When I wrote my post on Sept. 24 dissecting Ben Carson’s ignorance of cosmology and evolution, I realized at the end that the people who would read here it already agreed with me, and that I had spent over two hours basically entertaining myself. Still, at least the problems with his creationist views of the cosmos and evolution were on the record somewhere.
Well, Lawrence Krauss has put them on the record in a much bigger venue, the New Yorker. If you want to see a small but loud fish blasted to bits in a barrel, read Krauss’s piece “Ben Carson’s scientific ignorance.” Krauss concentrates more on Carson’s physics arguments—including his mushbrained claims about entropy—than on evolution, but that’s okay, as I’ve done the evolution work.
Here’s one excerpt from Krauss’s takedown:
Last week, when he was confronted, during a speech at Cedarville University, about his failure to understand basic and fundamental scientific concepts, Carson responded, “I’m not going to denigrate you because of your faith, and you shouldn’t denigrate me for mine.” What Carson doesn’t seem to recognize is that there is a fundamental difference between facts and faith. An inability to separate religious beliefs from an assessment of physical reality runs counter to the very basis of our society—the separation of church and state.
Carson continues to insist, as do many religionists, that science, like religion, is simply a form of faith. I’ve picked the meat off that canard before, both in Slate and in Faith versus Fact, and we needn’t belabor it here. What’s funny about that argument is that it boils down to this claim by believers: “See! Science is just as bad as religion!” If they truly were equivalent, theology would have made as much progress in understanding God as science has in understanding the universe. But the score is zero for the former and a gazillion for the latter.
Krauss is probably preaching to the choir as much as I did, for in the end there are few creationists who read The New Yorker, and virtually no supporters of Carson, but it’s still good to get the scientific objections on the record. Krauss concludes, as do most rationalists, that having a man like Carson in the White House is unthinkable:
While many may debate whether his lack of public-service experience disqualifies him from serious consideration in this race, Carson’s ideas about religion, science, and public office, as revealed in the past week, suggest that there are far deeper reasons to be concerned about his candidacy for the highest office in the land.
But of course that goes for nearly every Republican candidate, for as far as I know there is no GOP candidate who openly endorses the truth of evolution.