Being curious about the source of the curious viewpoints of presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, I surfed on over to the website for the 7th Day Adventist Church. Here’s what I found, a description of their belief system as regards the creation of all things:
God has revealed in Scripture the authentic and historical account of His creative activity. He created the universe, and in a recent six-day creation the Lord made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” and rested on the seventh day. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of the work He performed and completed during six literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God.
Ben Carson has emphatically supported this worldview in many statements, including the contention that the theory of evolution itself is “the work of the devil.”
This would be news to any scientist laboring away in a genetics lab to map out a human genome, or studying the composition of gaseous stars so many billions of miles they may no longer even exist because it has taken the light they emit that long just to get here.
It all proves that life and reality is never what it seems on the surface. It is always far more complex and far older than it is possible for us to conceive in the moment. The scientific endeavor to discover how the universe was made is an ongoing journey between the massive scope and scale of all that is known and tiny bits of matter that communicate the unknown, and how it also formed.
So to claim, as does the 7th Day Adventist Church, that all reality was created in a “recent six-day creation” is to acknowledge that your worldview is fixed in time. Cemented, as it were, to the perverse notion that God is incapable of inventing or handing even the slightest increments of change. To also claim that this account is historical is absurd. The account of the first five or six days was recorded before any supposed human beings were even in existence to witness such events. The Bible does not depict God sitting down with human beings to lay out some narrative about creation. All it conveys is God telling the apocryphal characters of Adam and Eve to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge. That’s the opposite of filling people in on the history of creation.
Meanwhile, to also claim the human race is the “crowning work of creation” is the ugliest form of hubris possible. Sure, it’s nice that the 7th Dayers grant that humankind is given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. But absent the influence of basic science that contradicts everything about a recent six-day creation (insinuating perhaps 6-10,000 years ago) there is no method by which to achieve that end. And what does “dominion” mean if there is no capacity to apply knowledge of the theory of the evolution in fighting disease or researching a cure for cancer? All of science depends on a human level of understanding that far exceeds the simplistic contention that the Lord made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.”
That tells us much about belief, but nothing about reality. And indeed, that is how men like Dr. Ben Carson and even his opponent Donald Trump run their political campaigns. Positing the idea that they are political “outsiders,” and thus not subject to the corruption of Washington politics, they seem incapable of defining the reality of their proposals in anything but conjectural terms.
In Ben Carson’s case, that is because his faith tradition is literally conjectural. That is, it purposely pulls up short of engaging with reality, preferring instead to call on people to belief and act on a worldview that denies even basic facts of scientific truth. This is the same approach the Catholic Church long ago took in protest of discoveries by men such as Copernicus and Galileo. The church persecuted these men for exposing the world to a reality that contradicted a religious belief.
Such is the case with Dr. Ben Carson, whose anachronistic babble seems to somehow to appeal to people similarly incapable of engaging with reality. In fact, they are proud of their delusions. It makes them “outsiders” in the sense that they take pride in defying convention.
But when convention holds the key to actual truth, and is demonstrably proven so by millions of the world’s best scientists, it is time to call “foul” when a political candidate proposes to impose his belief system on a nation as its President. Dr. Ben Carson is unqualified to be President because he is not in touch with even basic reality, much less complex political and social systems dependent on the naturalistic, scientific means for critical decision-making.
His brand of dominion is dangerous to the human mind and all else it touches. For these reasons, Dr. Ben Carson should put it to rest. It’s pretty clear from history and the science developed by humankind that God can handle reality, but many believers in God cannot. It’s long overdue that society aggressively challenges the supposed “innocence” of worldviews such as those espoused by 7th Day Adventists. America in particular can no longer afford to tolerate anachronisms that produce prejudice, discrimination, ignorance of science and its clear indications of reality, and resisting basic common sense. All such voices should and can be shouted down. Give them and audience under protection of free speech, and then nail them to the wall with patent reason. It’s not hard. We do not need to tolerate nonsensical brands of faith. There are plenty of sensible belief systems that don’t depend on a science of denial.
Dr. Ben Carson is one of many people in America that cannot handle reality. Give it a rest, Ben, on the 7th day. Or whatever. Just go away.