Perry answers question about evolution and the age of the Earth

Chris Moody
August 18, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry fielded a few questions from a child in New Hampshire about evolution Thursday--a topic the outspoken Christian governor was sure to encounter on the campaign trail sooner or later.

"How old do you think the Earth is?" the child asked, who was being coached by his mother behind him for each question.

"How old do I think the earth is? You know what? I don't have any idea," Perry responded. "I know it's pretty old. So it goes back a long, long way. I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is."

Meanwhile, the mother whispered to her son to ask about evolution.

"I hear your mom was asking about evolution and, you know, it's a theory that's out there," Perry said. "It's got some gaps in it, but in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

There is little, if any, disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is about 4.5-6 billion years old and that evolution is responsible for the range of species on the planet today.

Perry walked away before the kid could ask his mom's next question, "Why don't you believe in science?"

Just hours after the exchange, fellow presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman took to Twitter with his own answer: "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming," he said. "Call me crazy."

ABC News has the video after the jump: