Misguided protest over Carson commencement speech at Hopkins

Dr. Ben Carson was scheduled to make a commencement speech at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine but was forced to withdraw amid the uproar caused by his odious stance on gay-marriage.  However, I think that this protest was misguided.  We live in a democracy, with free speech (and odious ideas) protected for each and everyone of us.  Dr. Carson is free to hold ideas, and say things, that we find abhorrent, and should be allowed to freely conduct his business.  He should not have been prevented from making his commencement address for his beliefs on same-sex marriage. Dr. Carson should have not been invited to make the commencement speech by Johns Hopkins in the first place, owing to his views on evolution, and his views on creation. Dr. Carson is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  The church holds that the bible is the written word of god, who created the universe in six days.  All humanity is currently part of a battle between Christ, our saviour, and Satan, and Christ will return to take the righteous dead and living to heaven.  They see the second coming of Christ as imminent. Presumably, Dr. Carson shares these views. As to evolution, here are some of Dr. Carson’s views:

“But evolution means one organism eventually changing into another quite different, and there’s no evidence for such change. God allowed for adaptation, which speaks of a wonderful Creator who gave His creatures a genetic structure flexible enough to adapt. But that’s not evolution.” How would Dr. Carson explain away this finding?

“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!”.

So there you have it, an esteemed member of an esteemed research institute dismisses over a century of research and supporting data because, well, you can’t prove evolution. Oh by the way, you can’t prove creation, but that fits with his faith so he goes in that direction. It is clear that Dr. Carson has only a passing acquaintance with science and the scientific method in making such outlandish statements. He has a medical degree, and people often mistake that as meaning that the holder of the medical degree has a training in science and that is often not true, with Dr. Carson being a case in point. These are the beliefs of a distinguished neurosurgeon that was going to give the commencement address at one of the worlds most distinguished research institutes.How do you think the 27 Johns Hopkins Nobel Laureates in Science and Medicine would feel about Dr. Carson’s dismissal of evolution as needing more faith than creationism to be believed? By the way, Dr. Carson also says some outlandish things about research in what is presumably his field of expertise:

“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 . . .”

“Put a probe on the hippocampus of an 80-year-old man, and he can tell you verbatim the words of a book he read 60 years ago.”

I hope these statements are not representative of his awareness of the research in the area of human memory. It they are, I would be keen to see the research evidence upon which he draws these conclusions.

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