Ben Carson touts creationism during Nashville speech

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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson appears on Fox Business Network's 'Varney & Co.' in New York on August 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GRIFFIN-COLUMN, originally transmitted on September 23, 2015, or with RNS-CARSON-FAITH, originally transmitted on Oct. 27, 2015.

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson appears on Fox Business Network's 'Varney & Co.' in New York on August 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brendan McDermid *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GRIFFIN-COLUMN, originally transmitted on September 23, 2015, or with RNS-CARSON-FAITH, originally transmitted on Oct. 27, 2015.

NASHVILLE — Republican presidential contender Ben Carson restated his views on creationism Sunday (Nov. 1), wrapping up his weekend in Tennessee with a visit to one of Metro Nashville’s largest churches.

Carson delivered two speeches Sunday at Cornerstone Church in Madison. The words from Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who’s recently surged in GOP presidential polls, sounded at times like a stump speech and a sermon.

“They say, ‘Carson, ya know, how can you be a surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and believe that God created the Earth, and not believe in evolution, which is the basis of all knowledge and all science?’,” Carson said during his second speech, referencing “progressives.”

“Well, you know, it’s kind of funny. But I do believe God created us, and I did just fine. So I don’t know where they get that stuff from, ya know? It’s not true. And in fact, the more you know about God, and the deeper your relationship with God, I think the more intricate becomes your knowledge of the way things work, including the human body.”

Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, recently described himself in an interview with CNN as “not a real religious person.”

“I’m a person who has a deep and abiding faith and relationship with God,” Carson told CNN. “But I’m not really into a lot of religious dogma and rituals — ‘You can’t do that, and you can’t do this.’ I don’t believe in that. I believe you have to have a deep and abiding faith in God.”

His views and speeches on faith and religion have endeared him with evangelical voters in Iowa and elsewhere, helping him tie or pull ahead of business tycoon Donald Trump in several recent GOP presidential primary polls.

Tennessee is among several Southern states participating in the March 1 “SEC primary.” The relatively early date of the primary and the still-crowded GOP presidential field mean conservative-leaning Tennessee could play a key role in choosing the Republican party’s presidential nominee.

(Dave Boucher writes for The Tennessean.)


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  • Barry the Baptist

    Hello, moderators…

    While I get the jab at Carson and his ilk, I don’t think it does anybody a service to paint with so broad a brush.

  • Bernardo

    I am sure many past presidents thought the same thing but this is the 21st century and such comments show a lack of reality something most voters will not tolerate.

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  • Larry

    Carson has been nothing but childish in his defense of his creationist dogma. Narcissism figures greatly into it.

    But I do believe God created us, and I did just fine.

    Essentially he said “I am a great human being, therefore God created me and I didn’t evolve from some natural processes.”

  • Jack

    For Carson to dismiss the big bang theory as been a ‘fairy tale’, when he subscribes to one of the most destructive fairy tales ever invented by human ignorance (christianism) is laughable, as is his egomaniacal presidential ambitions.
    Still, after he realizes it isn’t God’s will for him to be anything other than a losing laughingstock of educated people, he’ll make a fortune on the fundie / evangelical book tour circuit, which is probably his main goal anyway.

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  • Milly

    Right–cause nothing says authenticity like Hillary Clinton.

  • Milly

    1) Questioning the big bang theory does not reduce one to a simpleton. A group of leading String Theorists last year, questioned the whole theory.

    2) Carson graduated from Yale and John Hopkins and was the world’s leading pedo-neurosurgian at one time. So where did you get your MD at Jack? Just wondering since you’re so “educated”.

  • Bernardo

    Amen to that. Tough to find a good candidate in any party.

  • Bernardo

    Once again

    The sacrament of reconciliation/ confession con:

    Matt 16: 19
    See: (passage is not authentic)

    Matt 18: 18
    Said passage is not authentic. e.g. see Professor Gerd Ludemann’s review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 205-206.

