YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONIST DRAWS SOME ATTENTION…. Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen (R) probably didn’t realize she was about to generate quite a bit of attention for herself. Two weeks ago, during a discussion on allowing uranium mining north of the Grand Canyon, Allen expressed support for mining in an unexpected way.

“(The Earth) has been here 6,000 years, long before anybody had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with,” Allen said.

It’s one thing to know that young-earth creationists are out there; it’s another to hear a policymaker casually make the argument while exploring environmental policy.

The estimable Phil Plait noted, “It’s not that she says the Earth is 6000 years old — twice, just to make sure — that floors me. It’s the casual way she said it, as if she said ‘I had a cup of coffee today.’ From her manner, it’s clear that not only does she believe this complete and utter nonsense, but this is a simple fact woven into her mind just like the Sun is bright or chocolate is tasty…. The irony, of course — and there’s always irony when creationism is involved — is that she’s talking about uranium mining, and it’s through the radioactive decay of uranium that we know the Earth is billions of years old.”

I’d hoped that Allen had somehow been taken out of context, or perhaps she’d been kidding, making a joke about a previous comment that we didn’t see.

Alas, the Arizona Republic did an item on the hullabaloo the other day, and Allen didn’t deny a thing. She said she’s “totally ignored” the mockery, adding, “I think people are welcome to believe whatever they want about how old the Earth is.”

If recent history is any guide, Allen will no doubt be elected to Congress, where House Republicans will position her to someday become the ranking member on the House Energy Committee.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.