Too much Carson rots your nervous system


Can you bear a little more Ben Carson? Some yahoo going by the name @CARSON4POTUS has been yammering at me on Twitter: he insists that I'm completely wrong, that Carson is not a young earth creationist, and as evidence he dredges up some godawful talk on creationism that Carson gave in 2011. It convinces me that Carson is even stupider than I thought.

Here are a few quotes from it. The numbers in brackets refer to times in this video, which I have not watched, because listening to Carson talk makes me want to sit him down at the kids' table with a coloring book and tell him to leave the grownups alone.

[19:41] "You know, I am not a hard and fast person that says the earth is only six thousand years old, but I do believe in a six day creation. And, because, you know, it says in the beginning that God created the heaven and the earth. [19:56] It doesn't say when he created them except for 'in the beginning', so the earth could have been here for along time before he started creating things on it. But when he did start doing that he made it very specifically clear to us, the evening and the morning were the next day, because he knew that people would come along [20:15] and try to say that 'oh it was millions and millions of years.' And then what else did he say in the very first chapter: 'that each thing brought forth after its own kind', because he knew that people would come along and say you know that this thing changed into that [20:34] and this changed to that and this changed to that. So at the very beginning of the Bible he puts that to rest."

That first bit is a waffly reference to the gap theory of creation, which is the idea that god created the world in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, and then in space after the period and before the second sentence, millions or billions of years of geology occurred without comment. THen he picked up again some thousands of years ago with all the begats and the days and the "it was goods" and all that.

It's kind of a goofy workaround the problem with radioisotope dating saying the earth is old and all that astronomy demonstrating Deep Time, and even at that, Carson can't commit to plainly stating the age of the earth…for all you can tell from that quote, he could believe the earth is 6 days, 6 years, 6 million years, or 6 billion years old. He's talking to Seventh Day Adventists who firmly claim that the earth is only 6 thousand years old, so he's trying to maintain deniability here. Not only is he ignorant, he's chickenshit.

He does commit to the claim that all life, from crawly things to trees to people, was created in a six day span, and that nothing evolved. So our Carson fan is basically declaring that he's not so stupid to believe in a specific date for creation, but he does openly believe in a whole lot of stupid nonsense.

He also believes this:

[20:56] "... there is abundant evidence, geological evidence, that there was a worldwide flood. Go up into the Andes Mountains and see all those fossils on the top of those mountains. I mean, these things, when you talk to the evolutionists about them, they always say the same thing ... 'well, we don't understand everything.' [21:17] And I just say, 'I'm not sure you understand anything.' You know, they look at all those layers, and then they find some fossils in one of the layers, and they says this fossil is this many years old because it's in this layer. [21:38] So, that means this fossil is like a million years old. And then later on they say, 'well, this layer is a million years old because this fossil which is a million years old is in it.' You know, that's like saying, you know, 'the sky can be red or blue'. And you say, well, the sky is blue. And you say why is it blue? 'Because it is not red.' Well why is it not red? 'Because its blue.' Yeh, you know that's known as circular reasoning. That's how they explain the age of all these things, its very circular reasoning, and really it has no real scientific validity." [22:22]

No, there is no evidence for a world wide flood. None at all. If you point to fossils high up in the mountains, geologists will not say they don't understand how they got there -- we have a very good idea exactly how those mountains buckled and raised marine strata up to high altitude. It's clear that Carson is the one who doesn't understand anything.

He also regurgitates that old creationist nonsense about circular methods for dating fossils and rock. It's simply not true. We have independent radiometric methods for dating igneous rock, which then allow us to estimate the age of fossils in sedimentary layers (in case it isn't obvious, you don't get fossils from lava flows) between dated strata. He's reciting a lie that has been thoroughly debunked.

OK, so he doesn't understand physics, geology, or evolution. These are fields well outside his area of expertise, so except for the fact that he's touting counterfactual bullshit as truth, you could argue that he shouldn't be embarrassed by his errors. That doesn't excuse this statement, though:

[28:07] "... it [the human brain] remembers every single thing you have ever seen, every single thing you have ever heard." ... "Do you know, your brain, and this is a conservative estimate, could take in one new fact every second for over three million years before you begin to challenge its capacity." [This is 9.4 x 10E13 facts. Wikipedia gives the following estimates: the number of cells in the human body = 7 x 10E13; the number of neurons in the human brain = 10E11]

Oh, nonsense. He's supposed to be an expert on the brain, but it's simply false that we record every detail of our lives. We can't. How do you even quantify the number of "facts" you encounter in your lifetime? He's just making crap up here.

There's more at the link, including Carson saying that Satan invented the theory of evolution, but there's only so much I can take. I am now going on a no-Carson diet until I've purged this noise from my brain.

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By brightmoon (not verified) on 08 Sep 2015 #permalink

Biblical literalism and young earth creationism amounts to a cult perspective on religion. It is such a shame that this gifted surgeon has gone right off the deep end with his religious beliefs.

What his denial of reality demonstrates is that he isn't qualified to run for school board let alone the president of the United States. He barely counts as fringe when it comes to the quality of his political positions.

By Chris Weiss (not verified) on 08 Sep 2015 #permalink