David Berlinski

David Berlinski

Thinker, Writer, Raconteur

Bestselling author David Berlinski holds a PhD from Princeton University and has taught philosophy and mathematics at universities in France and the United States. A Senior Fellow of Discovery Insitute, he is the author of such books as The Deniable Darwin, A Tour of the Calculus, The Advent of the Algorithm, Newton’s Gift, and The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. He lives in Paris, France.


Applaudissement

“Berlinski knows his science and wields his rapier deftly. He makes great sport with his opponents, and his readers will surely enjoy it.”

Tom Bethell, bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science

Conventional wisdom holds that the murder rate has plummeted since the Middle Ages; humankind is growing more peaceful and enlightened; man is shortly to be much improved—better genes, better neural circuits, better biochemistry; and we are approaching a technological singularity that well may usher in utopia. Human Nature eviscerates these and other doctrines of a contemporary nihilism masquerading as science. In this wide-ranging work polymath David Berlinski draws upon history, mathematics, logic, and literature to retrain our gaze on an old truth many are eager to forget: there is and will be about the human condition beauty, nobility, and moments of sublime insight, yes, but also ignorance and depravity. Men are not about to become like gods.

Previous Books

News

Reports on David’s writing, thinking, and raconteuring from Evolution.News.


Watch: Londoners Ponder the Existence of a Soul

Umar Nasser is a doctor in London, currently training to be a psychiatrist. We last met him chatting up David Berlinski, the latter ensconced on a couch too short for the two interviewers plus Dr. Berlinski. (See “Berlinski Banters Entertainingly with ID-Friendly Muslims.”) Dr. Nasser and his website, Rational Religion, make their videos with a great sense of humor. The videos look effortless but I’m sure they’re not. Here in a new entry, he asks a diverse group of Londoners on the street whether they think they have a soul. Or is the mind no more than electrical signals firing through an agglutination of meat and chemicals? https://youtu.be/1jMSR_KmYW8 What’s interesting is that almost everyone says yes, he or she indeed has a soul. That’s notwithstanding that on

Farewell to Gertrude Himmelfarb, Brutally Honest Historian of the “Darwinian Revolution”

Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb died at her home on Monday evening, December 30, 2019. For readers of Evolution News, her real magnum opus remains Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, first published in 1959, revised in 1962, and not only still in print today but available online. At her passing, she was 97 years old. Born in Brooklyn to Russian Jewish parents, she met her future husband, Irving Kristol, when she was 18 at a Trotskyist anti-Soviet meeting. Irving and other enfant terribles of that generation found moorings with the neo-conservative movement. Married in 1942, Bea, as she was affectionately known to her family, never took Irving’s name. (He passed away in 2009.) This Brooklyn College graduate earned a fellowship to the University of Chicago, and after World War II

#1 of Our Top Stories of 2019: Informed by Discovery Authors, Yale’s David Gelernter Rejects Darwinism

Editor’s note: The staff of Evolution News wish you a Happy New Year! We are counting down our top ten stories of 2019. If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment now to contribute to our work in bringing you news and analysis about evolution, intelligent design, and more every day of the year. There is no other voice, no other source of information, like ours. Thank you for your friendship and your support! The following article was originally published here on October 21, 2019. This is important. Yale University computer scientist David Gelernter is a polymath, a brilliant writer, artist, and thinker. Famed both for his specific scientific expertise, and for his cultural, political, and historical reflections, he’s also now a confessed Darwin skeptic.

