President-elect Donald Trump, during his campaign, repeatedly said he will surround himself with the best and smartest advisers. Only two of his picks have been revealed so far, when on Sunday, Trump announced GOP Chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff and Breitbart News Network’s Stephen Bannon as chief strategist.
According to multiple reports, Trump’s pick for education secretary could be Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon who famously does not believe in the theory of evolution. He is also rumored to be one of the contenders for the post of secretary of health and human services.
Carson, known for thriving in medicine after an impoverished childhood, was in the race for the Republican nomination for president but pulled out in March and later came out in support of Trump. He soon became one of Trump’s advisers, often campaigning for him on the trail. Carson told Fox News Friday he was in discussions with the Trump campaign about a possible post in the cabinet but did not specify what the post may be.
In March, after Carson came out in support of Trump, the president-elect said the two had spoken at length about education. “I was most impressed with his views on education. It’s a strength. It’s a tremendous strength,” Trump reportedly said, adding that Carson will be “involved with us” particularly on health and education.
A May survey of Washington “insiders” found the Trump campaign was leaning heavily on Carson for secretary of education.
The retired neurosurgeon reportedly said Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was actually the work of the devil.
“I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct,” he said. He also referred to the Big Bang as a “ridiculous” idea.
Carson has also called transgender people “absurd” and the notion of questioning the gender definitions for man and woman as the “height of absurdity.”
“You know, we look at this whole transgender thing. I got to tell you: For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is. And now, all of a sudden we don’t know anymore. Now, is that the height of absurdity? Because today you feel like a woman, even though everything about you genetically says that you’re a man or vice versa?” he said, hours before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“Wouldn’t that be the same as if you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan or reading some books and said, ‘You know what? I’m Afghanistan [sic]. I know I don’t look that way. My ancestors came from Sweden, or something, I don’t know. But I really am. And if you say I’m not, you’re a racist.’ This is how absurd we have become!” he added.
The retired neurosurgeon once tweeted, “It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic,” sparking doubts that Carson probably believes the biblical story of Noah’s Ark to be real.
He is a known climate change denier and once compared women who undergo abortions to slave owners. He wanted to outlaw abortions even in instances of rape or incest, saying abortions should only be allowed in cases where the mother's health was at risk.
“All you have to do is go and look up the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest,” he reportedly said.