Atheism Culture

Agnostics vs. Atheists: Devil’s Delusion now available at Amazon

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Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?
Not even close.

Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?
Not even close.

Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?
Not even close.

Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought?
Close enough.

Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?
Not close enough.

Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?
Not even close to being close.

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences?
Close enough.

Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?
Not even ballpark.

Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?
Dead on.

Dr. Berlinski’s agnosticism and willingness to say, “I don’t know”, has a great appeal to someone like me. Anyone working in the hard sciences or engineering is accustomed to being made aware of his own fallibility on an hourly basis, and out of necessity one learns to become skeptical of many things. To hear someone as brilliant as Berlinski say, “I don’t know”, makes him more credible in my eyes. Dr. Berlinski echoes the skepticism and agnosticism that is at the heart of science, a skepticism which says, “I don’t know, but I want to learn more”.

What do we know for sure? Perhaps not much. I know for sure there is no hope or salvation in Charles Darwin. I know for sure Darwin found math repugnant and admitted he couldn’t even perform the early steps of high school algebra after considerable effort.

In contrast, Berlinski loves mathematics and physics, and in his book, Devil’s Delusion, he expresses much of his love of math and physics as he critiques the scientific pretensions of the atheists.

Berlinski defends his ideas by exploring the works of Maxwell, Einstein, Godel, Turing, Chomsky and other great minds. Dawkins in contrast appeals to Darwin. I would take Maxwell, Turing, and Godel over Darwin any day.

Here are some excerpts from Berlinski’s book:

the great German mathematician David Hilbert affirmed in an address given in 1930, “We must know, we will know.”

Shortly after Hilbert delivered his address, Kurt Godel demonstrated that mathematics was inherently incomplete. If science in the twentieth century has demonstrated anything, it is that there are limits to what we can know.
Darwin’s theory of evolution…may be grasped by anyone in an afternoon, and often is. A week suffices to make a man a specialist.

historian Richard Weikart, who in his admirable treatise, From Darwin to Hitler makes clear what anyone capable of reading the German sources already knew: A sinister current of influence ran form Darwin’s theory of evolution to Hitler’s policy of extermination.
Darwinian biologists are very often persuaded that there is a conspiracy to make them look foolish. In this they are correct.
Computer simulations of Darwinian evolution fail when they are honest and succeed only when they are not….What these computer experiment do reveal is a principle far more penetrating than any that Darwin ever offered: There is a sucker born every minute.

After reading the book, one is forced to conclude, “scientific” atheism is The Devil’s Delusion.

103 Replies to “Agnostics vs. Atheists: Devil’s Delusion now available at Amazon

  1. 1
    sparc says:

    Did you close your own blog finally?

  2. 2
    scordova says:


    No. But thank you for asking.

    For example, last night I posted TorbTard Toasted at PandasThumb.

    I reported how I dished out so much humiliation to a Darwinist pretender at PandasThumb that Richard Hoppe had to close the discussion at PandasThumb.

    I’d ask off topic questions like Sparc’s be held back for a few days. We can talk here after a few days after the main topic has a chance to be discussed. Thanks in advance.

    {DLH PPS Please fix upper link at your site.}
    {STC PPPS — link fixed, thanks}

  3. 3

    Anyone working in the hard sciences or engineering is accustomed to being made aware of his own fallibility on an hourly basis, and out of necessity one learns to become skeptical of many things.

    Well written. Meanwhile, the criteria in evolander circles is mob rule, how’s that sound, or does it confirm what we already know?

    And, in engineering, perpetual motion machines are proposed, from time to time, but nobody gets bent out of shape.

    Meanwhile, the same journalists who so ardently support evolution fall for perpetual motion scams all the time.

    Maybe the difference is explained by the logical and mathematical thinking required in the hard sciences, as opposed to the the language based sophism required in the soft sciences.

  4. 4
    scordova says:

    As of today, FYI: Sales Rank: #766 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
    Popular in these categories:

    #1 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion

    #3 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics

    #4 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Atheism

  5. 5
    Frost122585 says:

    I have not read the book yet but I will and will post some of the most interesting points on this blog.

    It was a real pleasure meeting you Cordova- my mother and I thought you were a really nice guy. I had a great time at the David Berlinski “The Devil’s Delusion” book tour kick off last night at The Discovery Institute.

    For all wh are interested the event will be aired on CSPAN2 at 11PM Satrday night and 6am Sunday morning et as well.

  6. 6
    scordova says:

    [HT Frost122585]


    The book release party at the Discovery Institute will be aired on CSPAN2 at 11pm on Saturday night and 6am on Sunday morning.

    The big question is whether the CSPAN2 airing will capture the sound of our very own Frost122585 of UD knocking over a wine bottle at the book release party. No Kidding!!!

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    LOL! This is sadly true. It is during the question and answer period. I sat up in the chair and stretched my left arm after getting the microphone in anticipation of my question for David Berlinski. While Berlinski was still answering the first question posed by Logan Gage it accidentally hit a bottle of white wine that was sitting on the corner of the table directly behind me and Cordova. The bottle was was knocked to the floor and extremely graciously Logan ran over and got it taken care of so I could still ask me question.

    About 60 seconds later I got to ask David a question and make a comment. Hopefully that contribution out shined my other inelegance!

    All things considering I had a great time and recommend such events for anyone interested in these topics.

    Count me in for other events in the future, just, next time keep me away from the wine table 😉

    Also, for all that haven’t heard David Berlinski will be in the movie Expelled.

    Here is a rather disturbing clip from the movie that I recommend everyone viewing. It really shows the depth and seriousness of the political war that the materialists are waging. Some people say “who cares” when I talk about the significance of the DE/ID debate. After looking at this clip one should no longer have any doubts about the seriousness of this situation.

  8. 8
    Upright BiPed says:

    Frost, I had seen that video posted before.

    I have a gag reflex everytime I hear PZ say “We are not going to take their churches away”

    We? WE? WWWWEEEE?????

    This is a man drunk on his own salt. Who does he think he is setting himself up as an authority over the 305,000,000 people who live in this country.

    Hubris unleashed…but I hate to disappoint Mr Myers, the weakness of his position will be exposed long before the numbers work in his favor.

  9. 9
    godslanguage says:

    William Wallace wrote:

    Maybe the difference is explained by the logical and mathematical thinking required in the hard sciences, as opposed to the the language based sophism required in the soft sciences.

    William Wallace brings up a good point that Darwinian Evolutionists fancy up DE in delightful dressings of “can do” attitude. At first glance, the perpetual motion machine, like Darwinian Evolution, all seems like a great idea in “theory” and on scratch pad filled with complex pictures and diagrams, but in reality/practice, it goes against all what science and engineering has discovered and/or applied. Current knowledge tells us perpetual motion goes against the laws of physics, still, many pursued/pursue the idea that they may one day “solve the issue”. This “can do” obsessive attitude is what Darwinian Evolutionists hold, looking forward to the day they may finally prove they’re theory DE (and subsequent atheism) right and ID wrong.

