Ben Carson: Amateurs built the Ark; professionals built the Titanic

In today’s tweet that launched a thousand freakouts, Ben Carson trolled the Internet hardcore this afternoon by suggesting that he’s just about had it with all these damn experts:

Carson, an amateur politician, is coming off a debate performance in which his central theme played off of Ronald Reagan’s famous (if accidental) adage, “Facts are stupid things.” He’s running to be a dim Christian’s version of what a smart Christian sounds like, and dim Christians say things like this all the time to sound smart. But even in the context of his dim-Christian’s-smart-Christian persona, this was pretty bad.

For starters, one of Carson’s primary justifications for office is that he was a gifted professional, having been by all accounts a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon. He’s more than welcome to tell us if we should ask our neighbor down the street, or perhaps our local pastor, the next time we need brain surgery.

What’s more, if you really want to get technical, the Titanic was a far better boat than the Ark:

Presuming the Ark actually existed, which it didn’t:

Although, assuming for the moment that the Ark did, in fact, exist, even by Carson’s own telling it was built with the instructions of — you guessed it — professionals!

To be clear, Ben Carson may very well believe that amateurs are better than professionals in a number of respects. After all, he said in 2004 that it was the amateur nutritional supplements provided by Mannatech, Inc. that cured his prostate cancer — not that “professional” garbage peddled by “doctors.”

And the amateur policy wonks over at Carson campaign headquarters know that his tax plan makes sense, so you don’t have to listen to the professionals at the Tax Foundation or any other policy shop who say otherwise.

Which is why the amateur debate-havers in the Republican primary are threatening to take their talents elsewhere, away from the professional journalists who have bothered to ask them questions about their pasts and policy proposals.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Just

    As a former Boy Scout leader with no specialized education in aviation, medicine or the military I am still fully qualified to train our troops, fly an airplane, and perform surgery! Who wants to be first for a heart transplant in my kitchen? Your choice: pig or cow heart?

  • Just

    My 10-year-old grandson is educated enough to know that the Ark did not exist and could not have existed. Any educated person who TRULY believes that the Ark existed is too f*****g stupid to be President. It’s different if he’s merely referencing the story to make a point. It’s also excusable if he’s merely pandering. I can understand and excuse pandering. Blatant ignorance in a Presidential candidate, however, is not excusable. And, if a man with his education still believes in the story of the Ark then he just nucking futs.

  • KaintGetRight

    If that wack ass rap song doesn’t prove his disdain for professionals nothing will.

  • John Perry

    Wow how many hit sites do you people have against Dr. Casron?? lol The lies and vitriol on here is astounding. I guess the “safe negro” as you guys are calling him now is getting under your skin. Well get used to it.

  • Esp a Republican President — ’cause they don’t want anyone “watching” what they do…
    (snicker)

  • MMaximuSS1975

    Religion seems to turn brain surgeons into idiots as well.

  • barrystutner

    This guy is a genius:

    1) Airlines can save a fortune by letting passengers fly the plane!

    2) Hospitals can hire the unemployed to perform surgery: billions saved in medical costs and elimination of unemployment benefits

    3) Eliminate Westpoint, Annapolis. Let Boy Scout leaders provide our officer corps.

    No wonder Ben leads in the polls.

  • rwlorenz

    I have a dollar that I can find Americans who have greater faith in the existence of the Ark than that the Titanic ever existed.

  • rwlorenz

    Is the good Doctor going to propose that amateurs be allowed to perform surgery without a license? I suspect not, because within people’s trained field most of those people are in favor of conserving professional standards. It is when a person goes outside his or her field, as Dr. Carson has now done, that the nonsense talk of amateurs comes in.

  • therling

    At least the professionals thought to put lifeboats on the Titanic; they just didn’t put enough of them on.

  • cinorjer

    Tell you what, Carson, if you ever need brain surgery instead of a “professional” I’ll do it for free. I’ve played lots of games of Operation and I’m pretty good at it. You can’t possibly have a complaint about that, right? After all, you just put the smackdown on “professionals”. Wait a minute, you were one of those professionals, weren’t you? So you’re not a moron, you’re just the usual hypocrite running for office.

    Oh by the way, God built the ark, dummy. It was built, stocked, and floated only because God wanted it to. Noah was just the tool God used.

  • FLL

    I am so grateful that reporters are now following up on Carson’s epic lie during the last debate about denying his long involvement with that snake-oil company, Mannatech. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster deliver our republic from a government headed by this batshit crazy “doctor” who believes the earth is 6000 years old.

