Speed Reads

Pyramid Schemes

Ben Carson insists a biblical figure built the pyramids of Egypt to store grain

Ben Carson is not buying the archaeological consensus around Egypt's pyramids. The retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate first floated his unusual theory back in 1998 at a commencement address at Andrews University and, on Wednesday night, he confirmed that he's sticking by it. Here's what he said 17 years ago:

My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs' graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don't think it'd just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.

And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they'd have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists have said, 'well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's how-' you know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you. [Ben Carson]

While the theory that pyramids were used as grain silos was floated in the sixth century, The Atlantic reports that it's long been debunked because, well, pyramids "don't actually have tiny openings" and "they aren't hollow." Still, when CBS News asked Carson about the idea Wednesday night, he responded: "It's still my belief, yes."

As CBS News points out, Carson's theory likely stems from the seven years of plenty written about in Genesis in which "'Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.'"

Watch Carson present his idea below. Becca Stanek