    John 20: 23
    From many studies by contemporary NT scholars, John’s gospel has been shown to be historically nil.

    e.g. From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,
    “Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John’s Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source……

  • Larry

    1) Because one is questioning it on the basis of one’s alleged religious belief and not on the evidence of the matter or scientific research (Unlike the string theorists).

    I say alleged because Creationism requires one to fib about the necessity of faith in one’s religious belief. To deny faith and make phony claims that proof of the validity of one’s belief can be found in evidence.

    2) Lots of college educated people believe in silly things. All it means is one has the training and intellectual means of defending one’s view. Not that one’s view necessarily has merit.

    Carson is neither an astrophysicist nor an evolutionary biologist. His views on such subjects carries no probative weight. He does not require evolutionary theory to perform surgery. Much like a pitcher doesn’t need to understand the theory of gravity to throw a curveball.

  • Jeaniesch

    I totally agree. Ben Carson is a bigger fraud than has been uncovered so far. He flat out lied in the CNBC debate that he had “no relationship with Mannatech”. He was paid $42,000. a speech in where he endorsed the claims that Mannatech’s glyconutrients cured his prostate cancer. He is in videos endorsing the products. Mannatech is a multi level marketing company that paid out millions in a class action law suit over it’s false claims.

  • ZP

    It’s funny how you keep taking down my comments which is no way violate
    the terms you set forth to have a comment removed and yet other people
    have their comments left up that clearly violate the terms you set/ policy
    but as I said before Ben Carson needs to read Romans 1:18-32/Luke 13
    and in 1 Corinthians 5 also 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 plus in Matthew 7:13-23
    cause people who get drunk, be mean,gossip,gamble and sleep around
    all go to hell even if they believe in Jesus. It is not enough to just believe
    in Jesus as the Bible cleary states so people need to read a/ their Bible.

  • Jack

    Bernardo, most voters care a lot more about a candidate’s views on real policy issues. Anyone who votes for or against a person based solely or primarily on their views on evolution obviously doesn’t care about ISIS atrocities, health care, the economy, and other adult issues. Obviously, they’re living in their own little bubble in life.

  • Jeaniesch

    There are battles we are engaged in that require our most talented. Civil liberties for same sex marriage has won the Supreme court. Climate Change initiatives must go forward. A strategy to take down ISIS but not to ignite WW III. Carson and creationism is just the tip of the iceberg. The GOP want to take us back to the 1950’s where birth control is banned as lewd, abortions are illegal and women die in illegal back street abortions. Where gay people are devoid of rights. Ben Carson explains “when they go to prison, they come out gay”..How did we get to the point that morals are touted by a GOP crazy bunch who advocate pro life and in the same bill would subject young girls who have been raped to an illegal and unsafe abortion? Who would not extend a medical program, or an education program to that same unwanted child they profess to save. There is not morality or sanity in this bunch. We need leaders who deal and think in reality and construct solutions based on that reality.

  • The author needs to get their terminology straight. Creationism implies a belief in a young earth and 6 day, 24 hour creation.

    Carson did not say that. To use the term creationism is misleading. He did affirm creation, and disavow evolution. Many people believe in creation “ex nihilo” (from nothing) and also affirm evolution.

  • Comment Moderator

    Karla/ZP/et al

    Your comments have been removed primarily because you may not repeat the same posting multiple times in a day or week. Additionally, it appears that you are not actually commenting on the article, but using the RNS site for proselytizing.

    – RNS Comment Moderator

  • Larry (the atheist one)

    You are throwing up useless arglebargle.

    The common usage of the term “Creationist” are those who deny evolution. Carson is in that crowd. Many Creationists deny the 6 literal day creation but come up with some other nonsense formulation bereft of facts.

    People who “affirm” evolution are not the people typically called Creationists. At best they are a subset called “Theistic Evolution” believers. Evolution requires no such affirmation or belief. It exists because it is a scientific theory (law) with evidence and research to support it. Its used for analyzing and interpreting research whether you believe it or not.

  • Doc Anthony

    If Ben Carson keeps this stuff up, I’ll have no choice but to vote for him.