    Let us hear what the Dawkins has to say about it:

    “Biologists are working on it”

  10. 10
    mike1962 says:

    Any bets on how long it will take John Kwok to review the book without even reading it? 😀

  11. 11
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    scordova says, “I know for sure there is no hope or salvation in Charles Darwin.”

    Amen. And in more ways than one.

    William Wallace says, “Maybe the difference is explained by the logical and mathematical thinking required in the hard sciences, as opposed to the the language based sophism required in the soft sciences.”

    I’m not so sure. Billions of ordinary folks all over the world are able to see right through the claims of the darwinists, and with very little effort, to boot.

  12. 12
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “Historian Richard Weikart, who in his admirable treatise, From Darwin to Hitler makes clear what anyone capable of reading the Germans sources already knew: A sinister current of influence ran form Darwin’s theory of evolution to Hitler’s policy of extermination.”

    I ordered my copy of the Devil’s Delusion yesterday.

  13. 13
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “Computer simulations of Darwinian evolution fail when they are honest and succeed only when they are not….What these computer experiment do reveal is a principle far more penetrating than any that Darwin ever offered: There is a sucker born every minute.”

    I think the heart of every ID’er warms at this statment. 🙂

  14. 14
    Gods iPod says:

    I’ll buy the audio version the very day it’s released…

  15. 15
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Nice article here by the good doctor.

    Einstein and Godel:Friendship between equals by David Berlinski

    “Godel was an optimist by conviction and a theist by inclination; he took seriously speculations about the after-life; he was sceptical about the Darwinian theory of evolution. And he was a voluptuous Platonist, arguing with great boldness and ingenuity that the human intellect is capable of directly grasping pure mathematical abstractions.”

  16. 16
    Frost122585 says:

    Pannen, I might add that at the book release party last night Berlinski did quote Gödel in reference to belief.

    I had the pleasure to talk to David for about 3 or 4 minutes. We talked about some of my ideas. I used an example (and you can here it in my question that I asked in the Q&A if you tune in on the CSPAN2 broadcast) of how linguistic evolution of civilizations that have died out such as the ancient Egyptians or the Mayans is a little like the Cambrian explosion in that there is a sudden emergence of complexity and then it disappears. Then we have to go to a different civilization starting out at a different point of perhaps less complexity on various ways. As an example the precision and perfection of the pyramids was way advanced for its day. I used this example to illustrate, and as an analogy, to the fact that language is obviously a DIRECT logically necessary extension of intelligence. You cant have one without the other. Yet, language evolves. So my point was that evolution does nothing to discount intelligent design because you can have them both. The language in DNA seems to make my point manifestly.

    My other point that beefed up my assertion that was underpinned by the concept that “evolutionists are trying to use evolution to get rid of design and faith in divinity though “broken logic”– that even if you explain how everything happened and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that evolution is the big picture, you still have the problem of probability! Life arising and doing all of the things that it does cant happen by virtue of (or rather lack there of) a stochastic shuffle. Even the Neo-Darwinists aren’t making this claim. They rely of secular laws. But where did they come from. As expelled will show they wont even let us ask this question because it fallows by logical necessity that intelligent design is a viable option and a robust scientific theory.

    I will say however that Dr. Berlinski rejected my analogy between evolution and ID and the evolution of language because he said that “there is no evidence that language evolves” to any significant extent. That is to say that language, between the ancient Egyptians and say the modern day English is virtually the same. I’m not so sure he was right (and intuitively I think he’s wrong but I haven’t studied it enough to say for sure) but I respectfully and graciously moved on to tell him that I was a huge fan of his writing and that I owned a bunch of his books (Infinite Assent, Newton‘s Gift, Tour of The Calculus and of course I picked up a copy of The Devil‘s Delusion there at the DI).

    I told him that I “had bought” many of his books– The good and ever dry doctor replied predictably,

    “Well, please don’t stop buying them now! At least not on my account.”

  17. 17
    AussieID says:

    mike1962: “Any bets on how long it will take John Kwok to review the book without even reading it?”

    I couldn’t agree with you any more … and I’m sure there wouldn’t be too many suckers to take THAT bet on, apart from John Kwok, but then he would have to read THIS to take that bet on, and I don’t think this or Devil’s Delusion will be on his ‘to read’ list.

    Devil’s Delusion, though, is on MY reading list.

  18. 18

    Billions of ordinary folks all over the world are able to see right through the claims of the darwinists, and with very little effort, to boot.

    True, as you so eloquently described in Every House is Built by Some Man…

    But as the mass media incites self-doubt (~”who are you going to believe? NOVA, or your lying eyes?”), I fear simple country folk of the present and future may doubt their own common sense, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill.

    To take one example in which common sense may not be a good substitute for science: ask a farmer how far the sun is away from the Earth, he may very well reply “93 million miles” because he heard it on a PBS or Discovery Channel documentary. Mind you this farmer has not performed the measurement, and days out on a tractor watching sun beams form angles through gaps in the clouds indicate the sun is much closer. Yet, the farmer discounts his own real world experience and defers to the factoid mentioned on television.

    God gave us brains, and we should use them. Common sense can only take us so far.

    The macro-theory of evolution fails to allay reasonable reasonable. Other (hard) scientific theories do not.

  19. 19

    Please replace “reasonable reasonable” with reasonable doubts.

  20. 20
    DaveScot says:

    I ordered Berlinski’s book.

  21. 21
    Frost122585 says:

    But I got it signed.

  22. 22
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi Frost, sounds like everyone had a good time. I’m hoping to watch one of the showings of the event on CSPAN 2 this weekend.

    Mike1962 & AussieID, I am well aware of Kwok too, Haha.

  23. 23
    PannenbergOmega says:

    William Wallace,

    I think Dr. Berlinski has a charm and natural intelligence that can appeal to all people. He does (in my humble opinion) an enormous amount of good for ID as a scientific and cultural enterprise.

  24. 24
    Bob O'H says:

    Maybe the difference is explained by the logical and mathematical thinking required in the hard sciences, as opposed to the the language based sophism required in the soft sciences.

    Certainly not. Unless you want to accuse the likes of R.A. Fisher, Warren Ewens, Joe Felsenstein, Mike Lynch, John Maynard Smith, etc. etc. of not being able to think mathematically. If you want, I can list a few more mathematicians and statisticians.

  25. 25
    scordova says:

    Certainly not. Unless you want to accuse the likes of R.A. Fisher, Warren Ewens, Joe Felsenstein, Mike Lynch, John Maynard Smith, etc. etc. of not being able to think mathematically. If you want, I can list a few more mathematicians and statisticians.

    Don’t forget JBS Haldane or Motoo Kimura!!!!

    The problem however, is that with respect to selection theory, their math pretty much destroys any belief that natural selection can possibly be the majority cause for much of anything.

