David Berlinski Writer, Thinker, and Raconteur

Audio and Video

Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (2019)
In Conversation with Rational Religion (2019)
The Devil’s Delusion with Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge (2019)
David Berlinski with Mark Levin (2018)
Science, Philosophy, and Society with Peter Robinson (2017)
American Podium speech, presented by Discovery Institute (2018)
Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
David Berlinski with Ben Stein in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
David Berlinski versus Christopher Hitchens: “Does Atheism Poison Everything?”
Berlinski Uncensored
The Incorrigible Dr. Berlinski by Coldwater Media (2008)


View Podcast Episodes

Berlinski: Men Are Not About to Become Like Gods

David Berlinski
October 4, 2023
Are humans progressing morally as well as materially? What does it mean to be human in the cosmos? On this ID The Future, we bring you the second half of a stimulating conversation between Dr. David Berlinski and host Eric Metaxas on the subject of Berlinski's recent book Human Nature. In Human Nature, Berlinski argues that the utopian view that humans are progressing toward evolutionary and technological perfection is wishful thinking. Men are not about to become like gods. "I'm a strong believer in original sin," quips Berlinski in his discussion with Metaxas. In other words, he believes not only that humans are fundamentally distinct from the rest of the biological world, but also that humans are prone to ignorance and depravity as well as wisdom and nobility. During the second half of their discussion, Berlinski and Metaxas compare and contrast the ideas of thinkers like psychologist Steven Pinker, author Christopher Hitchens, and physicist Steven Weinberg. The pair also spar gracefully over the implications of human uniqueness. Berlinski, though candid and self-critical, is unwilling to be pigeonholed. Metaxas, drawing his own conclusions about the role of mind in the universe, challenges Berlinski into moments of clarity with his usual charm. The result is an honest, probing, and wide-ranging conversation about the nature of science and the human condition. This is Part 2 of a two-part interview.

Berlinski: Why Humans Are Unique in the World of Matter

David Berlinski
October 2, 2023
Eminent paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has argued that humans differ only in degree, not kind, from other organisms, and to think otherwise betrays an ancient and outdated prejudice. But does this match up with what science has revealed in the last century? On this ID The Future, we are pleased to share the first half of an engaging conversation between Dr. David Berlinski and host Eric Metaxas on the subject of Berlinski's recent book Human Nature. Some argue that humans are growing more peaceful, enlightened, and improved by the year, and that a coming technological singularity may well usher in utopia. Berlinski isn't buying it. "There is no society without its underlying ideology," he writes in Human Nature. A universal civilization requires a universal theory, and the prevailing grand narrative preferred by most materialist scientists today is fueled largely by Darwin's theory of evolution. But is the world of matter the only world that matters? In this conversation and in his book, Berlinski argues that human beings have a fundamental essence that is radically different from the essence of other organisms and that cannot be changed at will. It's a view that is supported by the latest evidence about life and the universe in biology, chemistry, physics, and even cosmology. And it represents a fatal flaw in the Darwinian story. This is Part 1 of a 2-part conversation. This interview originally aired as a Socrates in the City event in 2022. We are grateful to Eric Metaxas for permission to share it. Watch the conversation in video form on YouTube.

David Berlinski on the Immaterial, Alan Turing, and the Mystery of Life Itself

David Berlinski
June 21, 2023
The new book Science After Babel is again in the spotlight here at ID the Future, with its author, philosopher and mathematician David Berlinski, and host Andrew McDiarmid teasing various elements of the work. The pair discuss the puzzling relationship between purely immaterial mathematical concepts (the only kind) and the material world; World War II codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing, depicted in the 2014 film The Imitation Game; and the sense that the field of physics, once seemingly on the cusp of a theory of everything, finds itself at an impasse. Then, too,  Berlinski writes, there is the mystery of life itself. If scientists thought that its origin and nature would soon yield to scientific reductionism, they have been disappointed. Life’s “fantastic and controlled complexity, its brilliant inventiveness and diversity, its sheer difference from anything else in this or any other world” remains before us, suggesting, as Berlinski puts it, “a kind of intelligence evident nowhere else.” Get your copy of the book at www.scienceafterbabel.com.

