Leading scientist and atheist activist Richard Dawkins says Republicans are a “disgrace” for denying evolution while taking specific aim at GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson during an appearance on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
Dawkins, appearing on CNN Sunday with Fareed Zakaria, discussed science and evolution, and expressed his disgust at the fact that Republican presidential candidates continue to deny that evolution is a scientific fact.
After Zakaria mentioned that almost all of the Republicans running for president don’t accept evolution as a fact, Dawkins said:
This fills me with despair. This is not something you believe in or not. I mean, this is a fact. It is a fact. It’s just as much of a fact as the Earth goes around the Sun. You can’t not believe it unless you’re ignorant.
Dawkins expressed particular disgust with Dr. Ben Carson’s views on evolution:
You’ve just told me that all the Republican candidates except one say they don’t believe in evolution. I mean that’s a disgrace. But for a senior, a very eminent distinguished doctor, as he is, to say that — it’s even worse, because, of course, evolution is the bedrock of biology. And biology is the bedrock of medicine.
He clearly doesn’t understand the fundamental theorem of his own subject. That is a terrible indictment.
Dawkins added that it maybe that the GOP candidates are not ignorant, but that they are merely lying to their conservative Christian base in order to get elected:
I believe what they’re doing is they think that they’ve got to say that in order to appeal to their constituency. And if that’s true, it’s deeply depressing.
Evolution is the single, unifying scientific explanation for the diversity of life on earth, and constitutes the foundation of the biological sciences. To deny the reality of evolution is to deny the foundation upon which modern medicine and the related biological sciences are built.
If there is a controversy about evolution, it is not scientific. The controversy is not about science, but religion. The fact is that once the theory of evolution is accepted, a literal, fundamentalist reading of Biblical creation is rendered untenable. Many conservative Christians are simply unable to accept evolution as a scientific fact for this reason.
As noted, Carson’s rejection of evolution is not unique among the current crop of Republican presidential candidates. Indeed, the current GOP has cultivated a dangerous stance that is anti-science, and anti-intellectual, a stance that rejects science and intellect in favor of faith and religious superstition.
Portions of this article were previously published here. Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Nov. 1, 2015: