Young Earth creationist neurosurgeon (a phrase that gives me chills to write) Dr. Ben Carson keeps getting farther and farther out. Here he is on a fanatical religious right webcast, comparing legal abortion to human sacrifice. Carson thinks we have no right to criticize ancient civilizations like the Aztecs, when we’re doing the exact same thing.
Carson is a shoo-in for the GOP presidential nomination. This is where the Republican Party has ended up.
Never let it be said that young Earth creationist neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t know how to compromise. Just yesterday, he explained on a Newsmax TV show his idea for a grand compromise on gay marriage, and it’s amazingly simple: gay people should not be allowed to get married.
This man is a compromisin’ fool. Get him into the White House right away!
In this interview with Alan Colmes from earlier this week, Dr. Ben Carson does the birther two step, saying that while he does believe President Obama was born in Hawaii, it is also reasonable for people to be suspicious about his background. To support his argument, he brings up the old canard about his college records:
Colmes: For example, I never heard of a president before questioned about his birth certificate, being treated as if he was a foreign, “not one of us,” “he’s a secret Muslim;” doesn’t that arise out of some sort of soft bigotry?
Carson: Well, I would say that the best way to put that to rest is expose everything, including your academic records. Let us know, you know, where did you apply - when you applied to Columbia, from where were you applying?
Colmes: - at Occidental. But he’s released both versions of a birth certificate, and that wasn’t even enough for those who kept criticizing him for not releasing the information. They said, “that’s not real.” They continue to say it wasn’t real.
Carson: But don’t you think, and try to be totally objective in answering this question -
Carson: Don’t you think it is reasonable for people who are seeking public office, or are in public office, to allow people to see what they’re getting, and to expose their past records?
Colmes: (overlap) No that’s fair. What you said is fair, but you just said a few moments ago, would you have the same reaction were it a white person versus a black person, no white president has ever been asked to produce a birth certificate.
Carson: But has there been anybody else who has had a shroud of secrecy around their records like this?
Colmes: Do you have any question about whether he was born in this country?
Carson: I do have questions about where he applied from, when he applied to Columbia.
Colmes: But do you have any questions about whether he was born in the United States?
Carson: That has not been an issue for me.
Colmes: So you know he was born in Hawaii?
Carson: I accept that that’s the case.
Colmes: So what I’m saying is that the birther movement, questioning whether the president was even born here, saying he’s really a Kenyan, he’s really an African, and he’s not even a Christian, he’s really a Muslim, a white president never had to go through that.
Carson: I don’t think that it is racially motivated. I do think that people want to know, because, you know, be objective, you have somebody whose name is Barack Hussein Obama -
Carson: - there is secrecy about some of his records, there’s something that’s been written in the past which I’m sure you’re familiar with that says he was born somewhere else -
Colmes: Do you believe that?
Carson: I don’t believe that’s true, no, but what I’m saying is that there is reason that some people might be suspicious. I’m not one of them.
He cites Obama’s full name as a reason somebody might be suspicious.
More to the point, hover, what Carson does not mention (and Colmes really should have mentioned), is that there was never any credible reason to suspect Obama was born anywhere outside the United States in the first place, and that “something that’s been written in the past” he refers to was his literary bio, “exposed” by Breitbart.com during their famous/infamous “The Vetting” series in 2012 that was explained as a fact checking error. This is what makes birtherism so incredibly stupid!
Colmes said that Carson didn’t go birther on him, but he did.
It’s pretty much required of Republican politicians nowadays to claim to have a direct line to the Almighty. And the Almighty always tells them to go for it; it’s never, “I heard the voice of God and He told me, ‘Forget it, pal.’”
Carson writes that he suspects many others interested in high office would be better candidates. But in his book he has a caveat: “If I felt called by God to officially enter the world of politics, I would certainly not hesitate to do so.”
Interviewed this week, Carson said he’s “starting to feel it. Because every place I go, it’s unbelievable.” One lady “really touched me the other night … She just kept clinging to my hand and said, ‘You have to run. You have to run.’ And so many people tell me that, and so I think I’m starting to hear something.”