David Berlinski on Chickens, Eggs, Human Exceptionalism, and a Revolution

David Berlinski
June 14, 2023
On today’s ID the Future, Science After Babel author David Berlinski continues discussing his newly released book from Discovery Institute Press. In this conversation with host Andrew McDiarmid, Berlinski explores a chicken-and-egg problem facing origin-of-life research, a blindness afflicting some evolutionists focused on human origins, and the mystery of why science almost flowered in ancient Greece, early Medieval China, and in the Muslim-Arab Medieval Empire, but did not, having to await the scientific revolution that swept through Europe beginning in the sixteenth century. Check out the endorsements and get your copy, paperback or e-book, at scienceafterbabel.com.

David Berlinski on His New Book, Science After Babel

David Berlinski
June 7, 2023
On today’s ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid rings up Science After Babel author David Berlinski in Paris to discuss the philosopher’s latest book. Berlinski is at his cultivated best as the two discuss everything from the biblical Tower of Babel as a metaphor for modern materialistic science, to his friendship with the brilliant and colorful French intellectual Marcel Schützenberger, a world-class mathematician who was self-taught and, as we learn here, came within a hair’s breadth of being swept up in the Chinese Revolution. Berlinski also reflects on the seminal 1966 WISTAR symposium, which laid out some mathematical challenges to Darwinism, challenges that Berlinski says remain unanswered to this day. At the same time, Berlinski gives the devil—here Darwinism—its due.

Medved, Berlinski Take on Steven Pinker and Whig History

David Berlinski
April 25, 2022
On this ID the Future, Human Nature author and polymath David Berlinski and radio host Michael Medved discuss everything from human depravity, the burning of Notre Dame, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Big Bang and a quixotic century-old pact to ban war. Berlinski argues that the case for the death of God and the case for the impending demise of human depravity have been greatly exaggerated. Contra Steven Pinker, Berlinski insists that there is little if any evidence that human evil is being steadily rolled back by the spread of secular values. Further, the idea that science has disproven God flies in the face of trends running in the opposite direction, perhaps most dramatically in the triumph of the Big Bang theory over an eternal universe model. Berlinski, who himself is

David Berlinski on Nazism, Darwinism, Emotivism, and Nature Rights

David Berlinski
March 30, 2022
On today’s ID the Future, Human Nature author David Berlinski continues his conversation with host Wesley J. Smith. Here Berlinski reflects on the Jewish Holocaust, the destructive nihilism of the Nazis and the SS, and the shortcomings of Neo-Darwinism as an explanation for the diversity of life. Berlinski and Smith also discuss the increasingly widespread attacks on human exceptionalism, the growth of emotivism and why it’s a problem, and the bizarre nature rights movement. This is the second and concluding part of a conversation borrowed, with permission, from Wesley J.

David Berlinski on the Universal Civilization, Architectural Decline, and Fleeing the Nazis

David Berlinski
March 28, 2022
On this ID the Future, host Wesley J. Smith talks with polymath and Human Nature author David Berlinski about the philosophy of mathematics, the corruption of science, the burning of Notre Dame, modern Europe’s curious incapacity to build graceful, beautiful structures, and what’s driving the devolution of Western society. But before any of that, Berlinski relates the dramatic story of how his parents, European Jews, escaped the Nazis only by the skin of their teeth. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation borrowed with permission from Wesley J. Smith’s Humanize

Peter Robinson Interviews David Berlinski, Pt. 3

David Berlinski
December 6, 2019
Today’s 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. Here the pair discuss the fate of Europe. Then they 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.

