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The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays

David Berlinski

Discovery Institute, Softback, 557 pages, 2009

Item# B139
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It only takes one dose of Berlinski to be hooked. His wit, his way with words, his sharp mind, and the ease at which he is able to poke holes in the Darwinian worldview catch you off guard. Those who watched Expelled were treated to a taste of Berlinski as Ben Stein interviewed him in his flat in Paris. Now you can get a "seven course meal" of Berlinski with this new compilation of 32 of his best essays written over the past fifteen years.

The volume is named after his 1996 essay "The Deniable Darwin" that appeared in Commentary and launched Berlinski into the middle of the Darwin or Design debate, where he has happily remained ever since. What makes this volume so great is it includes not only Berlinski's essay but also reprints the dozens of letters received in protest and support from notable scientists and philosophers (Allen Orr, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Arthur Shapiro, Paul Gross, Tom Bethell, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, M.P. Shutzenberger, etc) along with a response to the letters by Berlinski. One of his fun essays is an open letter to retired magician the "Amazing Randi" who offered the Smithsonian $20,000 not to show the ID film Privileged Planet at a scheduled screening. Berlinski offered to cancel the private showing of the film in his flat in Paris for $20,000 and for an additional $10,000 he would instead spend the evening reading aloud from Daniel Dennett's autobiography!

The prolific author of numerous books on mathematics and logic, he 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.

Table of Contents

  • The Soul of Man Under Physics
  • The Deniable Darwin
  • Denying Darwin: David Berlinski & Critics
  • Keeping and Eye on Evolution
  • The End of Materialist Science
  • Full House Follies
  • Godel’s Question
  • Was There a Big Bang?
  • What Brings a World into Being?
  • Where Physics and Politics Meet
  • God, Man and Physics
  • Einstein and Godel: Friendship Between Equals
  • Lucky Jim
  • Stephen Jay Gould, 1942-2002: In Memoriam
  • Has Darwin Met His Match?
  • Darwinism versus Intelligent Design: David Berlinski & Critics
  • Borges on Intelligent Design
  • A Scientific Scandal
  • A Scientific Scandal? David Berlinski & Critics
  • The Vampire’s Heart
  • On the Origins of the Mind
  • All Those Darwinian Doubts
  • Academic Extinction
  • The Strength of Natural Selection in the Wild
  • An Open Letter to the Amazing Randi
  • Our Silent Partners
  • Copernicus Stages a Comeback
  • On the Origins of Life
  • Inside the Mathematical Mind
  • Connecting Hitler and Darwin
  • The Scientific Embrace of Atheism
  • The State of Matter


The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays

David Berlinski
David Berlinski is a senior fellow in the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He is the author of numerous books, including The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and It Scientific Pretensions (Crown Forum, 2008; Basic Books, 2009), Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics for the Modern Library series at Random House (2004), The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky (Harcourt, 2003), The Advent of the Algorithm (Harcourt Brace, 2000), Newton's Gift (Free Press, 2000), and A Tour of the Calculus (Pantheon, 1996). William F. Buckley Jr. said of The Devil's Delusion that "Berlinski's book is everything desirable; it is idiomatic, profound, brilliantly polemical, amusing, and of course vastly learned."

Recent articles by Berlinski have been prominently featured in Commentary, Forbes ASAP, and the Boston Review. Two of his articles, "On the Origins of the Mind" (November 2004) and "What Brings a World into Being" (March 2001), have been anthologized in The Best American Science Writing 2005, edited by Alan Lightman (Harper Perennial), and The Best American Science Writing 2002, edited by Jesse Cohen, respectively.

Berlinski received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. He has authored works on systems analysis, differential topology, theoretical biology, analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mathematics, as well as three novels. He has also taught philosophy, mathematics and English at Stanford, Rutgers, the City University of New York and the Universit de Paris. In addition, he has held research fellowships at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and the Institut des Hautes tudes Scientifiques. He lives in Paris.


"David 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 Godel's Proof."
--George Gilder author of The Israel Test, Wealth and Poverty, and Telecosm

"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

"David 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

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