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Creationist Invited to Speak at Johns Hopkins Commencement! But…

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Johns Hopkins invited creationist Ben Carson to speak at the 2013 graduation. Unfortunately, he chose to withdraw as the speaker because gay rights activists complained about Carson’s comments against gay marriage. What is notable is that it is probably well known by now at Johns Hopkins that Carson is a creationist, and that didn’t stop the Johns Hopkins from inviting him to speak.

Ben Carson Withdraws as Johns Hopkins Graduation Speaker

Dr. Ben Carson announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing as graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins University, ceding to demands from students concerned about his controversial recent comments about gay marriage.

“Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year,” Carson said in an e-mail to the dean of the Johns Hopkins medical school, Paul Rothman. “My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.”

but Carson will be giving a speach at Midwestern State University in Witchita. But Jerry Coyne fumed saying, “Creationist-neurosurgeon-speaks-at-yet-another-commencement”.

Yes, Carson worked his way up from a horrible background (raised in Detroit by a single mom) to a position of prestige and accomplishment, and yes, he’s been a role model to black students. But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly creationist views. …the officials who pick commencement speakers should have excluded him

HT Mike Gene, Jerry Coyne

12 Replies to “Creationist Invited to Speak at Johns Hopkins Commencement! But…

  1. 1
    RexTugwell says:

    “Yes, Carson worked his way up from a horrible background (raised in Detroit by a single mom) to a position of prestige and accomplishment, and yes, he’s been a role model to black students. But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly creationist views.”

    I think the above says more about Coyne’s mind than Carson’s accomplishments…and it ain’t flattering.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    What mind? The decidedly sub-optimal one of his choice, bereft of free will?

  3. 3

    AS IF “creationist views” are arrived at in some way other than Coyne’s own views – individual results of computed biology. AS IF, under Coyne’s paradigm, Dr. Carson has any choice but to believe what he believes.

    Coyne might as well say “But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly black skin,” because in Coyne’s world, there’s no meaningful difference between skin color and one’s metaphysics – they’re both the inexorable result of physics via biological evolution.

    Any condemnation of one’s beliefs is no different than a condemnation of one’s skin color, if all traits are the result of unintentional processes.

  4. 4
    bw says:

    touché Axel

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    If it was just about students celebration of graduation then the school should not let the gay militants stop and censor and punish people because of the wrong beliefs on gay marriage.
    Mr Carson should of ignored the militants. Its not taking a higher stand. The high stand is that these graduates who expect to get above average the good things of America should pull their weight on freedom of thought and inclusion of the population even if disagreeing about obscure things.
    Where is the strength and determination of Americans to not back down to the bad guys.?!

  6. 6
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Robert Byers:

    Ben Carson had a brain fart and he later apologized for the “poorly chosen” words. So to me it’s not clear why the militant gay rights activists are protesting. Do they not know that he apologized?

  7. 7
    Bruce David says:

    Coyne:

    Yes, Carson worked his way up from a horrible background (raised in Detroit by a single mom) to a position of prestige and accomplishment, and yes, he’s been a role model to black students. But none of that, to my mind, outweighs his profoundly creationist views. …the officials who pick commencement speakers should have excluded him

    What a remarkable statement, when you really look at it. The fact that he is a creationist trumps everything else, including freedom of speech. This strikes me as the words of someone who is truly terrified for his worldview.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    Life Got You Down? Just Remember You Got Thumbs! – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s8y9a12saU#!

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Ben Carson humorously relates just how complex the process is just to raise your hand in the following short video:

    Ben Carson – Raising Your Hand – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....age#t=148s

    I was a bit disappointed that Dr. Carson, in his excellent elaboration of the extremely complex process involved for just raising your hand, did not bring up a point that is a fairly ‘common sense’ view that most Theists hold. That fairly obvious ‘common sense’ view that most Theists hold is the necessity of the soul to get the ball rolling towards raising your hand. In the following video, Dr. Craig Hazen relates how he demonstrated, to academics, how the ‘simple’ process of raising your hand is actually, by all rights, a miracle that requires a transcendent soul to explain it satisfactorily,,

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....qlE#t=746s

    Perhaps some atheists may need more proof that there is something transcendent to them. Something set completely apart from all these extremely complex material processes of the brain and body:

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;lpg=PT28

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.”
    Sir John Eccles – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....15901.html

    Maybe that evidence is still not good enough for some hardcore atheists. If so, here are the results of many years of experiment testing the effect of ‘intentionality’ on random number generators::

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    I once asked a evolutionist, after showing him the preceding experiment, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance/chaos’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”

    Perhaps that is still not good enough for some hardcore atheists. If so, in the following experiment the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is completely undermined by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?

    If that is still not ‘good enough’ for a hardcore atheist to believe that we have a transcendent component to us, a soul, that is not reducible to the extremely complex material processes of the brain and body, then all I can conclude is that the atheist has freely chosen to blindly believe in his atheism no matter what the evidence actually states to the contrary.

    Verse and music:

    John 3:19
    And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

    Nickelback – Savin’ Me – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPc-o-4Nsbk

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    supplemental notes:

    Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

  11. 11
    Robert Byers says:

    Bruce David
    Indeed saying being a creationist trumps your other claims to deserving stuff.
    In fact6 I would suggest Carson being a Christian is far and away the real reason he did well.
    Blacks still don’t compete well and its usually blacks with very segregated identies. Such as being foreign or of some minority religious group and so on.
    Being Christian, a rare thing in urban black male America in reality, is why he was motivated to get involved in higher intellectual things.
    Identity is everything.
    When attacking a black achiever and trying to hurt or take something from him because of Christian beliefs then it just is poor strategy in these times.
    Its worse in urban black America for a Jew to do it.
    Mr Coyne is not paying attention.
    things like this help creationism plenty.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Power of Prayer: Studies Find Prayer Can Lead to Cooperation, Forgiveness in Relationships – May 14, 2013
    Excerpt: “My previous research had shown that those who prayed for their partner reported more prosocial behavior toward their partner, but self-reports are subject to potential biased reporting,” Fincham said. “This set of studies is the very first to use objective indicators to show that prayer changed actual behavior, and that this behavior was apparent to the other partner, the subject of the prayer.”
    In addition, objective observers found those who engaged in partner-focused prayer exhibited more positive behavior toward their partners compared to those who did not pray for their partner.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....184139.htm

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