close to the brass ring of a nomination, and then it will first be used by one of his Republican rivals.

But my focus is not on his credentials, but on his character.  He is clearly unwilling to contradict TP dogma about creationism, and it is equally clear that he is smart and knows both the scientific (i.e. correct) answer and the Biblical literalist answer.  This is sad on so many levels.

There is a political party with significant influence over the GOP that denies the reality of science.  They have taken the concept of faith and turned it into a virtue of ignorance.  And they are lifting up as one of their standard bearers a man who lacks the strength of his convictions to either embrace or to reject their dogma.

And thus you have the spectacle of an educated man who understands the issue but is unwilling to face it, a man who furthermore is being embraced and uplifted by a constituency that he may (or may not!) agree with, and a man who has no problems accepting their approbations and donations and votes even as he dodges one of their pet issues.  In other words, he is using the TP and the conservative Cuban zeitgeist of Florida as a boost to political power.

One wonders if Marco Rubio actually, honestly, believes in anything except the need to dodge direct answers to direct questions.