Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a current U.S. senator representing Florida, was asked about the teaching of evolution yesterday. The question starts at about 55 seconds in the video.
Here is my rough transcript of the exchange:
Reporter: You mentioned education standards upstairs and your role in pushing for those as house speaker. Where are you at on evolution?
Rubio: It’s a scientific theory that should be taught. I think the kids should learn from their faith what their faith teaches and schools should teach them all the theories that are out there. Most faith-based schools do that. They teach all the theories that are out there. You want to know my personal belief. I don’t think they’re in conflict with my faith. […] Science can explain to us the biological processes by which life on earth developed but at the end of the day I believe God is the one that guided it.
Reporter: Should teachers have to point that out?
Rubio: At a faith based school they do. And non-faith based schools they can inform students and should be able to about the fact that there are other theories out there that exist as well. If you want to give them truly a rounded education you should explain to them that there is a theistic creationism that exists or theistic evolution theory that exists out there that the Catholic church has adopted. It teaches that science and faith are not incompatible.
[Updated to add:]
Rubio was much harsher on evolution back in 2008:
The “crux” of the disagreement, according Rubio, is “whether what a parent teaches their children at home should be mocked and derided and undone at the public school level. It goes to the fundamental core of who is ultimately, primarily responsible for the upbringing of children. Is it your public education system or is it your parents?”
Rubio added, “And for me, personally, I don’t want a school system that teaches kids that what they’re learning at home is wrong.”
Rubio, a Cuban-American, made a comparison to the strategy employed by the Communist Party in Cuba where schools encouraged children to turn in parents who criticized Fidel Castro.
“Of course, I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro,” he quickly added, while noting that undermining the family and the church were key means the Communist Party used to gain control in Cuba.
“In order to impose their totalitarian regime, they destroyed the family; they destroyed the faith links that existed in that society,” he said.