Dr. Ben Carson, one of frontrunners in the crowded field of 2016 GOP presidential candidates, has been making headlines recently for his comments about Muslims running for president, but it isn’t as if he’s not made ill-considered statements before. One of those statements was made back in 2012 and has recently resurfaced. The gist: He said the Big Bang Theory was a fairy tale and that Darwin’s Theory was encouraged by the devil.
BuzzFeed reported September 22 that Dr. Ben Carson, famed neurosurgeon, gave a speech in 2012 where he dismissed the Big Bang Theory and its supporting scientific foundation as fairy tales. A known Creationist, Carson also had problems with Darwin’s Theory, which is part of the Theory of Evolution. He basically said it was the work of the devil.
“I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct,” he said. “The adversary,” it should be noted, is one of the many appellations given Satan, the chief foe of God and all that is good, according to the Christian mythos.
“Now what about the big bang theory,” Carson said in a speech entitled “Celebration of Creation” which was given to fellow Seventh-day Adventists. The address concerned the theory for the origin of the universe.
“I find the big bang, really quite fascinating. I mean, here you have all these highfalutin scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists that go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization.
“So now you’re gonna have this big explosion and everything becomes perfectly organized and when you ask them about it they say, ‘Well we can explain this, based on probability theory because if there’s enough big explosions, over a long period of time, billions and billions of years, one of them will be the perfect explosion. So I say what you’re telling me is if I blow a hurricane through a junkyard enough times over billions and billions of years, eventually after one of those hurricanes there will be a 747 fully loaded and ready to fly.”
It would seem that Dr. Carson has a minimal grasp of the fundamental laws of physics, or is willfully misconstruing them for his audience’s benefit. And to spout that enough explosions over time, and all subsequent to one explosion (the Big Bang), will lead to the current state of things is providing a simplistic picture of how the universe works and what science has to say about those workings. His 747 example is an absurd example of statistical probability. None of it disproves the science he wishes to dismiss.
“Well, I mean,” he continued his rant against a chaotic universe, something anathema to one whose universe is structured by a deity, “it’s even more ridiculous than that ‘cause our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of that, is extraordinarily well organized, to the point where we can predict 70 years away when a comet is coming. Now that type of organization to just come out of an explosion? I mean, you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing.”
What is amazing is that this man has a doctorate, his profession dependent upon scientific principles. The ability to predict orbital maneuvers and positions of celestial bodies does not prove that order exists. It simply proves predictability in known quantities. But the Big Bang Theory is part of a complex amalgam of theoretical work, a scientific model that is based on scientific evidence.
As for evolution, that bit of biological science is a fact. Darwin’s Theory of natural selection and the origin of speciation can be debated (and still is), but evolution itself is a proven fact, a phenomenon that has been observed. (Still, Carson says he is writing a book to disprove evolution by using organs in the human body. So…)
What Dr. Carson attempted to do in his speech was deride science and scientific theories. He tried to besmirch the scientific method in order to be at peace with his religious mindset as a Creationist, which only allows for the Earth to be roughly 6,000 years old. (Scientists place the age of the Earth at over 4 billion years of age.) But unlike a religious belief system, science is not something born of faith. It is a systematic method for proving and disproving, through testable means, the physical universe.
Currently Ben Carson is second in the running for the 2016 GOP nomination for president of the United States. According to a Fox News poll, he trails frontrunner Donald Trump by 8 percentage points.