By ARIANA APOSTOL-DOOLEY
Egyptian pyramids were used for storing grain, homosexuality is a choice and evolution is fake, according to Ben Carson, Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia places Carson in second place for electoral college ratings, behind only Donald Trump. Carson has not only made wild assertions that have definitively been proven false, but also made claims about his past that no one has been able to corroborate– and he might be our next president.
Ben Carson is a Yale graduate and conservative neurosurgeon who rose from an impoverished and violent background. He claims that he used to experience violent episodes during which he stabbed a friend, attempted to hit his mother with a hammer, beat someone with a baseball bat and threw bricks.
Several parts of his stories from his past, however, proved questionable or even completely false upon closer examination. CNN interviewed nine of Carson’s peers during his childhood to verify these stories, and found that none of them had any recollection of the violence he describes in his 1990 book, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. A classmate from Carson’s high school even said that nobody “knew anything about that happening… Everyone…would know about it if something like that happened.”
The poverty in Carson’s past is questionable despite the claims made in his book. According to some of his childhood neighbors, Carson’s childhood home was actually standard for the middle class, rather than dilapidated and dangerous.
Additionally, Carson claimed to have been offered a full scholarship to West Point military academy, although Politico discovered that the Republican candidate never even applied to the school, far from formally being offered a full ride or getting accepted. Though he later clarified that he never specifically stated that he applied, Carson still received ridicule for including this claim in his book.
CNN also reported that Carson rejects several scientifically proven facts. He claimed that people often go into prison straight and leave gay, therefore proving that homosexuality is a choice. This is outrageous, and has been contradicted by scientific studies that suggest that sexuality is a product of genetics and womb environment, as reported by TIME magazine, in response to Carson’s wild claims. In line with his streak of outlandish remarks, the Republican candidate even once stated that Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
Carson clearly relies heavily on his religion, Evangelical Christianity, in his campaign and beliefs. He believes evolution is “an idea encouraged by the devil,” rejecting all existing evidence that supports evolution as a scientific fact. He claimed that his “own personal theory is that Joseph built the [Egyptian] pyramids to store grain,” which he stated in a 1998 commencement speech at Andrews University, despite historical proof that the pyramids were constructed to serve as tombs.
Ultimately, this conservative Christian candidate may have decided to run for president of the United States because he felt that God wanted him to do so. Carson’s beliefs and stories, however, often do not align with what the reality of what scientists and reporters have found to be the truth. While he currently remains a popular candidate among certain Republican voters, American voters as a populace do not want to be deceived or lied to by their president.