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On Evolution and Intelligent Design, What Are Ben Carson’s Sources?

David Klinghoffer

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Donald Trump and Ben Carson continue to lead the field of Republican presidential hopefuls, a message to their party that voters are fed up with having to choose from a menu limited to “approved” candidates. Whatever his merits as a hypothetical future President, Dr. Carson has set himself apart from the rest by doing his own thinking on scientific questions — especially relating to biological origins.

I detailed some of his views on intelligent design v. evolution here last week. Now our friend Granville Sewell follows up with a piece for The American Spectator, commenting on Carson’s interview with Bill O’Reilly and offering some sources for Carson’s views. These aren’t necessarily the sources Carson himself drew on in staking out his position as a Darwin skeptic, but they show “he’s in good company, at least on the key issues.”

As Carson observed in an interview with David Boze for our podcast ID the Future, “I think one of the most damning pieces of evidence against evolution is the human genome.” He explained:

You can see that you have a very complex, sophisticated coding mechanism — four different [nucleotides] in various sequences that give you millions of different genetic instructions, very much like computer programming, which uses a series of zeros and ones, and different sequences but it gives you very specific information about what that computer is to do.

Well this is at least twice that complex because instead of just two digits we have four digits, repeating in different sequences but always resulting in the same things unless there is a mutation. And if there is a mutation it tends to lead toward degeneration rather than improvement.

Sewell sources that:

Carson is making the same basic argument as made by many scientists at a 2011 Cornell University meeting, that natural causes degrade information, they never create it; see this 2014 Human Events story on the meeting: “Biological Information: New Perspectives from Intelligent Design.” Discovery Institute makes the same point in a powerful new video, “The Information Enigma.”

Thank you, Dr. Sewell. The video, which I scripted, is here:

For all his soft-spoken manner, Carson is an intellectual bomb-thrower. Fortunately, at least when it comes to reasons for preferring intelligent design to Darwinian evolution, he’s got some genuine scientific substance on his side.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.