Is Ben Carson Insane?

We have long known that Ben Carson, one of those running for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Presidential election, is a creationist. The Wikipedia writeup on him devotes a paragraph to it.

But there are far more important issues facing the country, so we used to say that if Carson became the GOP nominee, running against any of the potential Democrats, we could have voted for him in spite of his creationism. But his weirdness went too far when he seemed to place the bible above the US Constitution, which is when we wrote Ben Carson Is Unfit To Be President.

Now it appears that Carson is even stranger than we could have imagined. In the UK’s Daily Mail we read ‘It’s ridiculous!’ Ben Carson believes the Big Bang is a ‘fairy tale’ and Darwin’s theory of evolution is the work of the devil. It has already attracted over 400 comments. Here are some excerpts from the article, with bold font added by us:

Ben Carson once denounced the Big Bang theory as a ‘fairy tale’ and branded Darwin’s theory of evolution the work of the devil. In a speech to his fellow Seventh-Day Adventists in 2012, Carson dismissed the possibility that the ‘perfect’ universe could have been created simply by a ‘gigantic explosion’. The neurosurgeon, a notable creationist, said the theory was ‘ridiculous’ and a story pushed by ‘high-faluting scientists’.

That’s just the beginning of the article. It gets worse. Much worse. For example:

Carson also told the audience at the event, called the Celebration of Creation, that many scientists do not believe in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution but are too afraid to speak out. … He said: ‘I personally believe that this theory Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary [Satan] and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct.’

We’re just getting started. Let’s read on as the newspaper quotes Carson:

‘Amazingly there are a significant number of scientists who do not believe it but they’re afraid to say anything.’

Uh huh. We continue:

He said: ‘Now, what about the Big Bang theory? I find the Big Bang really quite fascinating. I mean here you have all these high-faluting scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order.’ He explains the same scientists promote the second law of thermodynamics – entropy – which says that things move towards 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 enough 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?’

Lordy, lordy — the man is totally bonkers! We don’t need to see any more, do we? Well, just a little bit more:

He added: ‘Well, I mean, it’s even more ridiculous than that because 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.’

There’s more in the Daily Mail, but we’ve seen enough. If you like, you can click over there to read it all. They also have videos, but we haven’t bothered to look at them.

Here’s how your Curmudgeon sees it: Even though creationism isn’t the business of the President, or the federal government, a candidate’s views on such things can clearly reveal his ability to think — and thinking is essential. Consider this: Aside from creationism, which is goofy enough, would you want a President who:

• Thinks the Earth is flat?

• Thinks he’s Napoleon?

• Thinks he’s been kidnapped and probed by aliens?

• Thinks a government-controlled economy is a great system?

• Thinks politicians and bureaucrats are wise and benevolent enough to control society?

In your Curmudgeon’s humble opinion, when a candidate reveals that he’s completely unhinged, then he’s clearly unfit for public office. And our little list rules out a whole bunch of them — in both parties.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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44 responses to “Is Ben Carson Insane?

  1. I don’t see why you’re so surprised. Much of what Carson’s expressing here is mainstream Republican thinking.

  2. I love the title of this article by Andy Borowitz:
    Ben Carson shattering the stereotype about brain surgeons being smart.

  3. Alan Feuerbacher

    So Carson is an SDA. That explains a lot. They’re the instigators of the entire modern-day young-earth creationist movement, mostly via the writings of arch-crank George McCready Price.

  4. If “insane” means not being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality then Carson is insane. Certainly, he has a severe religious delusion that makes him incapable of rational decisions regarding scientific realities that conflict with his fantasy faith.

    Well, what about Huckabee and Cruz? I don’t think they are insane in the same sense as Carson but simply play an insane person on TV for money and votes.

  5. But he also disqualified himself by claiming a muslin should never be prez because he puts Allah before the constitution, which he does as well and most xtians do (kim Davis). The fact that Carson is crazy is just more on top. But he is no crazier than 80% of ‘merica.

  6. I’ve read a couple of his rants and he certainly comes across as unbalanced.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    @ L Long, this one drives me nuts that came out of Carson’s mouth …. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.” Now just swap Christian for Muslim and Carson would totally disagree with the statement. Because Davis did exactly that and she is seen are making the correct decision. That inconsistency alone is why I think he (and other from the clown car) are insane.

  8. Stephen Kennedy

    Again, as a physician, I have to cringe when I read Carson’s take on Astronomy. It seems that of all people with a college education it is engineers and medical doctors who are most likely to be taken in by pseudo-sciences like creationism. I do not really understand it. When I was in medical school Physics, Astronomy and Geology were not included in our curriculum. We did study Biology related topics like Physiology, Anatomy and Biochemistry but there was absolutely nothing in the lectures and textbooks that in any way supported creationism. While there may have been a few closet cases, I did not get the impression that any of my classmates were creationists.

