WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said in 2012 that the big bang theory was a fairy tale and that the theory of evolution was “encouraged” by the devil.

In the video first reported by BuzzFeed News, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon made the comments during a speech to fellow Seventh-day Adventists that was titled “Celebration of Creation.”

“I find the big bang really quite fascinating. I mean, here you have all these highfalutin scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists that go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization,” Carson said.

He continued, “So now you’re going to have this big explosion and everything becomes perfectly organized and when you ask them about it hey say, ‘Well, we can explain this, based on probability theory because if there’s enough big explosions, over a long period of time, billions and billions of years, one of them will be the perfect explosion. So I say what you’re telling me is if I blow a hurricane through a junkyard enough times over billions and billions of years, eventually after one of those hurricanes there will be a 747 fully loaded and ready to fly?”

Carson called the big bang theory “ridiculous.”

“[I]t’s even more ridiculous than that because our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of that, is extraordinarily well organized, to the point where we can predict 70 years away when a comet is coming,” Carson told the crowd. “Now that type of organization to just come out of an explosion? I mean, you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing.”

Carson added that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “encouraged by the adversary,” referencing 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. “Amazingly, there are a significant number of scientists who do not believe it but they’re afraid to say anything.”

In a speech at Cedarville University Tuesday, Carson defended his comments, saying he shouldn’t be denigrated for his faith.

“Here’s the key, I then say to them look, ‘I’m not going to criticize you. You have a lot more faith then I have.’ I don’t have enough faith to believe that,” he said, according to BuzzFeed News.

He added, “I give you credit for that, but I’m not going to denigrate you because of your faith and you shouldn’t denigrate me for mine. And that’s the kind of attitude … that I think is very important in the society in which we live today.”

Carson also told supporters that the  Muslim president question has become “a theoretical issue” that’s distracting from important national and international problems, from U.S. income inequality to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Carson’s campaign estimated more than 2,000 supporters came to the Sharonville Convention Center, the first of his three appearances planned Tuesday in swing-state Ohio. Carson got strong cheers and applause for calling for action on the national debt and for strengthened border security to keep out “radical jihadists.”

Jennifer Measel of Waynesville, Ohio, who was selling T-shirts to benefit Carson’s campaign, said he “is resonating with everyone. He says what we’re feeling.”

Carson received a standing ovation later at Cedarville University, a Bible-based college near Dayton, when he said political progressives are leading this push for political correctness in an effort to stifle those who disagree with them.

“They don’t even care if you agree with them as long as you sit down and shut up,” he said to rousing applause.

Carson said Thomas Jefferson would “stroke out and die” if he saw how expansive the U.S. government has become. He urged evangelicals to use their personal “spheres of influence” to get family and friends to express their beliefs and to get out and vote.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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