Ben Carson, speaking September 30 of this year at the University of New Hampshire, asked, “Gravity, where did it come from?” Easy answer? Setting aside Newton’s law of universal gravitation, we could answer that it comes from our spinning heads when people like Ben Carson say such gratuitously stupid things.
What triggered the catastrophic misfiring of synapses was somebody asking a simple question about what Carson believes. And yes, the questioner should have known better. Carson was asked: “You don’t believe in evolution or climate change, I believe. And I was just wondering, do you seriously not believe that climate change is happening?”
Watch for yourself as Carson stumbles his way through to a sorta answer (my comments in parentheses):
Well first of all, you have to hear what I actually believe because the media distorts it enormously for their own purposes. Is there climate change? Of course there’s climate change. Any point in time temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. When that stops happening, that’s when we’re in big trouble (laughter and applause, of course).
What is important is that we recognize that we have an obligation to take care of our environment. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, if you have any thread of decency in you, you want to take care of the environment because you know you have to pass it on to the next generation (Where then is his objection to the Kochs’ plan for our national parks?).
There is no reason to make it into a political issue (because it will just resolve itself if we ignore it?). As far as evolution is concerned I do believe in micro-evolution, or natural selection, but I believe that God gave the creatures he made the ability to adapt to their surroundings. Because he’s very smart he didn’t want to start over every fifty years (this got him applause of course – “soft” evolution for the faith-based). So I say people who want to believe other than that they are welcome to do that (Except science isn’t something you get to “believe” in or not).
I known there are some people who say “you know it all just happened.” Well where did it all come from in the first place? “I don’t know but it’s there somewhere.” (Oh dear…)
So I give them that it’s there. They say there was a big explosion and it all became perfectly organized to the point where we can predict seventy years hence when a comet is coming. Um, that requires more faith than I have (actually, it requires science: S.C.I.E.N.C.E.). You know, that’s a complex set of things. Just the way the earth rotates on its axis, how far away it is from the sun. These are all very complex things (Notice he didn’t say which revolves around which).
Uh, gravity. Where did it come from?
I mean, there are so many things. So I don’t denigrate the people who say “Eh, eh, whatever, somehow it happened.” I don’t denigrate them, I just don’t have that much faith. But they are welcome to believe whatever they want to believe. I’m welcome to believe what I want to believe. They say I can’t be a scientist and yet somehow I became a neurosurgeon and did pretty well.
There you go. He’s a neurosurgeon, so if he says that science is something you can believe in or not, there must be no science, right? Just belief about science.
When presidential candidates start talking like this, it’s time to worry. Actually, it’s past time to worry.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.