ENV: How do the scientific issues you write about affect the way we live? Why should the Darwin question matter to people who don’t normally concern themselves with scientific theories? DB: I think of the Darwinian debate in the way that Dickens thought of Jardynce v Jarndyce in Bleak House. It is awfully easy to be sucked into it, […]
ENV: You describe yourself as a “secular Jew” and “remarkably indifferent to the religious life.” Yet so much of your writing bears directly on whether religion has been intellectually defeated by secular, science-flavored ideologies. You can’t have given no thought to religious questions. Would you share with us your hunches and suspicions about spiritual reality, […]
ENV: Darwinism is fiercely guarded by a scientific guild. What does the guild have at stake in this? Prestige? Money? To some observers, the defense seems impermeable. Do you see cracks in the fortress wall opening up? DB: Fiercely guarded, but not, mind you, effectively guarded. If the Darwinian Guild, to adapt your phrase (since science has nothing […]
ENV: Did anyone in particular, a colleague or friend, influence the conclusions you reach in these essays? DB: No, I don’t think so. Daniel Gallin has been an influence on my thinking, but our friendship ended more almost thirty years ago, and so his influence is no longer of this time or place. Daniel introduced me to model theory. […]
David Berlinski has been accused of being many things, but speechless is not one of them. Here is is a short interview clip from ID The Future where he addresses a range of scientific and philosophical issues that he expanded on his book The Devil’s Delusion, which has just this week been released in paperback from Basic Books.
ENV: When did you start thinking, as a critic, about Darwinian evolution? Did anything in your biography incline you to freethinking in that area? DB: It was the fall of 1965. My graduate school roommate Daniel Messenger and I were ambling along Nassau Street in Princeton. We were munching the kind of wonderful Winesap apples […]
ENV: Were you always subversive? Tell us about the childhood David Berlinski. DB: I am not sure that I would care to think of myself as subversive. It is a mole-and-badger kind of word, isn’t it? So long as we are searching for similes, I would prefer lion-like. Regal is another fine word. I was from an early age indisposed to […]