Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is Dr. Ben Carson an Architect?

This blog is about exploring architecture in all its facets. It says so right on the masthead. Architecture is my area of expertise and I am pretty scrupulous about limiting my observations to just that subject. Sometimes other realms overlap this singular intent, as when I felt compelled to write about Donald Trump being “classy.” (The architecture he espouses is distinctly not classy.)  Now it happens again: politics intrudes into the world of architecture with Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson's assertion that the ancient Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain. In 1998 at Andrews University he said “when you look at the way the pyramids were made…. My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids in order to store grain.” On November 4, 2015 Dr. Carson confirmed his original statement when questioned by reporters. The subject has become entwined with 2015 presidential politics.

Is Ben Carson an architect? Or an archaeologist? No on both counts. So on what authority does Dr. Carson make this ridiculous claim?  He knows the pyramids aren’t hollow, doesn’t he? A grade-school-level of knowledge tells us the pyramids are mostly solid rock with a few small chambers and tunnels. Egyptian writings tell us their purpose: for royal entombment.  The pyramids also happen to predate the biblical Joseph. Furthermore, the Bible itself provides no corroboration for this empty idea. Dr. Ben Carson has no training in architecture; he had best stay away from the subject altogether and stick to something he knows, like politics. Oh, wait. He has no experience in politics either…
Pyramid at Giza.  Mostly solid.
Dr. Ben Carson.  Mostly hollow. 
For a detailed analysis of the pyramids-as-granaries idea, read Jason Colavito’s November 6th blog: The Long Strange History of the Pyramids as the Granaries of Joseph.