Intelligent Design

David Berlinski’s Speaking Tour

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David Berlinski will be giving a lecture tour around the States this fall. Here are the dates:

October 23 — lecture at King’s College, New York
October 25 — Darwin’s Dilemma screening, USC, Los Angeles
October 27 — lecture and discussion, Beverly Hills Library, Beverly Hills
October 31 — lecture at ID conference, Colorado Springs
November 3 — lecture at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
November 4 — lecture at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
November 5 — lecture at University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

His book The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and it’s Scientific Pretensions is selling well, it’s in its second printing in paperback since being released last month. There is also a companion discussion guide to The Devil’s Delusion for study groups available for free download here. I’ve seen him speak three times, and it’s always enlightening and entertaining, so if you can make it out to one of these dates, definitely do so.

28 Replies to “David Berlinski’s Speaking Tour

  1. 1
    O'Leary says:

    Berlinski is the most entertaining of the ID-friendly speakers.

    I am totally annoyed that he is not coming to Toronto, the capital of the whole universe.

    Okay, I understand that some other centres offer ridiculous and totally unbelievable claims, which doubtless lured him there instead.

    He could have had coffee with me at the very epicentre of the universe (Yonge and Bloor).

    Oh, wait, is it possible that some of my friends are right? I have been accused of a local vice, Toronto-centricity.

    I plead guilty.

    Toronto is one of the greatest places in the world to live. Especially if you like trees and have zero interest in violence.

  2. 2
    GilDodgen says:

    David Berlinski is a rare treasure, a true Homme de la Renaissance (French for a man of the rebirth – how interesting) in an age when very few such people exist. He speaks multiple languages; knows classical music, history, theology, mathematics; and can think and analyze on many levels. This combination of talents is extremely rare, and his willingness defy the powers that be is even more rare.

    David knows which questions to ask (questions never asked or even considered by Darwinists), such as, “What would it take to re-engineer a car into a submarine?” This concerns the evolution of a land mammal into a sea-dwelling mammal. A few purported transitional fossils provide no insight into the efficacy of the Darwinian mechanism to account for the relevant engineering requirements.

    Last, but not least, David is as eloquent, incisive, clever, iconoclastic, and humorous in person as he is in print.

  3. 3
    Mystic says:

    Berlinski refuses to theorize about the origin of life. He describes his attitude towards ID as “warm but distant. It’s the same attitude that I display in public toward my ex-wives.” He calls himself an agnostic and claims to live life only by the stricture “to have a good time all the time.” And while he has attacked evolutionary theory over and over again, by his own pen and through his tutelage of Ann Coulter, he’s always quick to point out that he has no particular agenda beyond skepticism. [Slate, April 15, 2008]
    I like much of what Berlinski says — especially his comments about the extreme limitations of scientific knowledge and the validity of unscientific modes of gaining knowledge. Both the ID movement and the New Atheist movement overvalue science grossly, and I find it unfortunate that Berlinski criticizes only the side of the bread that is not buttered for him. That is, he lists to the right, and he sells books by playing the contrarian to the max.

  4. 4
    lamarck says:

    I hate trees and love violence so I’ll stay out of “boronto” 🙂

  5. 5
    feebish says:

    Yonge and Bloor?!! My gym used to be near that intersection. Isn’t there a huge bookstore thereabouts? “Chapters’ or “Indigo” or something? Anyway, agree that Toronto is a great city to live in – if lamarck loves violence, he can always take in a Leafs game. (There’s that tree thing again, eh?)

  6. 6
    lamarck says:

    Best Canada cities are

    Montreal – night life
    Saskatoon – might as well be in novosibirsk
    vancouver – it’s homey and artsy
    ottowa – the ice skating
    Toronto – big

  7. 7
    feebish says:

    Toronto – Great neighborhoods, great summer festivals, great ravine parks, Great Lake (literally), great ethnic food, great theater (theatre?), great shoe museum.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Nakashima says:

    Whoa, the lineup at The King’s College in NYC this week – Meyer, Dawkins, Berlinski! I hope they have poscasts…

  10. 10
    O'Leary says:

    Feebish at 5,

    One use of trees is hockey sticks = legal violence.

    Seriously, I hope all who can will take advantage of the opportunity to listen to and meet Berlinski.

  11. 11
    Mystic says:

    Berlinski bashes evolutionary theory, but you won’t hear him say that ID is the only logical alternative to it.

  12. 12
    Clive Hayden says:

    Mystic, Sal Gal,

    ——“Berlinski bashes evolutionary theory, but you won’t hear him say that ID is the only logical alternative to it.”

    Maybe not, I’m not sure…but he does say that ID is a logical alternative.

  13. 13
    absolutist says:

    “I hope they have poscasts…” Looks like they do.

  14. 14
    Berceuse says:

    Now he will also be at the movie screenings, am I understanding that correctly? I believe I’ll go to the one at USC.

  15. 15

    1. O’Leary:

    “I am totally annoyed that he is not coming to Toronto, the capital of the whole universe.”

    Toronto means “The Meeting Place”, and Berlinski should go there as well to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

  16. 16
    steveO says:

    At the link below, Dawkins discusses David Berlinski and various other things.

    (You also get an idea why he must avoid debates. Unbelievable!)

    Dawkins Transcript

  17. 17
    Berceuse says:

    “RD: There’ve been lots of nice, new fossils have been discovered. We don’t need fossils in order to demonstrate that evolution is a fact. We, I mean, it would be an obviously true fact even if not a single fossil had ever been formed.”

    Dawkins is a card

  18. 18
    Barb says:

    Dawkins is a raging idiot. Evolution is true even though there is no evidence to prove it?

    What is that called again? Oh, yes: faith.

  19. 19
    ellazimm says:

    Barb: what do you think of the endogenous retrovirus evidence?

  20. 20
    absolutist says:

    ellazimm: what exactly does red endogenous retrovirus herring have to do with a lacking fossil record?

  21. 21
    lamarck says:

    ““RD: There’ve been lots of nice, new fossils have been discovered. We don’t need fossils in order to demonstrate that evolution is a fact. We, I mean, it would be an obviously true fact even if not a single fossil had ever been formed.”

    Better stated would be “but there just so happens to be a fossil record, and it contradicts. The fact that it contradicts theory is a different point, and more important point.”

    Now of course here comes the pullback to “evolution” meaning nothing to do with NDE, or ID. All you “evolution is a fact” people should also state your religion, it’s an old old game.

  22. 22
    ellazimm says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean my endogenous retrovirus comment to be a red herring; I was just wondering what people thought of that line of evidence.

    Dawkins did say we don’t need fossils so I was just broadening the conversation.

    I was going to attempt to discuss why I don’t think the fossil record contradicts an unguided evolutionary process but it sounds like lots of folks have already made up their minds.

  23. 23
    Joseph says:

    ellazimm,

    I think that ERVs are interesting but I do not think they support universal common descent.

    And they certainly do not support any position based on unguided processes.

  24. 24
    ellazimm says:

    Joseph, I’ve been given some interesting links regarding ERVs on another thread . . . the one called “A Simple Start” I think. I’m going to have a good read and a good think about it all tomorrow.

  25. 25
    lamarck says:

    elllazimm,
    “I was going to attempt to discuss why I don’t think the fossil record contradicts an unguided evolutionary process but it sounds like lots of folks have already made up their minds.”

    Yes please go into this, keeping in mind Gould.

    Also, what do you think of the alien baby found in Mexico?

  26. 26
    ellazimm says:

    Well, I would like to recommend Evolution: What the Fossils Tell Us and Why It Matters by Donald Prothero; chapter after chapter discussing the fossil record. Very good.

    Gould was hypothesizing an explanation for why some forms are very likely to be missing from the fossil record which I found very plausible. He was not arguing against a mostly gradual unguided evolutionary process as Richard Dawkins has discussed in The Blind Watchmaker. I have read the quotes from Gould about there being holes in the fossil record many times and I know that he still found the fossil evidence to be in support of common descent with modification.

    The way I see it is: Fossilization is a rare thing except for certain types of creatures that happen to live in certain areas. There are going to be gaps, lots of gaps. It’s inevitable. Some animals, like tapeworms, have NO fossil record at all. Still though, we have lots of well represented lines of descent; the whale sequence is a good example.

    The real question is: does the fossil record contradict common descent with modification? No, it does not. A gap is not a contradiction; it’s no data. It does not mean there was no transition, it means we don’t have a record of it.

    Could the fossil record contradict common descent with modification? Yes, certainly. Any fossil appearing well out of the expected sequence would begin to cast doubt. Has that happened? Not yet.

    I know we have all heard this before and we have mostly all heard the arguments and counter arguments many times before. But you asked so I complied. If you really are interested in a very good, very clear, very extensive (for a popular book) discussion of the fossil record then I recommend Prothero’s book. It’s about two years old and therefore fairly up-to-date as well.

    Alien baby in Mexico? 🙂 I watched a youtube video . . . when it gets written up in a proper journal let me know. The picture I saw reminded me of a new world monkey juvenile.

  27. 27
    Mark Frank says:

    #26

    ellazim

    Thanks for the reference. I could not find that exact title on Amazon UK. The closest was:

    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Donald R. Prothero and Carl Buel

    Which had excellent reader feedback. I guess that is the same thing?

  28. 28
    ellazimm says:

    Yup, that’s the one (I swapped “Tell Us” for “Say”, my bad). I had to look at the title page to figure out that Carl Buell is the illustrator.

    Anyway, chapter 6 is “Life’s Origins”, chapter 7 is “Cambrian ‘Explosion’ – or Slow Fuse?”, chapter 8 is “Spineless Wonders of Evolution”, chapter 9 is “Fish Tales”, etc. Page after page of examples and explanations and Prothero knows his stuff. Agree or disagree at least reading it will give you some of the best arguments and evidence outside of professional journals.

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