    I have Michael Lynch’s latest book on the structure of the genome. Of the 500 or so pages, only 3 pages mention Charles Darwin, and humorously, those pages are in the chapter entitled: “GenomeFart” (echoes of Bill Dembski humor).

    the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explantory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent desinger

    page 368

    Ah the problem Dirversity! Selection is mathematically defined by the reduction of diversity, yet we have diversity all around. Natural Selection is measured by reduction of diversity yet the exapansion of diversity must be explained through a reduction of diversity. Lynch is being far to kind to the selectionists.

    It would appear Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection pretty much trashes Darwin’s grand hypothesis. Ah the irony of it all..

    It is well known that most biologists abhor all things mathematical…

    Michael Lynch

  26. 26
    scordova says:

    Oh, my goodness, I think I’ve opened pandora’s box by talking about Lynch’s book. I’m going to slap together a separate blog thread to delve into Fisher’s fundamental theormem and Lynch’s contempt for selectionist theory.

    Those who promote the concept of the adaptive evolution of the above features [complexity, modularity,robustness, evolvability] are by no means memebers of the intelligent design movement…however, as emphasized above, the burden of evidence for those who embrace an all-powerful guiding hand of natural selection should be no less stringent than what one would demand of a creationist

    Michael Lynch

    Neither is Lynch off the hook since he invokes stochastic models for evolution as an alternative to natural selection. Bill Dembski’s displacement theorem pretty much destroys Lynch’s hope that there exists a stochastic route to the evolution of integrated complexity.

    Berlinski in his book writes of Michael Lynch and echoes this point:

    biologist Michael Lynch observed that “Dawkin’s agenda has been to spread the word on the awesome power of natural selection.” The view that results, Lynch remarks, is incomplete and therefore “profoundly misleading”.
    The demotion of natural selection from biological superpower to ideological sad sack throws into bright relief an obvious question: How to explain on the basis of a random walk, the startling coherence and complexity of living organisms.

  27. 27
    scordova says:

    One of the brightest minds at PandasThumb was also at David Berlinski’s book party, Jason Rosenhouse.

    Last year it was my friendly dialogue with Rosenhouse at a reception for Bill Dembski and Michael Shermer that help inspire me to gradschool. He’s quite a fine gentleman in person, and drove 2.5 hours to attend David Berlinski’s talk. I link to his take on the party.

    Berlinski in Washington, DC

    This may be one event where we hear on CSPAN2 people from UD as well as PandasThumb!

  28. 28
    Frost122585 says:

    Holly hell, Dembski was there and I didnt get a chance to meet him! Cordova c’mon man. Dont tell me you knew and didnt tell me.

  29. 29
    Frost122585 says:

    Man that stings. I would have loved to jaw with him after all these months of blogging on his site.

  30. 30


    I read with interest your comments on Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. I have been pointing out for years that Fisher’s mathematical theory of natural selection is self-limiting. That is, natural selection eliminates the raw material that is absolutely necessary for its operation: variation within (and between) populations.

    This problem is similar to the one posed by Fleeming Jenkin to Darwin’s original theory (in the Origin of Species. That is, Jenkin pointed out that if inheritance were blended (as was the predominant theory at the time), sexual recombination would have the effect of eliminating variation and therefore depriving natural selection of its necessary raw material.

    Both Darwin and Fisher proposed the same solution to this problem: “continuous variation”, which is illustrated mathematically by the normal distribution of variable traits within populations. Darwin provided no rigorous explanation of where such variation came from, supplying instead massive examples of such variation (especially among domesticated plants and animals, especially pigeons). Fisher developed an entire self-consistent theory by which continuous variation could become “embedded” within a population.

    However, Fisher’s theory was still vulnerable to the effects of natural selection, which tends to reduce variation (and even eliminate it in small populations). Sewall Wright’s theory of genetic drift was his attempt to solve this problem, proposing that in small populations natural selection can be overwhelmed by purely random changes as the result of what could most precisely be called “sampling error.”

    All of these problems ultimately stemmed from the over-emphasis on the primacy of genetic specification of phenotypes. The idea that all evolutionary change could ultimately be reduced to changes in allele frequencies in populations was fundamental to the mathematical theories of evolution propounded by the founders of evolutionary theory (especially the founders of the neo-darwinian “modern evolutionary synthesis”).

    As I have pointed out before, much of the mathematical underpinning of ID theory (especially John Sanford’s “genetic entropy” and William Dembski’s “complex specified information”) suffers from precisely the same problem. That is, they also assume that all significant evolutionary change happens at the level of genes (or even nucleotide sequences).

    However, as I have recently pointed out (see http://evolutionlist.blogspot......awman.html), the most important factor in evolution is not variation in the genetic code, but rather variation in the phenotypes in populations. There are now many known mechanisms by which phenotypic variation can be generated without genetic variation, and vice versa. Ergo, both the “modern evolutionary synthesis” and the mathematical arguments for ID must both be either heavily modified or rejected outright.

  31. 31
    scordova says:

    Bill Dembski wasn’t there, only the topic of Bill Dembski came up.

  32. 32
    DeepDesign says:

    “There is no evidence that language evolves” to any significant extent.

    I think Noam Chomsky would agree.
    Human beings have an innate knowledge of language, which is often referred to as universal grammar.

  33. 33
    Frost122585 says:

    Oh, he meant that Dembski just came up in the conversation but not in person. I was a little confused. Thanks for clearing that up Cordova.

  34. 34
    DiEb says:

    I found no way to post on your own blog re “TorbTard Toasted at PandasThumb”. So, I’ll try this way and ask you to have a look here. I added my comment…

  35. 35
  36. 36
    DLH says:

    My Apologies on my previous deleted remark- it is indeed Mark Chu-Carroll who needs to learn the art of civil discourse – including how to avoid ad hominem attacks and how to address the argument not the person.

  37. 37
    DaveScot says:


    Ergo, both the “modern evolutionary synthesis” and the mathematical arguments for ID must both be either heavily modified or rejected outright.

    We’ve been using the flagellum as the icon of ID for about a decade now. I don’t think your epigenetic phenotype variation hypothesis is relevant there and thus there’s no modification of ID needed. If you think epigenetic information is relevant in the flagellum please explain how. I’ll agree you’re half right, however – the modern synthesis is irretrievably flawed.

  38. 38
    DeepDesign says:

    Hi Frost,

    I didn’t get to finish what I was writing earlier.

    Chomsky, proposes that the human brain is somehow equipped at birth with a Universal Grammar out of which all human languages later develop.

    Universal Grammar is defined by the dictionary as “The set of formal grammatical features that all natural languages, both actual and possible, must possess in order to have the properties of human languages.”

    Obviously Egyptian and Mayan are different, but both share the common principles of syntactical language.

  39. 39
    DiEb says:

    I’m not the owner of the blog “Good Math, Bad Math”, that would be Mark Chu-Carroll. I just took part in a discussion about Fourier transforms, correcting Sal on an issue of Dirichlet conditions. My current post at “Good Math, Bad Math” seems to be awaiting moderation. I choose this platform to comment on the issue anew, as

    1. Sal brought it up here
    2. I don’t see any possibility to post on Sal’s own blog

    {DLH DiEb my apologies. I corrected my comment above.}

  40. 40
    scordova says:


    Look at the very end of that blog at Mark Chu’s Log. I posted right there in hostile territory on April 2, 2008. Did you notice no one offered a rebuttal?

    Thank you however for helping me clear my name.

    People on Mark’s weblog fabricated falsehoods about me in order to smear me, and thus I took a great deal of exception to one of their commenters, TorbTard Larson.

    Thank you for waiting a bit to post your comment. Because UD does not operate like the ARN discussion forum, after a thread here at UD has run it’s course I’m happy to grant that people on a few threads can talk about whatever they want in order to diffuse whatever is on their mind.

    I think this thread is close to running it’s course since most people still have Berlinski’s book on order. Perhaps at some future date one of the UD authors may want to provide a book review of Berlinski’s book.

    So if something is pressing on your mind, give it another day, and I’ll open the tail end for some off-topic dialogue since this thread looks like it will run its course. I want to be aware of the areas of interest of UD readers.

    This can be valuable since it was through this discussion I realized that there could be interest in Michael Lynch’s new book and Fisher’s fundamental theorem. I began preparing a new thread on that topic last night. The fact that Berlinski mentioned exactly my thoughts on the matter says that Fisher’s Fundamental Theorm would be a good topic to discuss.

  41. 41
    DeepDesign says:

    Someone has already taken the time to post a brilliant review of the Berlinski book on Amazon.

    Anyone want to make a bet how long before John Kwok or that Victor Stenger guy tears it apart? Haha.

  42. 42
    DiEb says:

    I’m offering a rebuttal 🙂
    It was pure chance that I found your recent post at Chu-Carroll’s blog – and you can’t expect a quick answer to your post as the thread is dormant since Mar 1st.
    To summarize my view:
    1. In your blog, you lifted a formula from the wikipedia entry about Fourier transforms. I say “lifted”, as you hyperlinked to the pic of the formula.
    2. In the wikipedia entry, the formula is correctly stated for a “complex-valued Lebesgue-integrable function”.
    3. In your entry, you change this to “obey[ing] the Dirichelet Condition”.
    4. Therefore, I stated, that you are mixing up Fourier series and general Fourier transforms.
    5. You then quote a lecture note of the Physics Department of the University of Hong-Kong, which introduces a Fourier transform for an aperiodic function by looking at this function having an infinite period.
    6. The conditions for the function in this lecture notes are:
    – being Lebesgue integrable
    – satisfying the Dirichlet conditions on every finite interval.
    7. These are still not the conditions you gave
    8. the second condition is only necessary for this special approach – which is thought to motivate the students, I guess – while
    9. being in L1 is the important one…
    So, I get the impression that your knowledge of Fourier analysis is superficial.

  43. 43
    scordova says:

    So, I get the impression that your knowledge of Fourier analysis is superficial.

    Whether superficial or not, I know the difference between a Fourier Series and a Fourier Transform. And it appears TorbTard had an even more superficial understanding than I. 🙂 I’m afraid he’ll have a hard time persuading the world otherwise in light of my most recent citations…

    These are still not the conditions you gave

    Perhaps. But I now have a better set of conditions. 🙂

    But even conceding that point you cannot logically argue that I did not know the difference between a Fourier Series or a Fourier Transform. That is a falsehood.

    Thanks anyway for explaining your line of reasoning. It’s understandable that you inferred from my initial treatment that my understanding was superficial, but it does not logically follow that I did not know the difference between Fourier transforms and Fourier series.

    Furthermore, the notion of an infinite period for aperiodic functions holds even with my original posting if the condition of absolute integrability on that period also holds (which was in the Wiki link to Dirichlet my original posting). So your claim:

    These are still not the conditions you gave

    is a bit weak in light of the application of infinite period for aperiodic fuctions.

    You’re of course welcome to keep promoting and believing that I have only superficial understanding, but you should not argue that I don’t know the difference between a Fourier Transform and a Fourier Series. That is a falsehood.

    Most damaging to the argument that I could not distiguish between the two is the fact the Wiki Dirichlet link uses two separate phrases: “Fourier Transform” and “Fourier Series”. On those grounds alone, it is evident I had seen and was familiar with the fact that two separate concepts must surely exist.

    I appreciate your courage in posting here at UD. For that you have my utmost respect.


  44. 44
    Ekstasis says:

    Allen MacNeill,

    Thanks for the discussion in your linked article on all the sources of variation, and potentially many more yet to be discovered.

    One of the big things, as you point out, is the need for fecundity — more offspring than is necessary for replacement. Throw aways, if you will. This brings up a frequently raised question that I am hoping you can shed light on.

    Fecundity, in terms of sheer numbers, and in terms of frequency, drops dramatically in more complex life forms, e.g., mammals. We won’t even get into the reproduction of whales, for example. This is presumably because the offspring requires much greater time and protection to reach the self-sufficiency state. Also, the mother is afforded the opportunity for individual attention and teaching of the small number of offspring. Not to mention the demands of breastfeeding.

    However, in terms of phenological change, evolution had to perform some extremely heavy lifting to get to where we are, particularly in terms of mental abilities. And, needless to say, we barely have an inkling on how incredibly challenging it would be to “design” and build the human brain.

    The long and short of it is, how did evolution, with the hugely restricted fecundity factor, turn around and achieve its greatest triumph, with an undirected process?

    Say you and I line up with shotguns, blindfold ourselves, and begin shooting at a small target. We start with 1,000 units of tiny buckshot, that scatters. Of course we hit the target occassionally. Then the 1,000 units gets reduced to 10 buckshot. And yet, somehow, we actually increase our hits. This is where evolution takes us. Hmmmm.

    My final rambling question is, I view your amazing list of inheritable variation sources on the linked site. Admittedly I will not pretend to comprehend them all. And yet, only variations that accrue a significant change in capability for survival or reproduction will actually be selected out. In other words, we can vary our genes or phenotypes till the cows come home, and no big deal if we can’t run faster or see better or reproduce more/better. Put it this way, babies bable all sorts of sounds (not to get back into the nature of language please), but until it results in a bottle or a diaper change, it ain’t doing him or her any good.

    So, thanks for all the variation, but aren’t we back to the same old conondrum — how do we accomplish the number of benevolent undirected significant functional changes to get us to the finish line, without the malevolent changes dropping us to the pavement?

    Just wondering.

  45. 45
    mynym says:

    Anyone want to make a bet how long before John Kwok….tears it apart?

    It would be ashame if anyone took him seriously when he thinks it reasonable to compare Philip Johnson to Adolf Hitler: “I find the notion of a Festschrift published in honor of Professor Johnson as absurd as a group of Neo-Nazis publishing one to commemorate Adolf Hitler and his hate-filled book “Mein Kampf” (I find this an apt comparison since Johnson and quite a few of his supporters have an ideological world view that is remarkably close to the likes of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.).” (From his Amazon review of Darwin’s Nemesis)

  46. 46
    DeepDesign says:

    Here is the Book TV site for the book.

  47. 47
    Frost122585 says:

    Deep design,

    Well I think that language does evolve- although once again this is a deep intuition of mine that I feel very certain about- yet of course I have not studied the evidence pro or con.

    I think that David might be more right than wrong with the concept of the “syntactical manifold” basically staying the same. But surly language has evolved. People find new words for new ideas and objects that didn’t exist in the past.

    This to me is intelligent guided evolution at the same time as natural guided evolution. My point was while all things including nature maybe ultimately be intelligently designed- logically even if all things are natural there still is intelligent evolution happening simultaneously as natural evolution. This no one could argue. Therefore, evolution even of a materialistic nature is inextricable interlinked with intelligence. There is no way around this that I can see.

    So actually the only way one can be a “ant-ID” scientist is to deny the possibility of TRANSCENDENCE. That is to deny that it is possible that intelligence could be the thing that kicks it all off or organizes things that we cannot find a designer for in the material itself. Logical, such a position is not.

    I am definitely a transcendentalist- and if you believe in a first cause you probably will find yourself in need of a transcendental property as well.

  48. 48
    DeepDesign says:

    mynym, are you saying that John Kwok compared Philip Johnson (author of Darwin on Trial) with Adolph Hitler?

    This is the first I’ve heard of this. That is outrageous.

  49. 49
    DeepDesign says:

    Hi Frost, I totally agree that language changes/develops over time.

    I was trying to reason what Berlinski meant by saying “there is no evidence that language evolves”.

    Perhaps the vital core of language, which is innate to homo sapiens (perhaps the entire genus homo) remains constant.

  50. 50
    Frost122585 says:

    Today the other side compares everyone to Hitler– Just Freudian projection (to them not me cause I dont buy Freud) because it is only their side that wants to limit free, open speech and education.

  51. 51
    DeepDesign says:

    mynym, i see what you are saying now.

  52. 52
    Frost122585 says:

    DeepDesign at 49,

    Yeah we agree. I think its a reasonable theory. Berlinski however actually said to me that “there is not a shred of evidence to the contrary.”

    I thought that was very interesting. I disagree based on intuition. I think there probably was some small evolution that manifested in not large genetic changes but significant linguistic progressions. Just a hunch.. but I certainly respect the good doctor’s view.

    I still think it’s a very interesting question as well- because as I said, the language in DNA – which can encode more efficiently than any super computer- it obviously natural- why couldn’t it have been designed? Certainly there is no logical negation given the language scenario and moreover the inference is based upon strong empirical evidence and reasoning- even if it is in part lateral.

    Darwinists are fine with lateral thinking supports a speculative Darwinian fairy tail such as in hypothetical theories of lateral gene transfer- but whenever you apply it to intelligence they bust out the political guillotine.

  53. 53
    DeepDesign says:

    Hi Frost

    1.“there is no evidence that language evolves”.
    2. “there is not a shred of evidence to the contrary.”

    It almost sounds like Dr. Berlinski takes a Platonic view of language.
    Ha, now I really want to read the book.

  54. 54
    Atom says:

    Maybe Dr. Berlinski merely believes that linguistic ability does not evolve or that there is no evidence for a gradual increase in symbolic ability?

  55. 55
    DeepDesign says:

    Good point Atom.

    “linguistic ability does not evolve”

    This is what I was trying to point, perhaps unsuccesfully, with the nod to Chomsky’s universal grammar.

  56. 56
    Frost122585 says:

    I dunno- I think he probably is a bit of a Platonist. He has a serious interest in mathematics. He only has a PHD in philosophy from Princeton but he has taught various classes on mathematics. Berlinski convinced them to let him teach a subject he wasn’t certified in- probably with his wit and eloquence.

    Language is considered mathematical by many philosophers and mathematics a language by many more. Statistics and information theory use probability to reach similar unifications.

    Berlinski may have been eluding to an even higher thought of about language and reality- but my thought had to do with empirical evolution defined by “change over time” and apparent complexity and specification.

    It was a true pleasure and an honor to speak with the good doctor– I told him this as the last thing I said when I was leaving and shook his hand. He impressed me by saying “The pleasure was all mine.”

    Not that I think I deserved a complement – but he struck me a as an impressive guy.

    Also I took my mother along- and she said to him at the end “you know, I noticed that you used the words Divine and Moral, in your speech, and I wanted you to know that I thought that was courageous because people seem to afraid to use those words anymore.”

    Berlinski looked at her and with a short moment of obvious connection and enthusiasm he said “You are absolutely right!” And he said it in such a way that his tone changed. He usually sounds like he’s reading from a list in his mind, or picking the correct literary and philosophical terms to make his profound points. But the comment about “the divine and morality” I could tell struck him a little differently- and it brought out the regular person or guy within him–

    I think that because Berlinski is a secular Jew, his interest in battling radical atheism is rooted in his respect and belief in morality and his appreciation for the higher planes of thought. That is why I think he wanted to and managed to write this book.

    I really had a wonderful time and even the guy from Panda’s Thumb said that he enjoyed himself as well. I recommend these kind of events for anyone interested in theses topics.

  57. 57
    DeepDesign says:

    Frost, I like what your wrote above. It is poignant and thoughful. Dr. Berlinski is a remarklable man.

  58. 58
    DeepDesign says:

    By the way, good to meet you.

  59. 59
    DeepDesign says:

    Wish I could have met the good doctor myself. Maybe someday.

  60. 60
    Frost122585 says:

    Good talking with you too-

    Dont know if you saw this

    maybe he will be in your area.

  61. 61
    Upright BiPed says:

    Its very late now and I havent been able to stop reading The Devil’s Delusion. It’s been a great read – particularly the section called “Nothing But The Truth” in Chapter 4 “Horses Don’t Fly”, actually all the way through the next two chapters as well.

    Poor Hume, poor Dawkins. What a whipping. Hitchen’s and Harris and well.

    Of course, I take no pleasure in any of it.

  62. 62
    Upright BiPed says:

    On page 57.

    If I may, can I take Hume’s train and run it on a different track?

    “if we take into our hands any volume; perhaps any material explanation for the cause of the Universe, or the incarnation of life on Earth, or the basis of self-awareness in humanity, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion!”

    Yeah thats about does it. Of course the problem is, instead of wadding it up, tossing it, and starting over, materialists move the trash can instead.

  63. 63
    DiEb says:

    Dear Sal,
    1. I don’t think that it takes courage to post on a message board.
    2. I’d carry this discussion to your own blog – if it was possible
    3. in your post, you repeated five times that you know the concepts of Fourier transforms, series etc. I presume that my next critique would provoke at least ten similar statements, which I want to spare us (here?)…

  64. 64
    DeepDesign says:

    Hi Upright BiPed, thank you for sharing that with us.