    Let’s be honest. We’ve all gotten so used to the likes of Obama, Hillary, and other liberal bottom-feeders, that we’ve forgotten that it’s possible for a man to seriously believe the Bible and STILL be a great candidate for President.

    Carson seems to be exactly that guy. Quite refreshing.

    America, you have a choice. You can either vote for the graveyard (again) and ultimately wind up there on a permanent basis, or you can vote for a REAL candidate like Ben Carson and survive on this planet a little longer. Your call !!

  • ZP

    Moderator-Thanks for feeback. I always comment on the topic of the article
    but I undertand how sometimes my preaching comes off the wrong way but
    I always stay on topic/ make my point with what the article is about but I do
    appreciate the feedback/ letting me know what I was doing wrong. God bless.

  • Bingo

    Evolution and God’s creation are not contradictory, so who cares if Carson does not believe the evolution THEORY?
    He’s a truthful, disciplined, intelligent, moral man. We use to have Presidents with those qualities. Oh, long ago. Long, long ago.

  • Sean Eastman

    Jack seems like you have a personal axe to grind with Bernardo and are talking down to him. From what I see, Bernardo didn’t say that was his entire basis for rejecting Carson. Anyway, that candidate’s inability to comprehend science doesn’t speak well for his decision making abilities and his insights, and that is relevant to how he is going to deal with the whole set of matters he will be facing. Carson might be trained and skilled as a surgeon, but without the decision making ability, he is a poor candidate on a broader set of issues than just evolution vs. his creatio​nist crac​kpo​tism.

  • Larry

    “so who cares if Carson does not believe the evolution THEORY?”

    Anyone reasonably concerned about the state of education and religious freedom in this nation. Creationism is nothing but sectarian religious belief. It has no place in public school education. It has no place with government endorsement as it constitutes an attack on 1st Amendment religious freedom.
    Since Creationism requires deliberate misinformation and misrepresentation, it bodes badly for the morals of its proponents.

    Also, thank you for demonstrating a lack of knowledge of what a scientific theory is.

    The scientific definition being: scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena

  • “By faith we understand that the worlds were made by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” ….Hebrews 11:3 The believer comprehends this by faith. The faithless and godless reject the truth and seek an alternative. There are plenty of lies to believe if you choose to reject the truth. In the same way, there are plenty of false man made religions to follow if ones rejects God’s truth. Jesus Christ is the bridge to God the Father. The only way to God. Receive Him as Lord and Savior. Turn away from sin and false teachings of men and follow Him as He leads by His Spirit and through His Word. God Bless

  • Paul

    Charles Darwin’s “theory of evolution” is still only a theory. Science fails to prove why we are here? Where the first thing came from? Why man is still a man? Why an Apple tree is still an apple tree? Why we still have monkeys? and if there is life after death?
    If anything, geologist still have not proved they found any real evidence in the connection of the evolution of man, or even how something like a dictionary could exist without intelligent design. The pictures they show of man’s evolution, are still only what they let themselves to believe.
    Science is only a tool man uses to try to figure out things and build on the knowledge that we know, or believe is true, and not always right.
    Why does man works so hard at trying to explain away the most obvious, to accept that it’s all about nothing, and just an impossible accident? Could it be that being held accountable for our actions is unacceptable?

  • C. Teal

    I believe in the Big Bang theory. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.” BANG!!! And there was light.

  • deniedstone

    Jesus Christ is the same today yesterday and forever.

  • Aiki14

    Exactly, a character from mythology

  • bret

    A Christianist claiming anything as laughable is pretty…well, you get the picture.

  • Chris

    If one carefully listen to Ben Carson’s words as clarified on his Fox network interview with O’Reilly it is clear that he does not fully support the evolution theory or creationism. Dr. Carson’s views are more in line with a view called Intelligent Design where a Creator can use evolution, scientific principles and natural laws to initiate and guide the creation process. What Dr. Carson emphasizes in a manner that is very similar to the views of Pope Francis’ is the Gods loving hand has a loving and creative action in our lives every day and every minute. That is good science and good spirituality that was evident in the works of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. All good things that make us Amerocans stop and listen before we act or react.