#5 of Our Top Stories of 2019: Shapiro, Berlinski on the Reversion to the Primitive in Modern Life

Editor’s note: The staff of Evolution News wish you a Happy New Year! We are counting down our top ten stories of 2019. If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment now to contribute to our work in bringing you news and analysis about evolution, intelligent design, and more every day of the year. There is no other voice, no other source of information, like ours. Thank you for your friendship and your support! The following article was originally published here on November 25, 2019. Yesterday’s conversation between David Berlinski and Ben Shapiro, an hour long thanks to the generous medium of Shapiro’s Sunday Special, is so full of treasures, it’s hard to distill it down to an essence. But I’ll try. One theme, which Dr. Berlinski expands on in his new book Human

Is ID the Best Kept Secret? No Longer

When I started working for Discovery in 2006, I would mention the name of Discovery Institute to my friends or acquaintances and would get a blank stare. Few people had heard of intelligent design (ID) or Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. But all that has changed this year, thanks to generous donors who have supported us. ID is no longer the best-kept secret on the planet. This year alone, our videos on YouTube have had over 3.2 million views, Evolution News and Science Today articles have reached over 1.7 million users, and our Intelligent Design the Future podcasts have been downloaded well over 600,000 times. Our donors made it possible for Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and others to be featured on the Ben Shapiro Show, Uncommon

Breaches in the Wall: Reviewing a Year in the Life of Intelligent Design

Editor’s note: At the year’s end, please take a moment now to support the work of the Center for Science & Culture! As we advance the case for intelligent design, in science and in the culture, everything we do depends on you. The Seattle-based staff of Discovery Institute and the Center for Science & Culture just celebrated our Christmas luncheon where we had a chance to reflect on the breakthroughs we saw in 2019. I cannot help but feel as if we are at a moment in history similar to the day the Berlin Wall fell. That day represented the collapse of the barrier separating East and West Germany. In the same way, the philosophical wall separating scientific inquiry from empirical reality is starting to crumble. Increasingly, scientists are realizing, or gaining the

For Christmas, Make New Discoveries with Books from Discovery Institute Scientists and Scholars

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is having more time to read than I do usually. I mean, read actual books. There’s an inviting coziness about this time of year, perfect for shutting the computer down, putting the accursed iPhone away, and retreating to the beauty of printed pages. It’s a golden opportunity to make intellectual discoveries, afforded to us more by books than any other way. It’s for this reason that books make the perfect gifts. No doubt you’ve done all your Christmas shopping by now… Or have you? Whether the answer is yes or no, let me recommend that you add to your own enjoyment of the season, and that of your friends and family, with books. You know, coded information represented in a linear, alphabetic form, one of the hallmarks of

Taking Stock at Year’s End

The days grow short and dark, especially in Seattle this time of year, and my thoughts naturally turn to endings, to what we have accomplished and what is yet to do. I reflect on choices made and roads taken. Perhaps my mood is intensified by the passing of Professor Phillip Johnson last month. He was and will remain one of the great foundations of the modern intelligent design movement. Choices made — the choice to turn my hand to this work and these people. I am well aware of the seemingly overwhelming bastions of academia arrayed against us, which in large part hold us in disdain. I don’t have a particularly tough hide. I am cautious when telling ordinary people I encounter what it is I do. Sometimes people are puzzled, sometimes intrigued. Only a few times have I

David Berlinski on Europe, Entropy, Agnosticism

A new episode of ID the Future features the third and final part of a conversation between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and Darwin skeptic David Berlinski, author of the newly released book Human Nature. They discuss the fate of Europe, then turn again to science, and the challenge the second law of thermodynamics poses for Darwinism and, by implication, to any theory of biological origins restricted to purely mindless processes. Berlinski suggests that this poses a considerable challenge, tempting Robinson to ask Berlinski whether he still consider himself an agnostic. Download the podcast or listen to it

Berlinski: Evolution Toward Virtue and Progress?

A new episode of ID the Future features the second part of a conversation between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and polymath David Berlinski, author of the newly released book Human Nature. Robinson asks Berlinski about a book by Nicholas Christakis, Blueprint, which argues that evolution has endowed us with a genetic makeup that drives human culture toward virtue and progress. Berlinski demurs, pointing to the horrors of the 20th century and noting that the virtues Christakis underscores, such as cooperativeness, can also be put to nefarious purposes. The Nazi Party, for instance, “was a marvelous engine of cooperation. All those Nazis cooperated with one another running death camps.” Download the podcast or listen to it here. Robinson also asks Berlinski about

⋮ More News