The leading Republican presidential candidate believes the ancient Egyptian pyramids were used for storing grain and not, as nearly all experts believe, as burial homes for Egyptian pharaohs.
“It’s still my belief, yes,” Dr. Ben Carson told reporters in Florida during a stop on his book tour Wednesday. “The pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. You wouldn’t need hermetically sealed compartments for a sepulcher. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time.”
Carson is leading in Republican polls nationally and in the key early-voting state of Iowa, where his devout faith has helped him impress Evangelical voters. But his religion also gets him into trouble when he contradicts widely understood scientific theories, like evolution.
The former neurosurgeon has said that God created all life 6,000 years ago and rejects Charles Darwin’s widely-accepted theory of evolution. In 2012, he argued that Darwin’s theory was encouraged by the devil.
On “Meet the Press” earlier this year, Carson argued that religion could help interpret science.
“I do not believe that religious beliefs should dictate one’s public policies and stances,” Carson told NBC News. “I find a very good measure of correlation between my religious belief and my scientific belief. People say how can you be a scientist and a surgeon if you don’t believe in certain things. Maybe those things aren’t scientific, maybe those thing are propaganda.”
Carson was asked Wednesday about the pyramids after Buzzfeed dug up a video of a commencement speech by the candidate in 1998, where he argues that the ancient structures were built for grain storage by a Biblical figure.
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said at the time. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”
“And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons. And various scientists have said, ‘Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how—’ you know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you,” he added.
Never one to let a potential gaffe from an opponent go unnoticed, Carson’s rival for the nomination, Donald Trump, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday that he intends to use Carson’s remarks as fodder on the campaign trail.
“I think I’ll have to put that into my repertoire when I talk about Ben, that was a strange deal,” Trump said.