During an interview this week with Fox television talk show host Bill O’Reilly, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson outlined that he doesn’t subscribe to young Earth beliefs as it is possible that the planet is billions of years old.
“Are you really a creationist?” O’Reilly asked during Monday night’s “O’Reilly Factor.” “Do you subscribe to Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, and that’s where we came from?”
“Well, I certainly believe that God is our creator,” Carson replied. “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, a Roman Catholic, then clarified further to ask if Carson believes that the creation account in Genesis is literal.
“Right, but that can be intelligent design, and intelligent design leads to evolution,” O’Reilly responded. “But there are some people—fundamentalists, religious people—who believe, ‘Look, Adam and Eve were there, and that’s what it says in Genesis.’ Where are you on that?”
Carson, a Seventh Day Adventist, said that there is “no basis” for others to claim that he is a young earth proponent. He said that because God is God, it is possible that the Earth is billions of years old.
“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,” he stated. “[Genesis] 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.”
“The other thing is that people don’t realize [is] He’s God. If He wanted to create an Earth that was billions of years old he could do it,” Carson continued. “They can’t do it. How come they’re always trying to put themselves in the same category as God?”
“Well, they try to diminish your intellect,” O’Reilly replied, referring to those who believe in a literal six-day creation. “That’s what they try to do.”
Carson was likewise asked about his beliefs surrounding evolution in an article featured in this month’s Time Magazine, stating that he doesn’t believe in secular evolution in the sense that it suggests that there is no God, but is a proponent of theistic evolution.
“I believe in micro evolution. I believe in natural selection. But I have a different take on it,” he said. “The evolutionists they say there, that’s proof that the theory of evolution is true. I say that’s proof of an intelligent and caring God who gave His creatures the ability to adapt to their environment so He wouldn’t have to start over every 50 years.”