Ben Carson — #BenCarsonWikipedia ?

I grew up as a Seventh-day Adventist. This means friends are reaching out asking my thoughts on this Ben Carson guy. Some I’ve not heard from in years. It’s great, actually, that Ben’s running — brings irreverent and snarky friends together. The entertainment value that both he and The Donald bring is priceless, and would be all the more enjoyable if they had zero chance of winning.

Sadly, these two currently lead the Republican pack. That brings a sobering element to the joke. “This could happen.”

Ug.

I respect both Ben Carson and Donald Trump for what they have accomplished. Ben Carson has had an amazing and pioneering career as a surgeon. The Donald has a history of boldly pressing forward with his plans and deflating his detractors: nothing speaks louder than success, especially when it involves hard cold cash.

That said, both of these worry me. I’ll share my thoughts on The Donald another day. Two obvious facts about Ben Carson concern me, not as a person, but as a United States presidential candidate. Lack of relevant experience or skills, and a world view that will cloud his judgment and further cripple our leadership in science.

I truly believe that he is an honest person of genuinely good character. This, naturally, begs the question: Why the heck would he want to join the vipers in the pit? I do believe that he would approach the job with sincerity and honesty. Many of the things he has said resonate with me. I also believe that President Jimmy Carter was genuinely sincere. He was also ineffective. Experience with deal-making and executive leadership are critical traits when leading this country.

Lack of experience could be overcome by skills and force of personality. But one’s world view is much more difficult to overcome.

“You look at the geological layers — it makes perfectly good sense that that was done by a worldwide flood. You look at the fact that there are crustaceans on the top of the Andes Mountains — it makes perfectly good sense that there was a flood.” (cns news)

It should be stunning that Ben Carson would affirm a belief that the Egyptian Pyramids were build by the Biblical Joseph to store grain (and still affirms this). Really? All of them? Then these must be the worst storage depots built in the history of the world. They are mostly stone and have very little usable storage space. Not surprisingly, Archeologists seem to disagree, for some reason. Fail.

I’ll share insight in his Adventist background another day. For now we should be interested in what he might believe relative to human cloning, stem cell research, abortion, and many other fields of study that are critical to our advancement as a species. He was a medical professional, yet he feels that God guided his hands. Does he also believe that God wants us to uncover more secrets about biology in order to create solution to the many deadly issues we face such as AIDS?

Other countries continue to plunge forward in many critical areas of research, unencumbered by an ideological anchor that has us tethered to ancient ideas. Bluntly: they make breakthroughs and we fight about same-sex marriage. They increase spending on basic science; we cut.

Politicians say really stupid things. (Where the hell can I get one of these mice that Science has given a human brain?) They’re generally not experts in a field of science. Yet they wield power to decide what receives — and what does not receive — Federal funding. And our Chief Executive has the ability to direct the Federal agencies to discontinue focus on certain areas and redirect efforts elsewhere.

So, while The Donald might be smart enough to push for funding into areas that will have a positive impact on Science research and therefore our standing in the world, I’m not sure that Ben Carson will find this a priority.


A few other points about what Ben Carson is likely to believe:

  • That Ellen G. White was in fact a prophet and her writings hold authority
  • That while in vision Ellen White stopped breathing for 20–30 minutes
  • That Jesus is in heaven now dressed in High Priest robes conducting an investigative judgment to determine who is saved and who burns
  • That the Earth and even the Universe is a mere 6,000 years old. He’s conceded that the Earth may be ancient, but still that God created in 6 literal days. So that “Lucy fossil” that they say is 3 million years old? Nope — less than 6,000. Just an evil plot to deceive us.
  • That the pope is the Anti-Christ. OK — he might have a point there.
  • That any day — literally, any day — Jesus could return, preceded by events that find all apostatized Christians chasing Seventh-day Adventists into the hills to kill them because they are violating the newly enforced Sunday Laws.
  • A literal Adam and Eve.
  • A literal, world wide Biblical Flood. No, really. All covered. Everything drowned. All living, salvaged, animals and humans in a big boat.

Turns out this guy is a Brain Surgeon, but not exactly a Rocket Scientist.

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