Peter Robinson Interviews David Berlinski, Pt. 2

David Berlinski
December 4, 2019
This 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. In this segment of the interview, 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 twentieth century and by 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.” Robinson also asks Berlinski about Pope Benedict

Peter Robinson Interviews David Berlinski, Pt. 1

David Berlinski
December 2, 2019
This episode of ID the Future features Part 1 of an interview between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and Discovery Institute senior fellow David Berlinski, author of The Deniable Darwin and the newly released Human Nature. Berlinski begins by noting that living systems possess “a degree of complexity that is almost unfathomable” and explains how this poses an acute problem for Darwinism. The two also discuss discontinuities in the fossil record as well as Berlinski’s insistence that “any theory of natural selection must plainly meet what I have called a rule against deferred success.” Berlinski also rebuts Razib Khan’s claim that in rejecting modern evolutionary theory, conservatives sacrifice “the most powerful rejoinder” to the claim “that male and female are

David Berlinski on His New Book, Human Nature, Pt. 2

David Berlinski
November 20, 2019
On this episode of ID the Future, mathematician, polymath, and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Berlinski concludes a two-part conversation with Jonathan Witt about Berlinski’s new book Human Nature. Today he talks about what we’ve sadly lost from the West, disputing secularists’ optimistic claims that we’re less violent than the medievals were. From his home next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, he also muses on the cathedral fire and contemporary France’s inability to build anything like the great cathedral. Re-construct, yes — though even that may lie beyond the collective will of France. Create,

David Berlinski on His New Book Human Nature, Part 1

David Berlinski
November 13, 2019
On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher, mathematician, and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Berlinski answers questions from Jonathan Witt about Berlinski’s celebrated new book Human Nature. Is evolution carrying us upward to new heights of human goodness, as some have claimed? If not that, then will a computer-connected singularity take us on that upward trajectory, as Yuval Noah Harari argues in Homo Deus? With his famous quick wit, Berlinski says no, and warns of a new “explosion of religion,” but a new religion, one without rational grounding and with a great willingness to punish

David Berlinski & Michael Denton, Pt. 3: Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Worldview

David Berlinski
November 2, 2018
On this episode of ID The Future from the vault, mathematician David Berlinski joins biochemist Michael Denton for continued discussion on the difficulties of Darwinian evolution to be a viable modern theory of the origin and development of life and the cosmos. On this episode, Berlinski explains why many conservative intellectuals have trouble doubting Darwin. Denton suggests that the mechanistic, Darwinian framework will eventually collapse, and reviews the essential differences in worldview between the Darwin supporter and the Darwin doubter. Tune in to the final episode of this stimulating

David Berlinski & Michael Denton, Pt. 2: Darwinian Stalemate?

David Berlinski
October 26, 2018
On this episode of ID The Future, philosopher and author David Berlinski joins geneticist and researcher Michael Denton for continued discussion on the debate over Darwinian evolution. Why has the theory persisted? What weaknesses threaten its existence in the 21st century? As Berlinski puts it: “…applying Darwinian principles to problems of this level of complexity is like putting a Band-Aid on a wound caused by an atomic weapon. It’s just not going to work.” Listen in as Berlinski and Denton explain why the Darwinian mechanism is being widely questioned as a viable theory of the origin and development of life. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast:

David Berlinski & Michael Denton: Primary Objections to Neo-Darwinism

David Berlinski
October 19, 2018
On this episode of ID The Future from the vault, Discovery Institute senior fellows David Berlinski and Michael Denton, both long-time critics of neo-Darwinism, discuss their primary objections to neo-Darwinian theory. For Berlinski, a mathematician and author of The Deniable Darwin, the problem is quantitative and methodological. For Denton, a geneticist and author of the new Discovery Institute Press book Children of Light: The Astonishing Properties of Light that Make Us Possible, the problem is empirical. Don’t miss this engaging discussion.  Please consider donating to support the IDTF

David Berlinski on Cladistics and Darwin’s Doubt, pt. 2

David Berlinski
December 8, 2017
On this episode of ID the Future, Dr. David Berlinski continues his exploration of cladistics and the Cambrian explosion. Listen in as Berlinski explains the limitations of cladistic analysis and looks at some specifics of Nick Matzke’s critique of Darwin’s

David Berlinski on Cladistics and Darwin’s Doubt

David Berlinski
December 1, 2017
On this episode of ID the Future, CSC Senior Fellow Dr. David Berlinski talks about his views on the debate over Darwinian evolution and intelligent design. Berlinski discusses the “almost reflexive dogmatic reaction” of the Darwin community to Stephen Meyer’s argument for intelligent design in Darwin’s Doubt, and explains why cladistic analysis doesn’t solve the Cambrian