    “Poor Dawkins. What a whipping.”

    Haha. I know Dawkins won’t debate, but could you imagine a Dembski or Berlinski debate with Dawkins.

  65. 65
    DeepDesign says:

    You know, compared with the other guys, we have an enormous ammount of brain power on the ID side.

    I think Dr. Dembski has something like three PhDs.

  66. 66
    Frost122585 says:

    Bill has them in Mathematics, Philosophy, and theology.

    But I think he should get one is astrophysics and biology-

    thats only two more and then hed be an expert on virtually all things involved in the debate.

    Either way he is a brilliant man. His book TDI and NFL are really special books. So much so that D’souza had to purposly ignore them when trashing ID- because they are so intellectually well written.

    Dembski’s books really are the backbone of the ID movement. Dembski is the father of ID IMOP.

  67. 67
    Upright BiPed says:


    Yes we do, and all are appreciated to the limits of appreciation.

    Dembski and Behe’s books meant a ton to me.

    Berlinski is in a class of his own.

    Mike Gene’s book is a star as well. simply no doubt about it.

  68. 68
    Bob O'H says:

    Bill has them in Mathematics, Philosophy, and theology.

    According to his CV (pdf) he only has two, in mathematics and philosophy.

  69. 69
    IDist says:

    I believe he has a masters in theology

  70. 70
    Janice says:

    “The language faculty: following the evidence”, Fredric Fields, Journal of Creation, Vol 22(1) 2008, p 73

    The fact that modern languages seem to have devolved from the relatively ancient predecessors caused considerable consternation among early historical linguists who had earnestly sought to establish a logical progression in their development, from simple to increasingly complex forms and strutures. August Schleicher (circa 1870) argued that languages were independent organisms with lives of their own that underwent a period of development (evolutionary progress) followed by one of decay, indicating the ebb and flow of evolution. However, the evidence shows language evolution as mostly a process of decay. … [E]xtant languages have undergone a process of degression from their progenitors (e.g. gradual morphological simplification and consequent loss of syntactic variation of old Anglo-Saxon into present varieties of English)”

    (emphasis in the original)

  71. 71
    DeepDesign says:

    I watched the Book TV showing of the event last night. Always impressed by Berlinski’s speaking ability, his honesty and quick humour.

    To be honest, I thought he was going to deliver more of a defense of belief than he did. Rather, it was very honest and agnostic. Dr. Berlinski seemed less critical of Darwinian Evolution than in The Incorrigible Dr. Berlinski.

  72. 72
    jerry says:

    Berlinski’s daughter claims that her father is not an ID supporter. She pointed to a 2002 Commentary article as support for her position. In the article he points to the flaws in both ID and Darwin. He has seemed more of an anti-Darwin then a pro ID person.

    Does anyone have anything that points specifically to Berlinski supporting ID as opposed to just questioning Darwin’s general theory.

  73. 73
    DeepDesign says:

    Hi Jerry. This is interesting.

    Nothing is really comming to mind of any hard evidence of Berlinski supporting ID.

    Though he was at the Smithsonian for the Priviledged Planet showing.
    That might indicate sympathy for teleogical view.

    Last night on Book TV he said that he suspected that there was something deeper to the cosmos and life than what is being put forth by materialist explanations.

    I think that Frost and I may be right, that Dr. Berlinski is a Platonist. I think his mentor Marcel Schutzenberger was.

    Perhaps someone could get Dr. Berlinski to comment on this thread?? 🙂

  74. 74
    Frost122585 says:

    Deepdesign, did you see your’s truly asking the first question from the audience, after Logan Gage’s?

    I was sitting in the back with a blue shirt and brought up Newton’s Theological manuscripts among other things.

    For the record, David is not an advocate of ID. David is an iconoclast of the modern sweeping thought coming out of the populace regarding science and issues of faith. David is agnostic but thinks that people clearly have a well warranted right to practice and believe in their faiths- all science taken into consideration. David points to the dogmatic atheism as nothing more than a belief system that is no different than religion itself in that it makes claims that aren’t supported by the evidence.

    Kant said you could not have any evidence for the existence of God or any against. God was to Kant unreachable by science.

    ID is not about God though. It certainly helps to support one’s belief in God but it doesn’t equate to religion in virtually any way. It makes no moral claims etc.

    Berlinski on the other hand is clearly a moral man who carries a respectful attitude. He’s disgusted with the current state of the political climate in science and education as most thinking people are. So many are professing atheism as fact not as belief and using science to warrant such inferences. This is all nonsense as Berlinski’s book explains.

    In the book event he compares science’s relation to faith as (in his view) like going into outer space and not finding any proof to support what you originally believed. Ok, so you went up into outer space and didn’t find anything important and or useful-doesn’t mean therefore that there is nothing important out there! It has taken man millions of years to reach this current incredible level of technological advancement. For us to have concluded- from evidence in the very beginning- that there was “nothing out there to be discovered” by science would have been grossly premature. “THE BEST” or most that secular science can say regarding faith is that they had a look around and didn’t see anything. It is up to the individual to decide whether absence of evidence is evidence of absence. This is merely a “chosen” opinion. As an example, you can choose to believe that Christ wasn’t the son of God- but you’ll never be able to prove it.

    Berlinski doesn’t buy ID as “the truth.” The next question is whether or not he would want it in the text books for young students to see as an option to Darwinism. My guess is that he would not (though I cant say for sure) but he would want all the heavy evidence and questions that put DE in it’s “proper perspective” (a trivial one I would say) taught along side the theory.

    I couldn’t agree with the second part more.

  75. 75
    DeepDesign says:

    I did, you handled yourself very well. Was Logan the gentleman with the beard and glasses?

    Thank you for explaining this to me. You know alot more than I do!

    Berlinski still doubts Darwinism is correct right? He said in the blurp I saw of Expelled that Darwinian evolutionary theory is like looking into a room full of smoke. It is a mess.

  76. 76
    Frost122585 says:

    Yeah, he thinks its incomplete. He agreed with my comment on Behe’s and Dembski’s theory of improbability.

    Thanks for the kind words above. It was really fun. I hope others get to enjoy the same private that I did.

    Yes, Logan was the man with the beard and glasses.

    Also, its really fun comming back to the blog after being there and on TV. It really adds another dimension to it all. Soon this universe will acquire yet another one. A bigger one right on the center stage of the masses. I think we are all looking forward to Expelled.

  77. 77
    Frost122585 says:

    That’s meant to be “privilege” not “private” above.

  78. 78
    Frost122585 says:

    I’m telling ya, this book is one of the best modern books I have read. It is full of good examples and excellent literary prose. The flow is really beautiful and the train of thought is at a very high level.

    I have never understood why David Berlinki dosen’t support ID as a theory. But I am actually glad that he does not. It helps to have “a heavy skeptic” and someone not religiously affiliated on our side even if it is only on the offensive front against militant atheism.

