David Berlinski Writer, Thinker, and Raconteur

Controversial New Collection Highlights Berlinski’s Dismantling of the Facade of Scientific Overconfidence


What do Discover magazine, The London Gazette, The Wichita Eagle, Commentary, Forbes, The Weekly Standard and UC Berkeley’s student paper, The Daily Californian, all have in common? They are just some of the publications that have published an essay or opinion piece by David Berlinski in the past 15 years. And those pieces are among 32 of Berlinski’s finest finally collected together in one volume: The Deniable Darwin

Berlinski, there is little argument, is a skeptic’s skeptic — the last of a dying breed. Lately it seems that everywhere one looks there is someone with the answer to everything. There are precious few true skeptics left, and Berlinski is certainly in the top rank in regards to the sciences.

When it comes to some of life’s most profound questions — the origins of life, of matter, of the universe itself — does modern science already have everything all figured out? Many scientists would like us to think they are mere steps away from solving all the deep enigmas of physical existence.

Consummate skeptic David Berlinski shows without that all such confidence is at best a bluff. 
In essays about evolution using humor and wit, Berlinski shows how lost today’s scientists really are.

His new book, The Deniable Darwin, frees us from the superstition of preening scientism and illuminates the path to a renewal of real science.

In The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays (DI Press 2009) Berlinski wields his famous skepticism, excluding neither Darwinism nor intelligent design from his critical eye. Included among the 32 essays spanning 15 years are his award winning essays, “What Brings a World into Being?” and “On the Origins of Mind” (Best American Science Writing 2002, 2005, respectively).

The prolific author of numerous books on mathematics and logic, Berlinski has written a series of famously controversial essays on biology, physics, psychology, and mathematics in Commentary magazine, provoking each time an outpouring of dumbfounded letters to the editor. Berlinski’s replies are witty and sharp. For the first time, The Deniable Darwin collects all of these essays and exchanges, and others in a similar vein, into a single volume.

Here’s some of the praise for his new book:

Berlinski is to science writing what Tiger Woods is to golf. He can score from anywhere, against any opponent, on any course. The Deniable Darwin is a compulsive revel of his incandescent prose and jugular polemics. As irresistible as Gödel’s Proof.

George Gilder, author of The Israel Test, Wealth and Poverty, and Telecosm

Berlinski’s ability to weave the lessons of history with the wonders of modern science is unmatched, as is his use of subtle humor that enlivens his text. These essays will delight many and annoy others, regardless of on which side of the ideological aisle of science you may stand—for science has an ideology as Berlinski so well documents.

Gerald Schroeder, author of God According to God: A Physicist Proves We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along and The Science of God

Berlinski is a genuine intellectual hero, one whose challenge to the certainties of evolutionary biology and Big Bang cosmology—the comfortable certainties of conventional wisdom about the origin of man and the origin of the universe—does not come from allegiance to rival certainties such as biblical creationism. Instead, Berlinski turns the methods and assumptions of science on itself to demonstrate the implausibilities underlying the arrogant claims of the grand theorists.

Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars

Berlinksi’s rapier wit is the antidote to the insufferable smugness of modern scientism. When, without any seeming effort, he notes that ‘like the Communist Party under Lenin, science is infallible because its judgments are collective,’ the reader is forever immunized against grandiose claims for scientific ‘consensus.’ Much more awaits the readers of this wonderful collection.

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University, and author of The Edge of Evolution and Darwin’s Black Box