NASHVILLE — Republican presidential contender Ben Carson restated his views on creationismSunday, wrapping up his weekend in Tennessee with a visit to one of Metro Nashville’s largest churches.
Carson delivered two speeches Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church in Madison. The words from Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who’s recently surged in GOP presidential polls, sounded at times like a stump speech and a sermon.
“They say, ‘Carson, ya know, how can you be a surgeon, a neurosurgeon, and believe that God created the Earth, and not believe in evolution, which is the basis of all knowledge and all science?’,” Carson said during his second speech, referencing “progressives.”
“Well, you know, it’s kind of funny. But I do believe God created us, and I did just fine. So I don’t know where they get that stuff from, ya know? It’s not true. And in fact, the more you know about God, and the deeper your relationship with God, I think the more intricate becomes your knowledge of the way things work, including the human body.”
This is not the first time Carson has spoken about his doubts on evolution. Several national publications, including the Washington Post, BuzzFeed and others, have noted a speech from 2012 and other comments where Carson likened the big bang theory to “fairy tales” and questioned the motivation behind Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, recently described himself in an interview with CNN as “not a real religious person.”
“I’m a person who has a deep and abiding faith and relationship with God,” Carson told CNN. “But I’m not really into a lot of religious dogma and rituals — ‘You can’t do that, and you can’t do this.’ I don’t believe in that. I believe you have to have a deep and abiding faith in God.”
His views and speeches on faith and religion have endeared him with evangelical voters in Iowa and elsewhere, helping him tie or pull ahead of business tycoon Donald Trump in several recent GOP presidential primary polls.
Carson spent Friday in Memphis before joining Franklin Mayor Ken Moore at his home Saturday morning for a fundraiser. Carson also attended a fundraiser Saturday in Belle Meade before speaking during both Sunday morning services at Cornerstone.
Tennessee is among several Southern states participating in the March 1 “SEC primary.” The relatively early date of the primary and the still-crowded GOP presidential field mean conservative-leaning Tennessee could play a key role in choosing the Republican party’s presidential nominee.