Monday, November 16, 2015

In response to question about Syrian refugees Ben Carson brags about the size of his frontal lobes.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

"We should use our expertise and resources to help get them resettled — over there — and to support them over there,” he said. “But to bring them here under these circumstances is a suspension of intellect.” 

“You know that the human brain has these big frontal lobes, as opposed to other animals, because we can engage in rational thought processing.” 

The former neurosurgeon noted that his advanced brain gave him the ability to “extract information from the past [and] present, process it, and project it into a plan.” 

“Animals, on the other hand, have big brain stems and rudimentary things because they react,” Carson explained. “We don’t have to just react, we can think.”

You know I actually agree with Carson that human beings DO possess the ability to use rational thought processes.

However knowing that Carson realizes that as well, makes it all the more difficult to understand why he believes that humans cannot have morality without God, that Noah's flood was real and Evolution was inspired by Satan, and that the pyramids were built to store grain instead of the bodies of he pharaohs?

Does this mean that Ben Carson's frontal lobes are not that big? (Not that size is everything of course.)

Or perhaps it means that he simply refuses to utilize them if by doing so it endangers his faith in certain mythologies or conspiracy theories.

When it comes to listening to Ben Carson lecture people about using their developed brains for reasoning, I cannot help but to fall back on that old "Physician heal thyself" chestnut.


  1. In other words, "I've said all I know about the refugee situation, so now I'll talk about my work."

  2. The more I listen to him, the more I am noticing that he says these little offhand things that, when you think about it,are actually quite condescending. The way he says, "You know, the human brain has these frontal lobes", it may as well have been followed by, "you idiot". Or am I being hypercritical? Someone talk me down!

    1. Anonymous7:09 AM

      Most people who've taken 10th grade biology know that much, at least, about the human brain.

      To assert that it's a "suspension of intellect" to bring refugees here is risible.

      Most surgeons are like car repair experts -- they can master the intricacies of their specialty, and have fine motor skills. But I would no more ask my car mechanic about how to defeat ISIL than I would ask Ben Carson. I'd listen repeatedly to my darling mechanic's opinions, but that's different from believing that his opinions are better than those from the Joints Chiefs of Staff.

      The bellicose posturing of the rightwing is depressing to see. The goals of ISIL including turning the Western world against the refugees and against Musilms in general, so that they can develop more unhappy, dissatisfied, unemployed youth to turn to terrorism in their own countries.

      All the call for blood will solidify their achievement of their goals. The world needs subtle, long-term, thoughtful approaches to a terrorist agenda. ISIL must love seeing Trump and Romney and Kristol baying for blood.

  3. Anonymous3:53 AM

    Earth to Ben, of course it would be ideal to keep the Middle Eastern refugees in the Middle East. But it is a region where rational thought has given way to barbarism - largely in the name of religion. What exactly do Ben Carson's frontal lobes have to do with anything? Frankly I think that his frontal lobes disintegrated a few years ago.

    1. Anonymous6:15 AM

      I've been around people that are very smart, but have zero common sense or emotions that make sense!

  4. Anonymous5:07 AM

    In my experience, people who brag about how smart they are usually aren't.

    1. Anonymous6:15 AM

      This is my experience as well. If you're smart, you realize how much you don't know.

    2. Anonymous8:30 AM

      They are extremely insecure.

      Isn't it funny that the two GOP primary leaders both do this. Donald Trump loves to reassure people (and himself) just how smart he is.

  5. Anonymous5:31 AM

    Is "big frontal lobes" the new code words for lack of human feeling towards our fellow man, or just Republican as usual?

  6. Balzafiar5:43 AM

    Hillary has frontal lobes too, and they are bigger than Ben's.

  7. Anonymous6:13 AM

    Carson has a fucking attitude problem. He truly thinks he's better and smarter than the rest of us. He needs to be brought down in some manner.

    He will never be POTUS. Still think he is the token black man put up by the Republican party with them having zero intention and moving him up the ladder further.

    It's truly wonderful that we have an honorable, decent and smart black man in the White House! So wish he could serve a third term! But, President Hillary Clinton will be outstanding there too!

    1. Anonymous9:47 AM

  8. In the face of deadly serious problems, it's sad (sick) that millions of Americans listen to and support the kind of idiocy coming from this demagogue.