    I received my MD from a secular medical school in Philadelphia which is not known as a hotbed of religious fundamentalism and the situation may be different at medical schools in the bible belt. Loma Linda University School of Medicine is owned by the SDA church and only admits SDAs so it probably has a fair number of flaming creationists among its faculty and student body.

  9. Stephen Kennedy: It seems that of all people with a college education it is engineers and medical doctors who are most likely to be taken in by pseudo-sciences like creationism.

    I feel this is backwards. I think that college educated creationists are most like to become engineers or medical doctors if they do anything related to science. Essentially all of them were creationists first to one degree or another and were never required to confront those beliefs while in college.

  10. @ AR. — I agree with your assessment. They “learned” creationism as a child, were told “it’s what Christians believe, and you’re are good Christian, aren’t you?”, and even if their beliefs were confronted, they clung tightly to what they believed to be their religion. They sincerely fear the Lake of Fire.

  11. Wait, but the professional apologists all tell us they were once atheists and “evolutionists” and the “evidence” converted them to Jesus and Genesis. Are they not being truthful?

  12. AR said: “I feel this is backwards. I think that college educated creationists are most like to become engineers or medical doctors if they do anything related to science.”

    Perhaps they become engineers, doctors and the like because those areas do not require thinking outside the box, or questioning authority, etc. It is strictly applying preset rules to issues and problems, no “critical thinking skills” are required. Time and again rote application of the same principles and rules. Thus their acceptance of creationism and/or other nonsense is quite acceptable to them and poses no mental conflict. It’s only when they are confronted with someone questioning their orthodoxy that the problem for them arises and their security becomes threatened.

  13. Is Ben Carson Insane?

    Yes. Yes, he is.

  14. The Dr. Carson interview article from a few years ago on the Seventh Day Adventist website—the one where my list of sixth-grade science errors in his “scientific arguments and evidence that God created everything” managed to survive as the sole comment for all of three days before being censored—no longer appears anywhere on-line. Perhaps Carson’s campaign staff decided that sounding like a total science-illiterate **self-censored** should be reserved for fundraising dinners at the Creation Museum and the Dishonesty Institute.

    [THIS WEEK AT BSF: As always, we can’t disclose any revealing details or potential forensic evidence which particularly cunning Young Earth Creationist militants might use to determine Professor Tertius’ real title and identity. Therefore, we will only state that due to a series of special meetings and speaking engagements in a six-day tour of America, the professor will not have much time for questions about YECist exegesis gone bad. Of course, the trip is not just 24/7 theology and surveying the Wholly Sea in the west. He’s never too busy to show people that he cares. For example, this morning his very first stop was to visit an African-American family who are about to lose their home in Washington, D.C. The unfortunate executive is losing his job next year with no chance of ever getting it back. (We also understand that many of his co-workers will be losing their jobs at the same time.) Thanks to unprecedented levels of security, we are confident that Professor Tertius will face little danger during his travels. Besides, nobody would ever think of finding him in an unimposing Fiat! The downside of the Fiat is that once you add the team of bodyguards alongside him, he had no room for luggage. As a result, he’s stuck wearing the same clothes for the entire week.]

  15. Makes it easier for the voters when a candidate makes no attempt to hide his or her being bat crap insane.

  16. I notice that many of the creationist engineers and medical people describe themselves as scientists, and speak as scientists on evolution.
    I consider that to be misrepresentation, and they know better.
    I’m sure that a physician would object if an astronomer would claim the authority of a scientist to speak on medicine. Then, they recognize the difference.

  17. You mean if someone on a plane asks is there a doctor on board, someone with a PhD shouldn’t raise his or her hand?

  18. Do religious people fear the lake of fire as much as they fear facing the reality that a significant element of their sense of self is being challenged or even nullified? For a politician, aligning his/her campaign with such a significant (and malleable) voting group and revenue source must be all but irresistible.

  19. Somebody please explain how Ben Carson being an insane science denier separates him in any way from any others in the GOP Presidential wannabe clown posse.

  20. waldteufel asks: “Somebody please explain how Ben Carson being an insane science denier separates him in any way from any others in the GOP Presidential wannabe clown posse.”

    He’s probably no different from Cruz, Huckabee, and Santorum. The rest, so far as I know, are not that far gone, but they’re trying not to offend the creationist part of the electorate.

  21. Well, more than a few of the other candidates support both theories having time in science classes. That’s problematic.

