The story and person of Benjamin Carson makes me so happy because he is just one more amazingly brilliant and talented individual in the field of science and medicine to blow a hole in the tired argument that Christians who believe in God the Creator and not evolution are just uneducated, fundamentalist religious whack-jobs who don’t know what they’re talking about.
Dr. Benjamin Carson is one of the world’s best neurosurgeons. He made history in 1987 when he accomplished what every neurosurgeon before him had failed to do: he successfully separated Siamese twins who were joined at the back of the head. Many other “firsts” followed this, and Dr. Carson continues to blaze a trail in the field of pediatric neurosurgery. He is currently a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and he has been chief of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for nearly a quarter of a century.
His outstanding achievements speak for themselves:
In 2001, Dr. Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 “Living Legends” on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In February, 2008, Dr. Carson was presented with the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal by President Bush at the White House. In June, 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the President, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. He has literally received hundreds of other awards during his distinguished career.
Dr. Carson has been a leader in scientific research his entire career. He has over 120 major scientific publications in peer reviewed journals, almost 40 books and book chapters, and grant awards of about one million dollars. With his clear intelligence in the fields of medicine and science, I think his opinion on the origin of life deserves to be heard.
Does evolutionary theory have any direct bearing on his daily work as a neurosurgeon? Only philosophically, I would say, but can you tell me one field of science where evolutionary theory actually makes a tangible, measurable difference in how that scientist works and contributes to society? It merely plays out in a theoretical or metaphysical or political way.
A lot of people believe in evolution because most scientists do (or at least it’s the common perception that most scientists do). I don’t know the statistics, but I suspect the number of scientists who do not believe in evolution is large and growing. I am not speaking of microevolution, but the general theory of Darwin that all life originated and evolved by gradual and chance advantageous mutations – which is entirely void of factual support.
Back to Benjamin Carson–I’m more than pleased to know that this distinguished man speaks openly and honestly about his faith in God and belief in a Creator and Designer. He looks to the facts and wonders at Darwin’s own assertion that within fifty to 100 years of his lifetime fossil remains would be found of the entire evolutionary tree, displaying an indisputable step-by-step evolution of life from amoeba to human. As Carson points out, this does not exist:
It’s just not there. But when you bring that up to the proponents of Darwinism, the best explanation they can come up with is “Well…uh…it’s lost!”…I find it requires too much faith for me to believe that explanation given all the fossils we have found without any fossilized evidence of the direct, step-by-step evolutionary progression from simple to complex organisms or from one species to another species. Shrugging and saying, “Well, it was mysteriously lost, and we’ll probably never find it,” doesn’t seem like a particularly satisfying, objective, or scientific response.
Dr. Carson is certainly a risk-taker in more ways than one. In fact, his latest best-selling book is called Take the Risk. In his surgical field, he continually pushes forward with innovation and new techniques. For example, with hemispherectomies (removal of half of the brain to prevent untreatable severe seizures), he significantly increased the safety of the procedure by coming up with better ways of controlling bleeding and infection, as well as developing a system of incrementally removing specific brain parts.
In his willingness to explain his creation views, he is also a risk taker. He addressed the National Science Teachers convention in Philadelphia and the very prestigious Academy of Achievement, which includes many Nobel scientists. Dr. Carson’s basic message was that “evolution and creationism both require faith. It’s just a matter of where you choose to place that faith.”
If you’d like to find out more about Benjamin Carson, there are some fantastic resources available. Just this past Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, TNT aired Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Superbly played by Cuba Gooding, you will be inspired to learn of Carson’s upbringing in extreme poverty in Detroit, raised by a single mother with a third grade education. Ben Carson’s story is also told in his autobiography, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Visit the Carson Scholars Fund for information on Benjamin Carson’s education initiatives and scholarships.