    If, however, you read the wikipeida article on David, it says that he is a proponent of ID. That needs to be changed. It is, like so many politically motivated things on wiki, false.

  79. 79
    DeepDesign says:

    “It helps to have “a heavy skeptic” and someone not religiously affiliated on our side even if it is only on the offensive front against militant atheism.”

    I agree

    As for wikipedia. I never go there to for anything ID related.
    Incredibally biased.

    I ussually either use ResearchID.Org, the resources to be found on Uncommon Descent/Post Darwinist and the articles provided by the Discovery Institute.

  80. 80
    Frost122585 says:

    Yeah, but its not just wikipedia its the media- its everywhere. That is why Expelled is so important. Hopefully it will help to start a constructive dialogue in the mainstream.

    Global warming science* is a case in point of the current state of affairs in the political/scientific complex.

    I think this is largely what Berlinkski is fighting with is new book. But all of this has been going on silently with out the needed dissent for years…

    “Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.”

    No truer words have ever be spoken.

  81. 81
    Frost122585 says:

    of course it has carried over into the 21st.

  82. 82
    DeepDesign says:

    I’m curious. Do you know anything about Berlinski’s political views?

    Hervey C. Mansfield (a conservative professor at Harvard University) and the late William F. Buckley both gave positive reviews to the Devil’s Delusion.

    Just wondering..

  83. 83
    Frost122585 says:

    All I know is that he uses Marxism and Freudianism as examples of theories that have met with the ash heap of time. Both of hich I largely agree with.

    He is probably a moderate that leans so called conservative. But I think that Marxism’s faliure is as real as the hand in front of my face. So that doesnt mean that he couldn’t be an enviornmentalist or social liberal of some sort.

  84. 84
    DeepDesign says:

    True. Marxism is bunk.

    It will be interesting to see what eventually does replace Darwinism. For all we know it could be something even worse.

    Offhand I can think of three schools that offer a positive alternative to Neo-Darwinian Theory (and all the baggage it carries).

    1. Intelligent Design
    2. The Emergentists (Harold Morowitz)
    3. Vitalism (Henri Bergson)

  85. 85
    Frost122585 says:

    Only the first is even remotely viable. Part of my comment to Berlinski was that what can account for the world having structure. Even the Darwinists don’t use randomness as their mechanism any more. Now they just say “whatever happened, happened”– can you image a more worthless theory or mechanism, it elucidates nothing.

    Why should animals have survived millions of years of evolution? Why should the cell have arisen in the first place at all? Where did the structure of the structure come from- that is it’s manual.

    Darwinism in this realm is vacuous and this is the only realm that ultimately counts if we are actually talking about origins.

    Where does the specificity come from? Mutation is not random so then what is it? Why did it happen this way? It cant be chalked up to a simple impartial and discrete roll of the dice.

    In this sense the theory is void and many extrapolations that are derived from it are false. This is what Berlinski’s book is about. Science has met with the world and had a look around and that is it. There is more to this world then a short and simple peak through the foggy lens of empiricism or the cracked door of physical experiment can reveal. That doesn’t mean that we stop trying to see, to prove and to understand the world better and further, but it means that we need to respect our obvious limits as human beings– But not as something that should be ignored or thrown away- not as the enemy of science but as its counterpart and its friend. It has been said that a smart man knows a lot but a wise man knows what he knows and “knows what he doesn’t know.” DE is incomplete not simply because we have to understand or explain some the evidence to its contrary but because the nature of the physical world that the theory tries to explain has made it abundantly clear that it cannot be explained within the theory. This is not a lack of understanding, it is sublime understanding. Negation is real- and the evidence in biology and cosmology negates Darwinism picture and mechanisms as the meat of the story of origins.

    I quote Einstein here from his personal writings – page 3 of The Einstein Reader-

    “What does a fish know about the water in which it swims most of its life?”

    How trivial is it knowledge of the physical reality thereof- or the animals that live on the land out side of the water? Or the clouds that bring rain or the sewage plant that interacts with it all he time etc.

    This is not merely a demur from a skeptical criticism (God of the gaps)- it is a realization about limits of knowledge and the mysteries (such as design and creation) that methodological materialistic mechanism will forever fall short of reaching. Yet, eerily and amazingly because the mind is more than machine we can still ask the transcendent questions and because MM limits itself to “the physical stuff” it will forever play the roll of that ignorant fish and never experience the awe of the enormous reality that lies just beyond its reach.

    We are not the fish because we can imagine further- we are not trapped by the material environments in which we exist. MM is- and its perversion is that as a mode of reasoning belonging to man it is a form of thinking that amounts to self confinement; an unnecessary prison sentence that offers little more then the benefits of slavery. Ignorance is certainly not a virtue but “chosen” ignorance is a perversion.

    As an advocate of ID I think that information, intelligence and design exists beyond the physical stuff and it is a conclusion that can be derived by the mind from the understanding and observations of the relationships that exist in the world. The physical stuff is all the same as Einstein said

    E=MC2 that is energy and matter are the same.

    It is not material that we as thinking beings are concerned about. It is structure and structure cannot come simply from the ambiguous properties of matter- self assembly is dead- it must come from the laws that organize and direct the matter…

    And laws imply a legislator.

    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation]”
    –Kurt Gödel,

  86. 86
    Frost122585 says:

    Two more very important points.

    Above the blog quotes the book as David talks about Gödel…

    “Shortly after Hilbert delivered his address, Kurt Gödel demonstrated that mathematics was inherently incomplete. If science in the twentieth century has demonstrated anything, it is that there are limits to what we can know.”

    Actually this is a far reaching abstraction which may or MAY NOT be true. Actually what Gödel thought his theorem proved was far more interesting and helpful to ID and a blowing strike against methodological materialism. I have done some extensive researching into Gödel lately because he absolutely captivates me and this is one of the things that I found- a beautiful quote in letter by Gödel and about the meaning that he saw in this theorem…

    “What has been proved is only that the kind of reasoning necessary in mathematics cannot be completely mechanized. Rather constantly renewed appeals to mathematical intuition are necessary. The decision of my “undecidable” proposition … results from such an appeal. … Whether every arithmetical yes or no question can be decided with the help of some chain of mathematical intuitions is not known. At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.”

    —Kurt Godel [9, p. 162, Letter to David F. Plummer]

    So it is the mind that transcends formalism as the derived intuitive conclusion from his incompleteness theorem. If mathematics is incomplete that would not make a self described Platonist like Gödel very comfortable– though the abstraction is logically possible it still lacks an formal proof. Arithmetic has been proven incomplete but that again is an appeal to form but not to numbers themselves. Arithmetic is formal where math itself (in a loose abstract sense) can be seen as intuitive.

    The second point I would like to make is about a beautiful logical construct that Berlinski puts together in his new and wonderful book on page 20. He quotes the motto from the incredible classical novel The Brothers Karamazov which is “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted” and then he uses that in conjunction with the motto by the new scientific atheists “If science is true than God doe not exist” to form a perfectly deductively logical syllogism…

    Premise A: If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.