  9. Our Lad6:55 AM

    He is a man who was at one time apparently a very good mechanic i.e. surgeon. He is also clearly medicated, delusional, and possibly out of his goddamn mind. The thought that there are conservatives who want this fuck knuckle to possess a SCISSORS, much less the nuclear launch codes is, well somewhat disquieting.

  10. Anonymous7:32 AM

    I disagree with Ben Carson on every issue and I liathe the man the more I learn of him. But all if this talk that "a surgeon is just a glorified mechanic" actually show how ignorant so many people are. I have worked in health care for over 30 years & have several immediate family members who are physicians and surgeons. There is a very delicate balance of art and science in every physician. People, do not show how foolish you are by insisting these people who save our lives as "mechanics". That said, Ben Carson is a damn loon!

    1. Let's apply your point to all professions requiring knowledge, skill, and art. As a retired teacher, I was certainly aware of the "those who can, do" easy dismissal of educators. Teaching wasn't brain surgery, but it was a skill and an art based upon an unending accumulation of knowledge. I respect all endeavors requiring skill, knowledge, and art. However, Carson's accomplishments as a surgeon should not be conflated with his qualifications to be president. One does not necessarily inform the other. That's a lot like saying, "He's a great surgeon, therefore he must be a good dancer."

    2. Anonymous5:20 PM

      Bull 7:32. And I'll defend the mechanic statement though I didn't make those above. A surgeon's skills are largely psychomotor. One proof is that a robot or laser can perform even better. Further, the intense science focus many med programs require can lead to an at atrophy of the affective skills, and a lack of time spent on the humanities and cognitive skills outside medicine.

  11. Anonymous7:40 AM

    7:09 here -- I come from a family of physicians, all of whom acknowledge their own limitations.

    You discount the skills of auto mechanics when you think they're below the level of the medical profession. And you risk your life every day by driving in cars that are fixed by these very same mechanics.

    Most doctors will tell you that surgeons are a species apart -- and that their fine motor skills and their ability to shut themselves off from the humanity of their individual patients, are what has sent them into surgery to begin with.

    So, I won't accept the challenge that I'm "ignorant" or "foolish."
    I have a different opinion of surgeons, or that I don't know any physicians or surgeons. Just the opposite.

    That said, I loathe Ben Carson's stupidity for what he's said outside the operating room, and don't accept that his skill in one specialized area translates into his intelligence about the rest of the world.

  12. Our Lad8:07 AM

    @7:32 Well, I didn't use the adjective "glorified" when I referred to this crackpot as a mechanic. As far as art goes, I've seen his taste in art, him and Jesus. Too bad it wasn't on black velvet. And regarding science, this crazy fucker doesn't believe in evolution. Gimme a break. Because a seven year old can play Rhapsody In Blue perfectly after hearing it once, well I don't necessarily want him inspecting my brain pan.

  13. Anonymous8:42 AM

    This argument reminds me of a discussion I had long ago with a friend. She believed that the advent if the computer age and internet would equalize the playing field intellectually for all people. I disagreed because I believe that it isn't only access to the same information as others but also how we apply that knowledge that differentiates people. Anyway...

  14. Anonymous9:12 AM

    The other day, I mentioned to a friend of mine who, like Carson, is ALSO a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, that Ben Carson thinks the pyramids were used to store grain. She said, "They were."

    I asked her why she would think that, and she said, "It's in the Scriptures." And I quickly replied, "Well, that makes two of you who believe that. I will defer to all the Egyptologists who have actually studied and carefully researched the pyramids."

    Fortunately, she's pretty easy-going, so she didn't throw anything at me, but we did move on to a different subject.

    My point is, I think the whole "pyramid = grain storage" nonsense is probably a Seventh Day Adventist thing, instead of some kind of insanity specific to Ben Carson.


  15. Anonymous9:41 AM


  16. Anonymous1:17 PM

    The complete idiocy of his statement is that it takes frontal lobes to distinguish the difference between people escaping terrorists and actual terrorists.

    To see that refusing to help desperate people only compounds the problem, giving a incredible gift of recruiting material to the Daesh.

    Being afraid to let them come to our country is a brain stem, knee jerk reflex reaction that does not require any thought beyond fear.

    Sweet Baby Jebus - his argument doesn't even support his conclusion.


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