  22. I was going to post the link to the biopic Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story from 2009 where Cuba Gooding Jr. played the rags-to-riches&fame story of Dr. Carson. I had browsed through that movie on Youtube a couple of years ago but apparently Sony clamped down on the copyright since then. It appeared to be predictable but a nice story with a work-hard-&-overcome-adversity message throughout. Without the movie, Carson probably would have had a difficult time getting established on the speaker circuit.

    Speaking of the speaker circuit, that is what people like Huckabee, Carson, and even many of the politicians are really about. Perhaps Huckabee, Carson, and Trump have a distant hope of being at the right place at the right time to be chosen for a VP running mate. But mostly their campaigns are about building their brand. I often wondered how many of such people were sought out by P.R. “investors” several years ago and told “We think you have the right profile that I could build you into a marketable public figure. We would start you out doing _____ and ______, just to see how it goes. That would allow us to do more exacting polling on your E-scores and see if you have what it takes to become a steady brand.”

    If they succeed, the contract gives the P.R. firm or booking agent a solid 7% to 20% of revenue and the money can really pile up. Some of the best money is actually with the charitable non-profits as well as the political fund-raisers. For example, let’s say Gov. Huckabee (when he is not running for President) is billed out at $50,000/speech for some Republican Senate candidate’s $1000/plate fundraising dinner—or discounted down to $35,000/speech for charities like the Cancer Society of Puget Sound. Charities are willing to pay such speaker fees because the right person will purchase “rich posteriors in their seats” [to clean up the terminology slightly] long enough to hear the charitable appeal, even though the wealthy socialites et al are there so they can say that they shook hands with somebody famous. Many are willing to write large checks so the charity is nearly sure to make bank on the investment.

    Much like a sports agent, the P.R. wonderkind who picks the right rising stars and perhaps invests some major dollars up front getting their brand launched can have a stream of “commissions” for several years, perhaps even many years. And if someone like Ben Carson happens to stay in the presidential race long-enough, that can juice his E-scores considerably. If he gets nominated for the VP running mate to balance a Republican ticket—-yes, balancing next year’s presidential ticket could be comedy gold that even exceeds Sarah Palin—Carson may be able to print money for several future election cycles. He might even get a Fox News Analyst slot. After Mike Huckabee showed everyone how far a fairly average, generic but likeable Republican governor could go with one good presidential campaign showing, that surely inspired a lot of P.R. executives to scout for people like Dr. Carson. Perhaps Carson imagines himself in a future where he is a wise old sage, guiding the party and advising a couple of decades of conservative Christians to share in his values and moral vision for America. Perhaps now that Bill Cosby has been deposed as the reprimander-in-chief of the African-American speaking circuit, Carson will grow into the role.

    Carson has all sorts of speaker circuit appeal as the surgeon who separated conjoined twins, the one with the slums-to-success inspirational story that scored a movie based on his autobiography (which was no doubt written by a ghost-writer or co-author chosen by the P.R. agent.) Perhaps it was even totally planned and intended to be what Profiles in Courage was for JFK.

    Thinking back some years, I know a lot of people think of Ronald Reagan getting his political profile from his SAG presidency and from testifying at the McCarthy Hearings as well as his movies and then TV career. But it was his hundreds and hundreds of speeches for General Electric employees that really primed his E-score skills. (He also did a lot of banquet bookings raging against Medicare as the road to socialism.) Yet nowadays I think the individual-as-brand is far more unnatural, artificial, and deliberate and I wonder if there is the slightest of genuine interest in political office for someone like Carson. In fact, for someone with no executive experience, it’s hard to imagine that many of his personality type would have the slightest interest (as well as the slightest of natural aptitude) for the Oval Office—let alone the insane ordeal of a fight-to-the-finish presidential run.

    Even if Carson’s candidacy fades away quickly, he’s probably already thrilled his agent. As long as he doesn’t step on a P.R. landmine that offends even the Tea Party crowd or the NRA, he’s probably already already built a lucrative brand. And the great thing about building a brand through politics? You convince other people to use their money to give you national and even international recognition!

  23. Carson gets away with being insane because he speaks quietly and in a reasonable tone. It’s his bedside manner. He sounds thoughtful and measured. It takes a minute or two to register that what he is saying is bat[guano] insane – very pleasantly and courteously bat[guano] insane.

  24. Is Ben Carson Insane? Ben is all that and even more. Ben has said a lot of crazy before such as, “A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay,” so he’s fully capable of talking full throttle crazy to the Republican Fox News crowd.

    And he’s a neurosurgeon? You’re telling me that he didn’t notice during all his cranial explorations just how sloppy the creator is?