I’d love to know exactly which conservatives are “afraid to say what they actually believe,” because when I look at Fox News and right wing media and right wing blogs, I see a whole lot of people who don’t seem the slightest bit afraid to express absolutely any reactionary, sexist, racist and/or homophobic view imaginable.
“I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany,” Carson told Breitbart News [Of course. — ed.], after declaring that we were living in a “Gestapo age.” “And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”
Carson listed multiple aspects of America that he believes intimidates people into silence.
“And it’s because of the PC police, it’s because of politicians, it’s because of news. It’s all of these things are combining to stifle people’s conversation,” he said. “The reason that is so horrible is because the only way that you have harmony and reach consensus is by talking. But if, in fact, people are afraid to talk, you never reach consensus. And instead you grow further and further apart. And that’s exactly what’s happening, creating a horrible schism that will destroy our nation if we don’t fix it.”
So, everyone knows that Dr. Ben Carson, the right wing’s latest hero, is a young earth creationist, right? A May 2012 article at the Washington Post has the details:
An unusual controversy has erupted at Emory University over the choice of famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson to deliver this year’s commencement address because he does not believe in evolution.
Nearly 500 professors, student and alumni signed a letter (see full text below) expressing concern that Carson, as a 7th Day Adventist, believes in creationist theory that holds that all life on Earth was created by God about 6,000 years ago. It rejects Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is the central principle that animates modern biology, uniting all biological fields under one theoretical tent, and which virtually all modern scientists agree is true.
The letter’s authors are not seeking to have Carson disinvited. Instead, they say it was written to raise concerns about his anti-scientific views.
The full text of the letter signed by 500 professors, students, and alumni of Emory University:
To the Editor:
We are writing to call the attention of the Emory Community to this year’s commencement speaker’s denial of evolution. Dr. Ben Carson is a world-renowned neurosurgeon, who has advanced medicine and who has supported the education of countless children through his philanthropic organization. These accomplishments can provide a great inspiration to graduating Emory students. But, as those students, their families, and the Emory Community listen to his speech, we ask you to also consider the enormous positive impact of science on our lives and how that science rests squarely on the shoulders of evolution.
What is most deeply concerning about Dr. Carson’s dismissal of evolution is that he equates the acceptance of evolution with a lack of ethics and morality. In an interview published on the Adventist Review website he states, “Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires.”
Dr. Carson insists on not seeing a difference between science, which is predictive and falsifiable, and religious belief systems, which by their very nature cannot be falsified. This is especially troubling since his great achievements in medicine allow him to be viewed as someone who “understands science.”
Accepting evolution, and the scientific method in general, are not at odds with being moral or religious, as is well demonstrated by strongly religious scientists, and political and academic leaders, including Francis Collins (director of the National Institutes of Health), President Jimmy Carter, and many of the faculty and students who will be attending commencement on May 14th.
Dr. Carson argues that there is no evidence for evolution, that there are no transitional fossils that provide evidence for the evolution of humans from a common ancestor with other apes, that evolution is a wholly random process, and that life is too complex to have originated by the natural process of evolution. All of these claims are incorrect. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming: ape-human transitional fossils are discovered at an ever increasing rate, and the processes by which organisms evolve new and more complex body plans are now known to be caused by relatively simple alterations of the expression of small numbers of developmental genes. Our understanding of the evolutionary process has advanced our ability to develop animal models for disease, our ability to combat the spread of infectious disease and, in point of fact, the work of Dr. Carson himself is based on scientific advances fostered by an understanding of evolution. Finally, much of the research at this University is based on advances fostered by an understanding of evolution.
The theory of evolution is as strongly supported as the theory of gravity and the theory that infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms. Dismissing evolution disregards the importance of science and critical thinking to society. Stating that those who accept the underlying principle of biology and medicine are unethical not only encourages the insertion of unnecessary and destructive wedges between Americans but stands against many of the ideals of this University.
J. de Roode (Department of Biology)
A. Eisen (Department of Biology)
N. Gerardo (Department of Biology)
I. Nemenman (Departments of Biology and Physics)