  • nicho

    Brain surgery is difficult, but it’s basically just good hand-eye coordination and an intricate knowledge of the anatomy of the brain. It doesn’t mean that you have the qualifications to do anything else well. A surgeon once told me, “I can tie a square knot inside a matchbox with one hand, but when I have to tie up a bundle of sticks in the backyard, I’m all thumbs.”

    The skills involved are similar to being a good watchmaker. Being a good watchmaker doesn’t mean you have the skills to be president.

  • As I’m sure you know, Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, which originated from within the Millerite Christian doomsday cult of the 1830s and 40s, which was very specific about the dates in 1843, then in 1844, when the world was scheduled to end.

    I’m fairly certain we’re all still here…

  • DoverBill

    A small difference being that we have absolute, irrefutable proof of the Titanic’s existence… even after it played chicken with an iceberg.

    As for the an ark:
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=why+the+arc+couldn%27t+float

  • mf_roe

    gAWD was so good at genetics that he copied himself down to a penis (FOR WHO OR WHAT) and the copy turned out to be completely incapable of living without sin (Original is flawed or the workmanship sucks?)
    The Church of Rome banned the bible because it would damage the faith of those who read it.

  • mf_roe

    Carson is toast, he wants to replace medicare with a voucher plan, ask his smug ass what his average fee was, ask him if he would even consult with someone holding a paltry handful of cash or would he rather treat those with a government insured health plan. Social Security recipients will turn on him soon, the shearing they just got on the Shutdown Scam is about to get nasty.

  • Y’know, I’d think twice and almost certainly turn away if I’d heard that the guy operating on my brain or that of my loved ones is so pig-ignorant with respect to genetics, he actually thinks every single living thing on this planet came from one small boat’s contents less than 4000 years ago. And all of them from just a single breeding pair each which, as real scientists now know is basically a death sentence due to lethal recessive gene expression.

    Then there’s this rather good article which explains all the different ways the ark story could not possibly be literally true: http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

    Let’s just say there is absolutely not a single detail about any part of the story which doesn’t fall completely asunder when even mere high school-level knowledge and logic is brought to bear.

    One question I’d love to ask Mental Ben: Why did God decide to save venereal diseases on the ark, five types of which cannot exist outside the human body? And guinea worms, and all the other parasitic intestinal worms specific to humans alone? And mad cow disease? And anthrax and leprosy and all the other diseases? Did the world really need polio and rubella?

    But seriously though, Carson’s level of delusions continue to raise questions about both his sanity and basic mental competence.

  • mf_roe

    I respect people that live the faith that speaks to them, but I reserve the right to question transgressions of those belief systems that are blatantly self-serving. I think Adventists are on the fringe,—–BUT the ones I’ve encountered personally acknowledge lying to be wrong. Carson was lying about his Snake Oil Business. He denied a business relationship and turned around and touted the product–unpaid testimonials of a proven fraud. Who does he think he is DR. OZ?

  • Baal

    After the Ark landed, after the flood waters had subsided after destroying all the life on earth that was not in the Ark, why were there girls left for Noah’s sons to marry?

    Earlier, after Cain killed Abel, why was he worried about what the other people would think of him?

  • Or confuse reported expertise in one narrow specialization of medicine with having the least fucking clue what he’s talking about when it comes to the rest of science, biology, and everything else.

  • Doug105
  • The_Fixer

    Oh yes, amateurs constructed anon-existent ark to weather a non-existent flood at the direction of a non-existent god. One poorly engineered ocean liner designed by fallible humans sank.

    But what of the many, many ships constructed by other fallible humans that have not sunk? What about the many, many people who claim that God has spoken to them, telling them when the earth would end, who are consistently and spectacularly wrong?

    Tell us about them, Ben. I am most interested to hear his non-thoughts designed to get the evangelicals all riled up, paying to hear these ruminations, and buying his books.

  • Doug105

    Half of it, not that it’s a new thing.

  • Doug105
  • mf_roe

    Thanks for invoking the predatory hypocrite stereotype, but Cosby at least expressed doubt and even questioned the insanity of the task lain on him. Carson embraces lunacy with a joyous heart.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    This is just today’s Republican party — “don’t listen to fancy-shmancy educated people, listen to us.”

  • nicho

    So, our presidential campaign discourse has come down to debating fairy tales. O-M-G.

  • Hue-Man

    The source of Carson’s knowledge about the Ark. (Yes, I hesitated.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bputeFGXEjA

  • MoonDragon

    In the words of Metatron (from Dogma): “Noah was a drunk, and look what he accomplished.” Dog spare us from magical thinking.

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