  25. I don’t know if Carson is insane. But he is an SDA, which is close enough.

  26. Carson on Ad­vanced Place­ment his­tory: “I think most people, when they fin­ish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for IS­IS.”

  27. Surely we can all agree that Carson’s schtick is more appealing to the drooler community than Jindal’s more intense , earnest approach. Carson is the master of a good bed side manner. Pleasant, friendly, unassuming
    Ben’s game is “if you say it smoothly enough you can convince the public bear crap is really honey”.

  28. ‘Amazingly there are a significant number of scientists who do not believe it but they’re afraid to say anything.’

    And his evidence is . . . ?

    He said: ‘Now, what about the Big Bang theory? I find the Big Bang really quite fascinating. I mean here you have all these high-faluting scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order.’ He explains the same scientists promote the second law of thermodynamics – entropy – which says that things move towards a state of disorganization.

    This is why a medical doctor shouldn’t opine about astronomy or physics.

    What Dr. Carson doesn’t grasp is that the universe actually was perfectly organized by definition at the moment of the Big Bang: all mass and energy, space and time were together in a single ultra-tiny point. And ever since, they’ve been moving apart. Energy, in particular, is moving toward a final state in which it’s spread evenly throughout the universe, at which point it will no longer be able to do any work, because that depends on there being more energy in one place than in another.

    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 enough period of time – billions and billions of years – one of them will be the perfect explosion”

    And since when have scientists talked about anything of the sort?

    Well, to be fair, “multiverse” theorists do–but in their case, the idea isn’t that these explosions occur over “billions and billions of years” but all at once, and are in a sense one and the same, just happening differently–or, if you like, they’re all different regions of the same explosion.

    Dr. Carson is a Seventh-Day Adventist? That explains a lot. I spent several purgatorial years as an “infidel” (their word, I swear) in one of their schools, South Lancaster, Massachusetts’ Browning Memorial elementary school, and got a really close view of them. When I was in sixth grade, for example, our teacher had us take our science books and wherever they said “millions of years,” cross out “millions” and write in “thousands.” Education by vandalism. (I didn’t do it, by the way.) SDA’s can be nice people as long as you don’t rub their religion the wrong way, but I wouldn’t want one as president, not in this century.

  29. As many here have pointed out, the short answer to the Curmudgeon’s question is indeed a resounding “YES“. Or, to use an acronym that the Curmudgeon’s rules don’t allow me to write out, CAAFL. Hint: the first three letters stand for Crazy As A an the last for Loon — and I apologize to Gavia immer for the slander of a lovely bird.

  30. abeastwood says Carson is “CAAFL.”

    It would appear that brain surgery isn’t rocket science.

  31. Opps, you left the F out … the web site monitor must be pretty clever!

  32. Oh, now it’s back, sorry.

  33. michaelfugate:
    “… professional apologists all tell us they were once atheists and “evolutionists” and the “evidence” converted them to Jesus and Genesis. Are they not being truthful?

    They are not being truthful. And if they were, they were only low-faluting scientists, anyway.

  34. The whole truth

    Yep, Carson is insane, just like all other republican politicians and a few democrats.

  35. the evidence converted them
    I should think that that is not compatible with standard theology about grace.
    One is converted by the grace of God. Not by one’s own effort, not by something like examining evidence.

  36. Ceteris Paribus

    Recently the US Congress fawned over a visiting head of state who firmly claims that the piece of planetary real estate his country now occupies was granted to them thousands of years ago by no less than an edict direct from the lips of their god.

    And currently the White House, Congress, and millions of citizens are fawning over another visiting head of state who firmly holds that even on this finite planet, his own personal god will make room for infinite population growth.

    Why should there be anything odd about the US electorate choosing Ben Carson and his god to be the head of state?

  37. @Ceteris paribus: Perhaps not odd, but definitely scary!

  38. The first time I heard of Ben Carson was in the early 90s on Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” Any questions?

  39. TomS, I am not so sure about a certain breed of conservative Christians – they treat religion like it should be a science – it’s not, but that is the way they approach it.

  40. @michaelfugate:
    There is a development in American Reformed theology from the early 19th century called “Princeton Theology”. (Wikipedia has an article. It is named for the Princeton Theological Seminary, which has no relation to Princeton University.) It tried to make a theology based on Scottish Common Sense philosophy, and applied Francis Bacon’s idea of the Scientific Method to the Bible.

  41. Carson and his wife have apparently written a book on the Constitution – a subject for which he apparently knows as little as he does about science.

  42. Ben Carson denies evolution
    And climate effects of pollution.
    He’s made it quite clear:
    When problems appear,
    His Bible’s the only solution.

    MORE rhyming fun here.