Ben Carson appeared on Fox News Monday night, and spoke to Bill O'Reilly about his faith and the attacks he's received because of it. The discussion specifically addressed recent comments by Bill Maher.
During an episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the host and his guest, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, had the following exchange regarding Carson:
BILL MAHER: “He can separate conjoined twins but he can't separate fact from fiction...He took on the Big Bang theory. He said: 'Ridiculous. Our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of us, is extraordinarily well organized'...”
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: “Except for when asteroids come and render life extinct. But other than that, it's organized. Except for when stars explode...”
MAHER: “And also of evolution, he said: 'I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary.'”
Maher then whispered “The Devil” to DeGrasse Tyson.
O'Reilly played a portion of the segment for Carson, then asked him:
“Are you really a creationist? Do you subscribe to Adam and Eve, and the garden of Eden, and that's where we came from?”
Carson's response pivoted toward the Constitution:
“Well, I certainly believe that God is our creator. And interestingly enough, if you look at our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, it talks about certain inalienable rights given to us by our creator.”
O'Reilly pressed Carson further on whether he was advocating intelligent design or biblical creation specifically. Carson side-stepped, but clarified some misconceptions about his beliefs:
"I think people are allowed their private beliefs. I know a lot of people say that I believe the earth is 6,000 years old—and they have no basis for saying that.
I don't know how old the earth is. It says 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,' and then there's a period there. You don't know how much time elapsed."
What Carson said after that will likely excite the conservative base which has been clamoring for a candidate who's unafraid of publicly expressing his faith, as well as provide fodder for the likes of SNL:
“The other thing is, people don't realize he's God. If he wanted to create an earth that was billions of years old, he could do it.”
O'Reilly noted that “they're trying to diminish” Carson's intellect by mocking his faith.
But at this point, nothing seems to be bringing Carson down. In the face of his comments about the Oregon shooting, his remarks about Islam, and now his pronouncement of faith, his polls just continue to rise.