Readers Respond to Pyramids and Grain Storage

Whatever the logic of Ben Carson’s comments, TPM Readers clearly think that the time was right for Pyramids to move to the center of the 2016 election debate.

We start with TPM Reader JO

I remember those books and the spate of movies that were associated with them — not just Chariots of the Gods “documentary” but cash-in follow-ups and copies like Beyond and Back(about the experiences of allegedly briefly-dead people) and In Search of Noah’s Ark (no explanation necessary).

What’s interesting is the game being played along the science/religion axis: “scientific” “investigations” “prove” biblical claims, as in creationist/“intelligent design” conflicts in the intervening decades that are still with us (Texas school boards, etc.). But in all these cases there’s a feint towards rationality and the scientific method, however cynically it’s employed: biblical claims are (purportedly) tested against experimentation; either there’s “evidence” or there’s sufficient doubt to fuel the usual attacks on evolution (as “merely” a theory, etc).

But Carson’s position is conspicuously the other way around: he’s saying that even looking for evidence (albeit in the most pseudo-scientific way) is not just unnecessary but wrong-headed. He’s being even less rational than von Däniken’s readers or the viewers of those movies: he’s saying, we don’t need even the rudiments of scientific procedure to know what happens in the universe, past and present, because it’s all in the bible. He’s not even mustering the basic skepticism or curiosity that Chariots of the Gods purports to address. He doesn’t need it.

Digby pointed out that, “when asked about the fact that he is completely without political or government experience” Carson says, “The ark was built by amateurs.” (“This met with wild cheers and applause.”) Digby says: “I don’t know what to do with that.” I don’t either. I think “ignoramus” is too mild. This person could be totally, Caligula-level deranged.

TPM Reader GS had a totally different theory which possibly exonerates Carson …

Apparently Carson isn’t simply a biblical or constitutional literalist, he’s a literal literalist. If I had to guess the source of Carson’s ideas is not some mid-century hoaxer, it’s the FDA’s Food Pyramid. Joseph undoubtedly stored the halvah and baklava on top

TPM Reader JF had a more personal take …

Hi Josh, long-time reader, recent subscriber here. I had a quick comment regarding the latest Ben Carson comments re: the pyramids.

My father is a brilliant pediatric intensivist (one of the most demanding jobs in all of medicine). He has saved or improved the lives of hundreds of children in the course of his 30 year career. He is incredibly brilliant at medicine and absolutely beloved in the medical community in the [city redacted] for his humility, gentleness, and compassion.

He is also an evangelical Christian with some absolutely bonkers, totally unscientific beliefs. I’ve had him tell me, in absolute seriousness, that the rotation of the Earth and Mars were once in perfect synchronization (i.e. exactly 24 hour days for each, not the slightly different lengths each of them have now) and that some kind of planetary catastrophe caused them to become unaligned with significant effects on earth’s history. There is no evidence for this whatsoever, though it seems to be some kind of creationist reading of history. (I’ve searched the Internet but it’s hard to tell exactly where this comes from.)

Having grown up in the every-word-of-the-Bible-is-literal-truth evangelical ghetto, I am totally unsurprised by Carson’s comments. When you are willing to believe that the earth was created in six literal days 6000ish years ago, there is almost nothing that you are unwilling to disbelieve, as long as it meets the criteria of upholding your apriori commitment to the Bible being inerrant.

I thought TPM Reader PB’s reader was a stretch. But who knows? Prediction is complicated.

Remember when Cain was peddling the 9/9/9 tax plan that turned out to come from Sim City?

Well Carson’s statement about the pyramids being used to store grain is actually true in Civilization II where building the Pyramids wonder gives you a granary in every city.

Cain started collapsing round about this time in 2011.

Any other theories?

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