Dr. Ben Carson has spent most of his professional career as a man of science, which is why the Republican presidential candidate’s recent remarks on climate change have been puzzling to many.
In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, the neurosurgeon claimed “I know there are a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science,’ but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science, they never can show it. There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused.” The comment soon drew a rebuke from Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown sent Carson a copy of the widely distributed United Nations 2014 report on the science behind global warming, along with a typed letter urging him to read it. “Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material,” Brown wrote in the letter. “Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.”
Previously, Carson has downplayed climate change, arguing “there’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on. As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant.” Now that he has steadily climbed in the Republican primary polls, rivaling front-runner Donald Trump in many, his positions on many issues have come under renewed scrutiny.
And this isn’t the first time Carson’s logic has been called into question. When the GOPer asserted during a CNN interview that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice and went so far as to suggest back in March that someone can become gay in prison, he was criticized by several members of the scientific community. Although he later walked back his remarks, Carson has remained outspoken about his desire to align his religious faith with his interpretation of scientific facts.
“A person’s religious beliefs are the things that make them who they are, gives them a direction in their life,” Carson said during an interview that same month on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But I do not believe that religious beliefs should dictate one’s public policies and stances.”
He added: “I find a very good measure of correlation between my religious beliefs and my scientific beliefs — people say, how can you be a scientist, how can you be a surgeon if you don’t believe in certain things? Maybe those things aren’t scientific. Maybe it’s just propaganda.”
Speaking of things that aren’t scientific, Carson once claimed that God helped him get a great score on a chemistry exam in college by giving him the correct answers in a dream the night before.
So he’s got that going for him … which is nice.