    Premise B: If science is true, then God does not exist.

    Conclusion: If science is true, then everything is permitted.

    The syllogism simply sums up one of the two main messages of the book. #1 Atheism is not more moral or righteous than religions or faiths. #2 Science does not support premise B. Thus, by the end of the book the 2 premises fall apart and we avoid the horrible and inescapable conclusion attached by logical necessity to their truth value.

    A perfect simple abstraction that is inherently true as the dirty little secret about the self declared perverse moral claims by the militant atheists is that they have no proof for their position and their position isn’t worth championing to begin with.

    If you haven’t bought the book yet please do- you wont be sorry you did. But have a dictionary handy because Berlinski is a master of the English language and isn’t afraid to use all of the tools at his disposal.

  87. 87
    todd says:

    Watch the Real video stream of Berlinski on CSPAN this weekend.

    Here’s the BookTV program page:

    David Berlinski, teacher and author of books on mathematics, challenges the fields of science and atheist thought by arguing that science has not been able to prove the inexistence of a God nor explain the start of the universe. This event was hosted by the Discovery Institute in Washington, D.C.

  88. 88
    Frost122585 says:

    todd the link you sent isnt working.

  89. 89
    jerry says:

    if you use the second link and if you look there will be a link to the video in the upper right.

  90. 90
    Frost122585 says:

    thanks lots for posting that.

  91. 91
    congregate says:

    frost at 86:
    I am an atheist, but I don’t really agree with either of the premises of Berlinski’s syllogism, as you describe it. Or perhaps I just don’t agree with their import.

    If God does not exist everything is permitted. What does it mean to be permitted? If we have free will, isn’t everything permitted? If the posited God is omnipotent and omniscient he has permitted everything that has happened.

    And as to science being true eliminating the possibility of God’s existence, I think that it is generally understood that science cannot eliminate the possibility of a god or gods. What it does do is make the currently proposed gods look pretty unlikely.

  92. 92
    jerry says:

    I just watched the Berlinski presentation. The best I can say is “Mush.” ID doesn’t need spokesmen like this. His anti Darwinism was soft at best. There were a lot of places he could have gone but didn’t. He left the impression that the anti Darwinian (general theory) was not proven but so what, a lot of science isn’t.

    My wife heard part of it and said it sounded like Bill Clinton asking what do you mean by the word “is.”

  93. 93
    Frost122585 says:

    Remember Berlinsi is a skeptic and an agnostic. He is not an advoacte of ID. His book states that science has no basis or declaring atheism because it has not disproven God.

    When i was at the event it was kinda dull and slow but after I wached it a few times I fallowed Brlinski better and appreciated it more. Like a wine I had never tasted before, it grew on me.

  94. 94
    jerry says:

    I saw someone who said “it could be this, it could be that, who knows.”

    Somebody who agrees completely with Jason Rosenhouse is not someone who is going to do our side any good. My guess is that he has been gotten to by the chattering class and wants to get along with everyone. He took no stand on anything of consequence and left the impression, believe what you want, there is nothing to invalidate it. Hey, atheism isn’t proven but nothing else is either.

    His book arrived in the mail the same time I was watching his presentation. It is on the list to read.

  95. 95
    Frost122585 says:

    The book is MUCH better than the presentation. If you arent happy with this fine elegant and deep read then I think nothing from an agnostic perspective could make you happy no matter how intelligent it is.

  96. 96
    Upright BiPed says:

    With due respect to some of these later comments….Berlinskis book IS excellent in virtually every regard, and IS a great help to the Intelligent Design movement.

    I hope that anyone who doubts this will find time to read the book.

  97. 97
    DeepDesign says:

    “My guess is that he has been gotten to by the chattering class and wants to get along with everyone.”

    I agree that Dr. Berlinski seemed less anti-Darwin then in the classic THE INCORRIGABLE DR. BERLINSKI. Which I first saw when I was 13 years old.

    I agree that time and new evidence may have softened his opinions. Who knows.

    Though when he makes comments like “there is no evidence that language evolves” I feel better. Maybe Dr. Berlinski is on our side.

    Wish he contributed here.

  98. 98
    DeepDesign says:

    Someone suggested to me that the only reason that he wrote this book was because he needed the money.

    Not sure if this slander.

  99. 99
    Frost122585 says:

    Its not slander he said something like that at the conference. He said as his opening remark “Everyone has been cashing in on this debate writing books such as the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens etc.. so I though I’d cash in too.” It was honest and kind of funny. I think that David like anyone is motivated by money. This is no reason to question the value of his work. His work stands on its own merit and that alone. No one in this whole world sneezes at money. It is a god thing and makes the word go round if it is earned honestly. Is David’s book honest. I’m not done it yet, but of course it is. He’s simply saying that no one “knows” in the sense, “can prove” what this life is all about. He is now weighing in for various reasons – money included- and has come down for the side of the believers in that they have a right to believe even if morality alone is the defining reason. He has also more forcefully come down against the militant atheists in that they have no right to proclaim their side has won or is right. And he’s right on both accounts and the book is a fantastic read.

    He doesn’t need the money he has written 4 other very popular and good books. David is genuinely interested is the science atheism/religion debate. I am so hapy that I have had the pleasure of reading his writing. His other books that I own, his writings at the discovery institute- and now this one.

  100. 100
    DeepDesign says:

    This link might work better.

    For those that have seen this, below is the article I believe Logan is referring to on Natural Selection in the wild. Dr. Berlinski headed some kind of research group to study it.

  101. 101
    todd says:

    The problem with the first link appears to be related to the script which parses the text input through the comment box. The link should begin with ‘rtsp’ instead of ‘http’ – and did when I pasted it into the tag.


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    Frost122585 says:


    All the syllogism implies is that if their is no divin spirit – no heaven or hell- nothing to be worried about or hoped for after this life, then why no do anyhting you want and can get away with?

    You see this everywhere intodays society such as in poltics where various polticians get caught doing all kinds of bad things. If they beleived in God and the significance of the judgemnt they “may” have thought twice about what they were doing. IN a society where the concept of God is discounted there is no room for this moral guidence mechinism. Its obvious. And dont go applying to determinism because we know that some people take God seriously and concepts of warning that are similar such as speeding and its corrolation to death- or drunk driving- or unprotected sex- playing the stock market…. all of these may very well not hurt you if you do them- but the possbility remains that you will get badly hurt and it is in the beleif in this possiblity, this education that lowers the incidence of those actions. Less people smoke today percapita then before the lung cancer corrolation was dicovered. Education does work.

  103. 103
    Frost122585 says:

    now as far as the sceince behind gods existence I agree there is little or none- atheism as a person chioce of beleife is fine- but a society that has no beelivers if it was comprised of the poeple we have today- would be in my prediction alot worse off.

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