Dr. Benjamin Carson, a Seventh-Day Adventist neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, and also an outspoken young-earth creationist, was invited to give the commencement address at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. (I’ve posted before about his giving a similar address at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.) Carson is apparently a brilliant surgeon, but how does that square with these views, expressed in an interview at The Adventist Review?:
How does this happen? What are the consequences of accepting evolutionary views of human origins? How does this affect society and the way we see ourselves?
By believing we are the product of random acts, we eliminate morality and the basis of ethical behavior. For if there is no such thing as moral authority, you can do anything you want. You make everything relative, and there’s no reason for any of our higher values.
If we are all the product of chance, the random assortment of atoms, living in a deterministic universe that is simply the consequence of physical interactions, doesn’t it all seem so futile?
Yes, in my education I had to learn evolutionary theories, and as a God-fearing Christian I wondered how to make God and evolution mesh. The truth is that you can’t make them mesh–you have to choose one or the other.
Too many Christians have given up too much to “science,” conceding not just the observed data but the anti-God interpretations. Are you often questioned about being both a logical scientist and a Christian?
Yes, my answer is that the more you understand science, the less you can believe all this is an accident! Just look at the brain, with its billions and billions of neurons, and 100 billions of connections, and how it remembers everything it has ever seen and heard . . .
. . . A few closing thoughts?
Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires. You have no reason for things such as selfless love, when a father dives in to save his son from drowning. You can trash the Bible as irrelevant, just silly fables, since you believe that it does not conform to scientific thought. You can be like Lucifer, who said, “I will make myself like the Most High.”
Can you prove evolution? No. Can you prove creation? No. Can you use the intellect God has given you to decide whether something is logical or illogical? Yes, absolutely. It all comes down to “faith”–and I don’t have enough to believe in evolution. I’m too logical!
Carson’s also opposed to gay marriage, which why some students and faculty walked out of his presentation. Fine: he has the right to express his views, and academics have the right to walk out silently. But what is wrong here is that a respectable university chose as its commencement speaker someone committed to a profoundly misguided view of biology. He is antiscientific, except, perhaps, in the operating room.
Yes, Carson worked his way up from a horrible background (raised in Detroit by a single mom) to a position of prestige and accomplishment, and yes, he’s been a role model to black students. But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly creationist views. He certainly shouldn’t be barred from speaking because of his faith, but the officials who pick commencement speakers should have excluded him because his view of science, based on lies, is hardly exemplary of an institution devoted to learning. Truth outweighs inspiration.