Dr. Ben Carson on Darwinian Dogma and the DNA/Software Analogy
In the last couple months, we've extensively covered Emory University's embarrassing treatment of Dr. Ben Carson and started a petition in Dr. Carson's defense. (For the highlights, see here, here, and here.) Recently, he kindly agreed to appear as a guest on our podcast Intelligent Design the Future to share his thoughts about the experience.
Dr. Ben Carson's accomplishments, personal and professional, are simply astounding. Although the world now knows him as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at one of the world's greatest hospitals (Johns Hopkins), a groundbreaking surgeon, best-selling author, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (phew!), Dr. Carson wasn't exactly born into his success. Raised in Detroit by his impoverished single mother who could hardly even read, Dr. Carson initially struggled greatly in school; that is, before rising to the top of his class and earning a scholarship to Yale University. To say his life journey is inspiring seems both inadequate and unnecessary.
So why did so many Emory professors and students protest his invitation to deliver the 2012 commencement address? Dogmatists in academia disapproved of, and perhaps were threatened by, Dr. Carson's rejection of Darwinian evolutionary theory. As he mentions in his interview at IDTF, Dr. Carson has found unavoidable scientific evidence of purpose and design throughout his medical studies, and not just in the human brain:
I think one of the most damning pieces of evidence against evolution is the human genome. You can see that you have very complex, sophisticated coding mechanisms for different amino acids, and various sequences that give you millions of different genetic instructions -- very much like computer programming, which uses a series of zeros and ones in different sequences, but gives you very specific information about what that computer is to do.In the end, Dr. Carson gave his address and President Wagner of Emory University promised to perform background checks on future commencement speakers to screen out Darwin-doubters. Meanwhile, Dr. Carson -- who is no stranger to adversity, whether in academia or in inner-city Detroit -- will continue to save countless lives and advance medicine, despite his unpopular scientific conclusions. He offered this acute and graceful reflection:
Historically . . . [in] the world of science, you can find some pretty outlandish things that were thought to be "The Word." And as people become more enlightened they change, but I'm sure in the future we will find some things that make some of the things that we believe now in science seem pretty silly. But, at the time that you believe it, you believe that you are at the pinnacle of knowledge, that you know all things.Surely the scientific community would function very differently if all academics shared his humility. It was a privilege to have Dr. Carson on our podcast. We hope you'll listen.