  • Michael Galieh

    You’ll find Ben Carson and other creationists have no shortage of sound scientific reasoning on which to base their skepticism of evolution. In fact, as Bernado said, it is the 21st century, and the more we learn about biology, the less feasible the various materialistic origins scenarios appear. Science after all is a self correcting process, and especially in the last 20 years or so (but even decades before that) the scientific basis for evolution and abiogenesis (a separate but very relevant topic in biological origins) has been collapsing. Carson’s scientific decision making abilities are looking very up to date. It’s the defenders of evolution that should think about covering their (scientific) backs. It’s not that majority opinion is changing just yet, but the science sure has been. Most any surgeon, scientist (or even a reasonably informed undergraduate) doesn’t have much difficulty in providing reasoning that can refute the claims being made by Dawkins, Tyson and…

  • Michael Galieh

    No Larry, Carson wouldn’t make that kind of an argument (as you well know).

    Carson’s approach (and that of creationism) would be to point out that science itself doesn’t support the notion of biology having originated from mindless natural processes. The scientists who think it does, need to think real hard about exactly how they’re making their arguments, especially in the light of the last couple of decades of research. The creationist argument has nothing to do with narcissism. You should better educate yourself on the claims creationism does and does not make.

  • Bingo

    “Scientifically acceptable” does not mean proven fact. God allowing evolution to be a part of His Creative process is “rationally acceptable” . Nothing creates itself, and science is only evidence of man probing God’s mysteries.

  • Carson appears to say whatever appeals to his voter base. He has made plenty of ridiculous arguments in the past, this is no different.

    “Carson’s approach (and that of creationism) would be to point out that science itself doesn’t support the notion of biology having originated from mindless natural processes”

    Well that makes him either 1gnorant or a 1iar. He is making claims which are categorically false because it doesn’t fit within his view of how he wants the world to work. Narcissism, pure and simple. The scientific basis for evolution has been well established for a very long time. The scientists who denounce evolution don’t work in the field itself. Their basis for objection is entirely non-scientific.

    The creationist argument is built upon 1ying. They 1ie about scientific evidence and religion. The premise involves pretending faith is not the basis of religious belief and making false claims that it can be proven true by evidence.

  • Bernardo

    And said sound scientific reasoning to refute evolution is?

  • Larry

    Of course he would make that kind of argument. If anything Carson has shown lately how craven he is when it comes to pandering to his voter base.

    Carson’s approach is not based on scientific evidence or research. Its based on his ego and desire to be considered important. He wants the universe to proclaim he is a special snowflake created just for our benefit.

    There is zero scientific basis for Creationism because it was never scientific nor ever would be. Its not even accepted religiously outside of a few oddball sects of Protestant Christianity. Plus, attacks on evolution are not support for creationism. Any claims of scientific support for creationism is a flat out fib.

    If there was a serious theory to supplant evolution that was methodologically sound and supported by credible evidence, the scientist(s) coming up with them would be world famous by now.

  • Larry

    Actually what you described is better known as “Theistic evolution”. It is not Creationism. But that is not what Carson actually stated. He denied evolution entirely. Not that God would use evolution as well as other natural processes.

  • Larry

    Actually that is exactly what it means!

    It means it is true for purposes such as scientific research and education. Any “proven fact” is conditional on the evidence available, like a scientific theory. There is no distinction between scientific theory and fact for all intents and purposes.

    Evolution is just a theory like the theory of gravity, atomic theory, germ theory….

    “Nothing creates itself”

    The DNA molecule would like a word with you.

  • Larry

    “Science is only a tool man uses to try to figure out things and build on the knowledge that we know, or believe is true, and not always right.”

    Science is credible to a level that no other forms of research and discovery are not. You don’t have to believe it. It exists and can be proven based on evidence presented and review of methods employed. All knowledge is conditional. We know what we know based on evidence available and methods of deriving such evidence. When new evidence shows otherwise, we know something new. But until that evidence is presented, there is no need to claim something is false.

