U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is making headlines for an unusual reason.
Last month, he was widely mocked for saying he wasn't sure of the age of the Earth. On Wednesday, he assured the public that he does, in fact, know the Earth's age.
It's about 4.5 billion years old, he says, and more significantly, the 41-year-old Miami native doesn't think that fact is inconsistent with his Roman Catholic faith.
"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 Wednesday.
"I was referring to a theological debate."
Controversy ensued when Rubio said last month that the age of the Earth is "one of the great mysteries," telling GQ's Michael Hainey, "I'm not a scientist, man."
"I'm not a theologian either," he told Allen Wednesday.
"To the extent that there is any kind of debate about the age of the Earth scientifically, I'm not in any kind of position really to mediate that."
"But on the theological debate, the theological debate is how do you reconcile what science has established with what you may think your faith teaches."
He said he isn't conflicted about discrepancies between the two views.
In the Bible, God creates the universe in a seven-day period, and based on their interpretation of the text, many Christians believe it is only about 6,000 years old.
Rubio said it's possible to believe in both creationism and scientific proof that the Earth is much older. In fact, he deliberately sought to bridge the gap.
"Science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it," Rubio said. "The more science learns, the more I'm convinced that God is real."
His comment to GQ on the age of the Earth was controversial, in part, because of a debate over whether children should be taught creationism in school.
Rubio said he believes science should be taught in school, but parents also have the right to teach their children about the Bible's version of the Earth's creation.