    Contrast this with religious belief which is credible only to the level of personal faith one has. Creationism is nothing but sectarian Protestant religious rhetoric used to try to browbeat people into accepting religious belief without the essential requirement of faith. It is dishonest religion

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Precisely why none of them has a chance of winning. Carson is simply engaging in a time-honored art: the grift, i.e., separating rubes from their money. It’s a book tour masquerading as a Presidential campaign.

  • Larry
  • Kristen

    Umm… What about Bernie..?

  • WP

    have no shortage of sound scientific reasoning

    Um, WOW. Have a read. You will realize just how lacking in any science this religio-gobbledygook is.

  • WP

    That’s odd. Because the human body decomposes after death.

  • Doug

    Wow!! Only in America could such a pseudo-wacky non hybrid philosophy such as Creationism develop and flourish. How sad that a potential future president could even remotely entertain it for even a few milliseconds.Thank God for Australia, where I now live. No guns, no need for politicians to proclaim any religious beliefs and complete separation of church and state-actually, even more, as religion here progressively fades into the sunset. Believe it or not, America, but you could take more than just a leaf from the book of Australia

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    You bring up very salient points, but the unread and undereducated will not understand that creation was the foundation and proof of science. Creationism can explain all the things that science cannot yet; all it takes is a small leap of faith. Every belief system takes a small (or gigantic) leap of faith, and some make a whole lot more sense than others. I would say that having a creator makes a lot more sense than abiogenetic explanations; do the research and don’t depend on pundits or internet trolls. Figure it out for yourself, if you have the wit.

  • Rick

    Never mind that he denies scientific consensus over a false conflict with religion, how does someone who belongs to a pacifist religion run to be commander in chief of the US military? How much Catholic support can he expect when his church also teaches that the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon and that it will be part of what causes the end of the world to occur? And what of his view that a Muslim would not be fit to be President. These things make him seem particularly unsuited to serve as President for all Americans.

  • Glenn Hawkins

    Sean, sounds like Jack’s not the only one with an axe to grind. Sounds like you are taking the same stand that he does. To say that Carson DOES NOT HAVE a certain defined-by-you “decision making ability” because he does not hold to the faith of atheistic Darwinism sounds a bit condescending to me. Honestly–just who put you up as an authority on “all things decision making”?

  • Larry

    “Creationism can explain all the things that science cannot yet; all it takes is a small leap of faith.”

    And there you go KMSMNCM, you have just refuted Creationism!

    Creationism pretends that it IS science, not an alternative to it.

    That faith is unnecessary for your belief in whatever subset of Protestant Christianity you are because the evidence so clearly and scientifically can prove its validity. By claiming it requires faith, you undermine its purpose.

    You have demonstrated the fiction of:
    “no shortage of sound scientific reasoning on which to base their skepticism of evolution.”


    “that science itself doesn’t support the notion of biology having originated from mindless natural processes. ”

    Creationism is merely for people who want to 1ie in service of their religious belief. You have made that clear for all to see. Good job!

  • Larry

    If your religious belief requires you 1ie and ignore clearly established scientific principles and evidence as Creationism does, it shows a lack of character and an inability to make decisions based on rational thought. Condescension to Creationists as they are engaging in “anti-thinking”, 1ying and ignorance.

    All science is “materialistic”, “naturalistic” and “atheistic”.Science is credible precisely because of it. One requires evidence which can be perceived and evaluated to be accepted in such fields.

    Invoking the supernatural does not create a credible argument. Making nonsense emotional appeals, using spurious self-serving interpretation and sophistry is required as “proof” for a religious idea.

    Science is atheistic in that one’s religious beliefs are absolutely immaterial to the validity and credibility of scientific findings. Proof is objectively credible despite what deity one feels like worshiping (if any).

  • Able Magwitch

    Bernie is GREAT!!! He believe in the supremacy and Wisdom of the State over the Individual! Just like so many other wonderful people that went before him such as Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Mao, Kim Jong-Il, and Chavez.

    Feel the Burn!

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